This week we have one of my favorites joining us, Rich Wakley. If you have set foot on a dance floor in the last decade, especially the last 5 years, the chances are astronomical you have shook your ass to one or more of his tunes. Ranging in style from House to Tech House to Techno and places in between, Wakley’s style can not be contained. Touching on our soul with classic vocal samples and infectious grooves, his music has only one purpose and that is to make you lose your mind and dance yourself silly. His productions can be found across many of the best labels in the world today such as Suara, Off, Lapsus, Lost and so many more. Sit back (actually you wont be sitting for long) and enjoy this one and check this weeks full track list and interview conducted this week by PZB.
PZB: Hi Rich! We really appreciate you joining our series and finding some time to record this mix. We have been long time fans of your music here at LAMP and are excited to share your mix with our audience. What have you queued up for our listeners this week?
Rich Wakley: Really appreciate you inviting me on! I’ve gone for a peak time tech house set straight from my crate: plenty of promos and exclusives as well as a couple of my own releases for good measure. Turn it up!
PZB: One thing that has always been impressive to me is your output of music. It seems like I can’t go more than a few weeks before I see a new Rich Wakley release. What motivates you to get into the studio and hammer out beats the way you do?
RW: I find being creative isn’t always easy so you have to take advantage of the times that you are in the groove and the productions are flowing. I try to control my musical output as much as possible but sometimes it’s the label who will decide on release dates which may mean you are releasing a little quicker than needed. That said I think in the current digital climate unfortunately our music is very throw-away, which means labels are releasing much more regularly than they used which has a knock on effect as an artist. You have to keep releasing to stay prolific and fresh in peoples’ minds. Finding a balance is key. It has to be a combination of the right music and the right label to maximise the success of each release.
PZB: I came across your recent release the Underdog EP for SOUP Records. Congrats on that it is a solid release. I recently was told about the label and have been loving all of their releases. There are some solid remixer credits as well with Skapes, Zenbi, and Joeski. I would love to hear more about how that EP came together and if you have any more releases to look forward from that label in the future.
RW: Zenbi is a really close friend of mine: we go way back so the release came about naturally. I’m a fan of the label and love what the SOUP crew deliver, so I was stoked to put a release together for them. When it came to discussing remixers I knew my boy Skapes would do the business and of course Joeski was an awesome touch to complete the package. I’m super happy with the results and glad you are digging it! Nothing else in the pipeline as yet but hopefully next time I am stateside I will be able to join them for a party.
PZB: While SOUP is one of the more recent releases you have presented there is no shortage of Rich Wakley material out there. Your tracks have been released by some of the biggest labels in dance music. Including Avotre, Sola, Suara, Roush, Off and many, many more. I feel like I could go on for days. What have been some of your favorite labels to work with over the years and is there a label out there that has been on your radar that you have yet to release on?
RW: I love to work with like-minded, genuine, humble people who are in the industry for the right reasons. Getting an honest answer from a label is one of the hardest things to achieve. It’s obviously very hard to work with people who can’t even reply to an email. Avotre, Sola and Roush have all been amazing to work with. A few of my targets for the future are Truesoul, Desolat and ViVa.
PZB: You have been at this for well over a decade now. Tell us a little bit more about your musical background and what pushed you into the full time game of being a producer and DJ?
RW: To be honest I don’t really think I ever made a conscious decision to pursue a career in DJing. My entrance into music and clubbing came during my college days when I used to be a regular at nights like Gatecrasher, Godskitchen and Passion. Obviously this was a time when the music was euphoric and uplifting and the atmospheres at the clubs were very special. This is when I fell in love with music and it wasn’t long before I bought my first vinyl and shortly after a pair of decks. I learned to mix on vinyl and always came from a DJ background as opposed to a producer background, and although the industry has changed so much over the last twenty years my passion for making music and being behind the decks will never change.
PZB: With all this music your putting out I would imagine you have your own studio or place to bust out all of these tunes. What is your studio set up like and what are some of your go to pieces of Hardware and software VST if you don’t mind sharing.
RW: Ableton 10 is my DAW of choice. I use mainly software plus occasionally my Roland TR8 Drum Machine. My basslines almost always comes from Rob Papen’s Sub Boom Bass or U-He’s Diva. Hive, RePro and Ace are also regulars in most of my projects for other leads, hooks and effects. I also love the full SoundToys 5 pack for delay and reverb as well as IK Multimedia’s T-Racks bundle.
PZB: Piggybacking off that I would love to try to get inside your brain for a minute and get an idea of the thought process you go through when sitting down to lay down a new beat.
RW: This really depends on my mood. Sometimes I will go in the studio with an idea, some kind of theme or direction that I already have straight in my head. But other times I love to just go in and jam and be spontaneous, lay down a groove and just roll with it. Sometimes evolving the track naturally and keeping it simple, rather than trying to force things can lead to a better result, and can also feel more rewarding. Above all you have to find out for yourself what works best for you.
PZB: To be constantly making art is a difficult and taxing endeavor. When you’re stuck and cannot seem to get out of a creative rut, what do you do to get inspired?
RW: Take a break, listen to other music and especially take the time to listen to other artists who inspire you. This isn’t always easy but if you can find the time then it’s super-rewarding. Sample digging is also one of my favourite ways to get out of a creative rut. Searching through old music and finding some original sounds can really help to add a direction to a project that you might be stuck on. One thing to always remember as well is that your ears need to rest!
PZB: What is your favorite thing to listen to when you want to get away from all the house and tech stuff?
RW: Royal Blood – unless I’m in the gym in which case if it’s not techno it’s usually Drum and Bass.
PZB: One question I like to ask our guest mix artists that have had extensive travel and touring experience is where there favorite place/ festival in the world they played. You have had so many opportunities to travel and play music where have been your highlight moments?
RW: I have toured all over the world over the years. I love many different countries for different reasons. Everywhere I go I have had different experiences, both culturally as well as musically. Crowds vary from place to place but if I had to pick one place then it would have to be Buenos Aires in Argentina. I played at Pacha, Bahrain and some festivals over there: all absolutely stunning clubs and the crowds and people I met were awesome. One of the best things I did while I was there was a graffiti tour of the city. I would recommend this to anyone: it’s such a great way to see the city and get a better understanding of its culture and politics, as well as see some sick street art which I love!
PZB: Thank you so much for the mix and for taking time to answer these questions. I personally have been a huge fan of your music and play it often. I will honestly never forget dropping your track “That’s the Joint” on Charlie the Unicorn at Burning Man while driving out of the city and just gathering people and bikes as we moved through the city and onto the playa playing that track. It was a special moment. Cheers!
RW: That’s awesome and has just put a massive smile on my face! That’s what its all about. Thank you so much for inviting me man. One love x
London Ground – Franklin (Original Mix) [Elrow]
Rhoowax, Iglesias – Keep On Dancin (Original Mix) [Noexcuse Records]
Wally Lopez – Non Stop (Paolo Martini Remix) [ON IT Recordings]
Ammo Avenue – Halley (Original Mix) [Great Stuff Recordings]
The Boombox – Punk Ass (Original Mix) [Criminal Hype]
GW Harrison – Spaceman (Original Mix) [Sola]
Sante Sansone – Warehouse (CAAL Remix) [Roush]
Huxley & Skapes – Electronic Drums (Original Mix) [Sola]
Marco C. – Body Movin [Material Series]
Yvan Genkins – Watch My Bird (Original Mix) [Kaluki]
Wheats – Lady Kristine [MadTech Recordings]
Rich Wakley – Gin & Chronic (Original Mix) [Lapsus]
Caal, Baum, Solo Tamas – Mama Drama (Eli Brown Remix) [Repopulate Mars]
Paul Cart – Rocket (Original Mix) [Dirtyclub Music]