The Manchester duo bring us a wonderful rework of a Masters At Work classic
Interview : Kelly Dayus-Cook
Jon and Ben welcome to DMCWORLD towers. How has 2012’s summer been for you? Seen any major twists and turns in the life of Sick Elektrik?
“Summer has been great, we’ve signed tracks to Skint, Nervous and we’ve a few other “irons in the fire” as they say with some rather large labels. We’ve had a couple of remixes out on Whartone which have all done well, and, also our new track ‘Masters At Work – To Be In Love (Sick Elektrik Rework)’ has really blown up over the summer! It’s getting huge support from Mark Knight, Kerry Chandler, Andi Durrant, Sam Divine, Waifs & Strays, Sarah Main, Sonny Wharton and more and it’s also featured on the Toolroom podcast and had a few spins on Capital FM so we are really excited about getting it out there.”
You recently attended BPM in Birmingham which is the World’s biggest exhibition for the DJing and Production industries, did you spy any new kit that you can’t wait to get your hands on?
“Yes we did, we had a bit of a technology issue with our set there, Traktor, iPad and our F1 controller all let us down so we’ve ordered 2 Pioneer CDJ2000 Nexus’ so that we can turn the sync off and go back to the more old school style of mixing when ever we have “technology issues” again. Also we’ve been blown away by the Pioneer RMX1000, it’s an amazing bit of kit, can’t wait to get our hands on it!”
Taking part in a Demo Listening Panel at BPM had you passing on critique on fellow producers work, many of them young talent. What did you think of the quality of work coming through?
“It’s mind blowing what some of these young producers can create with a laptop and how fast they can do it, the quality was pretty high at BPM but there really is so much music about these days you really have to put the time in to stand out.”
Do you think becoming a DJ / Producer is still as popular with the youth today as it was when you left school?
“When we left school it wasn’t as popular as it is now, kids have always dreamed of being musicians, actors, human cannon balls etc, but when we left I think it was popular to want to be a DJ but not a producer unless you were as geeky as Jon. The thing is now you can’t really be one without the other so you have to do both.”
You ran a State Records night at Venus in Manchester at the earlier part of the year, you’re back again in November. What can the Venus crowds expect from you?
“We did yes, caught some great footage too which is on Youtube. The guys heading down this time around can expect a lot of new quality house music, a bit of CDJ trickery, loops, accapellas and a serious party atmosphere!”
Coming out of your studio recently have been some tasty reworks, the most recent one particularly. You’ve put the Sick Elektrik stamp on the Masters at Work classic ‘To Be In Love’ – How did that come about?
“It’s probably one of our favourite house vocals of all time, it’s been in our record boxes since being at school, we’ve always wanted to do something with it and now with the Deep House/House sound being so popular we thought it was the perfect time to do something with it. We’ve literally just used the vocal from the original, nothing else and built a complete new track around it, it’s got a heavy, deep bass and we’ve used old school Voyager synth chords and with the feedback we’ve received already, we think we’ve done it justice.”
We hear you’re going to be giving it away for free soon, are the rumours true?
“Wait and see…..”
Autumn has fully descended on the UK now, wooly hats and gloves are at the ready. What are you two going to do to warm the extremities of your fan base?
“Give out free hugs…. We’ve got a couple of new tracks coming out, one of which called ‘In Your Soul’ featuring Roland Clark is definitely a winter warmer! We’re also gonna be planning on getting some of these reworks out there. You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out where and how ha!”
Top tip for 2013 – Who or what do you think is going to be BIG?
“Hmmm… He’s already getting there but we think Finnebassen is going to be huge next year and we think Whartone Records is going to put a big stamp on 2013. They’ve been releasing some cracking tracks! We’ve also got some big plans for State Records releases and events. Watch this space.”
When you’re not DJing, what do you two get up to?
Ben – “To be honest I don’t really do much else, all of my time is taken up by the studio and we DJ pretty much every weekend and if I’m not DJing at the weekend I’m out watching someone else DJ, I’m house music through and through… I like to go skiing once a year, think that’s my only hobby.”
Jon – “I used to play rugby at a fairly decent standard but a few broken noses and other facial injuries over the past couple of years have persuaded me that its much safer to partake in the social side of that. Then like Ben, spend every moment we can in the studio.”
You’ve been seen putting your two pennies worth into the debate of ‘celebrities’ becoming DJs over Twitter recently. A harmless poke in the ribs or is it something you really feel passionately against?
“We are passionately against it, it seems like every celeb who has their career slow down uses a “Get out of jail free card: to become a DJ”, it’s a last resort to make some easy cash for celebs.”
Back to the subject of young producers, having your own label and dealing with the A&R side of things – what do you look for in a track you might want to sign?
“Originality and quality. You wouldn’t believe how many “Manchester House Mafia’s” we’ve turned down this year!”
The DJ Mag Top 100 is released this week – thoughts / predictions before it becomes public?
Top 3 Predictions:
1. Paris Hilton
2. Danny Dyer
3. David Guetta
“It’s a joke poll these days we don’t think any of the underground clubs/promotors take it seriously anymore… It’s nothing to do with skill or DJing, it’s about record sales and marketing and a huge marketing campaign on Facebook.”