Classic is Your Friend: Derrick Carter & Luke Solomon

We speak to the duo behind one of the most influential house labels in the world about their new event series, re-releasing classics and fashionable dogs

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Founded way back in 1995, Classic Records still stands as one of the most influential house labels, born as a result of Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon’s mutual friendship. Kicking off with early releases from the likes of Matthew Herbert, Tiefschwarz, DJ Sneak, and Metro Area, the days were always numbered for Classic, as the catalogue number for their vinyl releases started at 100 and counted down.

Carter and Solomon had always said that when they got to zero, the label would cease operation - and since then, they've only released CDs and digital EPs. Now for 2011, they'll be re-releasing their back catalogue, re-mastered and out digitally for the first time - and to celebrate, they’ll be throwing a series of parties, 'Classic Is Your Friend', all across Europe. Completing the line-up in London this weekend on 5th November will be Classic's ever-faithful Rob Mello. Here we speak to the two about their personal style and current musical loves, and show Derrick Carter Butters the Fashion Dog...

DERRICK CARTER

Dazed Digital: Who are your style icons if any?
Derrick Carter: I don't have any really, I'm not much into following other people's style. I'd much rather find my own things and rock 'em my way. 

DD: What was the last piece of clothing you regret buying/wearing?
Derrick Carter:
I bought a pair of shoes which I could have done without.  They were a pair of plaid, kiltie slip-ons w/ tassels. Overkill.

DD: What will you be wearing this season?
Derrick Carter:
I have a standard work uniform of polos and jeans with comfy kick as it suits my "job" but in my other moments, I pick a theme; sports casual, lumberjack realness, '80s school boy preppy or Fifth Element pimp. There's lots of Vibram soled shoes, jumpers, and colour blocking going on in general.

DD: Also, have you seen this guy?: http://buttersthefashiondog.blogspot.com/
Derrick Carter:
I haven't until now. But, my dogs kick it MUCH harder. There are some cuties on there but you can not beat Herman or Endicott on their first day of classes.

DD: What / who are you listening to in your own time right now?
Derrick Carter: At the moment, mostly a lot of old disco, jazz-funk, and '80s stuff.  Nothing too cheesy, though I do have my guilty pleasures.

DD: What's your favourite sound?
Derrick Carter:
The sound of six dog collars with tags jingling to meet me when I walk through the door after a trip. It's transcendent.

DD: Who have been the most influential figures in your life / music/ style?
Derrick Carter: Mike Brown (my DJ mentor of sorts), my parents (for my fine moral compass), and if you would allow me a little latitude, Chicago as a city.  I like the way the city feels.  And I dress accordingly.

DD: Was it a challenge to remix & work with more commercial artists in your time?
Derrick Carter: Not really.  I just do what I do.  If it's liked, then fine. If not, then that's fine too. I still have to look myself in the mirror everyday so I'm not much into "selling out". I suppose I could be a bit more flexible with things but then I wouldn't feel as if I'm holding true to why people as me tend to do things in the first place.

DD: What are you most excited about in the world right now?
Derrick Carter: Right now?  A certain someone...

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LUKE SOLOMON

DD: Who are your style icons if any?
Luke Solomon: Ben Volpelierre Pierrot, John Lydon, Lee Much, Toby Chinner

DD: What was the last piece of clothing you regret buying/wearing?
Luke Solomon:I think it may of been a yellow Converse / oversized trench coat combo... Early Dale Farm.

DD: What will you be wearing this season?
Luke Solomon: A Goorin Pork Pie... Doc Martins For Life. Not much else.

DD: What/who are you listening to in your own time right now?
Luke Solomon: The Rah Band. John Kongo. George Harrison. Feist. And more...

DD: What's your favourite sound?
Luke Solomon: The sound of my own voice. Seriously though... I live hearing trains from bathrooms in the early hours of the morning. It reminds me of growing up in Avonmouth.

DD: Who have been the most influential figures in your life / music/ style?
Luke Solomon: Prince mostly. PIL, John Lydon... Hapan and David Sylvian... And my friends... Mostly my friends.

DD: Was it a challenge to remix & work with more commercial artists in your time?
Luke Solomon: It has had its moments. Remixing is never much of a challenge, I just don't think I have ever got it quite right. As for producing. I had a moment that pretty much put me in hospital. Never again. I like to answer to only me if I am honest.

DD: What are you most excited about in the world right now?
Luke Solomon: Apart from Classic re-incarnated and the new artists and music involved, I am pretty excited by a project I am working on with Richard Walters and Martin Radford under the guise of These New Things. Oh and Mother Rose. But that's a secret.

Classic Is Your Friend: London, Derrick Carter, Luke Solomon, Rob Mello; Saturday 5th November | 10pm – 6am; Hackney Downs Studios, Amhurst Terrace, E8 3BT

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