Since forming in 1997, Mike Kay and Steven Harding aka Milk & Sugar have lived a career most DJs would dream of. They’ve performed globally alongside dance royalty such as Frankie Knuckles and David Morales, remixed on request for the likes of Jamiroquai, Janet Jackson & Ben Pearce, and have continued to supply dance floors with a steady stream of powerful hits, both via their own imprint and revered labels such as Enormous Tunes, Positiva, Ministry of Sound and many more.
Now, adding to their string of 2020 releases, this month sees them deliver their brand-new single and club mix ft. Paul Gardner & Peyton, ‘You Can’t Hide From Yourself’ – out via their own Milk & Sugar Recordings. DMCWORLD gets another stunning world exclusive…
Hello guys – great to have you back on DMCWORLD! Where are you guys currently based and how have you been coping living through the coronavirus crisis this year?
MS: Hey, thanks for contacting us again! We are still based in Munich, and since Corona it has become less relevant where you make music as clubbing and nightlife has been shut down since March. We are trying to be as creative as possible with productions and live streams.
What do you think the music industry will look like post-pandemic? Can clubs survive being closed for much longer?
MS: Hard to say, many clubs have already gone bankrupt, we’re not sure how many will survive. Sad enough, the pandemic affects all cultural branches such as theatres, exhibitions, bars, even wedding DJ’s and event caterers suffer massively over here. We think that recorded music and streaming will become more important as this is the remaining income stream for us at the moment.
What do you miss most about touring?
MS: Actually, we miss flying. being on a plane used to be a place for relaxation and peace within a crazy world. And the parties, of course!
You’re hugely prolific and have put out several great releases out just in the past few months. What inspires and influences you the most?
MS: We were able to put more time and effort in our recent productions as life slowed down during the lockdown. We’ve also spent a lot of time on research and digging for new ideas, so this situation came as a creative boost to our music.
You’ve been playing together for over 20 years. How has your sound progressed over that space of time?
MS: We think that our philosophy on how we feel house music has not changed a lot. We’ve been recording some classic house life streams recently (that you can listen to on our Facebook page) and it is amazing to hear how well many older tracks blend with today’s house music sound. Nevertheless, our flow has changed with the technology development from Vinyl to CD or USB. Our mixing techniques are way different with the possibility of looping or extending songs on-the-fly compared to ‘Vinyl Mixing’.
Your latest single, ‘You Can’t Hide From Yourself’ is a really nice, summer-ready track. Can you tell us about the production behind it and how the idea sparked in the studio?
MS: We’ve been friends with Paul Gardner almost since founding Milk & Sugar, so it was more of a natural process doing something together. Paul and Peyton send over the vocal bits and we did the production on it. Also, Peyton is a great vocalist who we have always admired, so making this new record was a real no-brainer.
You run head own label imprint to nurture upcoming talent, ‘Milk & Sugar Recordings’. Are there any exciting young DJs impressing you the moment?
MS: Yes, sure! But on our label, it’s the mix between the different nations and their influences.
We will release stuff from CASSIMM, he is London based, Hatiras from Canada, Sebb Junior from France, Alaia & Gallo and Angelo Ferreri and Mattei & Omich, all from from Italy, and young producers like Andrey Exx from Russia that makes our sound so interesting.
Which other labels do you admire and would potentially like to release music through in the future?
MS: It is fascinating how big Defected has become over the past years, though they have also been around for ages. We also like Angelo Ferreri’s label Mood Funk, and he has also already released a track on Milk & Sugar Recordings. We had a collab release on Club Sweat with David Penn and which was quite successful. If we like the label and the people behind it, we can always talk about some releases. On the other hand, it is also important for us to stick to our own imprint with our singles.
If you could go back to back with any artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?
MS: It is now 50 years ago that Jimmy Hendrix died, and there were a lot of articles and magazines about him recently and also about Woodstock and the music movement of the late 60s and early 70s. We think this was a very innovative and revolutionary time period, and he was one of the biggest music talents on earth back then. We would have loved to make a record with him!
Do you have any further releases planned for the future?
MS: Sure. We are working on a new single and have a few remixes in the pipeline. Qubiko has remixed “You Can´t Hide from Yourself”, Mattei & Omich “You´ve Been Gone To Long” and Purple Disco Machine delivered a great remix of “Let The Sun Shine”.