Derrick Carter

Brand new album and exclusive interview with the House Master himself

Hey Derrick, welcome to DMCWORLD Magazine. A big Happy Birthday for Sunday, see you are celebrating in style down at The Smart Bar in Chicago with Michael Serafini and Garrett David. What is the best and worst birthday present you have ever received?
“Why thank you Dan for the birthday wishes.  Yeah, we are going to break shit on Sunday! So I’d say the best birthday present was my Schwinn Continental that I got for my 13th or 14th birthday.  I loved that bike and it was sort of like the Cadillac of Schwinns at the time. So boss! The worst would have to be a spanking.  I could be a bit of a mouthy and obstinate youngin’ way back then.  Nothing like I am now…”

Last week saw Simon Cowell and Jada Pinkett-Smith pull their planned DJ talent competition after apparently disagreeing over who should get top billing. What do you think the real reason was and what were your thoughts on this X Factor styled DJ show idea anyway?
“I think that it just shows you that they are not in it for the same reasons that I am in it for so fuck ’em.  Fuck ’em all.  I mean, seriously…what does SImon Cowell OR Jada Pinkett-Smith know about DJing?  They both need to go back to bed.”

So let’s get the work question out of the way, November 12th sees you release House Masters on Defected Records, an album featuring 15 previously unreleased cuts and edits. How hard a job was it choosing your final selection and which are the real killer cuts that are finally seeing the light of day?

“I’d made a master list of what I wanted to see on the album and saw it whittled down to what was likely doable.  Originally I wanted to include my unreleased mixes of Adele, Hercules & Love Affair, N’Dambi, Robin Thicke and others but found that they probably wouldn’t be able to be licensed.  So we went with things that were a little more “approachable”.  It’s weird the kind of concessions you have to make for projects like this and then get put on promo blast for what sometimes are your second and third choices.  But, that’s the way of the world at times.  Honestly though, I think it’s a good comp and was a lot of hard work trying to get it all sorted.  I like it a lot but I do wish we could have gotten even MORE exclusives and unreleased bits.  I have a Macy Gray, a couple of MC Lyte jams and some others which will probably have to wait until the next one…
Definitely “Good Old Days” and “Richie” as well as the AMDJ’s track and a couple of others that I think were probably overlooked when released.  Some of which I think were probably too future for the time.”

Right let’s go back to your school days. You spent 13 years at private schools…what occupation had your parents got in mind for you after spending all that money on fees…?

“My dad wanted me to be an engineer or something.  Not really sure what my mom wanted.  In the end, I guess that they’re mostly fine with me being both a happy and self sufficient adult.  I’ve only asked them for two things since I moved out.  One was for enough money to pay for a dental procedure that I needed and the second one was when I asked my dad to co-sign for a loan to purchase my car.  Other than that, I’ve been doing my best to take the punches and deal with the crap life gives you, without running back to mommy and daddy.  I believe that they are really quite happy with that.  I do however, ask for a special pie or a home cooked meal when I visit them.” 

As soon as you hit the University of Illinois, school became a party. You rocked the fly fashion, you hung out with your cool mates – you even lived under an assumed name for six months. What was that name and why did you feel you had to try on a different skin for a while…

“I’m not telling the name!  It’s some 1987 shit and I’m not getting into it!  I’d be crazy to.  Basically, I was just trying on a new life.  The one I had was wonderful and stable but I wanted a little danger.  I wanted to do things I’d never done before and try stuff which was foreign to me at the time.  Remember, I’d gone to private school for Thirteen years so to be out from under the watchful eye of school administrators and out in the free world was liberating.  I was writing my own script.”

What did you think when you dad told you to join the army? Nice clothes, lots of exercise, you could shoot a gun! Not such a bad life…

“Yeah, I thought that it was a good way to go for some people but I was after something else in life.  I wanted to be an artist and be creative.  The army is a great place and I wholly support those that take that route but, I knew it wasn’t the path I wanted.  I’d already been told by a previous mentor that going to college to be an artist wasn’t necessarily the right road.  That I could hustle and get started on my career or wait four years and try it then.  The army was the same sort of decision.  I could start now or wait.  I didn’t want to wait.”

Your first trip to London saw you gatecrash the likes of Heaven and some Garage City parties…what were your initial thoughts on our club scene?

“It was dope!  Playing Soundshaft, and Villa Stefano, doing the KISS FM show with Bobby & Steve, playing with Paul “Trouble” Anderson and Linden C was very cool.  It really just solidified what I wanted to do.  I was pretty young at the time so my experience was limited to a few clubs here in town, the Substance loft parties that we threw a few birthday jams and other small little gatherings.  Seeing it happen internationally gave me a hunger.  Plus, I’d known John Digweed from a visit to Chicago he’d made so I stayed at his house and his mum made me breakfast.  It was great to feel accepted and like I was one of the gang.”



Dogs have become a big part of your life. And why not, I have just spent the last half an hour washing sheep shit off my Labradoodle’s coat. Talk us through your dogs and how they got their names…
“Really?  It’s quite boring…I get up in the morning and let the monsters out for a quick “release” before breakfast.  Then I proceed to prepare seven bowls of food, complete with wet and dry portions, supplements, and a little yogurt or broth to bring it all together plus whatever meds are needed for each animal.  Then we go for a walk to finish the ritual and back home to play or chill or work or whatever.  Out again in the afternoon and then a repeat of the morning with food, walks and fun.  Hopefully, in between all of that, I can do a little work or run errands.  It’s just like having a bunch of knuckle-heads running around here.
The first two, Endicott & Tribena were named after a Kid Creole & The Coconuts song.
Then Gaston was named after rolling around on
Herman was named after Herman Miller, the furniture manufacturer.
Bertrand was another pick
T’Erykah was the name of the insurance adjuster at my ex’s job.
Cooper was an ether pick.  I just liked the name so, BOOM!
They all have much longer names and several nicknames as well.”


What is the most outrageous thing you have ever seen on the internet?

“I see all kinds of outrageous stuff.  I am basically numb now.”

Okay. Q&A time. Choose one from…
– Art or TV
– Eccentric people or dwarves?
– Skyscrapers or roller coasters?
– A perfect smile or dancing with your eyes closed?
– A great cheeseburger or weed?
– Being alone in the darkness or driving down Lake Shore Drive?
– A nice bottle of wine or a good fuck?

“Why do I have to choose?  I’ll take most of the above on most days.  Though, I don’t think of “dwarves” as being particularly outlandish.  They’re just shorter than “normal” I like and collect plenty of interesting art, watch LOADS of TV.  Really dig eccentric people a lot.  Live in the city that invented the skyscraper.  Ride roller coasters on occasion as well.  Fall in love at least three times a month due to a perfect smile.  Rarely dance but I keep my eyes open so I don’t step on anyone.  LOVE LOVE LOVE a great cheeseburger!  Gave up on smoking weed a while ago though (it makes me anti-social).  Don’t mind the darkness and like the serenity of driving down LSD.  Really into my Domaine Chandon Pinot Meunier and a good fuck is worth it EVERYTIME.”

When was the last time you cried listening to a record?
“A few days ago.”

You have some great gigs in the UK coming up – your Disco thang at The Loft in London, The Warehouse Project Closing Party in Manchester and The Sub Club in Glasgow to name but a few. What is the most fun you have ever  had whilst DJing in the UK?

“It’d have to be the Classic parties we used to do at The End.  Those were monu-MENTAL for me.  Anything and everything goes.  So much fun!”

I know you hate the big music questions, but tell us some of the big tunes you are spinning at the moment?

“TOPA – “Get Over” / Derrick L. Carter – “Do You Believe (Scrubfish Rx) / Derrick L. Carter – Squaredancing (various mixes).”

Who would you prefer to be stuck in a lift with. Madonna or Lady Gaga?
“Why do I have to prefer to be stuck in a lift?  Have you ever been stuck in a lift?  I have.  It ain’t nice.  And neither Gaga or Maddy would do anything to make that experience any better.”

What has been the best record of 2012?
“The Scrubfish remix of Squaredancing.  SO DOPE!”

And finally. the new DJ Top 100 chart is out today. Does anyone still give a shit?

“I don’t.  The people that are on it probably do.  It was cool for a while but now it’s just crap to me.  Maybe I’m wrong…?

Thanks Mr Carter. DMC loves ya.


Title: House Masters Derrick Carter
Release date: 12th November
Label: Defected

CD1. DC Originals  
01. Sound Patrol ‘Tripping Among The Stars’ (Trippin’ At The Kat)
02. Rednail featuring  Noni  ‘Never’ (Never In A Rubber Room)
03. DJ Bang ‘DJ Bang Make You Jiu-Jitsu’ (Technical)   
04. DJ Bang ‘Hallelujah’ (DC Private Edit)                         
05. The Innocent ‘Theme From The Blue Cucaracha’ (DC Private Edit)                                                                         
06. Derrick L. Carter ‘A Hope (Over You)’ (Meeting House Dub Edit)                                                                             
07. Derrick L. Carter  ‘Squaredancin’ (Jazzz Extension)
08. Derrick L. Carter  ‘Where U At?’ (The First Mix)          
09. DJ Bang ‘The B.E.A.T’. (DC Private Edit)     
10. Oneiro  ‘The Warrior’ (6BC Version)                           
CD2. DC Remixes  
01. SoCalled ‘(These Are The) Good Old Days’ (DC’s BHQ Remake)                                                           
02. Freaks ‘Telefunky’ (B.H.Q. Low Mainetnance Reversion)         
03. Truman Industries ‘Love Plus’ (Derrick Carter’s ‘Love Groove’ Mix)                                                        
04. Freaks ‘Boiling Point’ (BHQ Private Stock)                 
05. Angry Mexican DJ’s ‘I Like It Funky’ (Derrick Carter’s B.H.Q Re-Rub)                    
06. Pty Ltd ‘Who’s Been Watching You?’ (DC Native Dub)              
07. Rosie Brown ‘Bliss’ (D’s Boom Bap Bleep Edition)
08. SoCalled ‘Richi’ (DC’s Full Phat Edition)                    
09. This Ain’t Chicago ‘Ride The Rhythm’ (Derrick Carter Mix)
10. Jorge Watts ‘Up To The Sky’ (DC Chi Hi Mix)
Tour dates
26 Oct – The Warehouse Project, Curated by TEED, Manchester
27 Oct – Lollipop, Bucharest
28 Oct – Horse Meat Disco 9th Anniversary, London
30 Nov – Derrick Carter Does Disco, The Loft, London
1 Dec – Design at Suju, Swindon
2 Dec – Boiler Room Classic Music Company takeover (live online broadcast), London
26 Dec – The Sanctuary, Cumbria
28 Dec – The Den, Newcastle
29 Dec – Sub Club, Glasgow
1 Jan – The Warehouse Project Closing Party, Manchester

Friday 30th November sees one of Chicago’s long-standing house figures, Derrick Carter makes his appearance at Loft Studios with a rare chance to see the house legend indulge his passion for disco. Derrick Does Disco has become the stuff of myth and legend where the Boompty Boomp king goes Disco to Disco. Severino, considered one of the unsung heroes of the disco re-appreciation of recent years has toured the world as part of Horse Meat Disco, bringing their signature disco inflected sounds to corners war and wide. Completing the line-up will be cultural hooligan Terry Farley and Disco deviant Dan Beaumont – expect disco balls, disco baselines and outright brilliance. The Loft Studios Presents series gives you something to get excited about in the coming winter months. Get warm, get down and Go West…