Talking filth with the brightest star of the nu wave of house — Filthy Rich
Reported by getinpr
Submitted 30-05-07 00:31
Things couldn’t be going much better now for house DJ/producer Filthy Rich. He has the respect of his DJing peers, a gig diary that couldn’t be any more packed, residencies at some of the biggest house nights in the country, a hugely prolific production output, and his own label, Control Freq. His productions have been released on record labels as diverse as Big Love, Juicy and C2 and he has landed big remixes of the likes of Dave Armstrong’s ‘Make Your Move’ and Seamus Haji’s ‘Last Night A DJ Saved My Life’. He has achieved this by forging his own unique ‘Filthy Rich’ sound with a style that’s impossible to categorise, incorporating anything from house, electro, minimal, funk and even techno.
Added to that, his deep and minimal Spektre side project with Paul Maddox has got critics heralding them as the next big thing in house. And he is still in his early twenties. We caught up with the Leeds-based house star for a chat about his recent gig at Ministry, his Spektre live show at the Gatecrasher Summer Sound System and what the future holds for him...
Hi Rich, how are things with you? How has the year been so far?
Really good thanks. The year has been going very well — probably my best year yet so I can’t complain! I’m busy with gigs every weekend and I have more production work than I can handle. More international gigs are coming through now as well which is great. Things are getting better and better at a steady pace, so I just hope things continue the way they have!
You recently played your first gig for a couple of years at Ministry of Sound, how did it go? Will you be making a return to the venue?
It was actually my first set in the bar and it went really well. Ministry of Sound is a massive clubbing institution, and probably the most recognisable clubbing brand in the world. I have actually played in the Baby Box a few times, so I know the club quite well already. I’m playing again in July and September, so let’s hope it’s the first of many!!
You hold residencies at some of the biggest house nights in the UK: Kiss Da Funk, Hat Club and Gatecrasher. Do you change your sound much for each gig?
I don’t feel I am one of these DJs who tries to educate people too much. I play good music for people to dance to. That’s what it’s all about. I am not one of these DJs who just plays for themselves. I like to think one of my strengths is my diversity and that I adjust well to my surroundings.
I would say my sound suits all three of my residencies. It is constantly evolving as opposed to changing. I don’t think there is a DJ out there whose sound doesn’t evolve as time goes by. Due to a combination of my own productions and keeping my ear to the ground on what’s hot and what’s not, I feel that I am always developing my style.
I try to stamp my own sound on the night wherever I am playing but make sure that I fit in with what’s going on around me. Sometimes I keep things a little more accessible and other times I get to keep it filthy! Its all about uplifting house music that makes you wanna dance!!
How would you describe your sound?
It’s really hard these days to describe my true sound because the music that I play crosses so many genres. My sets can contain anything from minimal klicky house right through to tech-house and electro. I guess I would describe my sound as full on, filthy, dirty house. That pretty much covers all bases! It all depends on the surroundings and where I am playing. I still have a lot of gigs that require the more uplifting sound which is the music that has helped me get to where I am today.
However, I am also learning to develop my own sound through my productions. All of the tracks that I have made are very much in the dirty electro vibe, although every now and then I love to make something completely different.
Over the last few years I have been really honing my sound to give me an edge over my peers. If you think about the amount of DJs out there and how easy it is to access music over the internet, the competition has never been fiercer. This being the case I try to give myself an advantage by offering my own sound that no-one else can replicate. I have and still remain as versatile as possible — my sound covers the electronic spectrum. I like so many different kinds of music so why erect barriers — there are only two kinds of record, good ones and bad ones. Hopefully people think I only play good ones!
You’ve been described as ‘one of the most promising producers and DJs of the new generation’. Do you feel pressure to live up to your potential with compliments like that?
I believe that I have reached the stage where I am today purely by playing the music that I love and by putting 100% into all aspects of my DJing. Hopefully more of the same will mean I realise my full potential. To be honest I am perfectly happy with what I have achieved so far but each time something good happens you instantly strive to take things to the next level.
You’ve recently started up your own label, Control Freq; how is that going and what made you decide to take that step?
The label is going to be a home for many of my own original productions, some knock out remixes and will also serve as a platform to develop future talent that I believe deserves some recognition. My label is looked after by 24 Management. They look after labels for many other DJs such as Funkagenda, Chris Lake, the Trophy Twins and Micky Slim. They control the distribution and press side of things. I control the release schedule and artwork, which leaves me the time to get the tracks completed and ready in the studio.
What upcoming releases do you have lined up on the label?
The first release is one of my tracks, Filthy Rich – ‘Get Down’, which comes with remixes from Prok & Fitch and Hauswerks and gets released on May 14th. We promo’d in Miami and have been getting some really great reactions, including plays on Radio 1 in Seamus Haji’s essential mix and inclusion on a forthcoming Ministry compilation. The second release is Filthy Rich — ‘Let’s Get Dirty’, with mixes from H2 and Kim Fai. I’ve also signed a couple of tracks, one of which is James Fitch’s ‘Wide Awake’, so look out for that!
You have a prolific production output. What releases and remixes do you have out at the moment and what have you got planned for release?
Well there is my bootleg of Cypress Hill, which is getting a lot of attention at the moment. Pete Tong has played it on Radio 1 and the white labels should be due out this week. My track ‘Distortion’ is due out on Cosmonaut Blue and I have also just had a track signed to Toolroom called ‘Gimme The Bass’. Then there are also releases due on my own label Control Freq, the first of which is ‘Get Down’.
On the remix front, my remix of Dave Armstrong — ‘Make Your Move’ is doing really well. I’ve also remixed Richard Grey — ‘Warped Bass’ and Sidney Samson — ‘Rock & Shake This’, which are both out now. In the pipeline I have another Seamus Haji track, ‘Angels of Love’, and a track by Heikki L called ‘Rising Sun’.
Do you go into the studio with a clear idea of what you want a track to sound like, or is it just a case of getting a starting point and working from there?
I literally spend every spare minute I have in the studio, which is usually every day of the week. I can have anything up to three or four tracks on the go at one time but this usually helps to keep things fresh. I make most of my tracks under my Filthy Rich name but also have another project where I make more minimal underground techy-house under the guise of Spektre, which is also going really well. It is hard to keep track but that’s the way I like it.
Do you have any personal favourites out of your own productions?
My Cypress Hill bootleg is probably my favourite. It was just so much fun to do and I was really pleased with the results. It’s also the first of my productions to be played by Pete Tong, which I was really chuffed about. Another of my favourites is the Richard Grey — ‘Warped Bass’ remix I have just done, which is getting some really good support.
You also have your Spektre side project with Paul Maddox. Can you describe the Spektre sound to us?
It’s quite varied really, some tracks turn out quite minimal or technoey and sometimes they can border on the melodic and deep house territory. We always try and make each track unique, but each one unavoidably ends up with a few elements similar to the others. The only things that are always constant are dance floor-friendliness and new, interesting sounds; we’ll never just load up a preset and leave it as is. There’s always lots of movement and atmosphere to stop things from dragging. Overall? Atmospheric, groovy, moody, ass-shaking beats!
You also have the Spektre live show that anyone who is going to Gatecrasher Summer Soundsystem can check out — what does that involve?
Our show comprises of a normal DJ set with myself mixing on CDJs and using the EFX and Paul on Ableton Live dropping loops and samples over the set. This basically just keeps things interesting for both us and the crowd, as well as providing something of the live element. It’s much better than having us both just stood over a laptop. Sets with Ableton are a completely different ball game. The things that are possible in Live are just incredible — we’re constantly doing new things with it yet we’ve still hardly scratched the surface. It’s definitely the way forward in every way!
Will you be hanging around all night and if so who else will you be checking out there?
We are actually playing the last set after Timo Maas and I have another gig beforehand, however I’m hoping I’ll catch some of his set. I’ve always been a massive fan of his music!
All this must keep you very busy — what is the average Filthy Rich week like?
Studio, studio and more studio, with ossibly a mix in between… maybe some food when I get chance, haha!
With another Ibiza season on the horizon, what gigs have you got lined up and what are you most looking forward to about being back on the island?
Ibiza is like my second home, I absolutely love it there. I’ve played there for the last four years and always look forward to it. This summer looks like it could be pretty busy. I’m resident for Kiss Da Funk at El Divino, and also Xtravaganza at Space on Thursdays. As well as this I am going to be doing the occasional Spektre set on a Monday at Kanya, for Fergie’s night Excentric. All in all it’s going to be a very busy summer — there really is no other place like it. I just love the vibe and the clubs, thousands of like-minded people travelling from all over the world to party in the sun to the best music in the world, at the best clubs in the world… what could be better??
Have you heard any tunes yet that you think will be big Ibiza tunes?
I’m guessing that Dave Spoon — ‘At Night’ with the new vocal will be a big summer anthem. Richard Grey — ‘Warped Bass’ definitely will and hopefully Filthy Rich — ‘Got No Brain’!
Do you actually have a weekend off the rest of the year??
My diary is full until about November. I have the occasional Friday night off but apart from that I am pretty chocka. I’m hopefully going to be touring Australia again in September and before that I have an Asia tour. Busy… but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
In demand producer, fully booked up DJ, live artist, record label head... what is the next step for Filthy Rich?
Doing much more of the same — keeping up my busy schedule! Hopefully my productions will be doing just as well if not better, and I will be travelling just as much as I am now. I am hoping my record label will also take off and get some good recognition. I’m looking forward to some crossover remixes as well such as some bands or electronic dance groups.
Many thanks for your time Rich!
For all things Filthy Rich, including samples of his latest productions and tour dates, click the following links:
For booking enquires please contact Sacha at Ideal DJs:
(+44) 0845 094 4791
Photos courtesy of getinpr, Filthy Rich and Ben Thomas. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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