Coming in just a bit late is Razor Recordings front man Steve NRG. Steve's productions have been hammered out by the likes of Justin Bourne, Andy Farley, Karim, Ian M and Cally Gage just to name a few, When not producing tracks that are ripping up dance floors, you can catch him behind the decks at such events as the legendary Sundissential.
Thanks Steve for joining us for an interview and mix. We will start with the usual question, where abouts are you from?
That little old place we call England! I live in Birmingham now but I was brought up in Manchester also lived in Sheffield, Barnsley, Warrington, Shropshire.. some people would say that I get about a bit!!
How is the scene out there at the moment?
If you had asked me this question last year I would have said bobbins.. was gonna swear but kids might be listening... LOL. This year though things look like they are on the up. There are a lot more Hard Dance nights springing up all over the country and the bigger events are starting to look stronger in my opinion. Iím now resident with one of Manchesterís (my home town) longest standing hard dance events Sin:ergy and last year I was taken on as Resident DJ for Sundissential, as we all know Sundissential is the biggest of the bunch and still the best. I now co-promote it with the legend that is Madders and our new alongside another local legend Nathan M.. Nathan is the man to see if you want some Sundissential merchandise (www.sundissentialshop.co.uk)! I think this year will play a big part in revolutionising the scene and pushing it forward as there are quality and talented DJs & Producers out there, its all about the Next Generation. No disrespect to anyone else but to move forward you need to have a fresh approach. Weíve also launched Jnrssential, a showcase for the next generation of superstars. With credit to Sundissential in what they have achieved in launching the careers of the current A-list Djs I am proud to be a partner and promoter of this exciting concept (www.sundissentialdsi.com). We have also taken on a guy by the name of Dave the Elf for this project as he will also be instrumental in showcasing the best up and coming talent and future stars and trust me Dave is one of them! If anyone has heard Razor Recordings number two you will see why! There are four massive tracks by producers LT1, Riggsy, Mini-Minx, Shenton & Pearce M, two of which are by the Elf himself. Its all about the Elfism... LOL. Thatís also why weíve launched Razorz Edge Artist Management to bring through the next generation. Iíve had to put this in the hands of my loving girlfriend Jamie-Lou as she donít take no nonsense. I mean she kicks me into touch and thatís a hard job. Lol (www.razorz-edge.com). Sundissential is back on fire at the moment we are engaged in a nation wide tour which is going down a storm. The tour will guarantee to spread the vibe further a field not just in this country but abroad so if your interested in having us over weíll show you a good party. Thinking about it SUNDISSENTIAL CANADA!! Come and get us!!!
What sounds or styles are taking over the club's speakers?
Hard House & Hard NRG is doing really well at the moment the tough hard nrg underground feel is definitely for the hard core clubbers but for the wider audience I think its going full circle and back to where it all started with the groovier uplifting element of the old Trade days. Tracks that are uplifting but still tough and nasty but with a fresh approach and better production. And to be honest its going back to house that was a little bit harderÖ.
Why hard house over other genres that are more popular?
I think with Hard house it can be happy and uplifting but still aggressive at the same time which keeps it appealing to a wider audience. For example, My Favourite Game by Dave the Elf, Riggsy & The TomÖ sorry that was a long one just catch my breath. The track itself is pretty hard and the kick is savage but when it gets to the break its got that bit that people can associate with. Thatís what Iím doing with my ongoing projects so I suppose you could say Dave has influenced me and helped me get back to my roots.
Who or what has been your influences over the years?
To start off with it was Tall Paul, again he played that House music that was a bit tougher and cheekier and from there I progressed to the legend Tony De Vit rest in piece. He has been my driving force for so long when I lose a bit of confidence its his music that gets my sprits back up. Also my dad died a couple of years ago and Iíd lost interest in the music but because of him I strived on and came out the other side as I was deter mind to prove to him I could do it and make him proud and I now hope he is.
You are the label manager of the label Razor Recordings, which just released its second release. What do you have planned for Razor in the rest of 2008?
Iím one half of the managing directors the other is my good friend and business partner Lee but to every one else the mighty LT1. If it wasnít for him I probably would not have gone through with setting up the label and now the possibilities are endless. We have got some awesome stuff on the horizon the and the next instalment sees my very own Riff Twist hit the A-Side with an awesome and very powerful remix by Rodi Style. We also have a track by Tom Parr and another by JT & Mixin, Gaz Gibson & Riggsy. So its another four track belter. For the others youíll just have to wait and see but trust me they are gonna rock ya socks off. Iím also working on some other projects with Lee and these are gonna be something special.
What made you decided to start up a vinyl label at a time where vinyl sales are low and digital is on the rise?
To be fair there is no money in either, unless youíre selling millions of copies World wide but vinyl is where it started and looks a dam site better on your wall. We will be launching a digital label shortly but that will be completely different material to the vinyl label but still under the Razor Umbrella.
Where do you see the sound of hard house going in the next 5 years?
Oh thatís a tough one! I think its going well at the moment bringing back the old vibe I just hope we donít end up full circle again and every track you hear is ONKIY bounce! Bounce can still be credible or incredible bounce as Karim once said sorry private joke. If its done right for example look at Ilogikís old elasticman stuff one side bit oinky than the other but the other was off beat but of a higher quality in my opinion.
What producer has really stood out for you in 2007? Who do you think will make a big impact this year?
If your talking about producers then LT1 & Dave the Elf but if your talking about producers and engineers then Riggsy. I have worked with a few Frank Farrell, Dave Owens and Riggsy all are of the highest quality however for me Riggsy is the best. We connect so well in the studio and some of the noises Iím creating and heís replicating is unbelievable how anyone can understand me like that I donít know. He can take any ideas of mine that I canít create myself and produce them to a Tee how I like it. Heís probably the only engineer that can capture the artists personality and get what they want. In other words hes awesomeÖ think thatís my word of the year lol. I would advise anyone wanting to book studio time to use Riggsy so if anyone is interested email Jamiefirstname.lastname@example.org. I guarantee anyone that uses him will be happy with what they achieve.
For all those gear junkies out there, can you give us a run down of your studio? Whatís your favourite program/ vst / plug-in to work with?
I do a lot of stuff in my own studio and work on Reason however, Iíll then export the files and re sequence it in Cuebase that way you get 100% of my ideas and 100% of the master that be RiggsyÖ.. Cuebase Master I am! (sorry Yoda Impression) and then there is a finished product. One example of this is a track I did entitled Deeper Down. I wrote it 5 years ago but came back to it recently. Its now been signed to Toolbox and the Tidy Weekender 12 album so we must be doing something right.
Which producer would you like to work with in the future?
Iíd probably have to say Tom Parr I love his sound. Itís very similar to me, hard, energetic but uplifting and happy at the same time. You cant go wrong! Tom seems like a really nice guy as well so would love to spend some time in the Studio with him.
What do you prefer to play on, CDJs or turntables?
I love vinyl cos you really do have to work the problem is most of the stuff I play is my own material or material from artists signed to the label so its all upfront stuff that hasnít gone to press. and I like to do long mixes as well so if I miss a cue point its a lot easier to bring back on CDJís. I do remember playing at Sin:ergy once and was proper up for it but Iíd had a few so thereís me jumping up and down like a loonyÖ WELL! My headphone wire jumps up mind of its own (like they do) and landed on the record. As you can imagine it jumps and wouldnít have been as bad if this had only happened once I did it three times...NOB!.... LOL I suppose the other side is at least you cant eject a vinyl thatís playing.. not that Iíve ever done that before... Lol!
What event would you love to play at in the future?
I am happy as a ďPig in a pokeĒ with my new found Sundissential residency, love him or hate him Madders is the best promoter in the country bar none. Wait till I get the old bastard over to North America LOL. Iíd love to play main room Storm and Frantic Iíve played at Storm on three occasions but never the main room so that would be ace and as I have not played for Frantic thatís one Iíd love to play for. They have some wicked DJís that play for them also. In fact get us over to Canada and I will show you what I can do!!!
When can people see you play out next?
Where do I start, the list is endless and getting bigger by the day. I would say to keep updated visit www.razorz-edge.com or http://www.dontstayin.com/groups/steve-nrg-friends. As for the wonderful and wacky World of me and Sundissential you must go to www.sundissentialdsi.com.
Any last words?
Not now because Iím late for a meeting LOL! Good speaking to you though and enjoy the mix! God bless all of you over the pond in Canada, me & Sundissential are definitely coming to see you soon!!!
Scott Fo Shaw
JP & Jukesy