Here at Future Disco, we love a good dig around a record store. There is nothing better then spending a Saturday afternoon wading through a load of dusty old slabs of wax to try and find that one record that you know is going to ignite the passion that got you listening to music in the first place. This week we where lucky enough to catch up with two chaps who we think share a very similar disposition when it comes to digging through record shops…
Over the past five years the duo of Danny McLewin and Tom Conveney aka Pyschemagik have carved a unique path in the world of electronic music. In this day and age of aggressive digital sales tactics and ‘hero worshipping’ the producer; Danny and Tom have brought the attention back to the art of being real DJs and have created a name for themselves as being the ‘go to guys’ for tripped out disco and other such rarities, through their DJ sets, edits, compilations and original productions. We had a chance to catch with the pair to discuss the concept behind the Pyschemagik and their plans for the future…
Hey guys thanks for having a chat with us today… You first made a name for yourself creating quite unique edits of old records, do you feel like the ‘edit’ a good way to update old gems for a modern dance-floor? Or is it more of a case of wanting to put your own slant on a particular song?
Tom: Both… It’s always great to give a dancefloor something they are familiar with but with a twist!!!
You’re known as the ‘go to guys’, for rare records, when did you both start collecting and have you inherited any collections?
Danny: Luckily my parents had an amazing prog, folk, rock and jazz collection so I inherited a lot of great stuff there. I started collecting when I was about 9 years old, mostly pop and David Bowie 45′s. But the serious digging started when I was 16. I started with Jimmy Castor, Kool & The Gang, James Brown etc all the Ultimate breaks kinda gear, Honey Drippers, Soul Tornadoes.
Then in my 20′s I got in to the folk psych jams, David Axelrod, Air, Heaven & Earth, Christine Harwood etc.
In terms of collecting new material, nowadays where do you usually go crate digging to find your back-catalogue gems?
D: One of the pluses of touring is being in different countries and cities all the time so I try as much as possible to visit as many stores as I can. I have many collector friends I trade with and i’m always looking online, in Charity shops and boot fairs. It’s an addictive obsession.
So far you’ve compiled three compilations ‘Magik Cyrkles’ and ‘Magik Sunrise’ and ‘Diabolical Synthetic Fantasia’ which have all been met critical acclaim, how do you approach compiling an album against creating a regular DJ mix?
D: I guess the plan is to find a selection of music that flows together well collectively. Compiling an album has it’s restrictions, finding artists and clearing the tracks etc, whereas a mix is limitless.
For your latest mix for the Future Disco radio show, we’ve had the pleasure of going through the vaults and spinning a vintage mix of yours – where was the Blackout ’77 mix recorded and any tunes that we’d still hear in your sets today?
T/D: It was recorded in our Cosmic Forest Studio… Those specific tracks aren’t really relevant today so much but the mix is still a good representation of a side to the Psychemagik sound. When we play disco sets we sometimes play a few of those old gems.
You’re based in the UK – in terms of hotspots for finding new records, where is your usual port of call in terms of records shops?
You’ve got a release coming out this week for Crosstown Rebels, how did this come about? Have you been fans of the label for a while?
T: Yes!! It’s been a solid stable of slick releases for years. Such an honour to have our first non self released track on Crosstown!
We hear you’ll also be playing at their annual ‘Get Lost’ party in Miami – is this your first year at WMC? And what are your thoughts on the music conference itself?
D: This is our first year so ask us again afterwards.
T: We are super excited about it though… We have got some sick parties lined up there . We’ll be at SXSW too playing the A Club Called Rhonda showcase with Tensnake and a very special surprise guest.
Your remix of Mirror People was such a big song for us in Ibiza last summer (hence why we included on Future Disco Vol. 7), do you think whether it big room bangers or twisted disco jams your sounds has a strong tie with the Balearic Island?
T: We like to soundscape with our productions and when doing so it’s always nice to dream of a paradise! It’s also fun to play with the contrast of the blissed out Balearic against some naughty basslines!!
So we hear that the next Magik compilation is in the pipeline – any hints at what we can expect from from that and any more remix projects you can tell us about?
D: It’s the usual mix of rare private presses, Balearic folk oddities and obscure euro gems. There’s a couple of really nice edits from some of our record collector and DJ friends also.
Remix wise, lots of great things happening, including working with Arthur Baker on some of his vintage disco material which is really exciting. We’ve also been working on some new studio tracks which hopefully you’ll hear later on this year.
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FUTURE DISCO VOL. 7 – TILL THE LIGHTS COME UP – OUT NOW