365MAG INTERVIEW: EDDIE RICHARDS
Special: 365 Interview (2009-07-16)
In the 80's Eddie Richards was among one of the first DJs spinning house in London. His name was stamped across many of the early rave flyers and I guess he's partly responsible for some of the state-side DJs realisation of just how big a phenomenon house had become in the UK.
As an 18 year old I was fortunate to live close by to a club holding one of Eddie's promotions, Outer Limits. Where along with another of his promotions Brainstorm he brought us aural pleasure from DJs and acts such as Lil “Louie” Vega, Moby, Richie Hawtin & Speedy J. This was before the super clubs emerged and the price of such prestigious DJs soared. Behind the scene Eddie was remixing and producing underground hits and in the 90's he was among the few DJs to push the sound now known as tech-house at his promotion Wiggle which has been running for fifteen years. Now that's no easy task, when promotions can switch from the height of fashion to yesterdays news in the blink of an eye.
Which DJs inspired you when you started out?
I didn't know much about DJs until I became resident at The Palace in London in 1982 and I could afford to buy a lot of records and started researching and looking out for older classic tracks. I went to New York for the first time in 1984 and visited Paradise Garage, Zanzibar, The Funhouse, Studio 54 & others not just to check out the DJs that were spinning there (Larry Levan, Tony Humphries, Jellybean & Louie Vega respectively ) but also the clubs & sound systems that I had heard so much about. Some of the DJs weren't technically great club DJs but were known through their productions. I also liked Shep Pettibone, Walter Gibbons, Francois Kevorkian & Tom Moulton.
You made a big splash in the early rave scene playing at legendary events like Sunrise and Back to the Future. At that time were you just working for the immediate future or did you envisage the house scene making as big an impact and lasting as long as it has?
I had no idea at the time that the scene would grow so fast or even get known outside of UK. The first few warehouse parties I played at like RIP at Clink Street weren't so big & it wasn't until Tony Colston Hayter started Sunrise that the "rave scene" took off and his events and others like Energy & Biology started to attract more & more people. Tony lived not far from me and knew about the parties I was promoting in the Milton Keynes area (Poppers & The Joint) and asked me to get involved from the start. It's not widely known that I was the "Music Co-ordinator" for Sunrise & that I designed most of the early flyers for them.
With a career that has spanned over three decades. It's the old desert island disc question. Name a track from each decade that you couldn't live without?
My favorite tracks are mainly from 70s, 80s and 90s. But there are so many really great tracks that I love from so many different genres. It's difficult to pick out one from each decade. Here are three that are timeless for me …
Evelyn Champagne King - Shame (1977)
Newcleus - Jam on It (1983)
Cloud 9 - Do You Want Me (1994)
April saw the 15th Anniversary of Wiggle at London club Fabric. What elements do you feel has enabled this promotion to survive so long and keep the punters interested?
I think for any event to be successful and continue it has to get all of the elements consistently right. A really good quality sound system, accomplished DJs, interesting venue(s) & decor and an up for it, friendly, music loving crowd are all important. Wiggle managed to get the combination right time after time.
You've selected the soundtrack for Gordon Mason's new documentary They Call It Acid, the story of acid house. How did the selection process work and did Gordon have the final say?
We wanted the soundtrack to be different so avoided the obvious tracks that had already been included in other dance music documentaries. We also decided to put them together in a way that hadn't been done in a documentary before, as well as the having the music fit the mood, enhancing the subject matter of the video clip it's used with. For instance there's a section about Clink Street where several tracks are beat mixed as they would be in the club. In other sections the tracks are blended using effects such as delays reverb & edited samples.
In addition the music had to be historically accurate and represent what was actually being played at the time by certain featured DJs & at the various clubs that were being mentioned... to complicate matters further most of the tracks had to be instrumental or were re-edited to remove vocals that might interfere with narration. I also had to synchronise with specific events throughout the movie. Gordon had a few tracks he particularly wanted to include but mainly left the selection process to me. The whole thing took the best part of three months but I think we managed to achieve the goal of making the soundtrack quite unique and not just a regular backdrop to the visuals.
Which DJs do you think will be the superstars of tomorrow?
It's hard for me to answer that question as I only rarely get to hear other upcoming DJs. I prefer to play at smaller parties where I'm the only guest along with a local warm up DJ. As I seem to be constantly on the search for good tracks to use in my sets I don't get time to listen to any mix cd's either.
365Mag would like to thank Eddie for his time and answers!
EDDIE RICHARDS - INTERVIEW
Asi před měsícem vyšel na holandském webu 365mag.com rozhovor s Eddie Richardsem. Myslím, že každý fanoušek tech-house si ho rád přečte. Interview je v angličtině.