A few weeks ago, we wrote a review of Laurence Guy’s mindbowing « Kojack EP » on London based label Church. Since he moved to London and for more than 10 years, Laurence Guy has been making his way as a DJ and producer. Moved by the need and desire to create genuine house music with a style he could call his own, he takes his influences from soul to funk, from old house to hip-hop. It didn’t take a long for him to be noticed and acknowledged by the London scene and eventually he made records for great labels such as The House of Disco, Purp & Soul, and recently for Church.
With the occasion of the release of this Mixed By he kindly did for us, we had the chance to ask him a few questions. Enjoy the read while listening to this stunning Mixed By he cooked for your pleasure.
1. Tatsuro Yamashita – Nightwing
2. Madlib – Later That Night
3. Deigo & Kadi – Black Is Key
4. Henry Wu – Don’t Wan The Regular
5. Slum Village – 2 u 4 u
6. Legalize Lambada – Pedra Fala!
7. Blaze – Wishing U Were Here
8. Blaze – Moonwalk
9. Backintyme – Don’t Stop, Keep On
10. Solid Groove – Missing
11. Backintyme – Come Get It
12. Da Posse – Searchin’ Hard (Mike Dunn AC Mix)
13. Tate’s Place – Burnin’ (Jazzanova Remix)
14. Directions – Deep Talkin’
We can read this in your bio : « Laurence was raised by strippers in the dressing room of a Chicago lapdancing club with only a stack of Prince records for company ». That’s a pretty uncommon background. Could you tell us a bit more about it ?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you….
What gave you the impulse to become a DJ? To start producing?
I started DJing pretty young, I’ve always been a bit of a geek about things, especially music. I love sharing music with people and trying to introduce my friends to artists I think they’d like. DJ’ing is kind of an extension of that for me. The production started shortly after and, again, just seemed like a natural thing to do. I also though these hobbies would make me irresistible to women…
Is Prince still one of your main influences when your produce music? What are your other sources of inspiration aside from him?
Prince is definitely a massive influence for me, he’s been killing it for a long long time. In terms of house music, my main influences are artists like Pepe Bradock, Session Victim, Soundstream, the list could go on for a while! I’m also pretty big into the old French filter stuff, Roule Records etc. Outside of house music, I take a lot of influences from hip hop, I used to be heavily into skateboarding, so took a lot of musical cues from skate videos, which tended to be hip-hop orientated!
Could you tell us more about your recording and producing process? What is your studio setup (hardware/software)?
I use a fairly basic set up, a laptop running Logic, a midi keyboard etc. I’ve usually got some borrowed bits of hardware on the go, at the moment I’m using my housemates MS20 and I’ve just bought a Korg Poly 61. I use a lot of samples also, as you can probably tell! In terms of the process, it’s usually a case of finding an inspiring sample, chopping it, creating a hook or melody and then building everything around that.
We had a blast listening to the Kojack EP. How did you come up with such an EP? What did you have in mind when you composed and recorded it?
Thanks! I don’t know that I had anything particular in mind when I wrote those tracks. I had just got a new laptop and had spent a couple of weeks binge sampling, so I had a lot of inspiration/material to work with. This led to the E.P coming together abnormally quickly for me, which was nice.
Still about Kojack EP. How did the hook up with Church happen?
We had a mutual friend in Ben Pearce, so I asked him very nicely if he would pass some music on to the Church guys. Luckily for me, they signed the tracks pretty quickly and the rest is history!
Can you tell us what’s your last musical ‘crush’?
My last musical crush has definitely got to be Mac Demarco! My housemate introduced me to his music after seeing him by chance at Field Day. He makes great music and he comes across as a really funny guy, maybe the crush isn’t just musical…
The opening of your Mixed by is quite atypic but brilliant. Where do you find that kind of tracks ?
I’m constantly searching for new and interesting music, It’s just something I’ve always done. A lot of it is in record shops, but probably an equal amount just on youtube, there’s also some amazing blogs out there. I think it’s nice to have some curveballs in a mix.
Lastly: What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m trying to finish up the next E.P. Not sure where/when it will be released at the moment. I’m definitely doing a follow up on Church early next year. I’ve also got a couple of tracks coming out on some great VA’s. One on Outplay and another on Dirt Crew.
Thank you so much for your time.
Interview par: Mathieu Mérard