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Mutiny: Big In Japan (and Better Than Basement Jaxx)

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Monday, November 8, 2004
With their new album Yada Yada taking pre orders of 10,000 units in Japan and an upcoming residency at Toyko's 4,000 capacity Womb club, Brixton house duo Mutiny appear poised to achieve the global success that up until now has somewhat eluded them. Mutiny founder Dylan Barnes started the band in the early 90s with one Simon Ratcliffe, before Ratcliffe went on to form Basement Jaxx, though ten years on, it's Mutiny who remain vital and interesting as the Jaxx flounder and disown their club roots.

"I just don't understand the way people distance themselves from stuff, really, I mean they are still friends of mine," says Dylan.

"It is a little bit depressing when I hear people like Jaxx and from people like Armand Van Helden as well, talking about how house music is all in the past," he continues.

"The reason why we make house music is because we really still love house music. I also love a lot of other music; I make funk music, I make all kinds of stuff, but we're just going to progress slowly without worrying what it is or where it is, or what people label it or anything. On our albums there's tracks people would call garage, there's others people would call urban now. I mean what does urban mean- It covers such a wide range of stuff I don't really get it. I don't really get this labeling business," he says.

Labelling aside, Yada Yada is a dance album through and through, opening with their 2001 masterpiece Yaself. Written on September 11, the track was their first release for Darren Emerson's independent label Underwater and three years on, they appear to have found the perfect arrangement to further their cause, not least in Japan.

"Japan has really been an amazing experience for us so far and I have to take my hat off to Darren for that," Dylan admits.

"Darren has a level of pop stardom out there and I think having an association with him and Underwater was probably some of the best PR we could have had," he says.

"With everybody talking about doom and gloom over here, which I don't really agree with anyway, it's nice to know there's these new territories that are going crazy about dance music. It makes it all worthwhile," he says.

Since signing to Underwater, Dylan and his bandmate Rob Davy have also remixed the likes of Gus Gus, The Audio Bullys an and Robbie Williams, though more recently they've stepped back from remixes to concentrate on their own music.

"We made a conscious decision a while ago, and actually stopped doing remixes for the sake of it, and charging loads of money for crappy remixes, because in the end I felt that whole situation was going to all die anyway," he continues.

"You have to find a way to make a living of course, but the most important thing is not to end up killing the industry that's feeding you."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Yada Yada is your second album and comes three years after your Virgin released debut album In The Now, what was your vibe on making this record-

Mutiny (Dylan Barnes): "There was always this thing with house music about it being a singles dominated market, and once we started making albums, we took a real decision about wanting them to be a proper an album artist. Once we'd done the first one, we found that the excitement behind the process took us over so we started looking forward to making the second, then third and fourth. An album becomes a catalogue of your life's work. And thinking conceptually, making an album means you're not writing track by track, thinking of each one going out into clubs, rather you're just thinking about musically what really drives you. This time was much more a reflection of that, we were much more aware of what we wanted to do with it, and it was a really enjoyable experience actually. We're still enjoying it as we speak. "

Skrufff: Steve Lawler told us recently that because of the problems records sales are experiencing, he's concentrating on his DJing for business and looking at releasing records<