DMCWORLD checks in with one of the hottest producers on the planet right now. With a string of releases on such seminal labels as CR2, VIVa and Suara plus a brand new imprint of his own in Shanghaied Records, we thought it about time to find out what’s next for the boy wonder…
Mike a huge welcome to DMCWORLD…where in the world are you right now?
On a plane on the way to Ibiza…
When was the last time you needed your passport for work?
An hour ago, at the check in desk!
What has been the best piece of new music you have heard this week?
A track called ‘Expect’ by an up and coming producer by the name of Space Jump Salute, it’s an acid tinged banger that just makes the floor BOUNCE! Love it.
So as the summer draws to a close it’s all systems go in the Wax Worx household with a stream of incredible releases firing out your front door. Let’s kick off with your recent ‘Over Here’ track on CR2 for the elrow compilation, a brand you have been getting a lot of love for recently. Talk us through the track…
It’s chunky and gritty, “non-generic” as I can’t stand some of the boring formulaic Tech House about, the subtle vocal sample “there’s a party over here” draws everyone on the dancefloor, I first played it out at elrow, so it’s fitting that it’s ended up on their compilation.
You opened up the hallowed elrow terrace in Barcelona at the start of the season, fuck me you even got a bear hug from papa smurf Juan Snr! Why do you fit the elrow sound so well and for those who have never been, what are they missing?
I’m a party DJ through and through, and elrow is all about the party, I like to bounce around in the DJ box a bit like an elrow inflatable, and play music that’s fun, energetic and a bit crazy, no chin stroking for me , for those who have not been to elrow they are missing not just a party but an incredible show and experience, the hospitality and vibe of elrow is second to none, there’s no ego and everyone is united in having some serious FUN!
2018 saw the resurrection of one of the greatest independent dance labels of all time in Stress Records, home to legends such as Brothers In Rhythm, Full Intention, John Digweed, Danny Tenaglia and many more. Talk us through your forthcoming two track EP on the label, The Black Madonna has already been hammering it on Radio 1…
Stress couldn’t be a more perfect fit for these tracks, they were made as a homage to the rave days of the 90’s when the only reason music was being made was to make people dance and loose their inhibitions, ‘One Green laser’ was inspired by my earliest rave days at the infamous Sterns Interdance on the South Coast, where I would go every week and walk downstairs into the underground room which was one big dark sweaty space and all you could see through the smoke was the silhouettes of hands in the air, lit only by One Green Laser! The 2ndtrack is called ‘Raised on Acid’ and well… that pretty much speaks for itself…
What are some of your favourite tracks from the Stress back catalogue and have you further plans to release on Slough’s finest?
Tracks that instantly spring to mind are Bedrock ‘For What You Dream Of’ Last Rhythm ‘Last Rhythm’ and Xelcia – Workbaby! Would love to remix that one, and I hope to release again on the label in 2020 for sure.
Okay let’s rewind for a moment and see where this exciting career began. You owe your love of music to two family members in your dad and brother. Let’s kick off with your old man and his love of jazz…what are your memories of your dad and his er, organ?
Hahaha, my old man loved to bang the keys on a Sunday…but my memories are mainly of my mother shouting at him to “stop that bloody racket and come and help her with the dinner”, but I also remember his love of Jazz and his infatuation with beats and Jazz Drummers, like Buddy Rich, Art Blakey and Max Roach.
Your brother on the other hand had a big penchant for punk and ska before finally seeing the light and getting into rave culture. What made him finally turn the corner and swap Voodoo Glow Skulls for Voodoo Ray?
Probably Ecstasy, but also the fact that Rave Culture was spawned from similar cultural ideas and morals as punk, being a way for the youth to rebel against the mainstream and indulge in something that let them express themselves and be free.
What does your brother think of your career, is he still into the scene and do you see him down the front on one at your gigs?
My brother is very proud that I’m doing what I love, he doesn’t go out so much these days though.
Whilst most kids were kicking a football around their back garden you were into skateboarding and snowboarding. What was your career dream back then?
I wanted to be in Bones Brigade.
True or false? You made your breakout track ‘Our House‘ in bed on your birthday?
Eats Everything was the artist who your manager first sent the tune to and he smashed it everywhere from Glastonbury to Vegas. How much of an influence is young Dan Pearce to Mike Wall?
He’s a DJ’s DJ, I feel like we are cut from a similar cloth, we both take music very seriously but love the party in equal measures, seeing him get his break when he did inspired me and gave me faith to keep on pushing towards my goals and dreams, he’s got balls behind the decks and pushes the boundaries.
Two years ago you teamed up with Grahame Farmer of Data Transmission to create Shanghaied Records. What was the idea of the label and what is coming out next?
Finding new music and new talent gives me a buzz, having our own platform to share that music seemed like a no brainer, but equally we wanted to create a close nit crew of like-minded artists to establish a strong brand identity and ethos, and to have some fun while doing it! We have already dipped our rave shoes into hosting events, had the likes of Rich Wakley and Low Steppa headline partie,s for us as well as hosting our own stage at NozStock for the last 2 years, next year we intend to increase our events with more festival stages as well. Musically up next is our ADE sampler – a 5 track VA of up and coming artists Sandor, Under-Score, Jack Wilton, Ian Sound, & James Fergus, OUT NOW and then we have a killer EP from the talented James Burton who had released with us before going on to release on Skreams of Unsound Mind and has a release coming up on Richy Ahmed’s Four Thirty Two Label. We have releases already pencilled in for 2020 from up and coming talent such as Tim Taylor as well as more established artists like Piem. Next in the diary though is our Shanghaied VS Take party at ADE on the 17that Park Plaza, my next stop after Ibiza.
True or false? You got married at Burning Man? What was that crazy shit like?
TRUE – I first heard about Burning Man when I was living in Vancouver, but I never got the opportunity to go while I was living there. When I met my now wife, she had already been once before and would always talk about how magical and amazing it was. As I had always wanted to go, and she had already been and fell in love with it so much we decided that it would be the ideal place for our wedding. It was dusty, magical, and love was all around us. There was a white out dust storm during the ceremony so the whole experience was bit like Mad Max on acid, we even had Carl Cox DJing in the camp next to ours so it was pretty special! – I also got to DJ on the Root Society Camp Stage, so for me it was not only the most special day of my life but the best festival I had ever been to and played at as well!
5 big tunes nestling in your box this weekend…
Alex Blanco – Hand Clap
Chunky but funky, has a wicked intro and drops with some seriously heavy beats, a certified party starter.
Catz & Dogz – Force
Love these guys, always unique; this tune is a right filthy bitch with some serous attitude.
Shade – Nice
This one has been doing the rounds on Vinyl for a while now, just managed to get my mitts on the digital version, it’s that track that Samples Drake sampling Lauren Hill. BEEFY
Elliot Adamson – Electric Acid Tater Tots
Love this lads music, always a bit out there but equally dance floor focused, makes be buzz my nuts off every time I drop it.
Wax Worx – Put This Record ON!
Brand new one from me this, it’s high energy, driving track with a jackin vibe and Hip Hop twist. Currently for my sets only.
Let’s jump forward twelve months. What is your main objective of something you want to accomplish in the next year?
Headline sets for elrow!
What is your favourite…..
Film of 2019 –
A Million Little Pieces – really good film about battling addiction
Album from the last 5 years…
That’s easy – The Tribe Of Good’s new album which is not actually out yet but I have had the huge honour of being given, as I was asked to remix one of the tracks from the album. The best way I could describe it is, it’s like modern Motown! Some of the tracks have already been released as singles and it will be out in its entirety on Ultra Music very soon. The Tribe is a collective of some of the most amazing producers and musicians around, there are literally too many to list, all brought together by the musical genius that is Hal Ritson. I highly recommend anyone checking them out as they are truly exceptional and stand out, especially in a world filled with so much generic, auto tuned, soulless garbage. JOIN THE TRIBE!
Way to spend a weekend off…
Either on a beach or out in nature, away from social media and screens!
And finally, for all the wanna be producers reading this wanting to follow in your footsteps, what advice can you give…
Do not compare yourselves to others, don’t spend and time thinking or wishing you could be like someone else, or be as good as someone else, just be the best version of you that you can be, be yourself and love what you do!