Edit Select (aka Tony Scott) has been on the scene for a while now, quietly working away building a trunkful of dark, heavy, hypnotic techno on his own as well as collaborating with some of the biggest names in the scene; Speedy J, Gary Beck, Chris Liebing as well as Martin Gore and Vince Clarke from Depeche Mode.
His first gig as Edit Select in NYC happens this Saturday Oct 8 via Oktave at National Underground. We caught up with him from Glasgow! Please imagine following with heavy Scottish accent!! Quite delightful!
CGNY: Tell us how you got into techno and djing?
ES: It started off in Spain, Torremolinos believe it or not, about 20 odd years ago. I was working as one of these guys that get you into a bar or whatever. And the French guy that was running the club, he was doing the djing. It was in the days when acid house was starting. So one night he was sick and he said “You’ll need to do the music!” I didn’t have a clue, I didn’t know at all what I was doing. I was basically playing records, not mixing or being really bad at mixing. So that’s where it began. Because of the rise of acid house at the time, it was a good time to get started in the business. That music was a huge inspirational thing for everyone who was around at that time. It just took me to wherever I am now – which is not very far!! (laughs)
CGNY: Your sound is very distinctive. I know you do a lot of remixes for Speedy J and I feel like I can always pick out your remix from the bunch! It’s a very particular vibe you put out. How did your sound develop?
ES: Well before I started djing, I was very influenced by disco music and also electronic music. I wasn’t really into heavy metal or rock, all that kind of stuff that a lot of guys were into. We used to have a sponsored all night disco at a youth club, you know 14 years old dancing all night to Chic! To be honest I always liked music that you didn’t have to stop dancing to! It didn’t have so much ‘confusion’; like heavy metal and rock has loads of breaks and changes and stuff. I like the music to flow and have almost like, not quite trance but a hypnotic feeling. It’s like techno for the ladies! If you get the ladies to dance, you’ve won. It’s always been my motto! Don’t be too obvious about it. Don’t go in with the big tunes! Make people think about it. For some reason women dance to good techno. It works because the guys then follow!
CGNY: Smart move there! It’s true!
ES: I also used to do a lot of warm up sets at The Arches (big techno club in Glasgow). The warm up music was more inspiring to me than the big obvious tunes. I used to play music with a lot of strings, a lot of feeling, the first Ifach records and stuff like that. Music like that always touched me more than the big hits.
CGNY: So obviously there is a jump somewhere along the line where you’re playing and producing and then suddenly have people like Speedy J and Chris Liebing notice your work. How did that happen?
ES: Well Jochem (Speedy J) to me has a certain view on music. As I just explained we both like that continual flow in a tune. I’m not the most ‘in your face’ guy about my work. These people just sort of came to me! Like it is in the music world, good people come to good people. It’s a strange thing to be honest. I couldn’t give you an exact answer!
CGNY: You just found it each other! It was meant to be!
ES: Especially Jochem, I just did a track a few months ago. I did something with Gary Beck, a more techno thing and I sent it to Jochem and I put on it “For Awakenings”. I knew he would play it because it was his style and my style, really, really heavy. He ended up adding a bit to it and now we’ve got this new project called “The Back Pack Poets”. It’s out in 4 days on Electric Deluxe. It’s got 3 different mixes. One is kind of four to floor mix. We lost all the parts apart from one sample. Every time I play it out it works no matter what kind of club I play it in, whether it’s a commercial club or techno club, it works in every place and its just - well it doesn’t really do much but it gets people on the floor and keeps ‘em there!
CGNY: Well that’s kind of key!! So New York!! First time here?
ES: First time as Edit Select yes. Think it’s my third time in total. I played before with Mark Broom and an Irish electro guy – Decal. I think that was about 7 years ago.
CGNY: So this is the Edit Select debut!! Nice one! Oktave bring good people to NYC! So what can we expect on Saturday?
ES: What I do is basically, always think ahead of what folks expect from me. One thing I don’t do is use lots of effects and things. I like to keep it simple and honest. If I’m using the Traktor internal, I’ll use the 4 channels and keep the groove going all night. What I want to do is make sure that everyone who’s there is just blown away by, not just by your normal music. The way I make music is also the way I play it so hopefully you’ll be standing there happy
CGNY: I’ll be upfront and center – my usual spot! So what’s going on with Edit Select Recordings, your own label?
ES: As we speak I’m doing a remix of all the bigger hits on the label. I’ve got a remix of one of the New York guys, Mike Parker and Donato Dozzy, all the usual suspects plus a few new ones. I’ve brought in Ventress. He’s got a new release coming out on Shifted’s label, called “Avian 2” but I will be playing that Saturday so you’ll get to hear it. He’s a really, really talented guy. So I thought get him, get a couple of new faces, get it all up and running!
CGNY: So you’ve had a busy year in the studio. Which do you prefer, touring, playing out or studio work?
ES: My favorite thing is just to be in a busy club where people are in the palm of my hand and to finish a track that actually will play – these are my two favorite things. You can go into the studio and make a track and the next day it’s absolutely shit – just one of these things! But djing, if the crowd is with you, I just love it. It’s where I’m most at ease!
CGNY: (we stop for a minute while Gary Beck calls to congratulate Tony on his latest track that he sent him!) Must to be great to get that feedback so early on! So where are you off to next (after NYC)?
ES: I’m off to Moscow next weekend to play a club that’s really good called Shanti. The people who play this club I think are similar in style to the Oktave parties, like Donato etc. I seem to be getting these gigs more than the commercial gigs which is I suppose because of the style of music I make. I’d like to be doing the big festivals next year because I feel the sound I make and play and want to hear, it’s a necessity. A lot of big guys, producers and dj’s they don’t really get that chance, lets call it Easy Street, where they play a festival for an hour and get well paid and a lot of people get to know them.. The guys we’ve been talking about, none of those are really big festival dj’s apart from Jochem and Chris Liebing of course, they are. But the other guys who are making the music that is being played are not getting that chance – that’s a thing that’s a bit of a piss off for me. But I don’t let it get on my back, I just want to get there as soon as possible you know?
CGNY: I understand. When you know you’re making good music and you know people will love it, you want to expose it to a bigger audience. Makes sense. You should look into Movement in Detroit next year or Electric Zoo!
ES: I guess when it’s your time! I’ve been under the radar for so many years, I don’t honestly know what would happen if the Big Time did happen! I like where I am apart from sometimes financially its not the best as you can imagine.
CGNY: You’re working on a pretty big remix right now – tell us about that?
ES: Well I’m working on a remix for heroes of mine – Martin Gore and Vince Clarke from Depeche Mode. It’s huge because they picked Regis, myself and DVS1 to remix and Martin Gore and Vince Clarke have worked for 30 years together. They made these poppy techno tracks and they picked us to remix them so yes quite a big deal!
CGNY: What do you use to produce?
ES: To be honest, at the moment I use a lot of samples and sounds that I’ve used for a while. I use everything and anything! I used to use a Yamaha SU700 which I actually sold back in the days when I used to gamble! This was like 6 years ago when I was on a gambling spree for 5 years, horrific experience. But that machine now is what I really wish I had …looks like a 909 but it’s silver and compact. Maybe have a smoke, go and dj, sample some sounds. And you can work it tracks for you and that’s something I miss. Even though you’ve got Ableton, there is a funny sound to Ableton I don’t like. I use Spotify too to puff up some sounds and like I said regurgitate some samples.
CGNY: Whatever you’re doing it’s working! We are very much looking forward to your gig on Saturday – safe travels and see you on the dance floor!!
CGNY recommends Edit Select this Saturday- details here