The second week of our Introducing mix series features independent label Tape Club Records and electronic composer Dogtanion. Started by ardent record collector and music lover Will Evans in 2006, the labels first releases were put out on a series of limited edition cassettes. Fast-forward six years and the Tape Club family have expanded with a variety of incredibly talented songwriters and musicians that reflect the down to earth, unpretentious and honest attitude of the label. Tape Club musicians create everything from afro beat pop to dark garage with family members Peter Lyons, Kerry Leatham, Laurel Collective, Dogtanion, Mr James Bright, Thos Henly and more.
Your free S W I T Z E R L A N D EP (November 2011) features vocalists Kerry Leatham, Mr James Bright, Peter Lyons and you’ve just finished a session with Shola Ama. What excites you about vocal collaborations in the studio and do you sing on your tracks?
For me, it’s the most fun way to make music. I get people round in the morning drink loads of coffee, write lyrics for the track and sing them. We try and get it done in a day and it’s so fast and so exciting. I sing on Just To Talk and In Me (S W I T Z E R L A N D EP). I’m really enjoying working with other people. When you’re a producer and working on your own everything you do is your choice as soon you bring someone else into the mix that's what makes it way more exciting.
You’ve recently remixed Kerry Leatham Do You Fancy Me? (above). It’s a really bubbly dark garage number, is garage part of your musical heritage?
My sister loved garage, I’m from Essex and there were loads of raves out in the country. She would go to them with her DJ boyfriend and you can’t help being influenced by it even if it’s through your sisters wall at 5am! And more recently there’s been a massive 2-step and garage revival and I’ve been hearing Zomby talk about jungle. I grew up listening to Bad Company, DJ Zinc, Luke Vibert (Amen Andrews) and around that time loved anything on Warp and Anticon records. At the moment British dance music is in the healthiest state it’s been in for years – people hate the term – but some of the post dubstep stuff is really exciting; it’s vocal house music with ragga triplet beats. It’s fun but still has quite a lot of depth.
As well as being a trained drummer and producer you’re also an artist and part of the ARKA Group, can you tell us a little more about ARKA collective and your role?
I work with a guy called Ben Jeans Houghton (brother of Beth) who I went to college with. With Ben I do the sound and write about art. I also do tours, lectures (more recently at the Hayward Gallery) and make sculptures.
I know you like to keep things quite separate, but when it comes to Dogtanion and ARKA is there ever crossover?
When I write song lyrics they’re often influenced by what I’ve been thinking about in terms of philosophy or art. There’s always crossover. I do have an aesthetic sensibility; all the artwork for S W I T Z E R L A N D is by a photographer called Tim Bowditch.
Your mix includes tunes from some great UK labels (Pictures, Keysound, Greco Roman, Big Dadda and more), can you break down what it is that you love about the sound these labels are creating?
I’ve got a bit of a label crush on Pictures; Dawd’s amazing and Lapalux and Koreless, they keep putting out this amazing music that is like hardcore contemporary dance music that’s accessible to the mainstream as well as being progressive.
Bantam Lions - Control Tower Observation (Bantam Lions premix) (Unreleased)
Dauwd - What's There (Pictures Music)
Damu - Don't Cry in My Bed (Keysound)
Kidkanevil - The Floating World (Elphino Remix) (First Word)
Bruises - RAGE CUB (Unreleased)
Peter Lyons - Phone or Facsimilie (Tape Club Records)
Disclosure - My Intention is War (Transparent Records)
Nightwave - Feel (Svetlana Industries)
LDFD - Outtacontrol (Magical Properties)
Toddla T - Streets So Warm (Zed Bias Old Skool Remix) (Ninja Tune)
Kerry Leatham - Do You Fancy Me? (Dogtanion Dark Garage mix) (Tape Club Records)
Juk Juk - Winter Turn Spring (Text Records)
Factory Floor - Two Different Ways (DFA)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Dream On (Greco Roman)
Deadboy - Here 4 U (Numbers)
Nathan Fake - The Sky Was Pink (Holden Remix) (Border Community)
TiRZHA and Micachu vs Death Grips - Go Guillotine (Dogtanion edit) (Unreleased)
Hudson Mohawke - Freek (Unreleased)
Rustie - Surph (Warp Records)
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX - Running (XL)
The Weeknd - The Zone (XO)
Bullion - If You Want to Reach Me (Gwilym Gold remix) (Bronze)
Dogtanion - Black Blood (Tape Club Records)
Com Truise - Fairlight (Ghostly International)
Holy Other - Feel Something (Tri Angle)
Seekae - Void (Rice is Nice)
Dels - Shapeshift (Kwes Remix) (Big Dada)
Tape Club Records