Interview:House Gone Global
House Gone Global
Part 1: Balancing DJing with Producing / Mixing It Up / Live Instrumentation
In a nation awash with commercial trance, minimal techno and chaotic jungle sounds, German house producer Ian Pooley stands apart. Choosing instead to feed off the original roots of house in American disco and R&B, Pooley has made valuable alliances with Daft Punk, DJ Sneak, Bob Sinclair and many other esteemed inheritors of the house legacy. Picking up the production and DJ bug around the same time, he aligned with DJ Tonka at the beginning of his career, then split off to record hits like "Celtic Cross" for labels such as Force, Inc., Tresor, Junior Boys Own, and Sublime. These hits were compiled in the import release The Times in 1996, before Pooley released his first album of original music, Meridian, on Virgin overseas.
Pooley has just released his first domestic LP, Since Then, and already, DJs have been wearing out joyous house grooves such as "900 Degrees" and "Menino Brincadera." Most notably, Pooley has brought Brazilian and South American musical influences to bear on these tracks, and layers a lot of live instrumentation and Portuguese vocals. But there's plenty of points like on the Rhodes-inflected title track and the jazzy, balmy "Bay of Plenty" where Pooley touches down on new musical territory as well. Simply put, Since Then shows off Pooley's enviable musical and technical skills to full effect.
On the decks, Pooley is no less adventurous. Pooley focuses on the funkier and sophisticated sound of house, and has brought his turntable skills to crowds on both sides of the Atlantic. Long considered a DJ favorite, it is Pooley's turn to wake up the world to what he can do as a house selector and producer. Musician.com caught up with Ian Pooley at his home in Germany to discover the tricks he's used to get to the top.
Musician.com: How do you manage to balance being a DJ and being a producer?
Ian Pooley: That's quite tough. It's really hard to explain for me. Well, I always say when people ask me, when I'm DJing, when I'm touring more, I like producing more. When I'm sitting at home and producing, I like DJing more. I go through phases where I'm more at home and doing stuff at home and phases where I'm traveling all the time.
Musician.com: How are you feeling these days?
Pooley: More producing, definitely, because I have a lot of things to do for the album. I think I'll be really busy so I won't be that much at home. But I guess I'll find some more time to do more producing. And I really want to do something completely different from this.
Musician.com: With the stuff that you spin out, does that reflect the music that you're making?
Pooley: No. Not at all. Because I see that as completely two different things. I would never mix it up. I would never start a track and then think if it would function in the club or not. I just work very freely when I'm producing.
Musician.com: Do you bring your own equipment to the gigs?
Pooley: No, it depends on the bookings. I sometimes do live shows. I used to do them a bit more last year, but this year not that much. Basically, normally it's like a DJ set.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4