Moodymanc talks vinyl, Luke Solomon and Well Cut Records (Interview) | Soundspace

Moodymanc talks vinyl, Luke Solomon and Well Cut Records (Interview)

moodymanc, premiere, well cut records, soundspace, deep house, funk
 

Soundspace

So who is Moodymanc?

Moodymanc

Moodymanc was a nickname that Ralph (Lawson) and Andy from 2020 Vision came up with for me whilst I was working on my second Dubble D album for them. No doubt due to the fact I would phone them up to moan about what slack bastards they were all the time (haha!).

They decided they would like to put out a 12″ of the housier cuts from that album under the monniker Moodymanc and to start an imprint for me so we mocked up the early KDJ font over a photo of Coronation Street and stuck it out without stopping to think that 90% of the planet had no idea what a Manc is.

It became the joke that nobody got (story of my life), but the name stuck and though I wasn’t over enamoured with it I really liked having an outlet to put out (in my eyes) purely House music which was free of any of the pressure or hype that was attached to my previous output.

 


 

Soundspace

WCR003 is about to come out on your own label, tell us how the release came to be?

Moodymanc

I’ve always been trying to release EPs that represent the breadth of my influences and taste in terms of ‘House’ music. The tracks all came from different sources of inspiration. The A1, ‘Comfort Me’ is a deep, soulful chugging affair that I made thinking about sunsets and sunrises, and although 4/4 I was trying to reference a lot of the production values of early 90s Street Soul records that I really loved at that time (and still do!).

‘War and Peace’ was firmly for the floor-a straight up disco, party track with a deep breakdown and serious message in the vocal sample therein. It was initially signed to Massimo Dacosta’s label, Homecoming on the conditions that it would come out on vinyl (something I’ve always stuck to with labels when releasing as Moodymanc) and that they would book me for a label party or two.

Unfortunately they only released the track as part of a digital compilation, and despite it becoming the biggest selling track on the label, I never saw the vinyl release, label party, or even any accounting or money from them and NOT for the want of asking!

Luke Solomon had offered to do a re-mix in exchange for some work I’d done on his music so it seemed silly not to have him on board with this, re-touch the original and put both mixes out on vinyl as originally intended.

Finally, the ep closes with ‘Hashtag’, a real jacker. I took the dialogue on it from a Youtube clip of Snoop Dog, 50 Cent and G Unit talking about the current state of Hip Hop. It’s an unusual approach for me as I’ve always had a self imposed rule that I’ll only ever sample from vinyl, but what they had to say really resonated with the way I was feeling about House music at the time in such a way that I wanted to make something to play out in that context. It’s been a real winner at gigs, and so little of that kind of sound seems to make it to vinyl these days that I thought it all the more important to put it there.

 


 

Soundspace

The remix from Luke Solomon, what was your first impression when he sent it back?

Moodymanc

Luke seemed like an ideal candidate for the remix because I absolutely love the way that he produces dirty, funky music and with an edge that I don’t always achieve. As soon as I got it back I knew he’d done the business! Despite not having radically altered the original parts he’d brought his weight and dirt to the original beats and groove, and added a monstrously twisted synth to the equation which had me jumping around the studio, completely buzzing! As I mentioned above, my first thoughts were “This HAS to go on vinyl!”.

 


 

Soundspace

What led to the launch of Well Cut Records?

Moodymanc

I’d been very flattered to have been approached at various stages with offers to help set up my own label but wanted to be really clear about my agenda and being able to achieve it.

Though I’ve always been extremely lucky to be able to release on so many great labels (and still am) I was becoming a lot more aware of the pressures, frustrations and constraints that all labels have become subject to as the economics of releasing music has changed, and I wanted to try to do something a little differently, to be able to put out some of my music and projects without pandering to any of those pressures: music that was a little more eclectic in direction and influence and on a label with extremely high design values.

I really wanted to do something that was record and music led as opposed to the ‘build a huge brand’ model, and something that, even if it only meant releasing a couple of records each year would represent the investment of the buyer, (let’s face it, nobody is forced to buy music any more, they choose to invest in what they believe in and feel is worthwhile) and myself as an artist.

As such I’ve commissioned beautiful artwork for the sleeve of each 12″ release, which have all been 4 trackers on 180g vinyl, and all the branding has been spot varnished on; you won’t really see it until you pick the record up and get involved with it: Record and music first, brand after!

The fact that it doesn’t make any sense to do that in an age where 2 track records with hand stamped sleeves has become the best way to make a release work financially was actually more of an attraction: It’s my music and my art, I never wanted it to be a ‘business’ or even a career or even make sense in the ‘real world’. Of course I’m really lucky in that I’ve been able to make money from music in other ways to manage to cushion the loss incurred by investing in the artwork and format, and to have had the backing and faith of Juno as my distributor who have been wonderfully supportive!

 


 

Soundspace

Who can we maybe expect to see on the label in 2016?

Moodymanc

As I mentioned above, Well Cut is primarily for the release of my own projects and collaborations and shall be for the forthcoming, however I’m collaborating more and more with live musicians and artists, particularly for my “Balaphonic” project which has another ep on the way, as well as some collabs with some underground producers and people who are perhaps better known under other names(!).

Given the constraints of vinyl manufacture I’m also looking to launch a digital subsid, with the idea of being able to put out some music in a very immediate way where I feel it’s relevant to do so, albeit keep the channels in which I release it quite limited to try to keep it in the domain of people who I feel really want to engage with it. In other words, don’t expect to see it in any Beatport charts!

 


 

Soundspace

Tell us something we shouldn’t know about you?

Moodymanc

Something you SHOULDN’T know? Ok. I always tell the odd lie in interviews! Hahaha!

 


 

Soundspace

What’s the coolest thing in your house?

Moodymanc

Today the coolest thing in my house is a vintage AMEK recording desk that I just picked up from a guy dismantling his studio in Surrey. It was actually built only a mile and a half from here, in Salford and put together by a mate who worked for them at the time.

It needs a little renovation but the Neve pre amps in there are going to bring a lot to the sound of future productions! Yesterday by far the coolest thing in the house was our cat. Tomorrow she’ll probably be back on top again too! (Little bugger!).

 


 

Soundspace

Thoughts on summer 2015?

Moodymanc

Summer 2015 for me has been a good one in terms of re focussing. I’ve been lucky to have been busy with gigs both DJ wise and playing drums but not so busy that I haven’t had time to make (albeit slow) progress with various stuff in the studio, work on my ‘chops’ dj wise and check out a lot of new music and on a completely different tip also spend time getting back into some ski training (I used to race slalom as a kid and did some guiding in Austria for a while before the music completely took over).

I was lucky enough to do loads of gigs in the French alps last season and it reignited my obsession so I’ve bought myself some mid life crisis inspired racing skis and have been hitting the training slope here in Manchester most days which has been really helping me to get a fresh and positive perspective on the music ‘stuff’, as well as the odd bruise!

 


 

Soundspace

And what does the future hold for Moodymanc?

Moodymanc

Apart from the Well Cut stuff I have a couple of vinyl releases coming up, a 12″ on la Petite Morte Musique from Spain, which has great mixes from Cesar Merville and Javi Bora, as well as exquisite artwork(!) and a 12″ for my good friends at Gartenhaus in Copenhagen which has a remix by Kevin Over that I simply cannot get over!

I have a couple of remixes coming out here and there too, though have been trying to slow down a lot on that this year, I’am working on an album project for Luke Solomon and planning an EP for the re-launched Immigratnt/Shva Muzik and have a couple of live projects in development too! I’m in the process of planning some DJ touring towards the end of the year to take in Asia and Australia, and of course on the eternal hustle for gigs closer to home. All in all, keepin’ on keepin’ on!

 


 

Soundspace

Anything to add?

Moodymanc

Errrrrrr? Did I tell you about my new mixing desk?

 

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