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Thursday, Sep 27 2001 | 15:11
Mike Slocombe and Spencer Weekes are two busy Londoneers. With their Goya distribution they are looking after a whole bunch of labels that wear the "West London" batch. They are promoting one of the town's hottest sunday clubs, Co-Op and last but not least, these are the geezers behind behind People, the label that co-started the whole Broken Beats movement. With two new albums under their belts “ "Footsteps" , the 3rd volume of the People Make The World Go Round series and SK Radicals's "When Will We Belong" “ it was about time for a little interview.

How's life in West London in these days ;-) ?

"Well today it's raining and I would rather be in Spain.....but other than that it's OK."

The Broken Beats/Whatever-network is really worldwide now. When you look at the amount of DJs who big up themselves with their charts & review mailing lists every week alone, you know that this music has dedicated followers all over Europe and the USA. But when you speak to the same people about their local scenes they often tell you that they work hard to make the music happen in their clubs or get coverage in magazines. How is it for you in London ?

"I think that it is probably as difficult for us as anywhere else.We found initially that although we deal with a variety of black musical styles most of them are not necessarily peaktime floor fillers and at first a lot of DJ's found it difficult to incorperate it into their sets. However, with the start of the Co-Op night which was dedicated to playing just these newer styles alone, I think it started to make a lot more sense to people who were not necessarilly feeling it before.Also, as you mentioned, there now seems to be more clubs worldwide doing similar things. It will be hard to get new nights to build, but then again it always was.
Once these scenes develop, they won't go away they will hopefully grow and mutate and continue.
You can already notice different areas and countries developing their own styles, flavours and variations on a theme which can only be a good thing.One of the good things about about the music, it that it defies one style of discription as it involes so many different flavours and as much as we're not crazy about the West london tag at least it's not just one style of music."

Tell us a bit about your Co-Op night at the Velvet Rooms (pic.- r). Who played there recently, what are the big tunes of the moment, in what direction is the music heading, what is the crowd like, how much is a pint ?

"The recent guests have been DJ Mochizuki (spelling???) Bugs in The Attic, Enricco from Neroli /Archive and this weeks guest is Ian O'Brien. The club only runs twice a month on a Sunday night which i think helps make it a little more special and it also brings out the real headz (as i'm pretty sure that Sundays are not the best night to get people out worlwide)
It started quite slowly but built up a good nucleus of regulars who are pretty much there all the time and they know what they like and voice their appreciation loudly when they hear something that moves them.This is not only the faster 'Broken' things but also mid tempo funky things and dubplate/ CD pressure.
Some of the big tracks over the past couple of months include Afronaught feat Titla - Work It, Da One Away - Trash Da Junk, Quango - Let Groove Come, Erro - Don't Change (I know not newbut still...) 4 Hero - Hold it Down, Domu - Space Monkeyz, Da One Away - CO-Op Thing and Pavel Kostick.. - This Ain't No Tom & Gerry.
The resident DJ's are I.G. Culture Dego and Demus but the direction of music shifts and changes with all the all the rotation dj's that include Marc Mac, Domu, Alex Attias, Seiji, Mike Slocombe, Modaji, Spencer Weekes et all...
The music continues to be diverse.
Oh ...a bottle of Stella's £3.00 which is ok if you don't drink!!!"

What role plays Goya for the scene “ you're running your own labels Peolpe and Main Squeeze and you're distributing others like Visions, Archive and Bitasweet. But I assume you don't see yourself just as a distributor.

"Goya has evolved quite naturally as we'd been working alongside many of the people you mentioned for some time and although everyone is working on their own projects and have their own different agendas it's helped to develop a lot of projects as we're all still growing and learning.
Do we see ourselves as more than just a disributor?.........Yes, we're also a drop in centre for bored DJ's in daylight hours. At least it keeps them off the streets:)"

What was the idea behind "Footsteps “ People Make The World Go Round Vol.3" (other than that it was time for the next chapter) ? Is it just me or is the selection a little more discofied than on the previous volumes ?

"Well a lot of the tracks had been licensed for singles (maybe thats why it sounds a little more dancefloor!!? or maybe that was just how we were feeling that week).. but things slowed up pressing wise during the summer with one of the main pressing plants closing down causing a massive backlouge in the UK. We don't like to sign up tracks and just put them on the shelf if we can help it, so it seemed the sensible thing to do. It's also good to put out an album of mainly fresh unreleased music."

I heard different opinions on the SK Radicals album so far. Some people really dig their more band-like approach and appreciate the live element. Others have dubbed it acid jazz for 2001. Any comments ?

"The Idea being that every project is individual. We put out a lot of DJ / studio based productions and the SK Radicals are a live Jazz / Funk band who want to play live and tour. Whilst I think some of the new songs Sean Khan is currently writing have been slightly influenced by some of the music he's heard here or at Co-Op, it's not our policy to try and rubberstamp the music into a People or Mainsqueeze sound. We believe in trying to let artists grow and learn and develop if possible rather than drop them after their first single or album release like so many majors tend to do these days.
Music is all about difference and there is room for everything as you will hopefully see as we release other artist albums.
As an Independant this takes time, we're not financed by anybody other than ourselves .
Already the Numbers album on Mainsqueeze is on quite a different tangent."

What other releases do you have in the pipeline ?

"For Mainsqueeze we have a Murky Waters album, about 17 tracks demo'd and at various stages of production for Eska's album that I.G.'s producing which is sounding stunning. As well as Family Planning part 2 and a Mainsqueeze "Rinse # 1" album coming shortly. With People, we're still waiting for I.G. to find time to finish his Likwid Biskit album and a Fini Dolo album is in the pipeline."

What do you think about the new 4 Hero album ?

"Excellent and a step forward from the "Two Pages" album"

Any shout outs ?

"Love To The World"

Words & interview: Oliver/Olski von Felbert
Photos Spencer & Mike: Lucia P; People at Co-Op (r.): courtsey of Face
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