Four years ‘development’ / DJ Spinna interview
While we’re at it, here’s some more good stuff from Manchester: the peeps at development have done a wicked interview with DJ Spinna, who is playing their fourth birthday bash alongside Osunlade this weekend (at Sound Control).
Exclusively (yeah, that’s right), we’re quoting some of the best bits here. For your fix of phonic tonic, head back to their blog.
Nice1 deep cats!
You recorded the hip hop album ‘Sonic Smash’ last year, which was fantastic. How much of your time in the studio is devoted to Hip Hop these days?
It’s hard to balance the two but I would say I’m doing more dance records these days as it pays the bills and there’s also less politics involved in that scene. I also enjoy the end result much more, from the studio straight to the dance floor. With hip hop it’s just not the same.
Hip hop has changed a lot over the last few years with a very different sound making it through to the mainstream, what are your thoughts on the genre right now?
As for the mainstream it’s pretty bad, not much innovation there. I’ve always remained underground because of this. With that said I feel like the realness is dead in the mainstream world. There’s still good hip hop out here but most of it remains underground as usual. I miss the early 90’s when quality hip hop like Gangstar or Tribe were mainstream. Those days are over. The genre has made too much money and the soul is gone.
J Dilla or Michael Jackson?
No comparison. Two different kinds of legends for their own reasons. Michael being the greatest entertainer of all time and J Dilla being the most innovative and progressive thinking producer of this generation. There will never be icons like these again in this lifetime.
Your style always seems to cover a lot of genres, from Stevie Wonder to Sade through to Hip Hop to Techno etc……. what music don’t you like?
I don’t like Death Metal, makes me want to slit my wrist and it gives me a stomach ache.
Tell us about Stevie and what he means to you?
Stevie is the ultimate humanitarian artist. His music reflects love and peace, and his voice is golden. But in the 70’s he was super funky and his production was innovative and way ahead of it’s time for that era. If you listen closely to some of his recordings you can hear everything from the talk box, to Hare Krishna choirs, apregiating moogs, sick drum programming and sampling before the general listener knew what these things were. The water drops instead of finger snaps on “Overjoyed” for example, who thinks of this? And that was 1986!
New York seems to have lost a lot of record stores over the last few years, where are your favorite digging spots in your home town and what is the most treasured 12″ in your vast and highly respected collection?
My two favourite spots to dig are Academy Records and Big City Records. One of my most treasured 12″‘s is Stevie Wonder’s As. It was only legitimately pressed as a German Motown Promo with a picture sleeve. It was never commercially released as a 12″ in the States or any where else in the world and it’s stupid rare and expensive.
Tell us something we probably don’t know about you…
I am a home body. Don’t go out much these days. I’m not impressed by much and I prefer to be home working or chilling with the fam. Sometimes my wife has to give me a swift kick in the butt (figuratively speaking) to get out and live a little.