The 20th edition of the Electronic Directory podcast is brought to you by Mick Welch.
Mick Welch is an English DJ and producer and after running the Elektrosouls website that shares love and passion for electronic music with the world, he has launched his own label together with Samuel James called Elektrosouls Recordings. We caught up with Mick Welch and Samuel James to find out more about the label.
Interview with Mick Welch and Samuel James by Kazuumi Ishii
What have you guys been up to lately ?
Samuel: Well it’s been really hectic getting the label up and running what with one thing after the other. I’ve also been re-doing the website as well so all my time has been spent on that and the label. All worth it though.
Mick: I am concentrating on getting songs finished for the excellent Abstract Forms imprint which I am very excited about and Council House Recordings, a new label out of Ireland who mailed me a few weeks ago asking me to to a record for them. So quite busy which I am sure is a good thing !
Where and how was the mix made ?
Mick: I put it together in my home studio on a couple of 1210′s and a very shoddy old mixer. Nothing fancy just turntables and records. It’s not perfect but I enjoyed doing it and hope you do to. Unfortunately one of the channels on my DJM-500 has gone and I need to get it fixed quick which is a shame because I wanted to do the mix with that.
Can you tell us a little about the mix ?
Mick: It is a selection of old and new, some stuff I have been buying lately and some dusty old favourites. I don’t like to stick with one style, that is boring. To me music is music, techno, house, electro and if I like something I will play it regardless of age and genre. Though I cant see what the fuss is about with the minimal, most of it sounds like its unfinished… There needs to be a song in there you know ?
Let’s go right back to the beginning – tell us about your introduction to electronic music. What originally got you into DJing and producing music ?
Samuel: I was lucky enough to be brought up in a town that always seems to be on the edge of the latest music scene which I guess passes down to the next generation. When I was young my best mates eldest brother started listening to this really beautiful music which I related to – even though I was about 10. That music was House. I started borrowing tapes that came from the UK’s earliest house pioneers and all the legendary parties. These tapes caused a lot of fights (and I do mean fights) and are now legendary. That was it – at the tender age of 10 I got the house bug and I haven’t looked back. I was buying records getting the best tapes and just constantly listening to them. Then as I got older (about 13) me and my mates started going to parties where there was always house music and turntables. I just wanted to be able mix like all the Deejays I was seeing – although it took me 5 years before I could afford my first set of decks. When I got them I spent the whole first day just mixing and I have not stopped. I guess the producing just came naturally as the need to broaden my style and the inspiration could not be kept on just a set of decks.
Mick: Well, as I was growing up may dad was always playing Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis and Kraftwerk albums. Man this stuff blew me away, I mean I had never heard anything like it. The normal stuff on the radio never pulled me in like this synthesizer music. So I would borrow his cassettes and listen to them in bed at night. You no the Albido 0.39 album by Vangelis, the track Pulstar, man that shit was crazy. Then there was Jean Michell Jarres’s Equinoxe, now that was what made me want a synth. I guess it was more the sounds than the songs that enthralled me and I begged my parents for one. I think I was 12 when my dad got me one, well it was only a Yamaha portable thing but it was the one with the blue pads and the FM synth built in. So I taught myself how to play some of the tracks on the Equinoxe album and would play them constant. So then as time passed by it would be 1988 and and one of my older friends had this cassette fresh from Detroit, the legendary WJLB Derrick May radio mixes. Thanks to Lee [Purkis] who was I think one of the first people in the UK bringing records back from Detroit. Man, this was what I had been waiting for – the sounds of the shuffling 909 hi-hats and FM basslines amazed me, it turned what I had already learned to love on it’s head and have never looked back ! One of my friends bought some 1210′s in about 1990 started getting all the latest Detroit / Chicago stuff and we all learnt how to spin. Some years later I started making tracks on the Playstation Musik software until I got my first PC and a copy of Fruityloops and used that for a few years, but I did not like the way you could tell the music was made with that software, everything had that same sound and I needed something more powerful so I started using Cubase with some VST’s and it all started to come together. I had never had the equipment to do any serious music until the last 2 years or so. I think I am ready now – you know ? I think I have developed my style into something I am happy to put out.
What was the initial impetus to start the Elektrosouls imprint ?
Mick: It was always the goal, to have the label. The Elektrosouls thing was originally inspired by what Groovetech and a handful of others were doing. Streaming audio back in 2003 was a relatively new concept, not many people were doing it. So that is what we did, all though the bit rates were real poor then it did not matter, it was just great downloading and streaming sets from your favourite deejays. It was always the dream to have the label it took a while but now it’s here and will hopefully be well received.
Samuel: When we started Elektrosouls it was just a website that was all about sharing music – whether it be a deejay mix or a live set and that hasn’t changed it has just evolved. It has evolved into something more physical, something more real and something that would inspire just as we have been. An outlet for us and our friends to put out quality music.
How would you guys describe the sound of the imprint ?
Mick: Deep melodic electronic music. Songs with emotion, songs with feeling.
Samuel: Electronic sounds for electronic souls.
You guys had hosted a radio show on Puresoundz before you guys started the label. What was that about ?
Samuel: We have been doing internet radio for quite some time now, we started off on the excellent Basic, an internet radio station based in Switzerland which still has a few of our shows up. The format with Puresoundz is basically us just mixing it up for two hours playing what we want. Unfortunately the label is taking up a lot of time at the moment so we decided to take a break for a while. We are looking at starting back up around the same time as the first release but just doing it once a month for a longer time.
Mick: But I think in a more serious radio show way though, not just us playing records. We are looking at featuring guest mixes and promo’s and like Sam says we want to do the shows for four hours. We will continue to buy and play the records we love and hopefully build it up into something really solid.
Mick, your first record on the label, entitled Morphological Construct EP, sounds very Kenny Larkin/B12 inspired. There is obviously a big Detroit influence. Can you explain this and who/what influenced you ?
Mick: A big Detroit influence but also and just as important is the early UK techno scene too – B12, The Black Dog, ART, Likemind, Tenth Planet ect. I mean this stuff was inspired by Detroit but now 18 or so years later to me they are as important as each other. In 93 we started going to Steve Bicknell’s legendary Lost night in London. That party when it was at its original home in The Vox, Brixton was amazing you know ? proper underground and I mean literally because to get in you had to use this massive elevator to take you down. I will never forget the music and good times I had over the years in that place. Were we live (Crawley) has always lived and breathed the Detroit / Chicago influence. A good few great techno artists have come from here and some people have even called it a Little Detroit !! This may be unbelievable to some but a few of the older lot brought Juan Atkins to our little local nightclub back in 89 and he had a box full of Metroplex / Transmat with him !! Unlucky for me I was to young to go though. That may of been the first time he played in the UK. So it’s great having the label to carry on the Crawley techno flag.
So how is the club scene in Crawley ? How does it compare to London and elsewhere in England ?
Mick: Ha ha, there is not much of a club scene here. Our main club is all commercial dance and R & B, a horrible place. We recently got a new club that is better with a Funktion One sound system and has the odd night but still rarely will there be decent deejays and music. There are a couple of friends who do most of the underground parties in here and at the moment they are doing a once a month party in a local pub. I played the last one and that was good fun. But for serious nights out London and Brighton is were its at as there only 30 minutes away.
Samuel: Yeah it’s pretty crap really there’s a couple of little crews that do parties in and around Crawley, mainly Red:Souls or Technology and we’ve been know to throw some pretty good parties at Elektrosouls towers, but Crawley is half way between London and Brighton so generally if you want a decent night out you go to one of these. I think England is dying a death when it comes to decent clubs these days and promoters are looking for other options like warehouses and fields which for me is perfect cos it takes it back to the old days. you know that wicked feeling of belonging to something special and being with people who love music not people who just want to get wasted have a fight and pull cheap women – not my idea of fun really.
Speaking of labels, will your Elektrosouls label just focus on your own productions, or can we expect several remixes and other people releasing original tracks on the label ?
Samuel: Yes, it wont be just our own productions, we want to spread the sounds from us and our friends – who ever that is. Our first release is Mick then we got Jaime Read and then New Town Soul. After that you will just have to wait and see…
Mick: ESR002 is going to be Jaime Read, who is also from Crawley. He has released some amazing music over the last 15 years or so and we are really excited about having him as part of the Elektrosouls ethos, but unfortunately for him he has had some of his best stuff stolen and released by a certain well known producer with no credit to him what so ever. The New Town Soul moniker is for mine and Sam’s collaborations which will focus on a more soulful deep house / techno sound. As the label and artist roster grows there will be some artists you know and some you that you wont. It would be great to get some of our music remixed and released by artists we love and vice versa.
Do you guys have any musical goals – anything you guys want to achieve, or try or explore or experiment with in the future ?
Mick: To be honest I think we are accomplishing that now !! I guess as things progress there may be good things on the horizon but I will just carry on creating, listening and playing the music I love you know ? I don’t see myself ever stopping. I think things are just getting started ! :-)
Samuel: For me it’s to get my first EP completed and out that would be a start. I’m still learning and I’ve kind of promised myself that I would learn the Piano – who knows I mean it’s all moving so fast at the moment. If you’d have said a month ago I was going to be interviewed about the label I would have laughed, but here I am.
Finally, what are your plans for yourself and the label for the future ?
Samuel: For the label to release more quality music, to take the Elektrosouls crew around the world and spread the love of Electronic Sounds For Electronic Souls.
Mick: I would like and have been thinking about getting a live set together but I don’t know how use Ableton so that is something I may get my head around in the future, and we have talked about putting out a various artists compilation featuring artists that we love. Hopefully those who are asked feel this imprint is something they want to be part of.
Elektrosouls Recordings will release Morphological Construct EP on 28th September 2009
Excellent techno EP, just how good is Mick Welch ? Deep, sweet and very beautiful !
- A1. Positive Emotion
- A2. Dissonant Dialect
- B1. Seventh Sense
- B2. Archetype One
Download Electronic Directory 20 Mick Welch Podcast
- 01. Force Legato – System v1.0 [ZYX]
- 02. Amnesia – Ecstasy [Disco Smash]
- 03. Model 500 – Whats The Game [Metroplex]
- 04. Quadrant – Infinition (Carl Craig mix) [Planet E]
- 05. Legowelt – Slompy Jitt [M>O>S]
- 06. Silicon Chip – Phuture Music [B.P.M.]
- 07. Armando – World Unknown [Not On Label]
- 08. DJ Bone – No Sleep (True To The Roots) [Sect]
- 09. Numbercult – See Feel [Numbercult 002]
- 10. Insync & Mysteron – Trackdown [Plink Plonk]
- 11. Mick Welch – Dissonant Dialect [Elektrosouls]
- 12. Gonno – Gakak [Beyond Recordings]
- 13. Deixis – Form v3.0 (Akropolis) [Abstract Forms]
- 14. Reel By Real – Aftermath [Ten]
- 15. Chicago Skyway – Heavens (Mix 6) [M>O>S Deep]
Download older podcasts below
- EDP19 Jamie Behan
- EDP18 The Florian Muller Project
- EDP17 Edge of Infinity
- EDP16 Klaina
- EDP15 Solab
- EDP14 Trish van Eynde
- EDP12 Erell Ranson
- EDP11 Chuck Bleu
- EDP10 Esteban Adame
- EDP09 Chymera
- EDP08 Alan Smith
- EDP07 Arne Weinberg
- EDP06 DJ Bone
- EDP05 Trench
- EDP04 Rubsilent
- EDP03 Nomadico aka DJ Dex
- EDP02 Kuri Kondrak
- EDP01 Lee Holman