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Switch Interview

Dave Taylor was in the Mr. Jones house last thursday for an awesome night of butt-shakin, bass-drivin music that left one's ears in quite the happy state on friday morning. While Chewy was still finishing his warmup we brought Dave into the little sideroom in the Pod and left him all alone with Senior Shortie, who picked his brains about life in LA, his multiple aliases, and his many friends in the game...

Dave Taylor was in the Mr. Jones house last thursday for an awesome night of butt-shakin, bass-drivin music that left one's ears in quite the happy state on friday morning. While Chewy was still finishing his warmup we brought Dave into the little sideroom in the Pod and left him all alone with Senior Shortie, who picked his brains about life in LA, his multiple aliases, some after-hours fun at the Garden Party and his many friends in the game...

Bodytonic - Recently you moved over to L.A., can you tell us reason for the move?

Switch- The idea is mainly just to get a bit more studio time, last year was a bit hectic with touring and doing production in and around lots of different places all over the world, and one of the places I was working was on Tricky’s new album out in Los Angeles so, I dunno, I was definitely gonna make some sort of move over to the States, probably to New York or something but then I went to L.A. and it was, well, sunny! It’s pretty chilled out there too and I don’t know anyone out there so you know, I can just concentrate on getting some work done.

BT – I was gonna actually ask you about the Tricky album, how did that come about?

S – That was through Domino, they asked me to help out on the mixing and additional production and stuff for it. I think the first single’s ready to go, it’s called “Council Estate”. It’s gonna be pretty interesting because I don’t think it’s what people expect from either Tricky or from my end of it.

BT – I heard a rumour that Liam Howlet asked you to co-produce some stuff for the new Prodigy album too, is there any truth to that?

S – Where did you hear that? Haha! He’s like, I dunno, I can remember being in Essex with my first ever demo and trying to send it to Richard Russell at XL coz I just thought Prodigy was it and the world was over you know!!! Yeah he’s working on a new album and he sent me some bits and bobs over. There’s one track that we’re gonna try and find some time to get into so we’ll see what happens.

BT – Staying with the collaborations, tell us a bit about your new project with Diplo, Lasers?

S- Yeah that’s coming on good, he’s just put a really cool studio together in Philly, it’s like this old mausoleum that he’s converted into 3 or 4 different areas, he’s got all his Mad Descent boys there coming in and out, it’s just a really cool place. We’ve been working back and forth on the project for the last few weeks so I think I’ll head over to his place some time in the next couple of weeks and get it rounded off but yeah, so far it’s sounding cool. The idea for us was to do like a double CD initially where one CD will be just exactly what we like about Jamaica and the type of sounds that we’re excited about there at the moment. We’re gonna make it really authentic you know and try and make some noise in Jamaica and that’s pretty difficult, but as long as we’re happy with the records and we think we can get there with that. We’re gonna flip it then on CD2. That will just be us doing alternative versions of those same records in a more traditional Switch / Diplo style.

BT – What are your plans for Dubsided in 2008?

S – Again, I’ve got more time to focus on it while I’m out in L.A. Jesse (Rose) has a new album coming out, he’s done a great record with Joe from Hot Chip that’s hopefully gonna be finished imminently, and his album is sounding really, really good. He’s stepped up a gear and that’s pretty exciting. Herve’s coming with a new album and I have Duke Dumont. We’ve just managed to talk him into putting his beats out, which I’m super excited about

BT – Yeah I’ve heard a bit of his stuff on a few Blogs over the past month and he’s sounding pretty good alright. On that note, what’s your opinion on Blog Sites? Do you see them as another way to get your name out there and your stuff heard or do you view them as like copyright infringement?

S – Nah, I’m all for it, it doesn’t really bother me. I mean, it’s not right, but there isn’t really an infrastructure there on the Internet that’s built to cope with people making money from it yet. As it is at the moment, the thing I like about it is it’s the truth, it’s not like it was with radio and TV where you’re just force-fed whoever had the money to buy a space on TV and radio. It’s people voting with their feet and picking out good music be it a producer, remixer, artist or whatever, so you really have to raise your game and come up with the goods otherwise someone, somewhere is gonna be doing your job better than you.

BT – We had Sinden over here about a month ago and he was saying that the best way for a new DJ to get some recognition is to get into the production side of things and promote yourself that way. What came first for you? Was it DJing or Producing?

S – I tried to get into the Djing thing but its very difficult to get from the outside in and even production was pretty difficult then because we didn’t have blog sites and stuff which is another good thing about that scene, it allows new people to come through and say something without necessarily having to please some A&R man somewhere you know. And also having your own label and being able to put out your own sound is really useful because then people know what they’re getting when they buy a track from it. So I’d say yeah production is definitely they way to crack the DJ thing.

BT – Quick question for you about your aliases, you’ve got Switch, Solid Groove, A. Brucker, what’s the reason behind each of these? Do they each represent something different for you?

S – Well, Mainly it’s just a different train of thought in the studio and also at the time I had a lot of music coming out and didn’t wanna just keep releasing Switch records. The idea this year is to put my focus on a new solid groove album I’m doing on Dubsided, it’s a good idea to just do a different sound and put a different twist on things. I think people know what to expect from a Switch record, but calling it Solid Groove, I hate that name by the way!, it gives me an excuse to make a bit more underground house music which is a bit more like what I was brought up on.

BT – In terms of your remixes, you’ve done stuff for everyone from Lily Allen to Nine Inch Nails, how do you approach each one? It sounds like you strip each one down to the bare minimum and start from there.

S – Well I try to, that’s another thing I do find quite annoying with some remixers and producers is you can hear the formula and I guess people can hear that with mine to a certain extent but I do try to start everything from a different route, every remix will have brand new drums and sounds. With the actual tracks there’ll be something different with the original track that I’ll be really excited about, it might be a vocal loop or a synth hook so that’ll be what I start with and move on from.

BT – I heard you don’t like the term Fidgit House either, who came up with the name?

S – I don’t really dislike it, Jesse came up with it specifically to see if it would catch on, but it was at a time when we didn’t really have any clout with anyone so we just start including it in press releases and stuff to see if anyone picked up on it. It was funny then coz all of a sudden there was like Fidgit House websites and Fidget House sections in record shops. I mean I get it because people feel comfortable labelling shit but it was kind of anti-that, anti the fact that if you scratched your nuts and made a beat, it’d be called scratch your nuts house or some shit you know, and at that time it was getting kind of ridiculous and people were really precious about what kind of house and what style of music they liked and didn’t really want to fuck about too much so it was a bit tongue in cheek.

BT – Talk to me a bit about Santogold. She’s tipped to be big this year.

S – Yeah it’s incredible, the album is fucking amazing, we literally just finished it last week, it’s cool. Again it’s not gonna be what everyone would expect from us but she’s an incredible talent.

BT – Yeah she’s a pretty good drummer I heard? S – Yeah that’s right

BT – Do you think the success of M.I.A.’s last album kinda paved the way for Santi to break through?

S – Yeah totally, I think that whole movement is really interesting with labels like Downtown really supporting what’s going on out there in the states, again another reason to be out there just to be in and around that kind of movement. It feels like club music in general, not just specifically house, but you’ve got things like the success of people like Justice, it just feels like club music might go somewhere in America in the next couple of years and that could be big news for everyone so hopefully the move will be fruitful.

BT – Do you think it could go the other way with Baltimore Club / Philli House kind of stuff or is it more Bassline driven over there?

S - I think that whole Baltimore thing at the moment is in danger of killing itself, it’s like everyone’s doing the same thing. It’s like when Drum and Bass got really boring and even if you go back as far as disco, it became really boring because it became such a phenomenon that everyone jumped on it and started doing watered down versions of it and not being creative with it, whereas my take on the whole Baltimore thing is the charm of how raw the records were, it’s just a raw randomness and that’s what I was trying to take from that sound and put into house music but of course now there’s a certain amount of stuff coming out that doesn’t really get that and that’s what’s worrying about that whole thing. It’s funny coz I just did a DJ tour with Diplo and the last date we did was in Baltimore and it was our best one but we never really focused on that sound. I just did my Jackin “Fidgit” House thing and Wes did his thing that included B’more stuff. Then we went to the afterparty and there was a guy playing and he had a Baltimore version of every fucking tune ever made from Barry Manilow to George Michael with the same break on it. It was like “Stop already, it’s making my head hurt”.

BT – There’s a world of difference between that and the stuff that the likes of Blaqstarr and Sega are coming out with.

S- Yeah man Blaqstarr. That dude is so good, and he’s like 16 or 17 but he’s got this really like punky attitude to the whole thing. And Sega, I was a bit gutted though coz Diplo got into the whole Sega thing before I did so I missed out but he’s from that side of things so it’s cool. I think Sega though is definitely gonna be the next dude for me.

BT – The last gig you played in Ireland was the Garden Party, do you remember much about that?

S – That was the festival thing wasn’t it?

BT – Yeah that’s the one, last time you were spotted was in the carpark at about 4am with your trousers around your ankles performing wrestling moves!

S – Haha! Yeah I remember that, that’s the reason I did Garden Party actually was to do that! Yeah that was fun, it’s always fun when I come here. I love coming to Ireland, Scotland, Liverpool, Manchester. There’s only really Australia I think in the world that touches on the crowd that you get here, people just like having fun.

BT – So, obviously the Garden Party was an outdoor thing, couple of thousand people, do you prefer those big gigs, or the smaller ones like in Pod?

S – Nah definitely the smaller clubs. That festival thing is cool if you’re lucky enough to have enough people who know what you’re about and I think that’s why I like Australia so much, they’re really into that sound and respond really well to everything. I like playing festivals, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll always love playing the small clubs.

Photos from the gig check: www.jasonhealy.net/bodytonic

Comments

  • michael_black @ 4 Mar 2008 12:52

    Nice one Shortie. Cool interview :-)

  • Matthew @ 4 Mar 2008 21:23

    Really interesting fella he is, seems like I always thought, his range is much more diverse than he often gets to show from DJing. Also a grade-A nutter too!

  • Tayor @ 5 Mar 2008 21:11

    he's one of the best producers of the 00's

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