Mind melting house music from the secretsundaze dons.
Into their 14th year of parties now under the secretsundaze banner, Giles Smith and James Priestley are two of London’s consummate authorities on house and techno, and in addition to their never ending string of sold out parties in the UK and across Europe, their DJ sets, record label’s and artist agency are among the very best in the business. Smith and Priestley are in Australia over the next two weekends, and have made the time to re-create some of the secretsundaze magic for us in the form of our 131st podcast.
Hey guys what have you been up to?
Pretty busy on all fronts really. secretsundaze as a label should be getting back on it with forthcoming 12’s from DJ Qu and Wbeeza. We have just started a new sister label for secretsundaze called SZE. Gig wise we both took time off in January but over the last few weeks we have had been out on the road in Berlin for our residency at Tresor, Bob Beaman in Munich and Badaboum in Paris this last weekend. We’re looking forward to our annual Japan tour in just over a week where we have been playing for 6 years or so before coming to Australia for the first time of course at the end of the month.
Party wise in the UK we are continually planing future events and currently do about 8 a year. Our next few parties on Easter Thursday and the bank holiday party on May 3rd have the likes of DJ Qu, Joey Anderson, Sterac aka Steve Rachmad, Pev and Kowton (Livity Sound), Fred P, Mosca, Virginia and Linkwood all playing.
We have also finally been back in the studio after a long time….so hopefully some forthcoming secretsundaze material in late 2015.
I know you’ve been running your legendary Sunday party secretsundaze for around 13 years now, which is some achievement! Has the philosophy been to try and keep things changing enough each year to continue to make it interesting, or is it more of a case of following a winning formula that has proven to work over the years?
Yes this year is the 14th year / season! We actually do a number of sunday parties across the year but also do just as many special events on Easter Thursday, Halloween and new years day etc. We would say its a balance between tried and tested formulae and evolution. This is very much evident from the line ups. The roots of secretsundaze is off course deep house with lots of soul be that from Detroit, Chicago, Germany or the UK but we are always excited by new music if it moves us. The Livity Sound guys are a good example of that – their music is more broken but it still oozes soul with lots of atmosphere so we join the dots so to speak in our heads. So yes there is always a development of the sound whilst retaining and respecting the roots of where we come from. Things need to move forward to keep our interest.
The Secretsundaze label continued to play a nice supporting role for the parties and affiliated artists last year, and I read that you guys were in the process of starting another sister label to focus on more experimental records, can you tell us any more about that?
We just launched a new sister label for secretsundaze called SZE with a release from BLM (out yesterday) and have follow ups from Lo Shea and Endian. The main purpose of the label is put out the stuff that we like that doesn’t fit with secretsundaze’s aesthetic. secretsundaze is quite refined and fairly specific whereas SZE could be anything from breakbeat, techno to electronica or ambient. Just more open basically.
Where are you guys both at with your own production at the moment, do either of you have plans in the works to release new material this year, or are there any new collaborations on the cards?
We have both worked separately in the past – Giles was of course doing the Two Armadillos project with Martin Dawson for many years until Martin sadly passed away just over 2 years ago and James had a number of releases under his belt with different studio partners (the last being Marco Antonio). Finally we have decided it might be a good idea to get some music done together and have been in the studio a bit already this year. 2015 should see the first secretsundaze productions so watch this space.
What have you come up with for this mix? I know its not too often that you record a mix together – is that how it turned out in the end?
We just got together and pooled some records that we thought it would be nice to put on the mix. Its definitely representative of the way we DJ with some deeper more introspective stuff at the beginning and some more peak timey stuff in the middle and then getting a little more atmospheric at the end. It was done live in one take. Its a little bit rough and ready but hopefully your listeners will dig it.
What do you both have coming up next?
More of the same really. Active on both secretsundaze and SZE labels. Post Japan and Australia we have gigs confirmed in Rome, London, Berlin, Offenbach at Robert Johnson (one of our favourite clubs in the world) and a US tour taking in NYC, DC and Miami.
Jonny Nash – Phantom Actors (Melody As Truth)
Unknown artist – FF009 (ODE)
MGUN – Debit (FIT)
Melchior Productions – Zukunft In English – (Playhouse)
Lawrence – Marlen (Carsten Jost & DJ Richard remix) (Dial)
Funk E – Youniverse (Raum)
Kai Alce – Rockin K -Tel (Finale Underground)
Mike Denhert – Deep Route (Deeply Rooted)
Jitterbug – Jus Drums (Uzuri)
Endian – Finish Me (Unreleased SZE)
DJ Qu – SS1 (Unreleased secretsundaze)
Wbeeza – Creek (Arma 17)
Mike Grant – Hypnotize (Moods n Grooves)
Lazare Hoche & Malin Genie – Formes (Lazare Hoche)
Rocket – People (Chicken Lips remix) (NRK)
Fred P – Project 05 (Ostgut Ton)