Christian B & Lavvy Levan are two great friends who have been bubbling on the underground house scene with their Friday Fox label output. With their ace new ‘Five Reasons EP’ out this week, we thought it high time we had a natter…
Words by FAV
Hi Christian & Lavvy welcome to DMCworld! Where are you in the world right now?
We’re in sunny, cold Herfordshire firing off some premasters in the the studio.
What’s the best new record you’ve heard this week?
Lavvy Levan – ‘Closest’ (Full Intention Club Mix) – Chouco
Christian B – ‘Risky Disco’ – Scott Diaz and Max footwork
Can you tell us about your background in music, how you got together and what turned you on to making House Music specifically?
We’ve friends for well over 20 years, and met during the early 90s enjoying mainly the Rave/Jungle/DnB sound, but eventually into Disco and House. Christian was producing at that time, while I (Lavvy) decided to pursue a more normal job in Marketing, but eventually I had to give in to the lure and joined up with Christian to produce and launch Friday Fox Recordings. We’ve not looked back.
You own label Friday Fox Recordings is now 4 years old, how are things going with that and who can we expect to hear on label?
Things are going well, we’ve tried to let the label grow organically without forcing ourselves down people’s throats. We just let our music find the ears it’s meant to, and from that we have met some great, real and true people. We have more projects currently in the pipeline including new releases from London Fields, Rapson, Sonny Wharton, Rudi Botha & Miggza and more from Christian B & Lavvy Levan, both together and solo projects. We are always open to Demos.
What have been your most successful releases on the label so far and have you got a personal favourite?
Lavvy Levan – Well at the top of the list must be the success of Rapson’s Heat – it was a breakthrough track for him and us, and we are excited to see how it does when it’s released on Defected shortly. On a personal level, I am really pleased with how my vocals have come on, and have had great fun on some of the more unusual vocal performances, for example the Fatty Mombassa releases, on ‘Big Ol’ House’ (Christian B) and most recently on the ‘Five Reasons’ EP in particular ‘Your Light’ was amazing to do.
Christian B – Defo Rapson’s ‘Heat’ that record has taken on a life of its own!
What other projects do you work on apart from your joint releases?
Well we’ve been busy remixing together and apart, for artists like 2 Bad Mice, Soul Central, DeepKeen and Distant People. For me (Lavvy) I have an exciting solo release on a new label, D-Funk in the new year highlighting some of my more left-field production.
Your new ‘Five Reasons EP’ has just come out, tell us about the release and how it sounds…
We really wanted to get back to the purity and innocence of our first ever EP together, ‘Toe In Water’ so we decided to set out to create a really strong 5-track EP that was created for ourselves without worrying about expectations. What we’ve ended up with is really strong and true, showing different sides and angles, so you’ll hear really soulful tracks like ‘Sunshine In My Mind’ and ‘Mystery’, gospel influences on ‘Your Light’, darker techy style on ‘Lay It Down’ and even a touch of UK Garage on ‘Body’. It’s important on an EP to show breadth and range – and we think ‘Five Reasons’ does just that.
Who or what inspires your music?
We just love music, simple as that really. Christian has such an in-depth of production and standards and I (Lavvy) bring in the odd, deeper influences and we just love combining our experience and tastes to create something unique. Also for me personally (Lavvy) it’s important to leave something behind, especially not having any kids, this music is my legacy and I want to leave as many interesting and emotive sounds in my wake as possible.
How important are songs for the dance floor?
Massively important, with most popular music being so stale and cold at the moment it’s up to the underground to bring some escape from that. The club scene is great at bringing new and exciting music to people. Our music is designed to work on the floor as well as on a more personal level. Not everyone can get to a decent floor, so hopefully our music reaches people in everyday life as well.
What do you like and dislike about the current House music scene and what needs to change?
A constant bug is the difference between sampling something and using it in a new and exciting way versus just lifting someone else’s groove and releases it as your own. Edits are one thing, but we see a lot of artists essentially doing an edit but releasing it under their own name with no reference to the original artist. It’s a fine line and it’s all subjective – but if you don’t bring anything new to the sound apart from a new kick – then what’s the point?
What’s the essential piece of studio kit to your sound?
Keep it simple. A good room, good speakers and good imagination are all you need really.
You also promote your own Friday Fox parties, where can we come and see you and who have you got lined up for future events?
There’s always something in the diary, and thankfully we are now getting more and more DJ bookings outside of our parties. We love DJing, so are always up for it! All upcoming parties and events are listed on the Friday Fox Recordings page on Facebook.
We come to your house and raid your record collection, which embarrassing record do you need to chuck out the window as we arrive?
Lavvy – that’s a tough one, because I love my ‘bad’ records just as much as the good ones – but I do have some rather bad Disco 7s that were acquired in the search of ‘that’ sample. But as long as you’ve had a drink – they are rather enjoyable!
Christian B – Lavvy is always keen to point out the Rik Waller CD on my shelf, it wasn’t my coolest production moment, but sometimes you gotta pay the rent!
Which record makes you say “Damn, I wish I’d made that”?
Lavvy – most recently I’ve admired the beautiful simplicity of ‘Hamm Jazz’ by DJ Simi – that pure jackin’ groove with a touch of jazz is right up my street and something I’ve yet to nail
Christian B – a few of Disclosure’s tracks – they marry a great underground vibe (on occasion) with top notch production. Pure class.
What’s coming up next for Christian & Lavvy and Friday Fox?
We’ll just keep on pushin’ on… trying to work with like-minded folk, continuing to love House music and get as much quality work out there as possible.
‘Five Reasons EP’ is out now on Friday Fox Recordings.