Bugged Out! resident Lemmy Ashton’s second release on his Take No Credit label is three-track EP ‘Lunaire’ geared for maximum dancefloor impact. We chatted to Lemmy about starting TNC, writing music and hopes for the EP.
If I had a no-holds-barred hour and a half set it would probably be an acid disco house party kind of vibe.
The last time we spoke to you was just before the Bugged Out! Weekender 2016. How did that go?
The 2016 Weekender was amazing, we had a great line-up with some now household names playing for us, and having Armand play a classics set on the Saturday night before a big B2B with Eats, Jackmaster and Skream all together was brilliant!
You had your first release on your Take No Credit label in September last year - TNC001. What led to you starting the label?
I’ve been making music for a few years now and only ever played it out at gigs and put them into the odd mix, and rather than start chasing labels and trying ,to get signed somewhere I believed in the strength of the, tracks, and my ability to get them out and get them heard, that I thought I should do it myself. There’s a fair bit of paperwork/forms when starting it up, but apart from that, if you do the basics right and have good tracks, they’ll get heard.
Why the name Take No Credit?
It’s kind of a joke about disco edits (because there are some big samples in the records) and the culture of taking credit for other people’s work - and TNC looks good on a tote bag, which is essential for a label.
What was the response to the TNC001 EP? Did it meet expectations?
Yeah, it did really well! Charted high on Juno and had some great feedback from the promo campaign. It’s always crazy to see some of the names replying to your music saying they’re digging it!
What were your other highlights of 2016?
Glastonbury was crazy, it’s a bit cliché to say it’s the best place ever, but it really is. The Bugged Out! NYE parties with Erol and Weatheral was also amazing, two railway arches in east London was amazing.
What have you been listening to this year? Top 3 records of 2017 of far?
Oh, that’s a tough one, The EP from Duke Slammer on Modern Magic is incredible. Mele sent over some absolutely amazing edits that I’ve been hammering, and Artwork’s track on Numbers that’s FINALLY coming out will be smashing up the summer, I’m sure.
You’re just about to release your second EP, Lunaire. How does it follow on from TNC001?
It’s a bit more guitar/loopy than the first, but still very much dancefloor based. I’ve mangled up quite a few different samples through my new outboard toys that I picked up, and they really help to get some inspiration from. It was mastered by the same engineer at Curved, Lawrie Dunster, and he does an amazing job every time.
Over what time period was it written? Do you have any particular favourite on the EP?
I have a weird way of working where I’ll set a date when the EP will be mastered and cut and work to that. The best work is done under pressure I think, otherwise I’ll spend weeks tweaking the tiniest things and end up with a worse track. It’s more important to get your ideas done, refine them and get them finished. Otherwise you end up losing the spark that made you interested in what you made in the first place.
Which was the hardest to finish?
Definitely ‘Amsterdam’, I was trying to squeeze an acid baseline underneath the ‘big’ drop at the end but it just wasn’t working and I tried a whole bunch of different ways to get it in but it just didn’t click. It was a real last minute rush recording the baseline from my MS-20 and then doubled with a bass guitar where I follow the melody underneath.
There’s a mix of disco, acid and 90s house. Does that reflect your DJ sets right now?
Absolutely, but being a resident for Bugged Out! it means I play a whole bunch of different genres. If I had a no-holds-barred hour and a half set it would probably be an acid disco house party kind of vibe. But totally depends on the place and the time, you’ve got to keep your USB quite organised!
How did you approach making these tunes? Was there any kind of method or routine that helped?
I have two ways of working when making tracks. It’s either running a sequencer constantly and tweaking synths/the sequence until I hit on something I like, then build from there. Or it’s heading down to the music video exchange, grabbing a big bag of records and finding a sample in there, and build that up. I don’t really write chords/basslines to start tracks.
On ‘Amsterdam’ you pay tribute to Europe’s crate digging capital. Do you have any particularly fond memories of Amsterdam that tune invokes?
ADE is always crazy fun every year, and I spent a lot of time out there over the last few years. It’s quite a small city centre so once you figure out your way round, it really feels like a second home. I have great memories of Trouw and the RAUW parties I went to, plus Distortion Records down on Westerstraat.
What are your hopes for the EP?
I see putting out records as a bit of an investment. I know it doesn’t really fit into the artistic outlook of music creation, but I think that when you release a record, you’re putting your stall out. This is what I’m about, this is the music I’m making, if you like it, come and see me play or go and buy the record.
Looking further forward, if you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
It’s got to be David Byrne hasn’t it?
How are the plans for the label shaping up?
They’re going good! Hoping to put another one out before the end of the year, and would love to get a remix EP together of some of the tracks I’ve put together, but that takes a whole load of time to do!
And, finally, what one thing could happen in the second half of 2017 to make your year?
Hearing Pete Tong say my name on “The Essential Mix… Mix… Mix…”.
Listen to ‘Lunaire’ on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to Lemmy’s Facebook page.
Lemmy Ashton image © Sarah Ginn.