Superb producer on a massive roll…
Alistair, welcome to DMCWORLD. You are always in and out of The Buzz Chart with your mouth watering productions, this week flying high with the funked up ‘It It Ah!’ – talk us through the tune…
“Thanks for the compliment Dan. ‘It It Ah!’ was me trying to make something a little deeper than normal and at the same time keeping it progressive, but not in the current way, something that really stayed in the groove and I could imagine being played on the Space Terraces.”
Who were your early musical influences growing up, who were the artists on your stereo as a teenager?
“Honestly a real mix mash, I had my mother playing a lot of disco, Chaka Khan, early Elton, Bee Gees, then my father with his Beach Boys, I was really into the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, even a bit of The Cure and Smiths.”
Can you remember the first ever house club you ever set foot in…
“The first proper proper club would have been the Ministry back when it was a dirty hole, before that it was all raving really.”
Your releases have covered a very range spectrum of dance, from vocal house to techno to tech house. Where are you happiest at musically in 2012?
“Personally this year I think I am going to go away from the whole big room prog sound and produce something a little deeper, that’s my solo stuff but I just love producing whatever I feel like making that day – I really don’t want to have one style, in collaborations I think thats where the more main stream stuff is gonna come from.”
You were part of the team responsible for the first ever Desert Parties in the Middle East – what were the highlights of those legendary events?
“Yeah crazy days, I was really young at the time and had just started DJing, they were like nothing ever experienced before or again, really raw, organic, there where no real house clubs there in those days, so you had to make your own scene, no big DJs just people who loved good dance music looking for somewhere to go. So we made our own club, it just happened. The easiest way was to drive out into the desert with a big system and party. So the best bits where just being out there, racing through the desert in the pitch dark with nothing but a set of tail lights in your face and a huge cloud of dust to get to the camp, then watching people dancing on the top of dunes silhouetted against the moon, a massive beach party…but just on another level.”
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
TJR – Funky Vodka
Sander Kleinenberg ft. Ryan Starr – Chemically
Dino Lenny / Savino Martinez – It’s Like That
Dada – Metals
DJ Le Roi ft. Roland Clark – I Get Deep
Jamie Jones – Perculator
Alistair Albrecht – Dirty Chic
Oliver $ – Doing Ya Thing
Mueox – Sometimes
The Inspector and Steve Styls – Eyes Wide Open
It took six months to finally get clearance for the release of the re-work of the Barry White classic ‘Love Is The Icon’, yours has been the only cover version ever to be cleared by the White estate – tell us about that tale…
“One of my favourite dance tracks from the mid 90’s was a remix Roger Sanchez did of Barry White ‘Love is The Icon’ and I really wanted to make it current. I knew it would be just impossible to clear the sample of Barry, with the rights being owned by Warner, they would want some series cash – so I went for the next best thing a cover. Took me a while to find someone who could do a good version, I actually found a ‘tribute’ singer called Big Daddy Boo Bear and damn, was he good! When the first version went across to the White Estate they didn’t believe it wasn’t Barry! When I proved it wasn’t they thought it was that good they gave their approval.”
What are the 2012 plans for your Destined label?
“Damn so much stuff. It’s gonna be a big year for Destined, we have two big tracks bubbling away at the moment, both Dada tracks, one an instrumental ‘Metals’ – full vocal version to come, and the second a collab with Paul Harris from Dirty Vegas with Ana Diaz on vocals, radio plays coming from Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Oakenfold and Andi on Capital. We have another two big tracks coming for later in the summer, one in conjunction with Robbins in the US a M’Black release, a proper beach track.”
You have been responsible for some mighty remixes, delivering work for the likes of Toni Braxton and Ke$ha – what has been your most satisfying piece of studio magic?
“As a solo record I love ‘Love Is The Icon’, it was a dream of mine to do it for a while so it’s pretty high up there.
Remix wise, I really loved the ‘Till West – Same Man’ remix we did for the Ministry. Patrick and I did it in a day and it just jelled. Working on the True Tiger, Professor Green and Maverick Sabre track was a really honour, but recently I’ve done a remix – actually a bootleg of Miike Snow’s ‘Devil Work’, which I love.”
What is the greatest record you have ever played to a dancefloor?
“God damn that’s a hard question. There’s a couple. The third or fourth play of ‘What Would We Do’ at Pacha with Patrick back when I was running my night there was pretty magical, specially hearing your first production go off! One of the best responses was playing Angello ‘Laidback Be’ at Pacha in Sharm, the place went bananas. Or probably the first time I ever played The Drill – ‘The Drill’ (the love for destined was born)…”
You earn’t your DJ stripes at the one and only Turnmills club in London, a club so many of us will never forget. What were the tunes and nights you remember from those days?
“Night? Mine – lol. That’s where my promoting career all started. Track? That’s easy. Chicken Lips – ‘He Not It’.”
Who are the producers from around the world you are giving high fives to at the moment?
“I am loving what Dino Lenny is making, he’s made some cracking tracks lately. I also love Oliver $ Style great stuff.“
What is the advice you can serve up to the thousands of aspiring producers out there reading this wanting to follow in your footsteps?
“Practice, practice, practice and practice some more. Experiment play with sounds, mess around, I find my most productive days in the studio are the days where I try and achieve nothing, and I just experiment. If you get the chance to get the studio with other producers watch what they do, learn from them, be a sponge, I’ve had the real fortunate privilege to watch some great guys namely James Reynolds and also Josh Powell & Matt Schwartz.”
Did you know instantly you had created something rather special when completing ‘In & Out’?
In a way yes, not sounding silly, but we had been working on the track for a while, trying to do a big guitar break, and it just wasn’t sounding right. We knew how we wanted it sound ‘live’ with all the imperfection that it brings, so we asked a friend Pete Glenister who wrote ‘Rhythm of the Night’ and also a great guitar player to give it a go, and he just nailed it! And that was it. It just came together. Funnily enough ‘In & Out’ is the only track I have released that I have a personal edit of, it’s a little tougher than the final version.”
So we head back to yours after the club, what is the Alistair Albrecht Back To Mine 10 you spin us?
“After hours stuff, great I can get the vinyl out. In no particular order…”
Booka Shade – In White Rooms
Guy Gerber – Stoppage Time
Sebastien Leger – PYT
Caged Baby – 16 Lovers
Josh One – Contemplation (King Britt Funke Mix)
Alan Braxe & Fred Falke presents Running – Most Wanted
Praise Cats – Shined On Me (Skylark Vocal)
Archigram – Carnival
Freeform Five – No More Conversations (Mylo Remix)
The Drill – The Drill
Your radio show is now syndicated to over 20 countries – where are some of the far afield countries you are reaching out to?
“The show goes out in Canada, Egypt, Greece, Hungary and then whole bunch of normal places, but our main slot of course is Saturday night 10pm on Radio FG in Paris.”
And finally, what’s coming next studio wise in 2012?
“Damn loads!! Got several big tracks coming with Mr Hagenaar, one working with the legendary ‘The Kraze’ which is in your Miami ‘Night’ Buzz Chart, and an original track with Sarah McLeod. I’ve also being working with Bellatrax and we’ve done a track with 80’s legend Howard Jones on vocals. On the solo front, I’ve taken another of my all time favourite tracks ‘Color of My Skin’ and brought it up to date. I am so pleased that Swing 52 and the original label loved it enough they signed it and set for release later this summer. On top of that I have been working on some completely new side projects, exploring some completely different styles.”