Firstly, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us! You’ve been on our wish list for a long time, so couldn’t be happier that you’ll be joining our 5th birthday lineup. We have to start by talking about your latest release. Tell us about M-Twelve, how did the collaboration come about and is this the first of many?
M-Twelve is the new project I’m working on with Nick Dunton from the 65d Mavericks/Surface records. We’ve just released our debut ep, Apocalypse in Paradise, on Electrix records which has had a great response. We’ve been working together for nearly a year now and have quite a few tracks – both Techno & Electro – that are 80/90% finished. We’ve also got a few exciting remixes in the works for Mr Velcro Fastener & London Modular Alliance..So yes, I’m pleased to say there will be much more to come from M-Twelve.
You’re still firmly at the forefront of the scene, but what new artists that are breaking through today do you feel are pushing the right boundaries?
At the moment on a techno tip I’m a huge fan of artists like Ryan James Ford, Randomer & Dax J and with Electro I’m really liking releases from Privacy & Reedale Rise.
It’s good to see new artists keeping things moving forward with their own unique sound, The scene needs to move on to stay relevant. Saying that It’s also great to see artists like The Advent, Anthony Rother, Carl Finlow, Ben Sims, James Ruskin & Surgeon still leading the way & still bang on form and as cutting edge as ever.
We can chart your musical journey through both time and your vast experience – from DJing, producing, throwing parties and everything else…Have you felt a big change in terms of what you’re hearing and playing on dancefloors in that time?
Yes & no really as obviously Techno & Electro keep evolving as they are both forward thinking musical genres, but I’d also like to think the same rules have always applied as I’ve always looked for the same things in records really. Like does it sound new, mixable, does it possess a strong groove, heavy bass and a powerful sonic structure which would make it stand out in the club & on the dance-floor when it’s dropped.
Electro is getting a lot of attention in the music press recently, do you see it as a positive thing that more people will get into it? Or do you worry it’ll get diluted by being more mainstream?
I’ve always loved Electro and started Electrix records in 2000 there was a buzz on it even back then, but it suffered due to its association with the Electro-Clash fad. Since then me and all my Electro loving friends kept saying ‘next year’s gonna be big for Electro’ and finally…18 years later… we were right!
Helena Hauff recently finished her Dekmental Boiler Room set with one of Umek’s Zeta Reticula tracks from the 2EP and it was great to see people freaking out on each other’s shoulders & the online chat/feedback from a younger generation marvelling at what an incredible track it is. Which is even more of an achievement for Zeta & Electrix considering both are now 18 years old
Between the labels, DJing and producing we imagine you can’t have much free time left – but are there other hobbies you like to indulge in? And we’d be interested to know if you feel these influence or act as an escape from your music?
Your right in thinking that there’s not much spare time. Especially as 3 years ago I also opened The Vinyl Curtain – my online record store. Like most things in my life, it’s all music based so luckily my main interest go hand in hand. Any spare time is spent watching movies/football & going out for dinner. I’m an Arsenal fan and Lady B (my girlfriend) is a Man utd supporter so we often clash! last time I played in Manchester we went to see Salford City FC as she’s a huge fan of Scholes, Giggs & the Nevilles. Who said romance is dead? 😀
Finally, we always ask – what can the Manchester crowd expect from you on March 2nd?
I’ll be bringing 2 record bags this week (Electro & Techno) and playing the best of both. I always like to open the bags read the crowd and go with what I feel on the night as opposed to planning sets. I also have TP’s of the next Electrix release by Silicon Scally which has 8 trax of super chemically friendly Acid drenched Electro which I’ve been road testing over the last few weeks to devastating effect..So I’ll be dropping a few of those for sure. I’ve been looking forward to this night since the start of the year.. I can’t wait to celebrate Meat Free’s 5th Birthday with you all.
Catch Billy playing alongside Ben Sims, Alienata, Alex Downey, Tasha and Meat Free residents on Friday 2nd March at Salford’s White Hotel – last few tickets here!