Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Red Rack'em Speaks

Recent Guest on the Press Play series Danny Red Rack'em, has a really great 12" hitting stores in the next five minutes. Under his pseudonym Hot Coins, Danny explores a range of sounds and musical interests, the EP, called 'Laissez Faire' is one of 2008's essential buys, the way I see it, with its combination of Disco, Beard, Broken Beats and deep deep House. It's available on Society Records. 'Norway Man' is the track I'm playing the most; it's a brilliant Nordic Disco, swaggering Slo-Mo item with deep pad interludes. Mr Hot Coins agreed to answer some questions for ANOE...

First off tell us about the new hot coins ep - What made u decide to focus more on original material as apposed to edits

I wrote 3/4 of the Hot Coins EP in 2004 when I was doing all of the Red Rack'em hip hop stuff. I was living with my younger brother in Sherwood, Nottingham and although we really weren't getting on it was a very creative time for me which adds a lot of weight to the whole art/pain theory. I wrote about 20 tracks in that style at the time and Solid State from Society got hold of a CD from me in about 2006. He picked out what he thought were the strongest tracks and I gave them fade outs etc... Norway Man is very live sounding yet tough with a massive synth line - I am pretty proud of that track as it's pretty musical IMO. Dance Valet is a drugged out boogie track with vocals nicked from an unwanted wack relaxation CD my Dad got given. NG Style is tough NYC style punk funk. One Of Many starts of as Italo Reggae before heading off in a very deep detroit influenced direction. I felt that I wasn't going to progress as an artist by doing edits and I don't think many of the people I respected at that time for their edits have progressed much since then. You can't hide behind your edits forever!

It seems to me that there are a multitude of musical influences that have gone into it, which is clearly a reflection of your ability and desire to genre hop as a dj. So what are some of those influences?

My influences for the EP were arguably Lindstrom, Theo, Metro Area, 80's Boogie, ESG, Henrik Schwarz, Moodymann...but mainly just the last 20 years of digesting music. I have a ridiculously short musical attention span (with my own music as well) so each stage only lasts a month or so. Currently I am totally into post punk new wave stuff (Material etc), Pepe Braddock, early UK broken beat, Dilla, Krautrock, Detroit tinged dubstep, wonky hip hop, quality techno... Right now my fave artist is without a doubt Move D - the mans a genius. I like to keep moving. I am totally on the house tip right now - but a couple of years ago I was totally bored of it...

How long have you been running your radio show? and Is it difficult getting yourself heard on the interent, it seems mixes and radioshows are everywhere.

The Smugglers Inn show (fortnightly wednesdays @ myhouse - youre house) is just over a year old and although it takes up a massive amount of time producing, uploading and marketing it - I think it's worth it. It's a kind of musical diary of where my heads at. I do think the internet is swamped with radio shows but I have been lucky enough to build up a dedicated audience through heavily marketing the show. It's a bit soul destroying at times as you can get 400 downloads and zero feedback. But every so often I get a message from a producer or DJ that I respect saying that they discovered loads of new stuff from my show which makes it all worth it.

What do u make of the tidal wave of edits that are hitting stores and blogs? Also with much unhappy talk about the situation, do u care to let us know which ones have been totally working for u?

I think that the lack of vision, investment and respect for original music and paying for it has created the current dearth of original talent. I obviously am not exactly squeeky clean here as I have put out edits and spent a couple of grand on buying them over the last 5 years or so. But I think it's really lazy to play and produce edits. How does it help advance todays original music? Apart from perhaps giving people access to influences that might help advance their production it just creates a lack of support from labels/shops/distro for original music. I avoid edits these days. My digging skills have suffered due to being spoonfed for the last 5 years.

You have dj'ed all over and opened for some great artists - Who was the main act you opened for when you realised your status as a dj first really improved?

I think that playing before Dwele, Fat Freddys Drop and Amp Fiddler here in Nottingham really boosted my confidence as they were massive sold out shows with a lot of heads in the crowd (and on stage!). It's really hard to get club work here playing stuff that's not totally banging (tech/breaks/D+B/dubstep are massive here) so it was amazing for me just to hear stuff like Dogdaze or Rednose through a massive system with a big crowd. Those shows defo gave me more profile to the people that don't go to the kind of events that I normally play at. Plus the reaction from the bands was amazing. Amp Fiddlers band did workshops for my students at one of the colleges I teach at the day after the gig so I reckon I did alright!

Do u have any other projects in the pipeline?

How long have you got? My Marlinspike dubstep/techno stuff is getting great feedback from people like Shackleton, Surgeon, Geiom and Gravious - it's 140 bpm deconstructed dark bongo laden Detroit 2 step bassline stuff. I am putting together a wonky hip hop/Skweee series of twelves called Bars and Colours which will feature artists like Floating Points, Offshore, Dorian Concept, Rigas Den Andre, Metaphi and some from me too. I am working on my album as well which is not easy - I write about 3/4 new tracks a week which generally never get finished. Plus I am proper housing it up right now - Move D and Rick Wade tracks have inspired me to get on the house tip again..

Tell us three current releases getting heavy rotation from you?

Move D - Workshop 04, Move D - Quit Quitin' , Pepe Bradock - Intriguing Feathered Creature

Back to the EP. what sort of responses have you had from the dj fraternity?

It's been really encouraging - great feedback from Prins Thomas, Crazy P, Soul Mekanik, Rhythm Plate, Atlantic Conveyor, Toby Tobias, Bill Brewster, Chris Duckenfield etc. But to be honest it's been the reaction from people around me that has meant the most - I am fortunate to be part of a great fraternity of DJs and music lovers and I trust their taste implicitly. If they like it then it must be ok!

I just want to wish you all the luck, breaks and deserved kudos for the release. Where can people go to have a listen to it?

You can hear sound clips @ myspace or at record shops like Piccadilly and Phonica. It will be available digitally in April too on Itunes and all that jazz..

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cheers for the support Chris! The EP is now in Piccadilly and Phonica - it should be in the rest of Europe from next week too.