To help us commemorate the release of The Noodleman's new "Dub Sauce" EP on Kolour LTD, we are pleased to bring you a special Kolour Blog exclusive interview with the man himself! The EP is out now on beautiful mint green vinyl and we hope you'll go out and pick it up.
He shares his thoughts on the new EP, the "Starlight" EP, Music, and much more. Enjoy!
You’re originally from Kazakhstan, when and why did you move to Toronto?
I moved to Toronto back in 2003 to reunite with my girlfriend (now my wife); her family moved to Canada in summer of 2003, I couldn't bear the loneliness (true story!) and I followed her.
As a music fan, I am always fascinated to find out about the music producers are really in to. What was some of the music and artists you connected with that got you into producing your own stuff?
I started producing just a year after I got into buying records and DJing, which was in 2004. My favorites at the time included Inland Knights (and the whole Drop Music catalog), Swirl People, Lawnchair Generals, Halo, Hipp-E, etc. Later I got interested in earlier house music (late 80’s early 90’s sound, Marshall Jefferson, Mr. Fingers, the Acid House movement, etc) which led me to discovery of the whole proto-house thing, underground disco, and boogie.
You seem like a big vinyl junkie, have you been collecting long and what kind of records do you typically pick up these days?
I have been collecting records since 2003, the same year I moved to Canada. Back in Kazakhstan we didn't have any record stores since USSR collapse, and although my parents had some records with popular pop songs and kids fables, I didn't really get into buying records until I moved to North America.
These days I buy about 90% of the records on the internet (Juno, Discogs, Decks, Ebay) and the rest comes from occasional dollar bin surfing session. I buy a lot of disco (both new and old), soul, funk, jazz, house, and boogie. Mostly groovy stuff, you know, records that make me smile :) I don't shop for mp3s or wavs, I find it utterly boring.
When you first starting producing tracks, was there one defining moment when you really realized this was something that you wanted to do rather than just having some fun experimenting?
This is very interesting and tricky question. When I started making tracks my goal was to actually finish at least one track. It's easy to get sucked into never ending noodling and experiments (I realized that as soon as I did a first sketch of a tune), my hard drive is still packed with sessions from 5 years ago that I will probably never even open again, let alone making complete tracks. I can't say that I had a moment like "yes, this is what I wanna do!", it's rather opposite: I said "Yes, I definitely want to have a go at making a track" and then I actually start trying to produce something.
There are some people who feel that certain songs are just too classic and shouldn’t get edited or remixed, what are your thoughts on this? Is there anything off limits or is everything up for a rework?
Well there are also people who think that eating meat is not cool. There are people who voted for Bush for god’s sake. So is it surprising that some people say that some tracks shouldn't be remixed or edited? Who are those people? Some kind of music police? Some kinda authority? I think that you can do whatever you want as long as the end result is meaningful and makes you happy.
Your remix of the classic "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now” from McFadden & Whitehead for the Philadelphia International album (on Harmless Records) was actually officially cleared by the band right? How did that come about?
I did that remix a couple of years back for strictly personal use and I posted a demo on soundcloud. For some reason it got really popular with lots of plays and likes (and demands to make it downloadable), so I wasn't surprised when some time later people from Harmless got in touch with me and they said they were going to release a compilation of Philadelphia International Re-Edits. And yes, all the tracks on that compilation were officially approved by Mr. Gamble and Mr. Huff!
The first EP you did for us was for the track “Starlight”, but the song originally appeared on Eddie C’s album “Parts Unknown” (on Endless Flight) as a Noodleman remix. Can you tell us about how that track came about and your connection with Eddie C?
Originally Starlight was supposed to come out on 12" and digital on one of the UK labels, featuring remixes by Eddie C and Cottam. Eddie did two remixes and Cottam came up with two as well. After about a year of uncertainty and confusion we thought that it's not going to come out at all. Eddie went ahead and included one of the remixes on his Endless Flight album.
Around the same time Eddie showed the original track to Justin from Kolour and Justin really loved it. That is where my relationship with Kolour Recordings started (Thanks Ed!) Me and Eddie started to chat over email and Facebook back when he was working on the remixes of Starlight, we didn't really know each other until then, although we both had tracks come out on one of the Toronto Labels. Later we met in person when Eddie was playing a gig in Toronto and all I can say is that Eddie is one of the coolest and chillest people that I know. I wish he still lived in Toronto :)
That EP was stacked pretty tall with diverse remixes from OOFT!, Eddie C, & Medlar…. Are you pretty comfortable having your songs remixed and what did you think of the remixes?
I love when other producers remix my tracks; it's always interesting to see how people can reinterpret a basic set of sounds. It's almost magic when you play remix for the first time and recognize elements of original used in a way that you didn't even think was possible. I love that. On that particular EP my favorite is OOFT!'s remix, followed by Eddie's rasta-dub, followed by Medlar's heavier version.
Your new “Dub Sauce” EP for us just came out this week, how did those songs come together? I hear our own Mike W. had a little bit to do with your take on the PM Dawn track?
Well almost all of the tunes on that EP were made for my personal use. I shared them with the Kolour boys and they loved them and decided press them on vinyl. I didn't actually make those tracks with intention to put out a record or to have a release. I was just having fun in the studio, making tunes that I would play out and nobody would have anything similar, you know, a DJ tool. While we were knee deep in preparing a release, Mike asked me if I could take a look at one of his all time favorites. I loved the track, it had really great atmosphere and that 90’s shine to it, so only a few hours later “PM Dawb” was born.
After some delay, the “Starlight” EP just recently saw its digital release. The “Dub Sauce” EP is vinyl only… how do you feel about these songs being exclusive to a vinyl only release?
I feel great about that! I don't care much about digital releases anyway, I wouldn't mind if all of my releases were on vinyl only.
Are you pleased with your tracks or do you always hear something in them that you want to touch up? What about the four songs on this EP?
It's a mixed feeling. In general I'm happy with how my tracks sound (the ones that I don't feel are good enough will never leave my studio, hehe :), but from the technical perspective there is always room for improvement and I can clearly hear some nasty stuff in my earlier tracks. So in other words, the most important thing for me is the vibration that track creates (in broad sense), and technical side of things is only second. For me it's much better to have a nice groove and shitty mix, as oppose to stellar mix of meaningless sounds.
What can we look forward to from The Noodleman?
Look forward for a bunch of new stuff coming out (both vinyl and digital); brand new Live show, and some international gigs!
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