The 163rd episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer and Baroque Records label owner Keith McDonnell aka Innate.
1. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
Wow, one track!! That is going to be very hard. It could go right back to tracks like Chic ‘I want your love’ as I was really into that disco & rare groove sound. Maybe not electronic but laid the ‘dance’ foundations. then later in the 80s there was music like New Order ‘Blue Monday’ & Depeche mode stuff that definitely planted that electronic edge into my taste I think looking back. One track that really gets me & I still pull out now though is Orbital ‘Belfast’ I certainly remember standing at Shelly’s in stoke or the eclipse in my home town of Coventry & hearing that at the end of the night and thinking yep this is it, this is what I want to be involved in.
2. What was your first and last DJ gig?
Haha neither of these are going to be glamorous. And I could lie and say the last one was the one before last where I dj’d in Asia or something. But I said id answer these questions honestly. So here goes. First dJ gig was for a 16th at a rugby club! I was working in car factory at the time and me & my mate both loved music so we got a loan and brought a mobile set up between us, an all in one citronic set of 2 decks, amp & mixer. It kicked off between all the lads at the party & the girl who’s party it was wet home in tears. We got paid about £30 I think! And the last gig was at a mates house for a weekend birthday bash.
3. What was the first and last record you purchased?
First was Adam Ant – Ant Rap, and last was the new Mind Against EP on Hotflush. Hotflush are actually a client via My other company – AMPsuite, so I had the EP free but went and brought it to support the music as I love that EP & the producers. I hadn’t really heard of them , and then settle, a mate of mine who promotes a club night, booked them and I went and really enjoyed what they did, so I have kept a look out since then.
4. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the world doing what I do, and very early on with the label we got invited by Danny Tenaglia to play at his night in New York. That was a proper highlight & a right buzz! I’ve also worked on some cool remixes for people like Sinead O’Conner & god within ‘Raincry’ To be honest though Just to still be here 15 years later ( baroque launched in the year 2000 ) releasing great music is a constant highlight!
5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I’m an FA qualified football coach!
6. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Don’t know if you would class them as undiscovered but people like dubspeeka is a hot talent that is gonna break through bigger this year , but as I say to be honest he is already pretty hot, so maybe not undiscovered 😉 We have some guys on the label too like ‘Binome’ ‘Adwer’ ‘Model1’ ‘Stereo For Two’ & ‘Paul Hamilton’ that are all making really good music & hopefully will open up this year
7. Which producers consistently inspire you?
At the moment someone like Wehbba is proper hot, I’ve been into his stuff since early on and his sound always grabs me. Loco & Jam are also someone I always look out for , great rockin techno! And King Unique & Maceo Plex keep releasing superbly produced electronic music. But one person who has been making great music for the last 20+ years is Sasha. His tracks and mixes were classics back when I first started clubbing & he is still releasing the same high level of current music. His sound has progressed & moved with the times, while always retaining his own unique edge! I honestly think I have brought every single & album from his ‘Appolonia’ single back in 1992 . Just this weekend I played his single with Joel Mull that was released last week AND his remix of M-people ‘Someday’ that was released like 23 years ago !
8. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
Love to remix Bjork ‘Big Time Sensuality’ or many tracks by Radiohead, and love to be remixed by Sasha, or Andy Weatherall!
9. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days, which ones if any standout for you?
Drumcode continue to stride forward, they have a good strong identity both visually & audio, and release quality music time after time, I also work with them as they are another client of my AMP suite company. 🙂
10. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Have to be one of the first two Sasha & Digweed ones. Renaissance ‘The Mix Collection’ or ‘Northern Exposure 1’ Not only did they lay the foundations but they are bloody great albums . go and look at the tracklist on them . they are bloody awesome!! Probably have to go with The Mix Collection. As it was the first and that tracklist takes some beating.
11. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Mexican or anything of Asian persuasion!
Drink: red wine ( although I’m equally partial to a glass of white! )
Drug: I’ve just had a tooth taken out. So co-codamal today!
TV Show: ‘Sons of Anarchy’ at the moment
Movie: its not a particularly new film . but I watched ‘starred up’ recently & that was a hard hitting film. Quite hard to watch at times. And Jack O’Connell is one of my current favourite actors. Last film I saw at the cinema was the final Hobbit movie. Took my boys to see it & that was ok
Video Game: don’t play video games. If I do jump on with the kids then a bit of FIFA will do me
Album: its early so I’m easing myself into the day with the new the All We Are album ‘All We Are’ & Rae Morris ‘Unguarded’ – there are loads of her songs that would lend themselves to be really good remixes. Great vocal & big soaring melodies
Track / Song: dance wise it would be Andre Crom feat Thomas Gandey ‘The Devil’ just got that on Promo from OFF recordings and that is going to be huge!!
Producer / Band: Wehbba
Record Label: Drumcode. Last Night On Earth. microCastle.Dext
Nightclub: there is a little club over in Birmingham called Next Door that are hosting some great nights. 3-400 capacity. Rocking vibe.
DJ: Sasha or Maceo Plex
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
oh i dont know, thats too hard of a question & too important a moment for me to think of something off the cuff. Probably something like the track i mentioned above ‘Oribital ‘Belfast’ or actually maybe something with a bit of soul & emotion like the Def Mix of Kym Mazella ‘Was That All It Was’ or the sasha remix of Sounds of Blackness ‘going All The Way’
‘Samcro’ is out now on Baroque Records, you can purchase the release: here