Mike Pickering - DeConstruction Interview

Mike Pickering of M People talks in depth about his own musical and DJ background, the many bands he has been in or involved with, his time with M People and also confesses that the vocals for 'Ride On Time' by Black Box are actually sung by... Heather Small!

This interview is taken from the DeConstruction Records website:

What was the first music you got into?
The first music that got me really excited was I suppose aged 15, 16 was Motown and Stax soul, Invictus, all those American R&B labels.

Were you aware of these records being part of a scene?
Yeah, cos a really really close friend and neighbour Jean Sacks married Phil Sacks, who later on managed the Mondays and succeeded me at Factory. He was a DJ at the Twisted Wheel, so I couldn't go, but I was very aware of the Northern Soul scene. He introduced me to the snobbery of Northern Soul, right? Covering your records up with tape so no-one could see what they were and the secrecy of it all.

When did you start going out?
For me it was the Highland Room at Blackpool Mecca

When would that have been? Were you wearing terrible clothes?!
It'd be about early 70's, we were skinhead/suedeheads, so we wore Crombies and Ben Shermans and the two tone pants and royals, and red socks. I still wear it now, yeah!

And then Punk happened...
Just before Punk, David Bowie and then through Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy and The Stooges, I kind of discovered all that through Bowie. And that really was the first white music I got into, I was almost racist about music, you know. And that was the first white music that I ever listened to, but then in 1977 or late 76, when punk happened, that completely changed me.

Did you go to the legendary Lesser Free Trade Hall gig?
No I went to see the Pistols at the Electric Circus though, straight away after, but to be honest I liked the Pistols, but they weren't the epicentre of my punk scene, Spiral Scratch by Buzzcocks was what did it for me, just like 2 and half, 3 minute songs with great melodies which was I suppose was akin to northern soul. It was that really that I loved.

What did you do for a job at this time?
Er well I spent quite a long time out of work as lots of people did then, and I got sent on a Tops course, it was re-training but they trained me to be a chef

Yeah it was great, in the CIS building in Manchester, but I was just so into music at the time, I was lead singer and manager of this kind of new wave punk band called Fireplace

Did you release any records?
Here's a thing, we released one record on Band On The Wall Manchester Musicians Collective album but I weren't on it! I'd fallen out with them already, about two days before... over a girl as well! So I told them to go **** themselves and didn't do it! Actually I'm glad I didn't because it's not stood the test of time.

It must have been around this time you met Rob Gretton?
Well I just hung out everywhere, but years before I'd met Rob through City, we actually got chased by a load of Forest skinheads at Forest away and it was a long journey through the back of a pub, with snarling Alsations, over a wall, we ended up laying in a garden and you could see the doc martin boots really near us, and he went, "I'm Rob Gretton from Wythenshawe" and I went "I'm Mike Pickering from Stockport" and so we always used to go away on the football special together and got really friendly with him, and then he started managing Warsaw so I was kind of there from the beginning really.

What was your role?
Well I was just Rob's mate. No-one had specific jobs, you know what I mean, if the van needed loading, it needed loading... but then what happened was I went to live in Holland, I think in 1979, I got fed up with everything and just went, you know. In Rotterdam I met these guys who squatted in an old waterworks like a big tower, and there was a big hall attached. They went, "if you lads want you can open this hall and do what you want" so we cleared it all out, someone built a stage, got a generator and we started putting on nights where I was DJ'ing. It was kind of very much against the trend, because everything was punk and rock in those days and I was playing Chic and lots of US disco, you know, Crown Heights Affair and that.

I was also using my connections in England to put gigs on, so I had like Human League, the first gig after they split with Heaven 17, Factory nights, A Certain Ratio, Dirty Column and Section 25, but I also put on the second New Order gig after Ian died, because Rob said I want to do some gigs out of England, and when he saw what we'd done, he said, I'm opening a club at home. I want you to come home.

Were you with New Order/ Rob in the states when they were inspired to open the Hac?
Well that was just after. I think they'd been once, but I hadn't been. When we came back, they'd just bought the space which was an old yacht salesroom and part of the deal of me coming home was, cause I'd started Quando Quango in Holland, that I could put records out on Factory. So we did and weirdly enough, no-one wanted to know in England (!) but Larry Lavan, Mark Kamins and a few other DJ's started championing it in New York and low and behold by 1981 I found myself playing for Paradise Garage on the same bill as Chaka Khan and Larry Lavan and you know that was the golden era of New York. There was like the Roxy which was only open on Friday night and was a skating rink for the rest of the week, Danceteria with Mark Kamins which is what we kind of based the Hacienda on, and the Funhouse with Jelly Bean and you know there was Streetwave with Arthur Baker and John Robie and it was amazing, it was like the Golden era of New York. 

What was your favourite club out there?
Well I used to love the Roxy on a Friday night cause that had all the break dancing crews, yeah it was amazing but for kind of consistency and for my DJ'ing, Danceteria. Mark Kamins was the first guy that I heard mix a Rough Trade record in with an electro record and there was no compartmentalization and they were mixing it all as well and I was like, "this is amazing" you know what I mean? I remember he played Anne Clark which was a record on Rough Trade, a 7" single and mixed it in to "Hip Hop Don't Stop" by Man Parish and I was just like "WOW" it was amazing. And there was four floors and Run DMC used to play gigs on the 1st floor but the thing that you kind of noticed about it which we transferred to the Hacienda was that it was a meeting point for creative people. You used to get different crowds because it went on all night. The people that I met in that DJ box from Keith Harring, to Madonna, Everybody. Most of them are really nice, except for Madonna!

Is that how she ended up performing at the Hac?
Kind of, yeah. Actually she'd split up with Mark by that time and er you know obviously she went out with all the people that made records for her and I think that she was just bringing out Holiday. It was a bit of a coincidence because I remember going into the dressing room and she knew who I was, cause I'd met her loads of times and going, "Hello there", "Hi Madonna, how you doing?" and she gave me a really withering look and I said, "You know I'm Mike Pickering, Love Tempo - Quando Quango?" and she went "That Dross".
"Oh and nice to meet you'n all love!" and it was great watching her getting cans and all kinds thrown at her from upstairs because she was miming and no-one would have that in those days, know what I mean? Well they wouldn't any day, but it was hilarious. Then Tony asked her to do another song, "Go on, do another song..." "You're joking..."

Were you DJing in the states?
No that was playing live at the beginning, all I know was the sound systems alone terrified me, they were so good. The other club I forgot to mention was The Loft cause at Paradise Garage and The Loft I couldn't work it out. There was no bars, there was spring water in bowls at the Garage. It was obviously a big gay scene but it didn't dawn on me until years later that everyone was on E. I was like, "How creative is the dancing?" You know, I thought It was amazing and at The Loft the penny'd only dropped years later, what it was all about, because that guy, he didn't mix, David Mancuso, he played one record (he still doesn't) but he had the best Hi Fi and the best System. Basically the American clubs they built a sound system and built the club round it. The Garage had 6 huge circular stacks and Larry could fire from one stack to the other, the sound. You've gotta remember in those days in England you kind of danced round a transistor radio, you know what I mean, it was awful. It was the last thing that anyone thought of. It was a real eye opener. It was fantastic. 

After all that inspiration... what do you remember about the opening of the Hac?
Well I had a big part of it really, I mean Ben Kelly obviously was a great fantastic designer, but the practicalities weren't always thought of so, I remember seeing them putting a microphone in the DJ box, and I said, "Get that out for a start" and it took years and in fact, I had to do it myself in the end, because at first I didn't DJ there, Id' just book the DJ's/Bands, Lighting guys and the Video Guys etc but it was a real struggle because all the DJ's were like, "I need a microphone" and I was like "I don't want you to talk to the crowd... I want you to play music", you know, cause I'd seen it all, and I couldn't get it through to any of them, it was only Greg Wilson who was a wizard mixer that came and did it. So there were lots of things like that and obviously the sound was a bit of a nightmare the first time we opened.

Wasn't the DJ booth at the side of the stage then?
Yeah, and it had tiny little slits of glass and you could only see people's feet! And they decided to open it 7 nights a week and we were like, "Don't think that's going to work". And they had a silver service restaurant in the middle of the cacophony of noise, it was hilarious.

People always talk about the Hac being cold, empty, etc pre-house but I had mates who used to go to dance to electro and loved it. What are your memories of great club nights before house?
Oh yeah, the playlist was fantastic, from Hewan Clarke, then Greg did it, then I did it. Everyone said it was empty because there was only 300/400 people but I've been there on nights when there's been 75 people and everyone's had a ball. It was just amazing. It became everything we wanted it to become... a meeting place for creative people, whether being bands, video makers, artists, you know they all went to the Hacicenda. The music policy was amazing. The original Nude night on the Friday was actually me and Andrew Berry from the hairdressers below. We used to play everything from Northern, Soul, Electro, what was going to become House like, Dhar Braxton 'Jump back', JM Silk 'Music Is The Key', all that kind of stuff.

Did you think of them as house records?
A lot of them weren't, Colonel Abrahams for me was a house record, then you got Steve Silk Hurly, but for me, the first real house record was No Way Back by Adonis, late 86 and this kid brought it in, one of the young dancers as we had loads of dance troops. On a Friday night even, Simon Topping used to come in and do half hour Latin, it would clear the floor, but when the floor cleared, Jazz defectors and kids like that would come on and do amazing dancing. It was amazing really, it was better than after 88 really... I think 88 & 89 were amazing, but for me before that was better.

It was more challenging?
Yeah it was great, you could play everything. It wasn't all just mixed to the beat. 

So do you have any memories of the Chicago House Review - it must have been quite a culture clash! Did you get pudding, chips and gravy for Joe Smooth?
87, yeah I did that. I brought that lot over, yeah. It was Joe Smooth, who later took me out to the projects in Chicago when I played the Milk Bar... Frankie Knuckles, Larry Herd and Adonis. It was brilliant because these guys, we met them when they arrived and we knew everything about them and they were like, I remember Frankie going "you're freaking me out, I can't handle this. How do you know about us, we're from an underground warehouse scene in Chicago" I said, "Wait 'til you come tonight" and we played the night and Frankie DJ'd with me and was just blown away. It was like a little oasis of people in the north of England who knew what they were doing in Chicago and no-one else knew about it.

Before E how big was Nude?
It was really big, we used to get about 1600 on a Friday night

What's your memory of when E happened?
Yeah massive, it happened really quickly. I went to Barcelona with Oaky. Paul Oakenfold and T-Coy. Me and him DJ'd and T-Coy did a PA in this club in Barcelona. We got given E. I didn't get it off the Monday's first time, I got it off these people we knew in Barcelona. I thought "This is amazing." Anyway, a bit of time passed before it happened in the Hacienda. It changed because from the top of the club, coming down to the bar it was like a Mexican wave over about 3 or 4 weeks. From the Entrance of the club coming down. It was unbelievable. The fashion changed, you know to the Timberland boots and baggy clothes, everything changed within 3 weeks. It was so quick. Because once you saw someone on an E, you thought, "I'll have one of them". If you had 25! I remember around that time we did a night with Danny (Rampling). They did a Wednesday and a coach came up from London, it was great.

Did you play London much?
Did Spectrum quite a lot with Paul. I remember we had battle of the DJ's, but we were on platforms on each side of the club. It was great and really good fun. I was really quite close to Paul Oakenfold in those days

There wasn't the north/south divide that's so talked about?
No, it was everyone together. Andy Weatherall with Boys Own, and that all used to come up, No everyone was together.

Didn't last long though?
Very briefly, yeah because when it exploded it kind of... as soon as it went on News at Ten... 

North is one of the defining documents of Acid House, how did it come about?
Me and Pete Hadfield... It's like Deconstruction. We had T-Coy 'Carino' and me and Simon Toppin had done that with Rich Cos, and we followed this guy's 8 track, made it on an 8 track and it was just on a 10 minute cassette, and we gave it to Stu Allen, who had this Sunday night programme on Piccadilly Radio. He had a top ten and he made it number 1 straight away. He used to play the cassette for 10 minutes! And he was a fantastic supporter of it. Pete Adfield and Keith Blackhurst managed me for Quando Quango and stuff. And they managed Heather who was in this band called Hothouse. (They also managed Terry and Gerry from the Specials too, because Pete managed the Specials). We couldn't get anyone to put the record out. At the time I was doing the Coldcut's program on Kiss when it was a pirate. We had a lot of support for Coldcut, Jazzy M, all those kind of people even Norman. But we couldn't get it put out... 

So there definitely were house supporters down south?
Oh yeah, definitely. Jazzy was playing house and Coldcut were on Kiss. I remember going to the top of the towerblock I don't know where, I think in east London, and I did a mix up there. It was great. Really brilliant. We had to start Deconstruction to put out Hothouse and T-Coy. Hothouse got signed straight away to BMG so we were like, "Aye Aye, we've got a bit of an in here..." so Pete and I went to see this guy who was A&R at the time, John Lloyd and we actually totally blagged it. By this time it was happening at the Hacienda, and ecstasy had hit, and we wanted to call it "North - Sound of the underground" and da de dah. We wanted Central Station to do the Artwork who did the Mondays, and John went, "let's hear some of it then." He's never heard a house record in his life, so we used a few demo's that had been sent in the office and a couple of tracks I'd got, played them and he said, "Yeah, great. Here's 18k go and make the album" - but that's why it's mainly T-Coy who's made the album apart from Gerald helping. Dream 17 by Anette, funnily enough is Simon's Girlfriends' mother. Annette. She came to pick her up, and she said, "Ah yeah, me mum's a good singer." I said can you call me back in the morning. She was a grandmother at the time she recorded it!

Dream 17 was because we were at 17 something road. So we kind of just for a week we were in Richie's basement making this album, and then did the artwork then we had the mother of all launches at the Hacienda on a Wednesday night, it was amazing. We had these huge drapes that Central Station had painted. It was one of the great moments of Acid house at the Hacienda, and the album did quite well although I've never received a penny of it, because we all did it under pseudonyms! And PRS have never been able to work it out. No I ain't bothered. Money was never a motivation in those days.

Was there an ethos behind Decon? Coming from Factory it would be hard not to have been influenced by it's style!
Well I think Pete was a massive fan of Tony's and Pete was brilliant in coming out with manifestos and all that kind of stuff. I saw something in the other day, and it was just a full page thing and it just had "Art and rubbish for the dancing masses" and I thought, "That is brilliant". And when Black Box, "Ride On Time" went to number one we took out a whole page ad going, "Who Sings? Who Cares? Black Box Number 1. Deconstruction" it was just brilliant. You know the t-shirts with "Retaliate first" and "Bomb the past" - That was mainly Pete, he was very clever at that thing, like radical. We were quite weird really, when people came in, I remember Justin when he signed to us with Lionrock, he said "I had to, cause you're the only record label I've been in where they all wear Gucci loafers!!" We were very anti 'the rock and music business establishment', which was really rock. I remember being at RCA at the time we had Black Box coming out, and they wouldn't' let us do posters but they stuck up posters for Dave Stewart's new solo album which must have sold about 2 copies... 
We were saying, "You do realize this is going to be a number one record" - Yeah right ok, it'll be a one off... We sold 3 million Guru Josh albums, mainly in Austria and Germany...

How come you didn't sign Voodoo Ray?
Because it was already signed to Warlock - as Gerald had done a deal with Warlock in America. But we were able as we were close to Gerald, to use it when we wanted it on license. But when a New York record dealer like that gets hold of that contract, he ain't gonna let it go for anything... 

Tell us about Black Box
What happened was, I got given a white label by an Italian guy on a Friday night at about 9.30, and I thought, "this is amazing"

Were you playing Love Sensation already by that point?
Yeah I used to already play that, I played that for years... But then I couldn't find him. He didn't come back and there was just this sticker on the record. Anyway, on the Saturday afternoon, Pete rang me at home and said, "Have you heard this record, 'Ride on Time' - Black Box"... I went, "Pete, I can't believe you've said that. I played it last night and this guy brought it in, I didn't know who he was, and he just left it. It's an absolute monster... it's a smash." And I think that Pete and Keith did the deal something like Tuesday afternoon. And then we had all the hassle with Loleatta. But you know the story of that right?

I'll let it out the bag. Because we've never really let it out the bag, but we had to re-record those vocals as you know. First of all there's Daniel stood in front of us saying, "It's not a sample" and I'm going to Pete & Keith, "It's a sample" and it turns out that Loleatta has no right on it anyway, it's SalSoul, the Irish guys who own Salsoul you don't want to get in a row with and Dan Hartman got the cassette of it, and heard it and said, "You can have it for 50% publishing. I love it" So we flew Heather Small out to where they lived in Italy, and it's Heather Small on Ride On Time. Yeah it's her vocal. If you listen there's certain giveaways but no-one ever knew! 
We had to do it really quick so we could release it, because the original one had the sample on, and we re-placed the sample with Heather!
It's probably the biggest ever Hacienda record. People think it's a big pop hit now, but it was massive.

What records remind you of that golden era?
Erm, Well, Reese and Santonio The Sound, Strings of Life, Ketcha Jenkins, I Need Somebody - Massive!

There were some records that were distinctly "Mike Pickering records" - Shaker Song springs to mind. Why do you think that was?
You got to remember in those days, you could own a record, because before media and internet as it is - it would take months. It would mean someone dropping by some other city and you'd have them saying, "I went mad for this record I've never heard in my life" So it could take months before it spilled to another place. Just songs like that. You remember Circuit, "Shelter Me"? There was a mix of that, we used to always play, and I don't think there's any rhyme and reason, but they were just massive favourites that made people go absolutely ape when you put them on. They became the property of that crowd, because when you carry on playing them, you'd have the crowd like that, but at the time we had so many new records, I think we were playing a minimum of 50% new stuff every Friday, but it would be put in. I'd get new stuff and if it was great. It's so much different to nowadays - everyone had their own club, all the big DJ's had your own night. That's how you made your name - Andy Weatherall had his own night, Paul, Danny Rampling - everyone had their own club and their own night. You'd get these records and think, "Can't wait to play this to em tonight" and you knew what they'd like and knew what they wouldn't like... that was the magic of it. As soon as the superstar DJ and the big DJ thing came along. They all just travelled and did spots like they do now, so you never really had your own place, and I always found that a bit weird. 

How did you come to make Carino?
Well I'd done Quando Quango and I was kind of learning about production with Bernard from New Order when we did all those Factory singles and then I produced the first Happy Mondays EP and a few other things, so I was just learning really.
Because Simon Toppin and I were really into Latin Music when I used to go out in New York, by this time I was spending a lot of time in New York, staying with Mark Kamins, because he was doing the Quando stuff with me, (New York was a completely different place in those days, quite edgy, but wonderful) but I fell in love with Latin music and Salsa, and I used to go to the Village Gate on Saturday Nights and there were people aged 21-70, old couples dancing about and they'd have a live band, and I just fell in love with Salsa. Simon went to New York to live for 6 months, and he got a job delivering on a van that delivered records to stores but he also very bravely went to the Harlem School of Percussion, which in those days was a bit of a journey to get there and that's why in some of the Quando shots, he looks like a Latino, as he got into the whole mind-set. So when we got home, we thought we'd do a Latin house record, we actually made it like a house record for Latin people.
I always loved fusion of different styles, and Factory was always about that, you know, Rock and Electro, and down to the Happy Mondays when Paul produced them it was like block beats with an Indie band on top. I always liked fusing different types of music. So we thought we'd do that with Latin and house.

You were doing lots of remixes at this time
Did hundreds of remixes - I don't know how we did it actually. We used to do the Friday night and then I'd go to Nottingham to do Saturday night with Graham, we'd be off our tits, and then Monday morning early, we'd start at the studio in Derby and we'd work through til about 6pm on Wednesday and get in the car and drive to Manchester to do the Wednesday night, then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, DJ'ing and that cycle went on for ages. I don't know how we survived and lived! Because we were just at it all the time, and it was soul destroying at the time. I said to Pete, "I've had enough" I remember doing 'Pineapple Face' by Revenge, Hooky's band. I think we sampled about 3 words, then built the track around that- it's what we were doing all the time and I'd just had enough of it. I started writing songs. Funnily enough I used Lisa Stansfield - she'd demoed for me as she used to be a session musician in Manchester - and Pete said, "you know these are really good these - stop remixing and write more of these songs." Then I met Heather. I saw Hothouse support Barry White at the Royal Albert Hall and she just looked at the floor all the time but I was like, "what a fantastic voice". The people with me were saying, "nah she'll never make it, she's too shy" but I was like, "No, that voice you'd recognize anywhere" and then I wrote 'Colour My Life' and 'How Can I Love you More' specifically for her. That was the start of M People. It was like a loose collective at the beginning, like a Soul II Soul kind of thing. Yeah! Mike's People. But straight away, Me, Paul and Heather became really close, You could just tell it was working.

With Colour My Life - I loved it but because I was a big house DJ, I was beginning to rebel against the beats a bit, and thought, "you know what, I'm going to do a 98bpm". I suppose that's quite Mancunian. So I did that an people thought it was weird I'd done this, but it was then when I done 'How Can I Love you More', Sasha remixed it that and away you go.

How did it feel to suddenly be so successful?
Well it was kind of weird because you felt the success of what we'd created with House music happening, and that was on one scale and then all of a sudden on a bigger scale this bigger success and at the same time, Decon was being successful which I was a direct part of, so all of a sudden, it's like years of doing stuff where everyone thinks you're mad including your mum/dad - everyone thinks you're a weirdo, so all of a sudden, I'm sure a lot of people go through it, it's like a vindication of everything you've done and you realize, people like what you're doing" It's a very strange thing.

What were the highlights?
Glastonbury was great. We did one weekend, which was kind of the height of our powers. We did 2 nights in Edinburgh (some big cattle market) on the Wed/Thurs, then we did Alton Towers, on the Sat, then Crystal Palace Bowl on the Sunday and it was like our gig. I think there were 100,000 people over 2 nights. Helecoptered in and out! Me and Shovel were thinking "this is unbelievable" and then it was lots of great memories, touring Australia, we were massive there. All the tours really. You think we got to the stage of doing 3 mainstream arenas and 3 Wembleys and 3 NEC's, it was brilliant.

Do you miss it now?
No, because I think every band has about 10 years, they become stale in their writing... but successful bands you can feel yourself... you know when it's a job to go in and write a song, that was it for me. I didn't want to do it. I missed when you got big and became an Arena band - somehow without you wanting to become detached at what I was good at, which was working in Youth Culture and new stuff and I really missed it.

And Is that what you're doing now with Deconstruction starting up again?
Yeah. Anyone can do it now. Anyone can do a track, on your laptop, bedroom, whatever, and if it's good enough, let's put it out. And also the same time, developing artists into major artists.

Now you've got Decon back up and running, what have you got coming up?
I've got Diagram of the Heart who are very exciting. That's our first major release which is out soon and also Retrograde, which is Tom Neville and Serge Santiago which is going back to a little bit of the Italian House vibe, very excited about that. We've also got a couple of other things that are just on the lawyers desk which is very exciting so I think by mid summer, we'll have 5 or 6 big things on the go.

And you've got some more underground dance stuff coming too?
Yeah and re-releasing some of the old catalogue, the stuff we think people still want to hear. We're at number 1 in the Cool Cuts charts with Way out West. Then the next record is T-Coy. We got Motorcity Drum Ensemble which I'm really excited about. I feel like I'm 19 again waiting for this remix. I'm so excited! And DJ Marky, and Greg Wilson which I'm also really excited about. After that, N-Joy, then they're going to be putting together these digital bundles (ha ha all going very modern) so they'll put Sasha's mixes of Someday, with Sly One... etc I don't know quite how it works!

You still DJ...
The main place I still DJ is the Warehouse Project. I also DJ in Frankfurt sometimes at the Robert Johnson, which I love.

Your partner runs the Warehouse Project?
My partner is one of the owners, Kirsty. I just love it, for me the warehouse project is the new Hacienda, it's like Manchester trying to do something different. It exists for 3 months of the year, they take over an underground space somewhere in the city. They've been in Boddingtons derelict brewery, now they're underneath Piccadilly railway station in a car park, which is absolutely amazing, Friday night, 5pm the last car leaves, then bang - stages, 2 rooms... they have the cream of the worlds DJ's on. Each weekend you can see the line up is second to none, and live acts too. Yeah it's really exciting. It is like pure warehouse.

What about the music you're playing?
Ooh... I really don't like playing old records. I won't do Hacienda nights anymore. I really hate that. Get really bored of it. I like a lot of the new stuff. What do I like. I like Toccadisco, MCDE, I'll do a top ten if you want. I like Laidback Luke. His new record 'Blau' with Lee Mortimer which is fantastic

I've noticed what's happening with Dance music - only the real new up and coming people are doing remixes and the rest are making their own records, but they seem more sussed these days. I think it's healthier than it's been certainly for the last 10 years

After it almost died a death almost?
It's like House music went into complete recession, so it was having to clear up all the guff and the rubbish, and now it's streamlined, and for want of a better expression it's Kicking.

What's the record you're most proud of?
I'd have to say 'Elegant Slumming' by M-People that album. Love that. I also really loved, and it was so much fun, the England New Order world cup record. I did two mixes on that and it was really good fun. Having Gazza on the 2" tape.

What is your fave house record of all time
I think Someday, by CC Rogers, I also used to really like that Electro Tribe 101, 'Talking with myself' and 'Strings of life' you know what there are so many. 'you're gonna miss me when I'm gone'... amazing - Security, beat club... I just don't want to hear them over and over again in a club!!