Carl Bee is as busy as his name sake insect right now. He has remixes and remixes coming on Time Has Changed, CR2 and Blackwiz Records, has recently just played Ibiza’s legendary Cafe Mambo for the first time and had one of his tracks use don the last ever Space Ibiza compilation. Marco Carola is a fan who regally plays his tunes, and he is also resident at UNO Village in Malta, where he has his own night Gringos and has had for the last seven years. As such, with support coming from Annie Mac and Pete Tong, he has never been hotter than right now. Here we speak to him about all this and more…
Words by Rob Chadwick
Carl, a massive welcome to DMCWORLD. Let’s kick off with the DJing…when and where did you start…?
Hi DMCWORLD, thank you for having me. Well it all started with DJ lessons in 1997. A year later, I got my first residency in a local bar where I spent more than 7 years as an opening DJ. It was a huge learning curve as this place happened to be a pre bar where people used to hang out there before they head to a rave or club! I listened to a lot of different music genres, but Italian artists such as Claudio Coccoluto, Francesco Farfa, Ralf & Joe T Vanelli where my inspiration. I used to tune in and listen to Italian Radio Stations – Italia Network and M2O.
And how long until you became resident at UNO Village? How did it happen?
The relationship came quite natural so to speak. Been working with the guys for so many years and on several events apart from that they’ve been doing this business for the past 17 years. When we met to discuss the opening of their New Amazing Open Air Club last year, the guys had a clear vision on where they want to go and what they want to do, so personally I couldn’t stay out of this project both as a brand / artist and also due to the good friend relationship we have.
What is your style and are you inspired by anyone in particular?
I don’t like to pigeon hole myself into one specific genre, sometimes it depends what time you play, the vibe of the crowd and the club/venue plays a role, so I can’t really generalize. If had to explain my DJ sets during a peak time slot I tend to go between House, Tech House & Techno, although sometimes during the set, I always love putting a track or 2 with good feelings weather a vocal or a nice melody. Such tracks will create the good moments if you play them in the right place at the right time! I play with 3 CDJs using USB Sticks, all music will be through Pioneer Rekord Box Software. I don’t really prepare playlists at an exact order but I like placing out some ideas on hot cues and loops to be fast on the fly during the DJ set. For the past 3 years I’ve been using the Pioneer RMX 1000 for extra FX and a Delay Pedal as well!
What tunes really work well at UNO Village – are there any classics?
Yes automatically people love it when you drop a classic in mid set or as a closing track at 4am! Last Year was the first Year for UNO Village. At one particular night I closed my set with Innercity – Good Life the 1988 version and that was definitely one of last year’s Summer highlights!
What are your fondest memories of playing the club?
Every Night has its special moments and its own story, but last Summer I had the pleasure to play Back To Back with Nic Fanciulli & Joris Voorn on two separate nights. Another special memory from last year is when I got to headline last year’s closing party of GRINGOS which happened in the UNO Main Stage, since we were the first to Open its doors in June and to close with a huge party in late September using the club’s maximum capacity. And my first ever set on Be-At TV was recorded earlier this year @ UNO during Annie Mac’s Lost & Found Festival!
You have a new remix coming soon – how did you approach it?
Yes I’m doing a remix for Timid Boy on one of my favorite labels Times Has Chnged Records. Sometimes remixes comes better than originals. When doing a remix you have the Original parts where you can use the main hook or vocal in your remix , so you already have the base idea to get inspired and do it your own way. Original Mixes have their own challenges but you have no limits so you can experiment and create something from scratch. I love both…
You have just started collaborating with other artists right – how has that been? How different is it to producing on your own?
It’s different but definitely fun to do. I love to work on my own in the studio, I get to enter into my zone and place my ideas straight away! However In today’s world, technology made it easy for collaborations. When I did the collab with Sandy Rivera (Kings Of Tomorrow) on Deepvisionz, we worked out everything online through dropbox, first he started playing around with a loop and did a rough arrangement, he uploaded everything in a dropbox folder and I continued working on what he did. We kept working back and forth till we got it ready. It might take more time this way, but you can work at your own pace. Now I have a collaboration coming up with Timid Boy and we’re also working via dropbox!
You played Cafe Mambo recently – what did you play? How was it? How did you get the gig?
I happened to meet Alan from Mambo Brothers during a festival last year and booked the guys for GRINGOS in Summer 2016. The guys then invited me over to play at Mambo. It was a dream come true to be honest, playing inside the Iconic Café Mambo DJ Booth is special and I also got to meet some amazing people. It was the Closing of “We are The Night” of Pacha pre party with Nic Fanciulli, Kaz James, Ross Evans & Dee Montero. Played quite a housy set there.
Whats it like to have your tunes supported by Pete Tong and Annie Mac? Does it influence you when you get back in the studio?
Yes Definitely, you get to believe more in yourself and it’s a sign that your doing things the right way. When they both played my Apexape Remix of “Joy & Pain” on the same night, it automatically created more attention to the next releases shortly after. Danny Howard supported it on his show too which was great. Every Friday Night / Saturday Morning I always check the BBC Radio 1 website to see if these two starts have played something I recently made!
Carl Bee Plays weekly at UNO Village over the summer in Malta
Carl Bee latest release is out now on Lost Records – https://www.beatport.com/track/dirt-fader-leftwing-and-kody-remix/9348806