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All night dancing with Tiga: “I wanted to make a record that someone like Loco Dice or Sasha could play”

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That’s interesting to hear, because I’d definitely think of Turbo as one of the stronger independent dance labels out there.

We definitely feel that we get a lot of love, and particularly in terms of access, we get great demos now, and equally we get some really great remixes, we have that ‘pull’ that we didn’t always have, and that’s how you can measure the regard in which you’re held in. It’s not like it’s a sob story, t’s just a business with some built-in limitations, while elsewhere there’s other parts of the industry with a big, unknown, glorious potential future. it’s a boring topic now and everybody knows now it’s ancient history, but if you’re a record label now you need to diversify and find other ways to add to your revenue. If you’re just selling music, you’re basically doing the PR work for the artists, the managers and the agents. 

You’ve had a very interesting evolution as an artist in recent years. There’s had been a very definite shift in the type of records you were playing, but the best thing there’s a very strong consistency to your identity as a DJ.

The basic shift for me is that I started to have trouble finding big, mainroom, high-impact records that I still liked, it’s that simple. For myself personally, I wasn’t finding the records that I liked. And the flipside is I was finding a lot of techno records I liked, and a lot of deeper, weirder records, and as a DJ personally, you gravitate towards the records that you love, as that’s what you have to work with. This year especially, most of the sets I’ve played have been a little deeper and a little slower. You also try to get away from so much of your own material. And it’s tricky, because there’s always a percentage of the crowd that wants to hear your classics, there’s a percentage that wants to hear banging shit that tears the roof off. 

If I don’t play Mind Dimension, there might be a group of people who go home and say “what the fuck is his problem”. And that’s tricky, because Mind Dimension isn’t just a meek record that can just be mixed into a set, it’s a statement. It doesn’t go well with a deep house record. There’s a little bit of a challenge there, so you move around, and you hope that the people go with you. For me that’s the downside to the freedom of the movement, but in the end I’ll take it.

I guess you get around that sneakily with accapellas and remixes.

Exactly, there are ways around it.

It was perhaps Turbo’s New Jack Techno compilation that signaled a bit of a change?

For the label it was. We had been doing a lot of different things, on the one hand we had Proxy records that were quite ravey, and we were doing some other things that were quite big room. And that compilation was a bit of a statement of intent… I think the most important thing was that sometimes it’s nice to be very focused. It’s great to be eclectic and do lots of different things, but sometimes it’s nice to say okay, we found this one particular sound and now we’re gonna go deep into it without deviating from it. And for Turbo that was new territory. Because for us, that wasn’t just a bunch of great records we liked, that was a particular sound that we’ve gone and explored over ten tracks. Which is what a lot of labels do all the time, but for Turbo and me that was a little bit different. We’d had a bit of a gold rush of new artists who were coming to us, like Clouds and Gingy & Bordello, we had this new generation of guys and they were all into techno. So for me it was nice to go back to my roots with little bit and focus.

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