Dave Spoon - Spoonin' Around
3D’s Scott Henderson speaks with Dave Spoon, the influential BBC Radio 1 host, producer and DJing powerhouse, about his new compilation through Toolroom Records.
The last few years must have been a real whirlwind for you going from your mate’s record store to DJing on Radio 1 in the UK, which all seems to have kicked off when you got picked up by Mark Knight at Toolroom. Can you tell us how it all came about-
Yeah, it’s been crazy for sure but all good. Things kind of fell into place a lot; it’s funny how life can be like that sometimes. I’d almost resigned to the fact I might have to treat my music as a hobby and not a career too just when things blew up. Mark Knight signed 21st Century, opened with it on his Essential mix and it all went from there. After At Night also blew up everywhere, the remixes poured in and the next thing I’m being asked to record a pilot for Radio 1! It’s been an amazing whirlwind for sure but maintaining it and not getting stuck with just the ‘electro house’ badge is just as challenging.
If you had to pick one highlight out of those early experiences what would it be-
That’s difficult! Pete Tong asking me to join him in the studio to start a project was fantastic, but I have to say my own At Night causing the damage it did probably tops that. To be played by just about every house DJ all over London on pirate radio, plus hearing about Tiësto and PvD dropping it in sell-out stadiums made it such a versatile record. As a producer you strive to achieve something like that and I hope I can do it again and again.
You’ve mixed the new Toolroom Knights compilation, which kicks off with your new track Baditude made with Paul Harris and Sam Obernik. Can you tell us a little about this collaboration because Baditude is a really good fun, stomping house track-
Thanks! Well, Paul Harris had been on at me for a while about hooking up which I was up for but time for both of us was precious! We finally got a date in last September and after four hours of messing around we ended up with the backing track. It was sounding great, but needed a vocal so Paul suggested Sam Obernik to write a song for it. It couldn’t have been better and to sound slightly different from most other records at the moment, but still have the effect it’s had, is wicked.
The compilation is split into two discs, ‘Main Room’ and ‘Basement’, what was the thinking behind each mix and any secrets you want to share about making a great mix CD-
It’s the first time I’d done a compilation that’s across two discs. The others had just been one, which was great, but for me this was an opportunity to take more ownership over it. I love so much music that’s out there right now but people aren’t that used to me playing it. The Main Room disc captures my DJ sets at the moment. I’m still playing a few of those records now and they’ve helped carve out a string of very memorable gigs for me. The Basement disc is more about the music I listen to more than I play. I’ve done a few parties in the UK where I’ve DJed like that with older tracks, those bigger bass lines, drum breaks and rave noises and I love it. There’s nothing too radical on that second disc but it was important for me to reflect other influences I have.
You’re working on your own artist album, how is that going and can you give us an idea about the kind of sound you’re working toward-
There’s a lot going on right now actually that has slowed my artist album down. The success of Baditude and working on a follow up to that has stood in the way a bit and I’m also launching my label Televizion, which has taken a chunk of my time too. It’s still coming, and people should expect my trademark sound across it, but also some other surprises too. There wouldn’t be a whole lot of point in doing an album of 12 house records, for me there’s a bigger picture.
WHO: Dave Spoon
WHAT: Toolroom Knights through Toolroom Records
WHEN: Out now