Paul Maddox interview with the tidy Wunderkind ahead tidy & Extreme Euphoria 1st Birthday
Reported by Rubear
Submitted 22-09-06 20:01
Age is something that comes to all of us. At some point in your life you will turn into your mother or father, and start using phrases such as “hard house DJs are getting younger and younger these days.” We live in a world where it’s possible to create studio-quality music on your own computer, so it’s hardly surprising that we’re seeing more and more young producers and djs appear; I bet some of those kids are able to beat-match perfectly years before they’re legally allowed into a nightclub. Indeed, a lot of the upfront innovative music we hear in clubs today is created by this new generation of writers and producers. We all love the classic tunes, but lets face it, the future of hard-house lies with today’s bedroom djs, a fact that hasn’t been missed by the good folks at tidy.
Although their roster and club nights boast many legends of the hard-house scene, Tidy have always given opportunities to new djs and new writers — Technikal, Alex Kidd, Shan, and Paul Maddox to name but a few who have either played at a weekender or released records through tidy trax. It’s no secret that Mr Maddox was only 16 when he was discovered and signed by tidy, a testament to the label’s commitment to promoting new talent. With 5 years service now under his belt, Paul’s no longer the new kid on the block, and it’s difficult not to be impressed with what he has achieved in such a short space of time.
Paul is one of the finest and most respected djs on the circuit, and an amazingly talented producer and track-writer to boot. And I don’t use those words lightly. Every time I’ve seen Paul play he has been consistently superb; usually playing good old fashioned (yet up-to-date) hard house, he avoids much of the deck-trickery and FX that some of his peers have made a career out of, but he instead displays technical ability and really intelligent track selection that some djs twice his age and experience would be jealous of.
In addition, Paul’s track-writing and production skills are also advanced beyond his years, having written tunes under several different names and in many styles. His hard house tracks in particular stand out, not just because they are great tunes, but because they avoid many of the clichés that characterise some hard dance and hard house records these days. One of Paul’s 2006 releases ‘Have Faith’ for example, is a timeless, simple yet intelligent hard house track that would not have sounded out of place at Trade, yet also sounds bang up-to-date. It’s one of those tracks that can be slotted into a huge range of different sets, from commercial to banging, and is always guaranteed to get a massive crowd reaction. For many it’s one of those tracks that’s addictive from the first time they hear it. Not bad for a young man who, until this year, would have been too young to legally enter any nightclub in America!
I most recently saw Paul play at Extreme Euphoria vs tidy London, where he set the scene perfectly for the Tidy Boys’ marathon 4 hour spectacular set, and he kindly gave up some of his free time to answer some questions about what was happening in Maddox-land.
Hi Paul, thanks for taking the time to speak to me today. Now, first off… ‘Have Faith’ is, in my opinion, the best, catchiest, most intelligent hard-house track of the year, possibly of the last five years. Where did you get the inspiration for that?
It’s a bit of a hark back to older hard house really. As I was playing around with the vocal, I had the idea for the little added chunks with the chords, and that was that really!
You make it sound so easy! How do you go about writing tracks? Do you have a vague idea in your mind of how a project will sound or is it all trial and error?
It varies really, sometimes there’ll be a definite idea but other times I’ll just tinker about with ideas.
Your production career had a flying start when you remixed N-Trance’s ‘Set You Free’ When you worked on that did you ever in your wildest dreams expect the success that achieved?
Of course not! I didn’t really even think of music as anything other than a hobby at that stage, of course I’m not complaining though.
Can you tell us a little more about your working relationship with Paul Glazby?
We first got into the studio shortly after I started working at tidy (working on a remix for ‘Freezing Point’ if I remember right) and after a couple of projects it all started to come together. Since then we’ve gone on to work together on pretty much all of Paul’s stuff, as well as collaborating on last year’s ‘Tortured’ on Vicious Circle.
You have an impressive list of remixing duties including Tomcraft’s ‘Brainwash’ and Ferry Corsten’s ‘Rock Your Body Rock’. If a main-stream pop star such as Madonna or Kylie wanted a hard house remix of their latest single, and asked you to do the mix, would you do it or is that too much cheddar?
Definitely! I’ve never subscribed to the idea of being “underground” or anything like that; I make and play music that I like, and I like a lot of mainstream music as well as dance, so I’d say yes in a flash.
We’ve seen you perform a number of “live” sets. What is your definition of a “live” set and how is that comparable to mixing from CDs?
It essentially consists of playing versions of my own tracks, but with the ability to chop and change various parts on the fly.
RYou’re a regular feature at the Weekenders, and have made several appearances at tidy London, what are the key differences for a dj between Weekenders and periodic club nights?
There’s much more of a community kind of atmosphere at the weekenders. It’s always a good chance to catch up with people and stick around for a bit of a tear-up after playing.
The next weekender is of course the much talked about TWX — The Mission. Who is your super-hero?
Righto. And if you could have any super-hero power, what would it be?
Turning into Bananaman.
Fair enough, that would be pretty impressive. It’s well documented that you came under tidy’s wings at 16, but there are various old wives tales about how that actually happened. How did that happen?
I was found in a basket by the river, and Amadeus took me in and raised me as his own.
Not heard that one before… I won’t ask if you call him Daddy. When you were at school, what did you want to be when you grew up? At the age of 8, for example, did you envisage doing what you do now?
As a youngster I loved anything to do with cars, so I should think I wanted to follow in the moustachioed glory of my then-idol Nigel Mansell.
Can’t really see you pulling off the moustache look to be honest! I interviewed GRH a little while ago, and he described the pair of you as being “geeks” — in fact, he likened you to “hard dance train spotters.” Is that an accurate summary of your personality, or only when you are working with GRH?
It’s probably one aspect of my personality but I wouldn’t say it was the whole picture! Me and Gary do have a tendency to prattle on about rare Sharp Boys remixes and stuff though, so he has a point.
You have a number of aliases or alter-egos such as Olive Grooves, Azure, Barely Legal and Brazn for different musical projects. Is this part of your plans for total global domination so that you can take over the whole world by stealth or is there a more plausible reason for all these pseudonyms?
Well, a lot of the time it’s to differentiate between vastly differing styles, but also sometimes for contractual reasons.
Could you give us a brief description of each alter-ego?
I’ll have a go:
Paul Maddox — hard edged music of varying styles on tidy
Abandon — tougher hard house
Olive Grooves — slower, funkier hard house
Brazn — chunky house music
Spektre — melodic and minimal tech-house (collaboration with Filthy Rich)
OGR — techno influenced hard dance
Azure — straight-up party trance
Barely Legal — collaborations with Guyver
Tomorrow People — a one off collaboration with Lee Haslam.
So where does Paul Maddox go from here?
All over the place! I’m spending a lot of time on the Brazn & Spektre stuff at the moment, as we’re getting some good support from some big players on it. I’m not giving up on the hard stuff though — got a couple of new Olive Grooves tracks on the drawing board as well.
What does your family make of the success that you are enjoying? Have they ever been to see you perform?
Not until very recently actually. After the last Extreme Euphoria vs Tidy London I got back to my car to discover it had been broken into, which as well as writing me off from playing Slinky later that night, caused a problem for getting to Global Gathering the following day. When I was unable to get a hire car in time my Dad stepped in and I went down with him!
What is the most unusual set you have played so far?
At a place called The Barn probably, so called because it was just a barn in the middle of the Lincolnshire countryside. I was pumping out some rural techno, so it was all good!
Have you had any unusual requests?
I had a girl request Double 99’s ‘RIP Groove” a while ago, not that bizarre in itself, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer and was haranguing me until I finished!
Are you in the market for a girlfriend (or boyfriend for that matter, we’re open minded here at tidy, we’re here for the music) and if so what would be your ideal match?
I’ve already got a delightful girlfriend thanks!
If you did ‘An Evening In With Paul Maddox’ type of event at an intimate venue, where you could choose all the other djs, who would you invite to be your guests?
I’d most likely choose people I know, but playing a selection of music they wouldn’t normally. Glazby, Oblong, Haslam and a few others.
If it all went tits-up tomorrow, what would be your happiest memory be?
That’s a tough one. Some of the sets at weekenders have been pretty special, but having my Azure bootleg ‘Sunset’ getting voted track of the year on Jules R1 show was amazing too.
The names of some hard-house tracks and/or artists are sometimes bizarre and often have no relation to the artists and/or lyrics (if there are any): ‘Nine Is The Classic’, ‘Kernkraft 440’ and ‘Neurone X’ for example. As a producer, and given some of your aliases, can you perhaps give us an insight to how such names are dreamed up?
It can be anything really. Sometimes it’s something to do with the track and others are completely abstract. ‘Burnt Out Metro’ for example was simply named because someone set fire to a mini-metro outside my old house while we were having a party!
It is widely believed that porn stars acquire their porn star names by taking the name of your first pet followed by your mothers’ maiden name. What would your porn-star name be?
It doesn’t really work that well on me: Sally Blagden!
If you could be King of England for a day, which one law would you change?
Probably the 1994 Public Order act — Bring back the raves!
If I raided your CD collection at home, is there anything there that would surprise me?
I should think so! I like all sorts, from weird stuff like the Knife and The Cocteau Twins through to cheesy pop like Erasure and old Stadium Rock.
If I checked your internet history, are there any web site addresses there I’d be surprised to see?
That all depends on what you’d expect to find!
Knitting patterns and pictures of flowers perhaps? If your house was burning down, what three things would you want to save?
My hard drive with all my music on and a clean set of underwear.
If you could have a one to one conversation with anyone famous, dead or alive, who would it be with and what would you discuss?
I’d love to meet Freddie Mercury, don’t know what I’d talk about though. I think I’d be struck dumb!
If I took you for an all expenses paid night out in London, and the only caveat was that we could not go clubbing, what would you want to do?
We’d go for some top-notch Japanese food, then go and see a good band or some sort of live music.
Do you get asked for ID when you by cigarettes? Or have you been asked to prove your age to over zealous club security staff when you’ve actually been down to play?
I don’t smoke, but I did get asked for ID when playing at Nuklear Puppy in Edinburgh a few years ago!
Please complete the following sentences… My most memorable set was…
A couple of years ago at a club on Jersey, it was just one of those nights where everything fitted together perfectly.
My most played track…
Of all time; either Nick Sentience & Harry Diamond’s ‘Trippy’ or the Baby Doc mix of NRG’s ‘He Never Lost His Hardcore’.
My most debauched moment…
Dancing naked with a dozen topless models in Hawaii last week.
An everyday occurrence for you crazy jet-setting dj-types. Next question… My most horrific experience…
I’ve been quite lucky really, nothing particularly horrific has happened to me
My most enjoyable overseas gig…
Playing to over 4000 people at a massive open-air festival near Moscow this summer.
My most over-used word or phrase…
Lovely! My most annoying habit…
I pick my nose!
My most crazed moment of inspiration…
I often have moments of inspiration last thing at night and end up in the studio in my boxers at 4 the following morning.
Mmm, not so lovely! My most shameful moment…
Slipping over in the shower, knocking myself out and breaking my toe!
My most extravagant purchase…
Just the normal stuff really; Armani Suits, Platinum Jewellery, that kind of thing! [laughs]
Finally, please tell us a joke…
What do you call two rows of cabbages? A Dual-cabbageway!
All pictures courtesy of Paul Maddox and tidy. Not to be reused without prior permission
Tidy Extreme Euphoria, B'day Fiesta!
Friday 27th October 2006
23:00 - 07:00
£15 Advance / MOTD
£15 advance tickets available from www.ticketweb.co.uk //
London ticket outlets - Cyberdog Camden - 0207 482 2842
Maria Never Enough - 07813 684 399
Click here to buy tickets
Hard house senors and senoritas all over the country are gearing up for what is going to be the most colourful birthday celebration in the history of dance music! Grab your sombreros, line up the Tequila shots and be prepared to party fiesta-style!
On Friday October 27th Heaven in London will be rocking to the sounds of the biggest DJs around. The TIDY BOYS and ALPHAZONE will mix it up all over the main stage, providing filthy beats and dirty sounds to a faster generation that loves it! They’re joined by the cream of the UK’s hardest DJs, including AMBER D, LISA PIN-UP, ANDY FARLEY and BK!
In the STAR BAR, PAUL MADDOX, ED REAL and friends are on hand to spin the fiercest selection of tunes you’ve heard in your life! JP & JUKESY, GUYVER, BEN STEVENS, JAMES LAWSON and NICKI S take it in turns to decimate any previous ideas you might have had of a good night out!
Fancy a change of pace? Every good fiesta should have a healthy dose of funk. This time the excellent GROOVE FACTORY take on the beats and twist them into a delicious dance floor experience in the HOUSE ROOM.
LEE HASLAM joins new hosts ADDICTION in the DAKOTA BAR for some of the very best uplifting trance music London has to offer. Both rooms will bring something special to the Fiesta-ivities and we look forward to opening Heaven’s gates up to them!
And if all THAT wasn’t enough, then get your maracas round this – a fifth room that’s full of giant games! Massive Jenga and Connect 4, body-bending Twister, and four Nintendo consoles with huge screens so you and your mates – and everyone else – can see how good you really are!
So to re-cap: the biggest DJs in Hard Dance, the best dance music for miles around, a room filled with mental man-sized games, the only 7AM DRINKS LICENSE in Westminster, and over 2,000 up-for-it clubbers with one thing in mind – PARTY! It really is all going on and as expected, tickets are already selling fast. There are still a number of advance tickets available for £15 at www.ticketweb.co.uk so catch them while you can!
The tidy & Extreme Euphoria 1st Birthday Fiesta – make a wish!
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