The 165th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Steve McGrath.
1. If you had to pick one track which solidified your love for electronic music early on what would it be?
I think for me it is a fusion of tracks actually from an extremely well crafted Mix album. My school buddy had this tape playing on his walkman one time when we were meant to be listening in class. He said to me “You won’t like it “. After listening to it I was like ” WOW what is this stuff ?? ” so i made a copy and kept going back to it time and time again and it never ever got old or boring. It was God Within – Rain cry beautifully fused together with Rabbit in The Moon – Out of Body Experience mixed by Sasha & John Digweed on Northern Exposure. It’s like they created a whole new track.
2. What was your first and last DJ gig?
First gig was when I was 15 at my mates dad’s nightclub in the South of the Island and my last gig was at a popular local nightclub called “The Courthouse ”
3. What was the first and last record you purchased?
I think my first piece of Vinyl I ever bought was Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal. I used to play it on my sisters Mini Hifi record deck. I was fascinated with the instrumental version and the music behind the song. The last record I bought was an album from M83 – Hurry Up we’re Dreaming.
4. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
aving my first ever solo vinyl release ( which was a highlight in itself ) played and supported by Sasha and Nick Warren whose music and Gu Mix comps I had been hammering in the late 90s / Early 2000s . So for guys like them who were at the top of their game, hearing that they were playing my records was a really great feeling and so rewarding.
5. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.
I once saved two people and a dog from choking to death! There was a guy who was full of Beer chewing on a steak and he got into some bother . Lucky for him I was sitting behind him. Worst thing was he carried on with his meal and started choked again on the same bit if meat so I had to start over . Worst still he didn’t even offer me a beer for saving him ! The other two times my friend turned blue whilst eating a bag of sweets so I had to step in and help , then my dog was choking on a bit of cheese so I had to beat him like a doormat to get it out . It was mental. I also once scored a 4 second knockout in a boxing contest, have held a Discus record in Athletics at my Local high school for the past 20 years and broke my neck in two places when I was 20 after a dirtbike crash!
6. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
Up and coming artists like Andy Reynolds and Jacky from the Northeast UK are always surprising me with their new music and diversity. I’m always keeping track of what they are doing musicwise. Also watching guys like Simos Tagias and Stas Drive growing in popularity has been great over the last few years. Im sure We haven’t seen their best yet. Best of luck to all of them.
7. Which producers consistently inspire you?
I am always keen to hear what Sasha is doing he has always been a musical pioneer yet somehow always stands out and has a certain sound which I like. Same goes with Henry Saiz, Dixon & Guy J .
8. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
I’d really like to remix London Grammar, there is something really special about their music. I would love to hear a Henry Saiz interpretation of one of my tracks.
9. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days, which ones if any standout for you?
My Favourite Robot, Poker flat, Innervisions, Bedrock, Get Physical, Last Night On Earth and of course microCastle. The main reason being is they are consistent and you know exactly what you are going to get with each release. Even if it’s an unknown artist you can rely on past standards it’s going to cut the mustard. Pure Quality. They aren’t popular by accident.
10. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Without a shadow of a doubt, Northern Exposure by Sasha & John Digweed.
11. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Anything Italian & Indian, good old fashioned British Fish and Chips and surf and turf .
Drink: Coffee, Tea, Freshly squeezed Orange juice and an ice cold Guinness.
Animal: My Siberian Husky skye. She’s a pain in the ass but I love her all the same.
TV Show: Bear Grylls Born survivor and I hate to admit WWE Total Divas there is something about them Bella twins I can’t keep my eyes off them.
Movie: In no particular order, The Hitcher, Apocalypto, Lone survivor, Top gun, Donnie Darko, Predator, Commando, American Sniper, Terminator 2- Judgement Day, Kickboxer, Eight Below, Hot shots 1&2, American Pie Trilogy, Dances with Wolves , American History X.
Video Game: Call Of duty, Colin McRae Dirt Series are rather impressive. I love video games and technology. I’m a big kid at heart.
Album: Northern Exposure 1, 2 & 3, Pink Floyd -Division Bell, M83 – Hurry up we are dreaming, UNKLE – Never Never Land, Sasha-Involver 1,2&3 , Way Out West -Intensify , Boxed Global Underground mix compilations, Guy J & Henry Saiz Balance Series.
Track / Song: Twisted Air feat Caroline Thorpe – Feels Like Forever & Rabbit In The Moon – Out Of Body Experience
Producer / Band: M83, UNKLE, Sasha, Pink Floyd
Record Label: Bedrock
Nightclub: Was a local club called Talons it’s shut down now and It was tacky as hell but had some superb nights in there .
DJ: Sasha / Diggers have been for over 20 years
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
M83 – Reunion.
‘Way Down Where’ is out now on Stellar Fountain, you can purchase the release: here