The main force behind OOFT Music is Ali Herron. Originally cutting his production chops with tracky edits and some early OOFT! remixes alongside The Revenge, Ali has been steadily building up his own studio over the last 5 years, putting out a series of deep, pitched-down house tracks on labels such as Instruments of Rapture, PPF, Delusions of Grandeur, Rememory and Wolf Music. This week we feature his live recording from our very own Basic TV night and what a slow deep disco journey it was. We also got a chance to get to know him abit better and pick his brain on his label, being a father and what he wants from Santa this year
The sudden rise of the whole edits thing at the moment seems weird like everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon but not really grasping the concept. What are your thoughts on this?
My thoughts on edits have been the same since day one. You should edit tracks so you can DJ with them in whatever your own personal style is. To my ears sticking a big kick under some classic disco/funk/soul track from the 70s or 80s doesn’t really make the original any better, and unfortunately there seems to be a lot of these types of edits being commercially released at the moment. With the availability of music-making technology that’s always going to be the case though, so I think as a DJ my job hasn’t really changed in that it’s up to the DJ to find the best tracks of any given genre to play them to their dancefloor.
At the moment Scotland seems like a deep house/disco hub, why do you think this is?
Scotland and especially Glasgow has always had a very strong house scene, taking cues from the original scenes in Chicago, Detroit & New York. There have been many house clubs pretty much since the first house 12”s on Trax etc. came out and it has just seemed to fit here. I always say that for the size of the city here in Glasgow we’re very spoiled for nightlife options, and I think there’s a core of hedonistic young people that like spending time in nightclubs listening to good music. As for the reason behind the house/disco thing you can’t undervalue the influence of DJs like Harri & Domenic and Optimo at the Sub Club, Slam at the Arches, amongst numerous other long-time selectors who have always played music they believed in and as a result there is so much passion rubbing off on younger clubbers and budding producers etc.
You are a family man with a 2 year old boy, how do you balance your time between your son’s kiddie trainers collection, making music, running http://ooft.blogspot.com/ and spending time with your family.
It’s taken a little time to adjust to having a family for sure. No more late-night studio sessions for one thing!
But I think if you are passionate about something you’ll always find a way to pursue it, and as a result you just try to fit everything in as best you can. Certainly I think adjusting to trying to make music or mixtapes or whatever within a specific time-frame (i.e. when the wee fella is at nursery) was probably the hardest thing, but again all my family are very supportive so I know if I need some help or babysitting there is always someone at the end of the phone.
If you didn’t have music, what would your passion be?
Absolutely no idea!
Foto Recordings is going from strength to strength, what is your process in selecting tracks for the label?
There isn’t much of a process to be honest. I started Foto with the intention of only putting out OOFT! tracks on it but I have such talented friends that sometimes when I hear something I just get that little tingle down the back of my neck and a feeling that I have to release it. I don’t go out looking for stuff to release as doing vinyl is a bit of a laborious process (you’re basically limiting your release schedule to maybe 4 or 5 records per year) so I just go with my instinct really – there is no grand plan. Incidently Craig Bratley – The Sound has just dropped, you can listen/buy from Juno.
Quick fire round:
First CD ever bought (even if it’s embarrassing)
Hmmm, I remember the first LP if that counts? Michael Jackson’s Bad. CD-wise I’m honestly not sure!
First DJing record bought
I can’t actually remember, but it’ll have been a terrible mainstream dance record when I was 17!
Age you went to a nightclub for first time
Partial to a parma ham, rocket, gorgonzola and balsamic vinegar pizza. Yum
Favourite track at the moment
Mark E – Call Me. I don’t actually have a copy but just end up listening to it endlessly! Gonna be a big one when he gets around to releasing it I think.
Most famous friend in the music industry
Err, not sure. My partner’s dad used to be part of the warm-up and touring band of Ultravox back in the early 80s, that’s pretty cool…
Dream piece of equipment
DJ-wise an E&S DJR400 mixer. If you’re listening Santa I‘ve been a good boy all year and promise to use it at every gig!
Studio-wise, hmmm that’s a tuffy. It used to be a Roland Juno-106 but I’ve got one now. A Roland Jupiter 8 or a Prophet VS would do nicely, but to be honest I’d be happy with a bigger room to fit all my stuff in – my current studio is the broom-cupboard in my flat.
1. Candi Staton – Broadway (Rayko Edit)
2. UB40 – Don’t Break My Heart (Mark E Edit)
3. Iron Curtis – You Are (Way Much More Than Just) My Choice Tonight
4. dBo – Keep Turning
5. Hideousmen – Sirens (Rodion Mix)
6. Nicolas Jaar – Can’t See What Is Burning Here
7. OOFT! – Billy
8. Project Tempo – Get Up And Clap Your Hands
9. dBo – ACI
10. Andy Hart – Devoted
11. Prommer & Barck – Gladys Knight (Alex Barck Remix)
12. Donna Allen – Sweet Somebody (Beaten Space Probe Edit)
13. Ben La Desh – Doctor Bills
14. Roberto Rodriguez – Should Be
15. Craig Bratley – The Sound (OOFT! Remix)
16. Solomun – Love Recycled 2
Also check out his EXCLUSIVE DIGI-ONLY track on Home Taping Is Killing Music Compilation