Filed under: Interview
A lot of his fans probably don’t know it but Tim Deluxe was actually half the brains behind speed garage stormer ‘R.I.P. Groove’ all those years back in ’97. Since then he was also heavily involved with underground house label Cross Section Records and as we all know released multiple tracks through Darren Emerson’s Underwater Records including his most famous ‘It Just Won’t Do’ featuring vocals by Sam Obernik.
This track brought Tim worldwide fame but of course came along with the usual criticism of any commercially successfully track. But this ginger kid who has definitely grown up takes it all in his stride explaining, “you’ve just got to get on with it. I don’t really pay too much attention”.
As Mr. Deluxe confesses his latest album “Ego Death” is a more grown up affair than his previous outing “The Little Ginger Kid Club” as both the difference in titles and content suggest. This shift in direction has been welcomed by some of the biggest DJs with the limited release off the album ‘Espoo’s Rose’ being spotted in the record crates of both Sasha and Laurent Garnier, something that Tim admits is a pleasant surprise.
Tim was kind enough to sit down with us over lunch to chat about his new album, past releases and even his new label AT Records.
Interview & Introducion : Nick Lawrence (HigherFrequency)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : First of all thank you.
Tim Deluxe : Yeah, no worries. It’s all good.
HRFQ : We wanted to ask you about your new album because it is coming out very soon.
Tim Deluxe : Yeah, September.
HRFQ : It’s called “Ego Death”. Any particular reason for the name?
Tim Deluxe : The reason the name came about was because I found it on the internet. I thought, “Wow, what’s that?” and I started doing some research into the whole thing. And it sounded like how I feel so I decided to go with that. It is quite a deep subject ego death but there are just a lot of ties with a couple of things that have happened over the past few years, how I feel and stuff. It’s not meant to be a sad or morbid thing at all, it’s more about freedom and enlightenment. It’s just that kind of vibe. Part of me was fighting with myself when I started to write this new album, probably the ego side of me. Everything I was doing in the early days I would listen to, I’d just get grooves down and then comeback and think it was rubbish, crap, not good enough and that it wasn’t going to sell. Just coming out with a really wrong energy. So I decided fuck that, that’s not what it’s about.
HRFQ : So, is it just the title that is personal or also the music itself?
Tim Deluxe : Yeah, the music is too. I suppose it is more a mature album is an easy way of putting it. Not as fun and not so…
HRFQ : Not the ginger kid this time?
Tim Deluxe : Exactly, he’s grown up. I guess that is the roots of it in a nutshell. It is still pretty melodic. There are still loads of hooks on there but the types of melodies that are on there are slightly different. A bit deeper maybe.
HRFQ : You’ve released the first single off the album, ‘Espoo’s Rose’.
Tim Deluxe : Well it’s not really the first single, it is more just a little teaser.
HRFQ : Yeah, because there were only 750 copies so we wanted to ask you about that.
Tim Deluxe : Basically because it is an album track and I guess it is never going to be a single. So it was just a little tease. It is quite clubby as well and I thought…Because I’d been playing it out and getting such a good reaction, and I really wanted to get this out. So I decided that while I was finishing up the album we’d press it up, 750 copies, single sided and every copy was numbered. That’s it, we just whacked them up. We did 500 in the UK and around the rest of Europe then 250 in Japan. So it is really really limited. I’ve been really chuffed with the support from people who probably wouldn’t have played my music before. Like Laurent Garnier has been playing it, Sasha, Nic Fanciulli and loads of different of guys. Someone like Laurent Garnier, I don’t think he would ever have played one of my other records so for him to play it was cool you know.
HRFQ : It has a deeper techier sound and ‘I Don’t Care’ does as well. Is it because you’ve been hanging out in clubs more?
Tim Deluxe : No, I have actually been hanging out in clubs less. During the album I actually cut my DJing right down to just do maybe two or three shows a month. Some months I didn’t even work just so I could get things done on the album. Where it has come from I guess is getting inspired again by club music by going record shopping. I have been going record shopping again which is something I didn’t do for a while because I became really uninspired. Maybe a bit toured out, a bit too much stuff going on around the last album. I didn’t have a break really and I tried to go straight into the next album. It wasn’t working, I was uninspired and all of the house music started sounding the same. I needed some time out so I started going record shopping and that’s where I was finding records that I really liked. And all the records that I really like were kind of more edgy, more underground and maybe a little bit more left of centre.
HRFQ : What about the rest of the album? Last time you told us there would be a more “bandy” feel to the album. Is that still the way it is?
Tim Deluxe : I was kind of doing that vibe last year but nah that got scrapped. That got scrapped because what happened there was I ended up doing them and they sounded good but the problem was it ended up more of a production than me as an artist. So I couldn’t play any of the tracks out. I was making all these tracks and I couldn’t play them out. But ‘I Don’t Care’ and ‘U Got Tha Touch’ were originally coming from those sessions,. They were the only two that stuck with it and made it and ‘Blotter’ as well actually. ‘D.O.A.’ is guitar based but that is more electronic than it is “bandy”.
HRFQ : So a bit of a shift.
Tim Deluxe : Yeah, a bit of a shift. It was a good learning curve and there definitely are links to that but it isn’t as heavily on that tip as it was when I was talking to you at this stage last year.
HRFQ : Another thing you’ve been working on recently is AT Records. Why did you decide to start up your own record label, or another one anyway?
Tim Deluxe : Another one, yeah. Basically the situation with Underwater changed and I had obviously finished the last album. We’d released all the singles and the album was coming to a sort of close in terms of releases. Things had changed back stage with the three people running it, Darren, Amy and Gary so it just felt like a good time to do my own thing. So I sat down with Darren and explained it to him. He was a bit disappointed but he’s a friend and he was cool and realized I had to do my own thing. It was such a good vibe we had going on that I kind of do miss it. There was a much bigger team of people because with AT it is just me and Andy. Just two people so it is a lot harder. We can’t get music out as regularly as we’d like to. We are getting there though, it’s cool.
HRFQ : Will all your releases be on AT Records now?
Tim Deluxe : Yeah. Well for the album in the UK we are going to find some help but for the 12 inches and stuff we’ll keep putting the stuff out. We’ve got a few new tracks coming out. Double 99 ‘RIP Groove’ is coming back again and Eric Prydz as Cirez D has done a mix on that. We’ve got a new track from Talvin Singh, Carl Cox has done a mix on that with a more techy vibe. Just lots of little bits and pieces. I’d love to be able to release something every four to six weeks but it is so much time and energy which at the moment I just don’t have, because obviously I am working on the album.
HRFQ : The ‘RIP Groove’ track was quite a few years ago now.
Tim Deluxe : Nearly ten, that’s why we are bringing it back.
HRFQ : You’ve had a shift of sound since then and another one since then. Obviously you’ve gained a lot of fans but have you lost some fans as well?
Tim Deluxe : I’m sure I have, yeah. Definitely yeah. That’s how it is isn’t it. One door closes and another one opens. I think the most important thing is for me to be happy and then everything else after that will follow, it will come naturally. If I’m not happy then it is not going to be the right energy and right vibe to attract the right kind of people who are really into it. It is better for you to express yourself how you want to and then you’ll attract like minded people or fans.
HRFQ : You can’t keep everybody happy.
Tim Deluxe : Nah you can’t. ‘It Just Won’t Do’ to someone was an amazing record, they loved it and played it to death. To another DJ it was a piece of cheesy shit. That’s the way it is always going to be. You are always going to get the two opinions. Cheesy to one person, up it’s own arse to another person. That’s why you’ve just got to get on with it. I don’t really pay too much attention. I got slated a bit around the ‘It Just Won’t Do’ period for being very commercial and mainstream, put in that bracket. Whatever, check my history. I don’t really care. Sometimes as well when you change styles, especially in dance music because it is so purist, people can’t really comprehend that you were doing underground tracks on an underground house label like Cross Section Records, like I was back in 1995, and then doing speed garage and then doing Latin vocal records. I think sometimes people find it hard to comprehend and therefore just dismiss it. Personally I think it shows that you can produce different styles of music.
HRFQ : Now you have a lot more fans are you finding it harder to produce?
Tim Deluxe : No it’s not harder to produce because I actually know more now and I can do things a lot faster.
HRFQ : You aren’t learning so much anymore?
Tim Deluxe : Well I’m still learning but not at the same rate as I was. I guess what it is…It’s hard to define actually. Overtime things do become easier to do but there is that pressure there. What is pressure though? Who is putting pressure on you? It is your ego. Really you should be going into the studio and doing what you want. That’s what I did in the end, I went in and said, “Fuck it!!”. So what if the music is deeper, or more techy, or a little bit more for the head rather than so lighthearted and fun. It’s about being honest. I was just reading loads of books like one from Bob Dylan where he was saying that it’s just about being honest. He talks about how sometimes if you want to be a true artist you just have to express how you feel. You think it might be a bit painful or whatever but that’s what it’s all about. It’s about being honest and showing people how you feel. If you are talking to someone you can suss out quite quickly if they are bullshitting or not and I suppose it is the same with music. When you listen to something, if it doesn’t have that honesty about it maybe it won’t click as well as other tracks.
HRFQ : Well, thank you very much for talking to us.
Tim Deluxe : No worries.
End of the interview
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