Wednesday, 19 March 2014

How Hot Do You Like Your Nandos? - HighForThis

My latest interviewee for the Nandos treatment is a local DJ who's pretty much got all the bases covered, spinning a huge range of house from across time and space, Disco Palace and Boulevard resident HighForThis. He crops up across the city playing every great night you've been to, from Purrmotions to Deep Inside and has supported underground legends such as XXXY and Tom Shorterz. While he's currently only mixing, he also plans to stick out his own productions later on this year! It's great getting to hear the thoughts of someone with such love for the music he spins and the nights he plays. My thoughts on one of his sets, from a sadly unpublished review can be seen here:

'HighForThis was up next and set things up properly with a finely chosen selection of more energetic of tunes. Mixing on vinyl, bringing in more soulful melodic elements as the set progressed, by midnight the tempo may have been fairly low for a house set but the dance floor was filling up nicely. Dropping a great remix of Fiction by The XX really got things going nicely and a funky, deep house rework of Aaliyah’s Try Again upped the pace. The second half of the set saw smoke machines pumping away in full force and more deep tunes leading into a climactic, upbeat ending.'

Check out his Disco Palace Podcasts and other mixes on his Soundcloud and read on to hear read about his thoughts on the Cardiff clubbing scene and house music, alongside anecdotes on Umbongo, high heels and flashing!

The Music Of High For This

What do you think has spurred the resurgence in underground house music in Cardiff? Is there a scene developing?
If I’m going to be honest the underground scene in Cardiff has been pretty “of the time” for as long as I can remember. When I was younger there were pop punk bands coming out of Cardiff’s ears, then Drum & Bass and Dubstep took centre stage and now it’s house, because of the chart success of Disclosure and the like. We’re in too small a city for the underground scene to touch on everyone’s taste, like Bristol, instead we’ve taken house (and a touch of DnB) and created a series of nights each with their own niche; Disco Palace, disco, groove and Chicago, Deep Inside smash the Jackin, wobbly bass house & then nights like TEAK that really embrace the underground; showcasing real, from the heart, House music. I won’t list everyone but you get the idea.

How do you tend to put together a set? Is it more focused on the music or the crowd?
I never pre plan the set, you never know how the crowd will take it. Good DJ’s should be able to read a crowd. I’ll have a few mash up’s and nice mixes up my sleeve ready though. It also depends on the night, I wouldn’t drop a slamming Techno set at Purrmotions and nor would I play The Temptations at Deep Inside.

With all the different labels attached to subgenres of house, what’s the strangest you’ve heard of?
Beatport have a “Genres on the Rise” page, pop up sometimes, I’ve seen some beauties on there. The oddest name I’ve seen is, “VapourWave”, really is a nothing genre.

Do ‘laddish’crowds affect the reputation of a place?
Yes, as they do with any club. Equally “I’m too cool to dance, this sound system sucks, I’ve been to Berghain” wankers do too. That said everyone should be welcome. I hate people saying that “people don’t belong here” because they aren’t wearing the new special edition hand stitched supreme x nike air max. The people that belong are the people that love the music. Simple as but please… don’t wear heels...

Where is your favourite place in Cardiff to DJ?
It was Aura. Now… I think it’s Undertone. I love the whole intimate, low roof, low light thing. Buffalo’s great but every night’s there; it’s fresh to play somewhere different.

What is Disco Palace all about?
In a tune it’s: Bicep – Vision of Love… We have a fair following of people that aren’t into the snobbery of music and for us that’s what makes it like a house party, with feel good music and a family vibe. This is why we can’t wait for Jackmaster, we don’t know what he’ll play to be honest, but that’s perfect for us. I’m sure he’ll smash out some serious disco bangers & crowd pleaser tunes though! I’d love to see us end up like Futureboogie in Bristol; a night that becomes a label.

There’s a host of independent boutique record labels emerging right now, putting out specialised music and focusing on specific genres. Do you have any favourites?
Local Talk, House Of Disco, Sccuci Manucci/Manucci’s Mistress. Also checkout the brand new SoulSmoke Recordings from Cardiff.

What would be your ideal tour rider? (Be as outrageous as you like)
CDJ2000 Nexus x 2
DJM 900 Nexus
Technics 1210 mk5 x 2
A bottle of The Kraken Rum, 2 Large Cartons of Um-Bongo, 7 Limes (Cut to wedges), Crushed Ice, (RumBongo is the one)
Bottle of Don Julio Gold Tequila, 7 Oranges (Cut to wedges), Ground Cinnamon (Tequila, Orange, Cinnamon slammers)
Cheese Board
A selection of framed 1980’s soul/funk singers record covers (comedy gold)
A big enough guest list for all of my ARAS family
A couple of vinyl from some local talent

Are there any plans to put out your own tracks?
Yes, currently working with Sculpture, who is teaching me his ways... I’d love to have something on soundcloud by September. Expect deep sleazy soul, Raw NY house & Disco. I’ll hopefully end up making a bit of Techno too. Potentially the next step to getting me out there…

Who would you recommend to look out for in 2014?
After the year he’s had and with the album release around the corner, I’d love to see Max Graef blow up, insane producer. Also locally, Organ Grinder has been making serious waves recently; 2014 is going be an awesome year for Cayne.

The World Of High For This

How hot do you like your Nandos?
I’ve been ranking up recently. Gimmie HOT!

Who’s the most famous person in your phonebook?
Either Hannah Wants or Doorly

If you had the chance to DJ back to back with anyone, who would it be?
HNNY, his dancing is more intense than mine.

Steak or Bacon?
Don’t you mean Steak & Bacon. (ed. Your the first person to have correctly answered this question)

If you could re-score the soundtrack to any film, what would it be?
The Shining… speed up the film and have some bitching Swing music over the top.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen happen in a crowd you’ve played to?
Once had a girl flash me and push her boobs up on the plexiglass booth in Clwb for playing Basement Jaxx… not that strange… I just love telling people that story.

Detroit Techno or Chicago House?

Iron Maiden or Iron Bru?
I rarely indulge in either, usually as a treat… Iron Maiden

What are your 5 ‘Desert Island Disc’ Tracks?
James Blake’s Cover of Joni Mitchel – Case of You
Romantony – Up All Nite (Disco Vocal)
Minnie Riperton – Inside My Love

Incubus - Pardon Me
Funeral For A Friend– Red Is The New Black
So many potential variations but these are the first five in my head… gutted I had to take out all 17 minutes of
“Donna Summer – Love to Love You (Come On Over To My Place Version)” though!


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