Set to play ReviveHER at Dalston Superstore this weekend, the New York producer speaks to us about his forthcoming album on cult disco/house label Golf Channel
Over the past three decades, DJ Nature (aka Mil’o / Natureboy), has established himself a purveyor of unique deep house sounds, manipulating warm and classic atmospheres tinged with elements of disco and funk. After partially-founding Bristol’s 80s ‘Wild Bunch’ sound system (of which members went on to form Massive Attack), Miles Johnson moved to the New York’s Lower East Side in the late 80s to work on his own music - landing on NYC’s well-respected electronic label Golf Channel, Delusions Of Grandeur, and Jazzy Sport Recs.
In terms of my sound, I don't really think about having a sound so to speak. There are [just] certain qualities l like to have in music...
Now back with his highly anticipated debut artist album ‘Return Of The Savage’ out this April, Johnson speaks to us ahead of his headline set at ReviveHER at east London's Dalston Superstore this weekend about what to expect...
Dazed Digital: How did you find New York in the 80s? Where were you going out?
DJ Nature: It was a crazy place, much more than now! I initially lived in L.E.S. The size of the rats there, jeez. Clubwise used to go to Better Days, Choice, Nell’s, Red Zone, Sound Factory Bar, Zanzibar in New Jersey, and a few hip hop clubs as well that I don’t remember the names now.
DD: The releases on Golf Channel sound very much uniquely you, has it been difficult to establish your own sound?
DJ Nature: No, I usually rely on my own steam. In terms of my sound I don't really think about having a sound so to speak. There are certain qualities l like to have in music, but I don't purposely go into making a song thinking, I want to use this sound because nobody is using that today.
DD: Your upcoming album has a live element on many of the tracks, did you use many live musicians and is it something you're keen to explore?
DJ Nature: I basically do all the production myself except, but hire soloists to add that bit of class to the tracks. I have been blessed to meet some really great industry people over my years of living in New York and the musicians on this particular project are guys I feel incredibly comfortable with. Without them the tracks would be pretty ordinary in my opinion.
DD: You're playing a lot of new electronic dance music including Basic Channel, Isolee, DJ Koze mixed with older style disco classics and more leftfield music in your mixes, what new music/artists are exciting you right now?
DJ Nature: I really don't get to sift through the internet like a lot of people do, but with help from my mate Dennis in Bristol who's been my musical brother since the late 70s it's a lot easier. He also alerts me to all the great stuff the Basic Channel style artists come out with. Personally I'm feeling quite a lot of artists, too many to name really, but those you mentioned are high up there. Even though I sometimes don't really play too much of that stuff in my live sets either.
DJ Nature returns to London for a special 3-hour set at ReviveHer at Dalston Superstore, Kingsland Road, London E8 this Friday 30th March, and also plays Vintage Festival this summer.