About music, vinyl and the electronic scene of the US talked with dj ShmeeJay.
— Hello Olof! Tell us a little about yourself.
I have to admit that I’ve been a longtime fan of your radio show “Ain’t No Big Thing“, tell us please about the emergence of the idea of a radio show.
— Some five years ago I had been asked to do a guest mix for a bank holiday special for the now defunct GrooveSkool Radio. They dug the mix, and offered me a slot behind Fingerman on Sunday evenings UK time. Back then it was a two hour live show every week and really a great place to be. Fingerman is great, and I really learned a lot working with him and the rest of the crew at GrooveSkool. Over time that weekly two hours became a lot, as there’s also other things I do in life, and I came up with the format I now use for Ain’t No Big Thing. Starting the show off with a guest mix that I mix out of as it runs out, and I then close out the show by me mixing live. I’ve really grown to appreciate the arrangement as it allows me to work with djs from all over the world. Many that I really admire and am a fan of, but also as it’s my free and independent project so I can do what I want and also have on really cool people that you may not have heard about because they’re not out there pushing the music any more, but that are really talented and have a great taste in music. I’ve got my hundredth episode of Ain’t No Big Thing coming up this January, so stay tuned. Good music coming.
— What is the current situation with the electronic scene and club culture in the US? Do you play at festivals or in clubs?
— I can’t really speak for the whole of the US as the northwest is really my stomping ground. But I can say that Seattle has a deep and vibrant club scene, including the West Coasts longest running house night, Flammable Sundays , that’s been going strong for 22 years now. Another great Seattle favorite is the Train Car House Party . It’s a small and free monthly at a Chinese restaurant that’s located in a couple of old train cars, the last Saturday monthly. The key to the party is the people though. The people come for the music and they come to get down to it. It’s where the movers, shakers, and real house heads come. If you ever find yourself in Seattle, last Saturday of the month, make it down to the Train Car House Party. You will not regret it.
Regarding music festival’s I’ve held residence of sorts along with some friends as Rebel Disco Alliance ) at Cascadia NW Arts & Music Festival since its inception back in 2015. Of course, the lineup for 2018 is ready yet, but if all goes to plan you’ll find us there on the River Stage Sunday afternoon laying down grooves in the shade.
— Do you have any favorite labels and musicians? What kind of music do you prefer to listen to?
— This is always a hard questions, as it’s really an evolving process. For those who’re familiar with what I play know that I am big into disco and edits in general, playing classics and old gems freshened up for the modern ear and dance floor. In that vein Sleazy McQueen’s Whiskey Disco has been a pioneer and is still consistently putting out the fresh jam. Another staple is JKriv and Aaron Dae’s Brooklyn based Razor-N-Tape .
Cut in Brooklyn, good for dance, as they like to call it. Lastly I also want to give a shout out to a newer label, Washington, DC’s Better Listen Records . Label boss Martín Miguel has been a staple in the DC scene for a while, and just last year decided to make the leap from being a primarily promoter and deejay to curating his own label, and in just about a year have churned out seven top notch releases.
— In recent years, interest in vinyl has revived and its sales speak about it, how do you think what is the reason? Do you collect vinyl?
— Like most I have embraced the digital revolution, but I’ve never stopped collecting records. To me the reemergence of vinyl is in many ways related to the growth in digital content. Music can be such a powerful connection for people, and the music that we fall for can really touch us, and to have something physical to hold on to, look at, and feel adds value to us. I have thousands of songs on my hard drive, and back up, but it’s the records that I love, and seeing them there on the shelf along with my record player and mixer is my home and it’s a long way away before I let go of that. The ease with my playing digital content and speed of searching through that library makes it hard to overlook, but I’m not going to forget my first true love.
— Tell us a little about the mix you recorded for YooDj’s.
— The mix was laid down on a Sunday afternoon in my living room, with a fire in the woodstove. I start out with an upcoming release from Mexican producer Hotmood, a track from Discotheque Dependencies EP that will be out November 27 from Austin, Texas based label Whiskey Pickle . From then I mostly pick the tracks as I go. I say mostly, as when I do a mix it’s typically a two take process. The second take I record, but sometimes as I go along and record I need to make changes because as I cue up each new track sometimes it just doesn’t seem to fit like the first time and I change it up. In all I’m pretty happy with the way it came out, featuring tracks from all of the labels I listed above, plus a few more tasty musical bits.
Hotmood – Junkie [Whiskey Pickle]
Wildman (Psychemagik Edit) [Psychemagik]
ThatManMonkz – The Assasinator [Better Listen Records]
Ed Wizard and Disco Double Dee – Like U Do [Editorial]
Pontchartrain – Lambrusco [Whiskey Disco]
Cody Currie – Magic City [Razor-N-Tape Reserve]
The Xx – On Hold (Drop Out Orchestra Edit)
Fouk – Coconuts [Room With A view]
D’Angelo – Angels In Africa (dj Reverand P Edit – Raw Mix) [Basic Fingers]
Space Echo – Soul Power [Luv Shack]
Dan Shake – Buy Yourself Friends [Shake]