1. Hi Stuart how are you? so much for joining us today, how are you?
Stuart King: I’m great thanks and i hope you are too.
2. For those who don’t know you’ve been in the game for over 20 years, tell us where and how it all started for you?
I have always been a fan or Electronic music. Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Human League, Jean Michel Jarre… Growing up, i remember seeing a German group called “Trio” on TV, they had a Worldwide hit with “Da Da Da”. They made a track using a Casio VL1 Keyboard, a tiny mini Keyboard. I remember seeing the Video and had to have one! Jean Michel Jarre he was my idol growing up, I used to watch him on TV performing live with his Laser Harp and it fascinated me.
Stuart King: His Vision of the future with his music and Performance captivated me.
I loved all the early Hip- Hop and Street-Sounds Albums and i would go to town as a Kid with my Ghetto Blaster and Lino and Breakdance outside the local shopping centre in Jersey, doing Graffiti and Copying the “Beastie Boys” by taking VW signs from peoples car’s to put around my neck! (Sorry, who ever’s car that was 🙂
The music was continually evolving over time and when the Acid House Movement kicked in a New, Fresh and Exciting scene was born. I started helping set up illegal raves in Underground Second World War Bunkers in Jersey, Channel Islands and I started to play my first sets around 1990.
3. You worked quite a bit with Marc Mitchell in 90s as Sunday Club, the music you guys were making was really special. Highly emotional and the production for its time was mind-blowing. It must have been an amazing time, what was that like? And are you still close today?
Stuart King: It was a special time indeed! When we first connected and got into the Studio we worked like the Dream team. We were both into the progressive and melodic sounds, but we wanted to take it further and make it as epic as it could be. It was a very special time, we were perfectionists and would spend weeks working on tracks, sometime using over 120 different Audio Channels for just one track, with Marks Signature “Whooshville” FX and Joins, we were weaving a perfect web of sound until the track was complete. It was a crazy few years, i was pretty much in the studio non stop with Mark for a year and a half, just non stop remix’s and working on Singles.
Everybody was playing our music, Sasha, Digweed, Seaman, Pappa, Quivver and i was playing a lot of gigs in Europe and the UK.
When Sasha played our remix of Visions “Coming Home” on his Essential mix live on Radio 1 from Amnesia in Ibiza, the phone didn’t stop ringing, we remixed Jarre which was surreal! Sunscreem, Way Out West. Paul Van Dyke remixed Healing Dream, it was peak time stuff.
We will always be lifelong friends, we are both doing our own thing now but we do talk about getting into the Studio to work on more “Sunday Club” tracks and i’m sure it will happen when the time is right for both of us. Its got to happen naturally. We have been meaning to release an Album of all the “Sunday Club” Back. Cataloque called “Sunday Best”. I think it needs to be done as we still have a big fan base out there.
4. Is there any chance you could play those tracks today? Pitched way down of course. 🙂 And what is your favourite Sunday Club production? Original and remix?
Stuart King: That is a great idea, Now you have mentioned it you’ve got me thinking!
Sure, i think you could, their Amazing tracks, we’re very proud of them.
I don’t think i could name one favourite, they all hold special memories.
Healing Dream was a classic, Sasha and Digweed, Anthony Pappa and Dave Seamen used to hammer it, they would play the Original into the Dub mix or vice versa. Paladien Dawn was Hammered by Digweed, Nick Warren, and as diverse as DJ Alfredo from Ibiza who played it on Radio 1, right through to Boy George.
I think one of the last “Sunday Club” tracks we produced on the Stress Records Compilation “Zeitgeist”, that’s my Favourite. “Etanas Flight” It was like our finale. Funny enough, i just had a listen to it 5 minutes ago and it takes you to so many different places. Thats the thing, our tracks were sometimes hard to fit into sets, because they were like Soundscapes, they could be Club tracks, or 6am armchair moments, but they are timeless pieces of Art, the work and production that went into those tracks was insane. It was a great time indeed!
5. You then went on to release solo productions first for Spundae in 2002 and then Baroque, Vapour Recordings and Stripped Digital roughly 10 years later. Your releases have been sporadic over the last 15 years to say the least. Why such a long break after the Spundae release?
Stuart King: We moved Studios around that point, Stress Records had finished up and myself and Mark were going in different directions. We were getting to the point where we were known for making these amazing Melodies and epic journeys, but after many E.P’S and countless remix’s, we were gradually starting to move away from that sound. There are only so many notes and Chords that you can play on the Keyboard, and our sound was complex, so we were hearing the same patterns over and over again. Trance was becoming the new big thing, and we wanted to try something different so we started to move away from it. Mark was working on loads of other projects, TV, Adverts, Film Scores and I moved to Ibiza and worked as Resident DJ at Privilege and Space for two Seasons, Boat Partys for “Pukka Up” and doing gigs in Brazil at Warung Beach Club and in Sao Paulo, i was just enjoying being out of the Studio i think, enjoying the gigs, travelling.
I came back to Jersey and i started promoting Club nights called “AUDIO” booking artists like Charlie May, Guy J, Behrouz, Max Graham, Jody Wisternoff and Kasey Taylor.
I was still producing and made loads of tracks but i wanted them to be perfect before i would let anyone hear them, a lot of them are still on my Hardrive 🙂
6. You seem to have found a good home with Baroque in recent years and your debut album has just been released there. Tell us about it, how much time was spent on it and what was the vision you had in the beginning?
Stuart King: Well the Album is doing so well, after a few days of being released it’s now No.2 in the ITunes UK Electronic chart so i’m super happy!
I started working on it at the beginning of last year, i had just arrived back from Thailand and i wanted to throw myself into something so i just focused on making loads of music, i didn’t have an Album on my mind. Before this i was struggling to finish a few tracks a year, loads of half finished templates on my Computer, then i’d move on to the next one I saw a few of Mike Mondays videos, He’s like a life coach for the Music Producer, its called – Start Now Finish Fast, its genius and a very simple theory.
It really helped me focus, it was so simple, Stay off Social media, not checking emails when in the Studio and generally avoiding anything that can be a distraction.
The Vision for the Album started to appear when i made the first track, (which became the second track on the Album) funnily enough called “Vision”. I just thought, the ideas are flowing here, and i’m so focused, i wasn’t drinking or partying, the tracks just started to load up, i wasn’t taking it too seriously if i’m honest. I just set a goal of creating an Album from that point and it worked. I think if i had planned it from the start it wouldn’t have happened, its got to happen naturally.
7. How did the album end up on Baroque? is it something you had in mind when you were working on it?
Stuart King: To be honest, i had no idea where i wanted it to go, i just made music, but i wanted it to be an Album that appealed to everybody, not the same genre all the way through. I sat on the Album for quite a while, i wanted to wait until it was right, and i didn’t really know where it would fit it in, as i think its got a sound of its own. I kept tweaking the Album, there were 26 tracks, so i spent months just listening to it, in different scenarios, trying to discard the tracks that were still great but didn’t blend with the whole of the Album.
I had a good few releases out on Baroque, it’s a fantastic label with some amazing artists over the years, Odessi, Innate, Quivver and Tilt so it seemed like the perfect home for it. And also Keith Seemed to like it 🙂
8. How important do you think artist albums are in this age of rapidly consumed music?
Stuart King: Theres so much music out there now, its really hard to find something unique, when i’m downloading music for my radio show on FRISKY RADIO i spend hours looking for tracks, just for that one hour mix. A lot of the artists put out one Genre Albums, just banging out 12 club tracks of the style that they play in the club, which can be quite boring really, even though as singular units, there great tracks, an Album has got to have something that stands out, Especially with Electronic music. So yeah, i think it is important, it shows a body of work and your diversity, that cant be a bad thing, music comes and go’s so quickly there days so i wanted to try and make something that covered all aspects of Electronic music, my roots come from progressive 100% but i have always mixed it up a bit in my sets and still keep that melodic vibe going. I’m really happy with this Album, i think it has a special quality to it and want it to be something that gets played again and again.
9. What’s coming next? What can we expect to hear from you later this year?
Stuart King: I have a release coming out on a new label from my buddy’s Dan Reid and Gary Benetton It’s called “High Tide Recordings, Uprising stars “Mongo” have done the remix and It was just included on John Digweed’s Transitions show last week so i’m super happy about that. Also i have another track on “High Tide” coming out at the end of the year with vocals from Sophie Moletta of “Human Movement” fame. I’ve just about finished six new Peak time club tracks, a tougher sound than the Album tracks and still have 6 or 7 tracks that didn’t make it onto the Album so i will need
to find a home for those soon.
10. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? and how helpful was someone like Marc in softening the learning curve?
Stuart King: It was a gradual process really, i had always been in the studio with Mark and i learnt so much from him over the years, Mark uses Digital Performer which we used when we were recording as “Sunday Club”, but when i started recording on my own i was using Reason, then Logic, so it was like starting again to an extent. But Logic for me back then got the ball rolling as i found it a lot easier to use then DP. I was like, where have you been all my life! I have never had a problem with ideas in the Studio, that was my thing, it comes naturally, but the production takes time, so i always would learn off Mark, even if we weren’t working together i would be at his house, chilling out, just watching him work, and putting the hours in and naturally things progressed to this point.
11. What was your first amazing moment in a club? A memory that still sticks with you today.
Stuart King: Bloody hell, i cant remember a lot of it, the first 10 years seemed like one big party that didn’t end! It would have been in Jersey, Channel Islands and a culmination of amazing moments all blurred into one. The illegal after parties in Second World war Bunkers with Paul Mack and Mikey Ashford and at “Inn On the Park” in the early 90’s, the first all night Raves, just losing it on the dance floor to DJ’s like Biko and Warren Le Suer, that Club was special with some amazing guests week in week out! Everybody dancing in unison to an Ecstatic beat, the Second Summer of Love.
A special time indeed x
12. What five tracks are you currently loving the most at the moment?
Marvin & Guy – Superior Conjunction – Life And Death
Serge Devant – Thinking Of You feat. Camille Safiya – Crosstown Rebels
Red Axes – Earth Core – Correspondant Music
Saraga – Love Song(Feat. Ofra Haza) (Quivver Remix) – Sudbeat Music
Mongo – Planet Mongo – High Tide Recordings
‘Late Night Obsessions’ is out now on Baroque Records, you can purchase the release: here