LVIS-1990 is the co-founder of UK-based dance music label Night Slugs. The UK bass-ed music movement has recently gone stateside and expanded into warehouses across America. Our good friend Anibal caught up with James Connelly and learned about his transcontinental move and plans for the Night Slugs label. Catch the interview after the jump!
You just moved to New York from the UK. What has the experience been like?
It’s been really good! I think it’s always hard moving somewhere for the first time. Just landing on your feet and getting your life together– Getting an [apartment]. No credit in the States makes it impossible to get a [place]. You have to pay like 6-12 month’s rent upfront.
I didn’t know that! That’s absurd. What made you decide to make the move?
I just wanted a change of scenery. I didn’t want to look back at my life and regret not living somewhere else and New York has always been a place I kind of dreamed of staying. And I was kinda tired of the UK scene and the music that was happening there. I wasn’t really feeling the energy.
Speaking of energy…You did a warehouse party last month in Brooklyn with Night Slugs. I left around 6AM and it was still packed.
We tend to do that, haha. We can hold a crowd like that. We just played in Sydney, Australia at this small club and the place was supposed to close at 3:30AM and we kept it going until 6AM. We had a full dance floor and we just had the energy to keep it going. And all our music blends well together so it feels continuous. The whole thing about EDM culture and everything is so maximal and we’re just taking it back to pure vibes– just darkness and strobes. Just trying to keep it simple- NY loft-style party, like early 60’s. It’s all about the vibe- we just vibe off people’s energy and [the crowd] doesn’t have to look at loads of lights and you just have your own space to dance.
Now that you’ve had some time to settle down, what’s the New York scene been like?
It’s been cool. There’s a lot of really talented kids in New York and I feel like it’s kind of coming together. People like Venus X and her crew, $hane HBA, the GHE20G0TH1K parties, Physical Therapy— they’ve got a really interesting and raw way of DJing and its not focused just on the skill of beatmatching but it goes back to the early days of DJing where people weren’t just beatmatching– it was
just putting stuff together with vibes.
At its core, Night Slugs is just a group of close friends. What’s the process like for affiliating with or signing new acts?
Well, there’s Helix, but we don’t really sign artists. At the moment, it’s really like bringing the family all together– [the] Night Slugs crew and Fade to Mind. This is the culmination of it all and we’re looking to do bigger projects but we’re not looking to sign big artists. We’re just looking at consistently putting out big music and coming out with interesting ways of making a club experience real and more interesting.
What do you have planned as far as releases this year?
[We have] a Night Slugs release coming out on April 2 and its called Ballads. “Ballad 4d” has been around for a while and lots of people are playing it. There’s a few other crazy tracks on there and then we’ve got Girl Unit’s mixtape. Girl Unit’s working on the album at the moment so we’ve been helping him curate that. We probably got a lot of Club Constructions stuff. It’s great that we set up the Club Constructions label last year because we have a lot of club stuff that we don’t want to be representative of our main label. We’ve got a bigger idea for that stuff.
Categorizing your sound has always been a contentious topic. Is that why you felt the need to create an imprint for experimenting?
People always try and define us but we’ve never given ourselves a name or accepted a name. It’s what we said from the start: we’re just a vibe. You can’t describe it. It’s energy and it runs through all of us. It’s a collective idea of how club music should be and we don’t really talk about it. Everyone’s music influences other people. For instance, my new piece is heavily influenced by the Girl Unit and Jam City records. We like building our own language within our records. Like house music has its own language. It’s these little things you’ll notice throughout the record.
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