Lee Holman Biography
Lee Holman has been buying records since he first got into house and techno via hip-hop when growing up in the south-east of Ireland. Since then he has gone on to play at many of Ireland’s leading clubs and festivals such as D.E.A.F. and Coloursfest as well as running his own club nights throughout Ireland and regularly guesting on national radio. At the beginning of 2004 he co-founded the Sub-Culture night which later relocated to Antwerp. This concept evolved into SUB-SCAPE and is now firmly established as one of Belgium’s most respected club nights where Lee plays alongside fellow residents Fabrice Lig, Spirit Catcher and Will O’Brien.
As resident, he has guested with some of house and techno’s finest DJ’s and producers including Steve Rachmad, Ian O’Brien, Dan Curtin (Peacefrog), DJ S2 (Underground Resistance), Peel Seamus, Aroy Dee, Quinn (Delsin Records), Eamonn Doyle (D1), Âme, Aardvarck, Eddie ‘Flashin’ Fowlkes (Cityboy), Marco Passarani, St. Dic (Fuse), Shed (SoloAction, Berlin), Djinxx (Electronic Resistance), Mark August (Mezzotinto, Curle Recordings) and Ripperton – Lazy Fat People (Planet E Records) amoungst many others. Further guest slots throughout europe for Silo (Leuven) "Working Class Night" and London followed.
This year saw Lee take on a residency for www.livesets.com for the "Interstate 94" radio show along with fellow dj’s Pedro Cali (F… U ! F-Comm), Erell Ranson (AW Recordings) and Tyler Smith (Audiocrash). Music production is also being received well where he has recorded and remixed for labels such as Fine Art and Elevation, with e.p’s also for the legendary Ferox and NightVision Recordings. His material has been played by some of the worlds leading DJ’s including Laurent Garnier, Josh Wink, Russ Gabriel and Orlando Voorn and has got 5 star reviews in the likes of IDJ and DJ Mag where his remix of Harold Heath’s Mercury Blues was selected for Janurary’s "Money shot". 2007 crescendoed with a live studio guest mix for revered and well respected Belgian Radio "Switch" on Studio Brussels.
Interview with Lee Holman by Kazuumi Ishii
First of all, thanks for taking time out of your hectic schedule to answer these questions for us. Can you tell us, what’s new in the world of Lee Holman ?
Well things have been moving nicely recently since the release of my debut e.p. on Fine art Recordings. At the moment im working on alot of new projects for various labels, making lots of new music, keeping my radio show for Interstate 94 running and keeping a tab on sourcing lots of new music for my DJ sets… things are good im enjoying life at the moment.
So how did you get interested in electronic music ?
Electronic music always seemed to be there… My earliest memories of hearing electronic sounds were from my brother who was always listening to dance music in his bedroom. He would religiously be in his room listening to various radio shows and buying records from an early age so it was more down to him exposing me to it than anything else. In saying that I was also a big hip hop fan since I can remember so from the age of 9 or 10 I was listening to the likes of Rhyme Syndicate, Ice-t, Big Daddy Kane and of course N.W.A…. It had a big effect on my life. Listening to hip hop really brought me along to listening to music from George Clinton and Bootsie Collins and that electro funk started to creep into my life.
Who or what inspired you to start DJing ?
There is a history of music in my family. My father played the piano and keyboard since he was very young. He toured Ireland in showbands supporting big acts of the day like the drifters and the tremelos and brought out some records himself in his day. Listening to hip hop I was always crazy into hearing DJ’s scratching and thought it sounded really cool at the time, cutting up and chopping records. I always remember telling my mother when I was about 14 that I wanted to get a set of decks and a mixer but back then Christmas didn’t come every day like it does now, so I had to wait a few years before I got my first set of decks. I play the piano myself but it didn’t satisfy me enough… I was always searching for that thing where I could say "yep this is me" and I found that with dance music and DJing.
What was your first gig ?
My first gig was probably how a lot of people started out… A friend had a birthday party so they rented out a house and we set up my decks and stereo system and we made a bit of a mess of the place… there must have been 50 or 60 people there which doesn’t seem like quiet a big number, but in a small house it makes for a good party and a great atmosphere !
How did your residency at Café Capital in Belgium come about ?
I met fellow Sub-scape resident and promoter Will O’Brien while we were both on national radio in ireland… we were asked to the 2fm studio in Dublin to review some new releases for their show and we just hit it off… We became friends and that eventually led to us both co-promoting a night around Ireland called Sub-Culture. Will eventually looked to move away and ended up living in Antwerp and he started promoting there so I was asked along to join the party as resident with both will and also Fabrice Lig. This has probably been the best experience of my DJing so far. It’s a really cool night and anyone who plays there really has a great time. Sub-Scape had some really exciting guests from the likes of well established names like Carl Craig, Steve Rachmad and Dan Curtin to more up and coming cutting edge talent like Shed and Redshape.
You regularly play in Ireland and Belgium. Tell us your perspective on how the two differ in terms of crowds, clubs, attitudes etc.
Yeah, I think both are different but both also very good in their own ways. In Ireland you have the restriction of the clubs closing at 2.30 maybe 3.30 in some places if your lucky, Belgium is 24/7 non stop. If the party is still raging at 8 or 9 in the morning and people are still up for it the vibe will continue all day till the last man drops. The irish are really responsive to the music being played so they will really make for a great atmosphere, basically they are really up for it… In belgium I can safely say I could play almost any music I feel I wanted to and still get a great reaction… The crowd there are really clued in so you have a chance to explore different sounds and try new things which maybe you wouldn’t be able to in some places in Ireland.
When you DJ what’s the most important; the groove, pushing the intensity, creating a journey or playing for yourself or the crowd ?
I think all those things come into play when DJing. I always try to find a good balance like anybody else…its nothing too scientific…I think a lot of people over complicate things with DJing and music… You gotta stick to what you believe in…wether that’s hip-hop, house or techno. If you believe in what you are doing and feel it, I think you are always at your best…it doesn’t matter what the music is as long as what your doing is real to you. In my opinion there is no point playing music you don’t like or your not into simply because it’s the latest craze or the "cool" thing to be heard playing. Another point is that I think you shouldn’t just get up and play a 2 hour set of deep grooves that has everybody falling asleep… you can’t alienate people either. I always try to remember that if I’m playing a club, I wanna play music that will make people move without losing any of my soul or musical integrity.
As a producer, 2007 was quite a good year for you with the release of "We Hold True", which was definitely one of the tech-house highlights of the year. You also did a pretty good remix for Harold Heath. Plus you nominated Best New Artist in the Irish Dance Music Awards. How do you feel about the last year ?
The end of the year made me really happy about things as "We Hold True" came out on Fine Art Recordings and was received pretty well by most. To get the feedback it did really gave me an impetus to keep on doing what im doing especially since I feel the e.p. itself was made as more of an oldskool feel with an eye on the past, so it was great to get the raction and support it did. The Harold Heath remix on Elevation Records Ireland was a nice track to do also. It was a collection of remixes from various artists like Kirby, Jet Project and myself and ended up being selected for January’s "Money shot" in DJ Mag so that was cool. When I heard about the nomination for "best new artist" I was a bit surprised to be totally honest because I only had 2 releases out at the very end of the year, so to be nominated left me a little shocked, but its nice to know people are enjoying your music.
How would you describe yourself as a producer and so your approach to music ?
I think as a producer I like to keep my sound different. It’s a case of ok, I’ve made a tune in that vein now let’s try something new… So I always like to keep my tunes different than the last one and try to keep coming up with new ideas and sounds, formats and themes… I think this keeps it interesting for both myself when im making music and also anyone who mite like to listen to any of my music… I think there is nothing worse than someone recreating the same thing over and over again… So I like to keep myself entertained and hope that if it gets released the listeners will be too…
You have a lot of releases coming out this year on different labels; Ferox, NightVision, Millions of Moments etc. I have also heard about some EPs – you have recorded and remixes for labels such as Fine Art and Morris Audio Citysport Edition. Can you tell us anything more about these releases ?
My debut 12" will be out on Ferox this coming April and its called "Phonetics e.p.". There are tracks there ranging from more melodic Detroit to more dancefloor get on up type stuff… Also there is a digital preview release also upcoming on Ferox which was only signed recently as part of a various e.p. with another ferox artist called Dave Anderson. That will be available to download within the next few weeks. The Nightvision release is going to be a 5 track double 12" and is called the "Dark Light e.p.". The tracks on this are a mix of jacking Chicago to more uplifting techno and again is planned for released around april. Other e.p.s for this year include labels like Snapshot, Morris Audio which are still in work and also Auto e.p. on Fine Art, a track for Millions of Moments and a 4 track e.p. for new label Mowar. There is one or two other bits upcoming also for new sub-labels of well established ones but I’m sworn to secrecy ! All the above will be released on both 12" and digital download.
What producers or DJs have been influential to you over the years ?
Way way too many to mention ! Every DJ and producer who I’ve seen on a night out, every producer’s records I’ve heard (good and bad), DJ’s I’ve guested with at various clubs both local DJ’s and international, film scores and basically anything in my opinion that I think is good…
Could you name any tracks or albums that have influenced you ?
"Atomic Dog" by George Clinton and everything from there and inbetween… Everything dance music…
What’s your motto for 2008 ?
Just keep doin my thing……
Interstate94 upcoming shows
Be sure to tune in on LiveSets.com at 9pm (CET).
- Mar 17. – Erell Ranson + GUESTS
- Mar 31. – Erell Ranson + Lee Holman
Lee Holman Discography
We Hold True, Digital
Fine Art (2007)
Harold Heath – Mercury Blues (Lee Holman remix)
Mercury Blues, Elevation (2007)
Phonetics E.P., 12"
Ferox (April 2008)
- Dark Light E.P., 12"
NightVision (April 2008)
- Auto E.P., 12"
Fine Art (2008)
- Travelling E.P., 12"
- Gary Beck – Stolen From The Jake (Lee Holman remix), 12"
(title TBA), Fine Art (2008)
- Mush – Test 66 (Lee Holman remix), 12"
(title TBA), NightVision (2008)
Preview E.P., Ferox (2008)
(title TBA), Millions Of Moments (2008)