After Jane Fitz' superb mix we are now ready with number thirty. This one is made by Alexander Slaughter from Canada, now living in Berlin. His record collection is great, his mix is cool and he is such a nice guy. Can't be better!! Listen to the mix here. While listening to the mix, you could read the interview below! Enjoy...
NWS: Hey Alex... Tell us about who you are!
A: I'm a 194 cm male. I was born in the Canadian national capital city of Ottawa, grew up in Calgary and spent my last 6 Canadian years in Vancouver, where I studied and was 'schooled' so to speak as a DJ. In Vancouver I was surrounded by lots of creative and inspiring people who were getting really funky on a daily basis. It was a climate that was totally instrumental in forming my taste and ear for dance music. I think what was really important for me is that since Vancouver has such a shit "club" scene… 'underground' dance music was never focused on in big business club environments. This meant there is a lot of honest almost pleasantly naive output as well as intake in Vancouver. People don't have their musical taste formed by an idea of how it should function in a club environment, and I love that. It offers the space for some really loose interpretations of what dance music can be and how it can function at a party. It’s something that has really stuck with me and I don't take it for granted. I am very thankful for that.
NWS: You’ve done parties in Canada right? Tell us about your crew in Canada and about the parties there..
A: There are a few little separate groups of friends who are coming together to make parties. Everybody seems to get along well and is up for supporting and helping one another. Some friends have started to run their own record label called Mood Hut; they all shared a studio and party space and work together to release records from various people in the crew. So far they have released the first record [Cloudface – Devonian Garden] and will soon release the 2nd and 3rd. Other friends also run a website called Leisure and make events under that name. They're all close friends of mine and all people that I've been involved with in one way or another. My best pal Cedric and I were putting on some parties together in Canada before I left, sometimes with international guests but also some just with us and other friends from the city. This was really fun and it was so nice to do it as extra curricular and not as a job. The great thing about not having proper club venues was that, although it's more work, we generally got to be in charge of all creative direction and decision-making which was really important. The parties with Cedric and the time spent putting them together were some of the most rewarding experiences for me in Vancouver.
NWS: You moved to the German capital a couple of years ago. To be honest, I’m not that familiar with the scene in Canada. So how is the scene in Canada compared to Berlin? (Vancouver vs. Montreal perhaps?)
A: It's sort of like I spoke about above. I can't say about Montreal because I’ve not been there. But as far as Vancouver vs. Berlin; the scene is way smaller and not as huge a market as Berlin. So parties are smaller, more intimate and way more homemade. It also means that it's a bit slower going. Things happen less frequently, but when they do they are often quite special.
NWS: Has your earlier employment in record shops affected your style and taste as a DJ?
A: I only worked really briefly at a record shop in Berlin and I don't think it affected or influenced my taste at all, actually. Maybe if I had been there for longer? Still, I don't know. Generally speaking, I have a pretty clear idea of what I listen for in sounds and music, so I think what working in a record shop does, [especially a used record archive like the place I was at] is expose you to a lot of stuff that you didn't previously know of or that you maybe didn't think you'd see in real life any time soon. But taste wise, no. It didn't change or shape my taste.
NWS: What does the future bring for you? I know that you are producing too – do you have any plans releasing some of your stuff?
A: Right now I’m in Vancouver and enjoying very nice and relaxing times with friends and family in Canada. As far as producing… I really like to do it, but right now I just doodle around in my bedroom. Of course it would be nice to make some sort of physical artifact of that one day, but I don't think it's something to be forced. I hope that one day it feels right and I feel at a point where I can contribute something worthwhile. I want to continue searching new and old music. I will actually host my own live radio program in Berlin. Two girls who live in the city recently started a radio station called Berlin Community Radio. It began in March as a platform for hosting mixes until the studio prepared. But it should be done in the next weeks and starting October I will have a 2 Hour show every 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 9-11PM [Berlin time]. I'm excited to have a space to air out the jams, play friends' music as they make it, bring along friends and guests who visit… [That's your invitation Chris] and talk at a very comfortable distance from the microphone as sexy as possible
NWS: Last but not least. Why do you play vinyl?
A: I'm by no means a vinyl fascist, but it gives me the most joy to play a record. It's the most immediate physical connection I can have to the music I am playing that I have found and I think this physical connection changes the way I play the music. Although I am never the person who made the tune, it makes me feel like I am playing some kind of a role in the music leaving the studio and reaching the ears of the listener. For me it's the most direct transmission between creator and me, then me and listener.