Hard House Heaven: Phil York v Technikal
Reported by saffysue
Submitted 23-04-08 18:26
The Northern master of Hard Trance Phil York goes back to back with “young prodigy” Technikal (aka Alf Bamford) at Hard House Heaven on 4th May. Phil has been running Nuklear Puppy in Edinburgh for 7 years, since Alf was a wee boy! So we thought it’d be interesting to let them quiz each other & get to know each other a little better before they duel it out on the decks.
Let’s start with Phil grilling Alf.
PY: Hi Alfie! We all know you for your huge uplifting hard dance monsters that you have created over the past few years; how would you say your sound has progressed over the last 4 years that we have known each other and where do you see it going 5 years from now?
AB: Hi there mate! Well firstly my sound has evolved from the beginning of my career from what I’d initially call a clone of the Tidy Two ‘Guyver’ sound, into something which now I feel is my own. I think when you start out at anything, it’s a lot easier to imitate than to innovate, so it was only when I started getting to grips with production that I started to carve my own sound.
I have absolutely no idea where I think my sound will be in 5 years from now, but I suppose that the real talent of music production is predicting where it will go… so any ideas I do have, I’m going to keep close to my chest!
PY: We've always had a strong views on psytrance – our views only differ in the fact that you love it and I cant stand it! Are you still playing much psy in your DJ sets?
AB: I do love my psytrance but I think you were right all along in the fact that it has a certain place in the hard dance clubs … and that’s outside of it! I have a couple of wicked psytrance tracks which cross over amazingly well (such as the X-Noize remix of Insomnia) and these do come out every so often, but unless I’m playing a warmup set I don’t drop much of it anymore. Unless we’re talking about my living room!
PY: I've heard a rumour that you are putting together an artist album; is this true and if so can you tell me more about it?
AB: This is true! My artist album has been a long time coming, and could have happened a number of times but there have been a couple of reasons I’ve been holding out. The first is that I’ve been working on singles and remixes so much over the last couple of years that there hasn’t been time for me to financially take 3 or 4 months out to write an album! The second is that there was never a concept for the album, or a real reason for me to put one together.
So this year I’ve booked everything off between the months of May to August and am going to get stuck into what will be one of my most exciting projects yet. The concept is a double disc affair, with one CD being brand new productions (both collaborations and solo tracks) and the second being a mixture of the most important records of my career. The added twist is that many of these revisited tracks are going to be remixed for 2008, keeping the original vibes alive but bringing the production bang up to today’s standards. Steve Hill is looking after the project for me, so it will be tied into Masif.
Also this summer is the first compilation mix release from Technikal Recordings. It’s called Konception, and it features every release on Technikal Recordings so far (and a few upcoming tracks) all mixed live in Ableton by myself. Don’t get confused with this and my album, the album will be a very different prospect altogether!
PY: You've been getting a lot of success with your Technikore guise for your hardcore productions recently; what have you got lined up for the rest of 2008 on the hardcore tip?
AB: Last year was great fun with the hardcore. I had loads of tracks featured on many different TV advertised compilations, from Ministry of Sound’s ‘Rave Nation’ to ‘True Hardcore’. This year is going to be no different. I mixed my first Hardcore compilation (Xclusive Happy Hardcore) which came out 2 weeks ago and is in HMV. It’s got loads of my new tracks on, along with many others from Hardcore Masif. Also up this year is Hardcore Masif Vol.2 which I’ll be mixing a CD from.
Out next month is my first EP on Hardcore Masif. It’s called the Technikore EP and has ‘My Intention’ (both the original mix and the Dougal & Gammer Remix), ‘Feel Alive’ and ‘Follow The Light’ on it. Keep your ears open!
PY: Our last b2b set was an unplanned one at Frantic vs Moondance in Jan which seemed to get a great response.
AB: That back 2 back was wicked! The club had an amazing vibe and they seemed to love anything we threw at them.
PY: Have you anything special planned for this b2b coming up?
I’ve been working hard as usual on loads of new tracks and re-edits, so we’ll be getting busy on that front. I’ll leave my psytrance at home for you though mate! Haha!
PY: You've been topping all of the download charts over the last year with your Technikal recordings label - what future releases do you have planned on the label?
AB: It’s been a great year in terms of sales with Technikal Recordings, as I never expected it to take off like it has. The pressure is on now to keep delivering strong quality records, so that’s the plan as it stands. I’ve got a wicked new track from up and comers Audio Hedz & K-Line of which I’ll be getting busy on the remix. I’ve also done a new track with two up and comers D-Concept & Baggie, called “Mass Effect” which is due very soon. It’s a real nice hard trance track with a really euphoric breakdown. Matt Lee’s going to be providing the remix for that one.
PY: So, for Hard House Heaven will you be dressing up in drag as I know you do most Sundays or do you have a special space themed outfit planned?
AB: Not as it stands, unless my super tight T-shirts are classed as space wear? I’m thinking probably not!
PY: Have you ever been probed by Aliens or was it just the New Zealand customs? ;-)
AB: Nope, you were right the first time. A probe with the girth of a rolling pin, you’ll notice when you see me walking next!
Sounds like fun Alf! Now it’s your turn to ask the questions...
AB: OK, I know you've been into your music for years now, and as you said we've been working together for a good 4 years of them... but what made you want to be a big player in the hard dance scene?
PY: I don’t think I ever set out to be in any one scene; its been more of a natural progression over the years. I’ve always wanted to DJ out and liked the harder sounds, starting out at a very young age mixing everything from hardcore to trance to old school. I started DJing out in clubs and putting on my own nights when hard house was kicking off back in 2000. When I was at uni in Edinburgh I decided I wanted to be involved in the music scene full time during my degree, as Biology bored the crap out of me and I couldn’t see myself working in a lab when there were plenty more fun things to do in life! Am happy to say it was the right move and things seems to be getting better each and every year, which I am extremely grateful for.
AB: Everybody knows you of course for your Tranzlation label imprint, but can you elaborate on all your other labels? Even my little brother has done some drum & bass for you am I correct?!
PY: Sure mate I run a range of labels here, Tranzlation being the outlet for hard trance productions both European and UK sounding and Distinkt being the outlet for the covers we put out. Nuklearpuppy, which I run with Jason Cortez, has a more hard dance sound about it whilst still keeping the uplifting vibe, and Elevate recordings which I run alongside Kevin Energy ranging from UK hard trance through to hard house featuring a lot of up and coming artists.
I have a few white series for releasing bootlegs, the biggest being Bootek for techno boots, Attitude for UK hardstyle bootlegs and the now dormant HTUK label. As you rightly said I have also put out a couple of D & B releases on Wargames imprint with Bamford junior on production duties, keeping it in the family haha. Am thinking of starting up a Dubstep label and getting your Mum to make some tracks mate - what do you think? ;-)
I also help run Lisa Lashes & Gaz West’s labels (Lashed & Dark by Design recordings) and help out with Alex’s Kiddfectious label so I have plenty to keep me going!
AB: I’ve heard you have a new venture selling CD singles, can u tell me more about it?
PY: Yes we have, with constantly falling vinyl sales and the mp3 market doing well but not seeming to account for the drop in the sales of vinyl we decided it was a good idea to start selling CD singles so that people who have moved onto playing on CDJ’s can get a physical product for their money instead of having to download mp3’s. They can build up more of a collection this way. We have got all the major labels in hard dance onboard - Tidy, Riot, Awsum - as well as all of our inhouse labels, and the CDs are available to buy at the same time as the vinyl release. The site is www.tranzlation.dj and we are offering the 1st month’s postage free to all new customers!
AB: Every time we chat, you have an international gig coming up...what's on your schedule for the next few months?
PY: I’ve got another trip over to Canada coming up over the next couple of weeks - this time heading out east to Toronto and Niagra. After that I’ve got my debut out in Brazil & Argentina which I’m really looking forward to, and trips out to Australia, New Zealand, Romania and another Canada trip (this time out west) planned before the end of the year.
AB: What sort of track would you like to make next time we work together in the studio? Any current inspiration?
PY: Am really loving fat dirty electro sounds in tracks at the moment along with a techy vibe to the percussion - think tech trance but with more oomph to it and a less uplifting sound than usual to the main melodies. More of a dark twist but still keeping the power and drive I like to have in all tracks. Something along these lines would be great or we could just write some bangra-jazz-funk with some power ballads thrown in there for good measure!
AB: What's the biggest track at the moment doing the damage for you?
PY: Oh that’s a tough one as I play so many different styles. Its hard to pick one track so I’ll do a top 5 , they are…
- Expose – Saltwater (Phil York remix) – UK style remix of the huge Chicane hit goes off every time!
- Masif DJ’s – Music is the Answer (Louk remix) - big powerful kicks and an immense drop, this guy is going to be big!
- Alex Kidd vs Kidd Kaos – Bass Loverz - hard trance in the break, verging on hardstyle in the drop, really fresh original track, love it!
- Bootek 33A – Big shranz style remix of Utah Saints “Something Good”!
- Jon Doe & Nikki Mac – Up All Night – big pitch bending hoover riffs, hard house with lots of fun; how it should be!
AB: Seeing as Hard House Heaven is a space age theme, will you be wearing anything of the sort? Maybe your NASA certified space suit your missus always asks you to bring out?
PY: You’ll just have to wait and see mate; I was going to dress up as Princess Leia but apparently you have beaten me to it so I may take advantage of my size and be an Ewok for the day!
AB: And apart from the living proof that is Jason Cortez, do you believe in aliens?
PY: Haha, no but if his belly is anything to go by there is an Alien waiting to pop out at any moment!
Make sure you see the lads go head to head in the costume stakes as well as the music stakes. They’re playing on Planet Hard Trance at Hard House Heaven on Bank Holiday Sunday 4th May – check out http://www.franticuk.net/hhh/ for more info & for tickets.
And don’t forget the Space Age theme – we want to see as many aliens, space monsters and Star Wars characters as possible!
Photos supplied by Frantic. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Frantic presents Hard House Heaven
Sunday 4th May
22:00 - 06:00
£10 Saver Tickets / MOTD
Ticketweb // 08700 600 100 // www.ticketweb.co.uk
Ticketsellers // 0844 870 0000 // www.theticketsellers.co.uk
View Tickets // www.viewtickets.co.uk
Clubtickets // 0870 246 1840 // www.clubtickets.co.uk
Ticketbank // 01702 345 050 // www.ticketbank.co.uk
See Tickets // www.seetickets.com
More on the Door // www.moreonthedoor.com
Dont Stay In // www.dontstayin.com
Cash Sales //
Frantic HQ // 020 7247 4121
Cyberdog Camden // 020 7482 2842
Never Enough Maria // 07813 684 399
Click here to buy tickets
Hard House Heaven is back– our only visit to the mighty Heaven Complex in 2008! 4 arenas covering the full spectrum of hard music, with everyone from legendary pioneers of the scene to the biggest starts of the last few years, to the most promising talents of the future!
We’ve chosen a futuristic space-age Battle Of The Planets theme for this event, with the worlds of Hard House, Hard Trance, and European Hardstyle & Hard Trance going up against each other in an epic war of tough beats! Meanwhile Planet Amazon arena will feature the most fearless female warriors from the galaxy of hard and fast music, completing a truly gargantuan line-up. The dress code is therefore SPACE AGE – think Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Space 1999, space monsters, girls in figure-hugging lycra, boys in space uniforms, Barbarella, aliens…
The venue is sounding and looking better than ever, and we’ve got the DJs to do it justice. This is a very special War of the Harder Worlds gig where we’ll be pitting key styles of hard music and DJs against each other to battle it out for supremacy in the dance galaxy. With a Who's Who of intergalactic talent and some very tasty exclusives this is the ultimate way to kick start what promises to the be the biggest Summer in Hard House in years!
And as it’s clearly not about going home at 6AM – what with the Bank Holiday and all – we’re putting on another storming edition of our afterparty with Twist – FT! The party continues straight after HHH down at Hidden in Vauxhall, which now features brand new soundsystems, with room for 500 people at FT plus the gorgeous Summer Garden! Joint Tickets for Timeless & FT are £16 for a limited period only…
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.