LDN This Friday, Fabric is playing host to yet another monster lineup. BoysNoize Records will be taking over Room 1, with sets from Housemeister, Djedjotronic, Shadow Dancer, and Mr. Alex Ridha himself. Meanwhile, Room 2 will see Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team topping the Kill ‘Em All bill, joined by Filthy Dukes and Jokers of The Scene, to name a few.
Yesterday we caught up with Al from Shadow Dancer to talk about MegaDrives, production, and dancing dirty. For the interview, tunes, and listing info, read on after the jump…
GDD™: In line with interview tradition – what do you guys drink?
SD: On the day of a gig, it’s coffee, water, beer, water. Consumed in that order.
GDD™: Did you coin the name Shadow Dancer after the Shinobi game? and if so, have you ever completed it?
SD: Not exactly, but near enough. I did complete it on the MegaDrive, but not in the arcade – I always ran out of 10 pees. I was always good at the Shinobi games, which is odd because I’m rubbish at playing videogames. I guess I’m just part ninja!
GDD™: Which one of you took to electronic music first? and then how long was it before you and Paul started making music together?
SD: I think we were both into it at around the same time: when I was about seven, and Paul was eight. We started making music together a few years after that, when I was nine. I’d say I was into club music first, I used to be really into clubbing as a teenager.
GDD™: What influenced your sound growing up in Manchester?
SD: Haha, rumbled! We actually grew up in Wales. I’d say the main influence was that there was f••k all to do, and we had no money. You had to make your own entertainment in those days, which we did with a £100 Casio SK-1 synthesizer, and a tape recorder. We were mainly influenced by Jean-Michel Jarre, being honest. Later on, when we started making music with a sequencer, I’d say Warp Records were the main influence.
GDD™: You’re the only Brits on BNR – how did that come about?
SD: You’d have to ask Alex that! We don’t play in Britain very often, which may answer that question, albeit a bit cryptically!
GDD™: Hearing you and Paul play out a number of times, I’m always intrigued to know who does what. Are you 50-50 on the production and equal on the performing, or is one of you more of a studio wizard?
SD: Paul is the studio wizard. I’m making some beats, basslines and tunes in my flat and giving the parts to Paul digitally, but I only started doing this again in 2011 after a lengthy break from composition. So nothing that’s been released yet.
GDD™: In the studio are you backing VSTs or Hardware?
SD: Hardware, I can’t use VSTs and I only have three Korg Electribes. I need to touch buttons and fiddle with knobs.
GDD™: So which synth couldn’t you live without?
SD: The Korg EA-1.
GDD™: You’ve had recent releases with your ‘Boss Rush’ double A-side on BNR Trax, and then the enormous ‘Murder Room’ EP on BoysNoize Records. Did you have to approach the two differently, and were you gunning for a different sound on the BNR Trax release?
SD: Well, we debuted a mixture of tracks from both in our SW4 live set last summer, and at the time I didn’t know what was going to be released and on what, but my memory is not what it was.
GDD™: So who determined where each of the EPs were to be released?
SD: I’d say Alex ultimately, but I certainly remember him consulting with Paul, and there was talk of using an alter-ego for BNR Trax for a while.
GDD™: We really enjoyed ‘Golden Traxe’ in 2009, are there plans for a follow up full-length in the near future?
SD: Based on the amount of new tracks we’re working on, definitely not in the near future. We are both of the opinion that you shouldn’t put any old crap out, and we would only release a follow-up if we thought we had enough tracks that were good. We do have some old tracks we recorded between 1997 and 2002 that we are hoping will get released as a compilation though. One of the tracks from this era was on the last EP, a track called ‘Lo-Fighters’.
GDD™: What does the rest of 2011 have in store for Shadow Dancer?
SD: We’re really excited about playing festivals in the summer. We’ve taken a break from the live sets this year – in fact, Fabric in January was the last time we did one, but we’re going to play live at some of the festivals.
GDD™: And finally, we have to ask you this for obvious reasons: when you’re in a club and not on DJing duties, do you dance dirty?
SD: I jiggle about enthusiastically, but I’m always lurking at the back where noone can see me.
GDD™: Ha ha, fair enough! Thanks for taking the time Al, looking forward to catching you guys at Fabric on Friday.
From the vault: