Our first proper podcast on the new Bodytonic and we've got an absolute cracker for you from Charles Webster.
Charles is a favourite of ours here at BTHQ, and we've been incredibly lucky to rope the man into doing an eclectic set exclusively for us. There's Dusty Springfield, there's Prince and there's Aphex Twin, but most importantly, we think it's a great listen.
Not only that but we got some time to speak to the man himself, and asked him a few random questions. Here's what he had to say...
BT - 3 things you love about Japan?
CW - The people, the culture, Keroro Gunso.
BT - What kind of stuff is on your forthcoming Defected compilation? Did you have fun compiling it and did you get most of the stuff on it that you wanted?
CW - I had fun compiling it but it was quite tricky to narrow the selection down as I have so many favourites. One of the CD's is a kind of 'Back to Mine' type selection, I got most of my favourites on there; Kate Bush, Brian Eno, Tom Waits, Patti smith etc. We couldn't get Joni Mitchell or Robert Wyatt though, that was a bit disappointing. One of the other disks is a club mix, with some of my tracks on it and some of my favourite club tracks; Moodymann, KOT, Murk etc. I really wanted a Romanthony track on it but he let us down right at the last minute. The last disk is all my stuff, kind of a 'Best of Volume 1', lots of new tracks and some re-visits of some old tracks like Better Day, Cafe de Florre, UBQ Project, etc.
BT - Name one country album that everyone should hear.
CW - One Fair Summer Evening by Nanci Griffith
BT - Why have you used so many aliases in the past for your releases?
CW - Aliases give me the chance to inhabit different personalities. It's fun to take on new guises and express your different sides; some would probably call it schizophrenia though.
BT - You've been in the industry a long time - What do you think of the current house scene?
CW - There is always good music if you dig deep, I constantly discover new and exciting tracks and producers, also there are always lot's of copyists...I am getting more than slightly bored of all this techy house at the moment, like any 'new sound' it quickly becomes old if it doesn't develop.
BT - Some people say that it's a bad time for the record industry right now in that smaller independent record shops and record label will find it increasingly difficult to survive, do you agree?
CW - Yes, it is a tough time, the internet has been a double edged sword for the music industry and musicians.
BT - What are your top 3 labels?
CW - My all time favourite labels are Prescription, Blackwiz and Serious Grooves. Current labels are Philpot, KDJ and MISO!
BT - Can you remember your first gig? Where was it? How old were you?
CW - My first DJ gig was at the Garage in Nottingham in, ooh 1985, I think. My first live gig I saw was The Clash, The Slits and Subway Sect in Derby. The first live gig I played was in Sheffield in, hmmm 1979 I think! Just a lil' school kid with a synth!
BT - What was the funniest moment you have had whilst DJing?
CW - Someone stealing a record right off the turntable! Not funny at the time, but ridiculous all the same.
BT - You've been to clubs all over the world, what kind of Clubs do you like spinning in? Does it matter ?
CW - It's all about the crowd really, a good sound system helps though.
BT - Would you remix Madonna if you were approached?
CW - If it was a good song for once, yes.
BT - Are you in any way political like your friend Matthew Herbert?
CW - Very much so.
BT - You're obviously very happy with your lot in life, but if you weren't involved in the music industry, what do you think you would have ended up doing?
CW - racing driver.
BT - What was the first ever track you made?
CW - some instrumental stuff with my little Roland drum machine, an echo bow, a wasp synth and a cassette recorder, recorded in my bedroom.
BT - What's your favourite self-made production?
CW - The new music I am working on for my next album.
BT - Logic or Ableton ?
CW - Both are great for different uses. I use Logic in the studio though.
BT - You are more known as a globe-trotting DJ than having any particular residency as such. Do you prefer it that way or would you like to have something on a regular basis that allowed you do anything you wanted? How did your summer residency go in Cielo in the summer of 2006 for example?
CW - Cielo was really good, it is nice sometimes to see familiar faces every week in a club and they get used to your sound, but I do prefer seeing new places every week, it's more of a challenge and you get some nice surprises too.
BT - Your Presence project has been incognito for a while now, what have you got planned for that and are you looking at touring it again? CW - Working on a new track at the moment, it will be ready when it's ready, no point rushing these things, eh?
BT - And how did you find life on the road as part of a band compared to being a DJ?
CW - I really enjoyed playing live with the band, as a musician it is the best experience you can have playing with great singers and other musicians.
BT - How did you get started in house music? What clubs/people/labels/radio shows were influential for you?
CW - I suppose the first time I heard house music was at the Garage club in Nottingham, it was open before house music appeared so it just kind of evolved out of all the electro, soul and funk being played down there. The main man there at the beginning was Graham Park. We had a good run of clubs in Nottingham back then; the Garage, Venus etc.
BT - Do you play any sports in your off time?
CW - I used to play football, I retired, it's too dangerous, too many injuries. My sports as a child were rugby and tennis, still play tennis when I can.
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Enjoy the podcast, and don't forget to leave a comment to let us know what you thought of it!
Charles Webster and Robert Owens - Blown Away
Ying the Trap - Gator Soundtrack
Aphex Twin - Alberto Balsam
Paul Lewis - Waiting For Nina
Dusty Springfield - Just A Little Loving
Prince - Somewhere Here On Earth
E - The Hot - To The Place
Chocolate Milk - Action Speak Louder Than Words
Natalie Merchant - After The Goldrush (Live)
Joni Mitchell - Shadows And Light
Maurice Fulton - Track 2
Furry Phreaks with Terra Deva - All Over The World
UBQ Project - When I Fell In Love
Version - The Brighter Side