We speak to Brighton's Well Rounded label boss as he makes us a mix ahead of him joining forces with Berlin's Fachwerk at Blink's south London rave this weekend
This Friday, 15 June, Berlin’s respected house and techno imprint, Fachwerk celebrates its 25th release by throwing a party in London with Blink. Headed up by Mike Dehnert, the label has long been known for its raw, industrial, sounds, holding nights at Berlin's prestigious superclub Berghain.
Catch them in South London as they bring over Roman Lindau and Sascha Rydell, whilst in Room 2, Brighton's Well Rounded Records (Julio Bashmore, XXXY and Deadboy) will be coming down strong with their crew made up of James Fox, Leon Vynehall, latest signing Hodge and label founder himself Donga, with support from London’s Liminal and GetSome residents. Here we chat to Donga alongside an exclusive mix by him to showcase what's to come...
Dazed Digital: How do you find and/or pick your artists?
Donga: A variety of ways and it all becomes hazy fairly quickly at my age. I guess as Well Rounded has become a bit more widespread I get more and more brought directly to me. Still it feels like an organic process somehow, things seem to present themselves and develop as concepts over time quite naturally. The pieces fall into place.
DD: Is there something in common that runs through all your signings or what criteria do all the acts fulfil?
I'm actually really into a kind of considered contrasting of stuff so I dont relate releases to each other particularly. I see them as individual parts of an evolving whole. In fact that's the general ethos of all Well Rounded's labels but here I wanted to focus on the wonderful possibilities that can exist within the broad church of house music. I guess people can see if they feel any common connection if they check the mix. I'm past being objective!
DD: Do you primarily see yourself as a DJ or a producer?
This is tricky. These days I feel more defined by running the labels. However, I was a DJ before a producer and when production is not an option or getting me down I can always inspire myself by going digging, make some new discoveries and messin wih them in the mix. I never know which way the winds gonna blow with my taste so it continues to be a journey of discovery. I look at things i've been picking up recently and end up saying to myself 'right, so I seem to be moving back towards old skool electro' etc. There's so much still to discover from all eras I can't stop buying!
DD: What do you think is the most exciting aspect of the current UK electronic music scene?
Can I be honest and say I'm not especially blown away by any particularly 'current' trends - I'm looking out for the music that I believe has potential to become timeless. perhaps people's tastes have broadened somewhat, which is great of course, but I actually think there's a lot of work to be done to show new generations of people how deep dance music culture can run. Almost a way of life. Certainly a serious passion. I'm always wanting more, chasing the indefinable. We have to keep working to create real magic
DD: What's next?
Housing Project stuff includes a various artists EP of slow house called 'The Slow Spectrum' in July followed by a superb psychedelic and sumptuous EP by Hodge, some under the radar tracky-ness from a certain Manalive, our second EP by the wonderful Leon Vynehall and myself, and Blake's re-edit of Groucho Marx's 'All That Mattered'. All available on 12", natch!
Friday 15th June - Blink at Hidden: 100 Tinworth Street; Vauxhall; London SE11 5EQ