Sheffield’s Sandy Turnbull has fast become a prolific artist in recent times. His distinctive Disco House fusions have been championed by Derrick Carter, Groove Armada, Soulclap, Blaze, Jimpster, Mark Farina, Sonny Fondera, Tony Humphries and many more. As he launches his new ‘Night Talk’ series, Ratha Gud checks in for a chat.
Hi Sandy welcome to DMCworld! Where are you in the world right now?
Hey there, Thank you. Right now I’m in Sheffield, really busy trying to finish a remix for Soul Central, sorting my ADE plans and shortlisting music for my next radio show on D3EP radio.
What’s the best new record you’ve heard this week?
I’ve had few good ones actually this week. Rhemi ft Leon Dorrill ‘In The Sky’ and Demuir ‘After The Rain’ are two I’m looking forward to playing next weekend.
For those who don’t know – who is Sandy Turnbull and what can they expect to hear from your music?
Good music! I’m used to playing long sets that are right across the board. From Disco to Soulful House, deeper grooves and jacking boomty stuff.
Tell us about your new Night Talk series and what’s the theory behind it?
With the Night Talk series, I wanted to be able to bring in artists that wouldn’t necessarily fit the traditional Galleria sound. The concept will have a lead single which will be a House record, followed by a remix package which will have a mix from a talented artist from a different genre co-headlined by a house mix from a friend of the label.
For the first release, ‘Tonight’, you’ve enlisted Future Wildstyle and Christian B for remixes, what did they bring to the table?
Christian B and Lavvy Levan’s Friday Fox label has been on fire in 2017. We did a little remix swap, Christian did “Tonight” for Galleria and I did “Feel Alive” for Friday Fo,x which was selected by Simon Dunmore for Defected 2017 Ibiza compilation. Future Wildstyle are a ridiculously talented duo from Sheffield. Andy and Austin (Future Wildstyle) brought an old school breaks feel to this remix. I was quite lucky they managed to find time to do the remix due to a heavy festival schedule playing Boom Town Fair, Outlook Tramlines and Beat Herder Festivals.
You’ve just done a few remixes yourself for various other artists, tell us about those.
I’d only previously worked on original material turning down a few remixes. I had fancied doing a remix for a while when I heard Christain B & Lavvy Levan track “Feel Alive”. I had a chat with them and as I mentioned asked if they were up for a swap and it was as simple as that. With the recent released Skydoll remix called “Feel You” they reached out to me and I loved the original. My girlfriend actually loved the original that much she advised me not to do it! They both have great vocals and were done not too long after each other. I actually sent the guys from Skydoll another version which was very disco. They really liked one but I asked if they would let me work on another version which is the one that came out. We all struggled to decide which versions would be released.
You’re known for cutting up Disco samples in your works, how do you typically set about writing a new track?
When I start a new track I’ll have an idea in my head. It could be where I want the track to sit in my sets, a sample I want to use, or even an instrument or sound I want to be the starting point. For sampling, I have a folder that I add to all the time, then when I fancy doing a sample based track I had a pool of music to look at.
One of your releases ‘After Comiskey Park’ features a vocal sample from the riotous ‘Disco Demolition Night’ at Comiskey Park, Chicago back in 1979 – the night Disco died and was forced underground. Nearly 40 years on, the word on the dance floor is we’re currently amidst a Disco resurgence, is this a good thing?
I’m not one for moodiness on the dance floor, so as long as people are having a good time I think it is great. I don’t think it will reach the point of how commercial and over saturated it was 40 years ago, so don’t think there will be need for another Disco riot… Digitally this time!
You also own and run the Galleria Records label, how’s that coming along?
It’s going great. This morning I’ve had some really exciting news regarding an EP release in November December time. The new ‘Night Talk’ Series has a lot of buzz around it and I’m excited for the whole package to come out.
As a DJ you’ve been playing for a number of years, tell us about the Sheffield scene back in the day and what’s popping now?
I used to go to nights like Bed, Scuba, All Points North, Gatecrasher and Rise. It was a really great time. These were all weekly parties now the city is made up of Monthly / Regular events in warehouses and pop up venues. If you want to go out and listen to really good music you need to plan your night ahead and can’t just think I’ll go out and head to this place without knowing if anything is actually on that night.
Looking back, what piece of precious advice would you give to yourself when you were first starting out as a producer and how do you think you’ve grown?
Definitely learn an instrument earlier in life. I’ve been learning to play the piano a couple of years now, but regret not learning it earlier.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Probably Chaka Khan, Diana Ross or Jocelyn Brown. That would be something to tell the grandkids in years to come!
We come to your house and raid your record collection, which embarrassing record do you need to chuck out the window as we arrive?
First out the window would be Twenty 4 Seven – Slave To The Music, followed by DJ Flavours – Your Caress! Both were massive anthems at the first club I used to go regularly when I was 17/18.
Which record makes you say “Damn, I wish I’d made that”?
Anything from the ‘Thriller’ album, but another question that I could give you a hundred answers for.
What’s next for Sandy Turnbull and is there an album in the pipeline at all?
So coming up for the rest of the year I have releases coming out on Lyceum Social Club and Guesthouse records, the remix for Soul Central I mentioned earlier and an EP coming out on Galleria. I’ve been putting certain tracks a side for an album as it happens. I’ve also been working on some music by bringing in multiple live players for these tracks could also make an album. I’d like to work more with singers and song writers as that isn’t really my strength.
‘Night Talk Series One: Tonight’ is out on Traxsource promo now / Full release 18th September 2017 on Galleria Records