Human Life are an amazingly talented trio living in South Californian consisting of veteran house music producer Joshua Collins and producer/musician/singers Matt Wasley and Rachael Starr. Their single ‘In It Together’ is back featuring remixes from legends Frankie Knuckles, Eric Kupper, ATFC, The Shapeshifters and Louis Fresco.
Welcome to DMCWORLD. Let’s begin with the remixes of your stunning original tune. Talk us through each remix, how did you pick who to re-work the track and what did you think of the end product?
“We are so excited about the remixes that we’ve gotten for ‘In It Together’. All the mixes came about in different ways. First off the Louie Fresco remix was a request of ours…we love the work Louie has been making, some amazing deep tunes as of late and we really had a feeling he could deliver something special. The result was something really special…we’ve played it out and heard others play it already and have had nothing but positive feedback! As for the Shapeshifters mix, that actually came from the Shapeshifters acting as early supporters of the original. We saw an interview where they dubbed it the track of 2011 and said they would love to remix it and the rest is history! The Shifters really turned out a tough dancefloor re-work. Next is the ATFC remix that was actually a suggestion of the label and they were spot on. The Dub gives a nice grooving vibe and has gotten tonnes of supporters. And of course lastly the “Director’s Cut” remix…for those who are’nt aware already, this is actually the dynamic duo of Frankie Knuckles and Eric Kupper. When we heard Frankie was interested in remixing the track we were obviously over the moon. He has been a HUGE influence on our sound and the fact that not only did he get involved, but also put together an unbelievable mix. In the words of Pete Tong…”they don’t make ’em like this anymore!”
Joshua, you have released hundreds of singles and remixes on labels such as Universal, Hooj Choons and NRK – what do you think have been some of your best productions and what one tune in the world would you like to remix? What are your thoughts on the electronic scene in the US at the moment, do you think it will ever go mainstream?
Tell us the story of how Human Life got together in the first place, you all hail from cities miles apart in America…
“We all originally grew up in seperate corners of the US. Matt is from Boston, Rachael is from Orange County, CA and Josh is from the dance mecca that is Chicago. The group came together at a party where Josh and Matt met and discussed tracks and a possibe collab. Soon after Rachael joined and the rest is history.”
Your music has been described as Electro Pop with influences from the Chicago House sound. What were your early musical influences that sent you on this dance music trip?
“This really varies between each of us, but the common thread was a love of House music. This has manifested in many forms over the years, but the two most prominent examples are Chicago House and the ‘French Touch’ sound that followed it. Josh grew up surrounded by Chicago legends like Larrry Heard, Fast Eddie, Mr. Fingers and the like. This really had a huge influence over the sound of the project.”
“It’s hard to name specific favorites but they would definitely include the EPs I did for Garth’s label Grayhound Recordings, my 2 releases on Hooj sublabel Prolekult and a couple of remixes I did under Paolo Mojo’s label (Music Is Freedom) for the artist Ladybyrd. If I could remix one track it would be Jam & Spoon – Stella.”
DMC are the proud owners of the Back To Mine series. If we were invited back to a HumanLife after party, what 10 back to mine tunes would we be listening to, to chill to or if you want, carry on the party…?
“Happy Mondays – ‘Hallelujah’ (Club Mix)
The KLF – ‘What Time Is Love’
Enya – ‘Storms In Africa Part 1’
Seal – ‘Killer’
Nightcrawlers – ‘Push The Feeling On’
George Michael – ‘I Want Your Sex’
PM Dawn – ‘Paper Doll’
UR – ‘Jupiter Jazz’
Anita Baker – ‘Sweet Love’
Linda Perhacs – ‘If You Were My Man'”
Talk us through your live show experience…
“The live show is something we try to really make into a unique experience. It’s sort of a cross between an ‘electronic’ set and a traditional band. We use electronic elements like triggering samples from Ableton Live but we also sing live and play instruments like bass guitar and keyboards. It’s constantly evolving and the only rules are that we try and do something that really fits our vision of the group.”
What 10 tunes are you spinning right now?
“Human Life – ‘In It Together’ (Director’s Cut Remix)
Danny Daze – ‘Your Everything’ (feat. Louisahhh)
Housquare – ‘Chicago’ (Human Life Remix)
WildKats – ‘Rock Yours’
DOP – ‘Your Sex’
Lee Foss – ‘Keep My Cool’
Myd – ‘Octodip’
Roy Davis Jr feat J.Noize & Kaye Fox – ‘Enjoy The Ride’ (Human Life Remix)
Teenage Bad Girl – ‘X Girl’ (Alan Braxe Insrumental)
Art Department feat Soul Clap & Osunlade – ‘We Call Love’ (DJ Harvey Remix)”
“It seems that it already has! Really it’s amazing that now at the top 40 clubs they are playing electronic music mixed in between R&B & Pop…this really hasnt happened in the US for many many years. We feel privileged to be involved in House music at a time when the US is actually paying attention!”
Favourite live performance you’ve done and favourite club in LA?
“Our favorite live show has to be in Manchester in the UK. The club was packed and everyone was just really up for it! People were going crazy and it made us have such a good time. In terms of LA the scene is really disjointed right now but there’s tonnes going on from ‘A Club Called Rhonda’ which is booking amazing House music to the secret ‘Voodoo’ night hosting the Crosstown Rebels type crew. But for a bug room experience you still can’t beat Avalon…the sound system is beyond what anyone could hope for!”
“More tracks!!! We are in the studio every day working on new material and will have plenty to come.”
Joshua, you have released hundreds of singles and remixes on labels such as Universal, Hooj Choons and NRK – what do you think have been some of your best productions and what one tune in the world would you like to remix?
What are your thoughts on the electronic scene in the US at the moment, do you think it will ever go mainstream?
What are the best qualities of each member of the band?
“Thats a tough one! If we had to nail it down it would probably be as follows:
Matt – the ability to come up with a hook or idea really quickly
Rachael – an amazing sense of what works on the dancefloor (honed through many years of constant DJ gigging!)
Josh – the ability to arrainge and finalize a track very quickly…if you never finish your songs then nobody ever gets to hear them!”
Which country have you enjoyed performing in the most outside of the US and why?
“We must admit that we have all fallen in love with France! Every time we play there we get such a warm welcome and people really care about whats going on in the scene…they are not content to just listen to something commercial or played out, they want something forward thinking. We totally agree with that philosophy so it works out well!”
What is the best record ever made?
“The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations'”