Montel Interview

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– What was the last record you bought? Why did you buy it?
Synkro’s ‘Transient’ EP on R&S’s sister label Apollo. I got a digital promo through Tailored, but knew this was a record I wanted in my collection! A wicked mix of Down-Tempo, Drum & Bass and Ambient Soundscapes.

– Do you do most of your record shopping online these days? What do you look for in a record before you buy it?
Yes. There is lots of actual record shops popping up all over the place now. I’d love to say I go out to them for a dig, but I rather do it from the comfort of my sofa at home. I use Discogs a lot and then Juno for most new stuff. The only criteria I have when buying a record is that it’s quality! A quality record is well worth parting with your cash for! If I’m unsure, I’ll just buy a digital copy.

– What’s the best and worst things about living in UK these days for music do you think?
The UK has a pretty solid scene. It’s always been a global hot spot for Dance music. The only downside is that it seems a little over saturated at times. In terms of club culture, licensing restrictions always hamper party’s in the UK. Especially where I come from in Northern Ireland. Clubs closing between 1 & 3am isn’t much fun.

– What do you think are the biggest obstacles to overcome as an emerging producer?
Making great music that sets you apart from the crowd. In this day and age it’s so easy to make music. A lot of producers are too keen to just make something quickly and get it signed to literally any label that will take it. It’s definitely better to spend time making real quality music, pick out a few labels you really LOVE and do your best to get on them. It’s hard to get your music heard by the right people, but if you make something special, it’s less of a problem.

– When did you start producing? How have your tastes developed over the years?
I started producing around 2004.. To be honest, my tastes haven’t changed at all. I’ve always been into ‘proper’ House Music! Yes we all go through little stages of moving towards specific sub genres, but it’s all House! In my DJ sets, I still play a lot of the records I was playing 10 – 15 years ago. Quality House music is timeless!

– What sort of producers would you say you’re most similar to then? Do you have a crew of friends at home who you look up to for inspiration?
I have many producer friends. Real good guys making great music. I also look up to many of the veteran producers and there’s also a lot of fresh new producers I admire too. But I think it’s always important to do your own thing!

– Who did you base your early productions on? How long have you been making music?
I’ve been making music around 10 years. When I started making music I guess it was loosely based around what I was playing as a DJ and also the kinda sound I enjoyed hearing in clubs.

– Can you tell us about the latest EP on Roush?
Yes! I’m really excited about this EP on Roush.. Hector came over to Belfast to DJ for me in October last year. He really liked my release on ALiVE and wanted to know if I’d do a remix for him. I did, he loved it, so the natural progression was to start working on an EP. The release is just 2 big club tracks. ‘The Limit’ is a bit more groovy and atmospheric. ‘New York Has Changed’ is a tougher kinda sound.

– What’s your involvement like with the label? And why is it somewhere which really suits what you do?
Roush is a nice label. Hector has a great profile to front the label and promote the music. Also having great artists on there like Hector, Josh Butler, Julien Sandre and Darius Syrossian really pushes it forward!!

– What’s your favourite memory of producing this EP?
Playing the demos out at gigs and seeing the reactions they got!!

– I gather you’re really happy with the remixers too?
Yes, both guys did a great job!

– What one piece of advice would you give to young producers starting out?
Only do it if you’re heart is really in it! There’s no money, there’s no fame. You do it cause you love music! Be sincere about the music you make and take your time.

– If we were going to go clubbing in Belfast, where would you recommend?
The nights I do for Misfit at Thompsons Garage in Belfast are where it’s at!! This year I already have Nick Curly, Sidney Charles and Richy Ahmed booked!!

– What’s next for you?
I’ve got some big projects and gigs coming up! Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and you’ll be kept up to date!

Interview by James Hopkins

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