Shakewerk – Interview with X-Press 2
X-Press 2 are known for bouncy beats, heavyweight basslines and for ‘Lazy ft. David Byrne‘, the chart topping tune of 2002 which saw the deep house act rise to countrywide fame. Since then, they have released a ton of big tunes, played all over the world and generally they have been keeping busy. With their forthcoming release ‘Shakewerk‘ out next week – Monday 17th June 2013 – from Skint Records which features a booming tribal style remix from Iberican guards, Chus & Ceballos, I had a few questions to ask them about what they have been up to recently, where they are going and how The Pixies are quite fond of them:
So Pacha, Ibiza was a good gig then?
Yes! One of the best. We’ve always had great gigs at Pacha over the years but there was something really special about the Insane opening party. There were a number of things that all worked perfectly; for example the DJ booth has been extended including the dance floor which has made a huge difference plus the DJ line up was perfectly billed. We played for an hour and a half before Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak & Mark Farina came on, who were doing their back to back set and then John Digweed came on and took it further. Packed crowd, perfect sound system and an amazing atmosphere, what more could you ask for?
Planning on going back being as you went so early?
We’re not back there until September unfortunately but hopefully we’ll return earlier..
Releases have been a little rare for you guys over the last few years with a more recent push over the previous 12 months or so. What have you been doing?
We’ve been pretty busy for the last few years putting out lots of releases on Skint Records… perhaps a little underground and maybe off the radar!
You have a regular residency online with Ministry Of Sound Radio nowadays, is that fun?
Yes definitely a lot of fun. We’ve been doing the show now for over 3 years, previously to that it was 2 years on Kiss FM. The show seems to be growing week on week and we’re currently doing our show live on Thursday nights from the main room and have just had the show syndicated in Brazil. Needless to say things are going well and there are a lot of plans in the pipe line which we’re very excited about.
You guys have been around for quite sometime now and with dance music evolving in the way which it has, I feel that you guys were very much ahead of the game when you released ‘Muzikizum‘. Do you think it would have the same impact if it was released today?
The music reflects the times it was made, so not sure if it would have the same impact now but of course we still carry that same energy and spirit into our newer recordings.
You’re forthcoming release ‘Shakewerk‘ is very much in the Deep House vein with Chus & Ceballos adding a bit of a classic X-Press 2 tribal bounce to it, has that turned out better than you thought it would do?
Yes, really pleased with the results. I think this latest release demonstrates exactly where are heads are at right now in terms of both our Ministry radio show and our DJ sets.
Would you ever veer into another genre of dance music other than House? Something more drum and bassy perhaps or do you think the responsibility falls onto the remixers for that?
We have already veered off in to some slightly Jazz/Duke/UK Bass territory on a project that we started about a year ago which we’re currently looking for a suitable home for. Stay tuned.
You’ve got a score of credible followers such as Eats Everything, Tim Deluxe, even Rob Harvey formerly of ‘The Music’. Who is the most famous of your fans that you’re aware of?
I suppose David Byrne from the Talking Heads is a fan but I suppose the surprise one would have to be Frank Black from The Pixies!!!
The festival season is about to spring into action now and The Strawberry Fields Festival on Cattows Farm, Leicestershire is on the cards alongside fellow Skint colleague Sonny Wharton. Looking forward to it?
Very much looking forward to the festival… always enjoy the dynamics of playing DJ sets in the open air. Tickets for Strawberry Fields are details are available here.
Where else are you heading this year?
Playground Festival @ Brixton Academy and Zoo Project @ Hidden Forrest.
So what’s left to achieve for X-Press 2 in 2013?
Lots and lots. New material for Skint. A new EP for Steve Bugs’ Audiomatique label and a new EP for 1Trax Records. Plus remixes for Dzeeta & Basille and a new project on Southern Fried called Friday Pulse featuring Robert Owens . Oh yes and a collaboration with Sonar Vabos.
So with a fresh outlook, a new media platform to create further awareness, new tunes and a string of gigs from Strawberry Fields Festival in Leicestershire to the sunnier climate of Ibiza, it seems to me like X-Press 2 are going to be back on everyone’s lips by the end of Summer.
Shakewerk by X-Press 2 is released by Skint Records on Monday June 17th 2013
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