L-Vis 1990: MySpace, Night Slugs and a secret collaboration
A lot of people claim to break the rules when describing their musical exploits, yet Night Slugs co-founder L-Vis 1990 has released a string of limit-free club tracks which are truly doing things a bit differently. Last year’s ‘Neon Dreams’ album melded nostalgic traces of Chicago house with a hint of pop to great effect and just before Bugged Out Weekender, we caught up to have a brief chat.
First up, how are you?
I’m good if not a little jet lagged!
What have you been up to in the past week?
I’ve been out in Tokyo since the beginning of the year, DJing, eating amazing food, searching out vintage Comme de Garcons and Yoji Yamamoto and buying synthesisers! Tokyo is such an amazing place I’ve come back totally inspired.
How’d you meet up with Alex (Bok Bok) and how did Night Slugs start up?
We actually first linked through MySpace. Remember that old dinosaur?! Alex had seen a couple of my first tracks and bootlegs on some blogs around that time and he hit me up. We both had a massive love of basslines and ghetto house. I was really into a few mixes Alex had online so I booked him to play a couple of shows I was promoting in Brighton at the time. We hit it off straight away. Night Slugs started as a club night about a year later after I had moved up to London. There were no nights around for our blend of grime, garage, bassline, and ghetto house so we had to start one. We are four this year, I can’t believe it.
The fact that Night Slugs can’t be pinned down by genre makes you guys so different. But what particular strand of bass music are you feeling the most at the moment?
To be honest I’m not into any new strands of ‘bass music’ at the moment and it’s a label that we have been trying to move away from over the last year. If you catch the Night Slugs Rinse FM show or see any of our crew DJ you will hear that we are not all about the new. The roots of our sets are based in Chicago house, Detroit techno, Ghetto mixed with our own productions and those of our close family. The core of all dance music is in the bass, so I think “bass music” is a really loose and irrelevant term.
Who were you listening to when you were making the album or did you try not to take in external influences?
Before writing my album I was listening to a lot of Chicago House from the late eighties and early nineties, that was my starting point for the record. Once I was in to the writing stage I closed myself off from everything and took myself off to New York to give myself a fresh perspective. I did not want any influence from London at the time. I wanted to write something timeless and from the heart, not something that felt like 2011.
Lots of use of the 707s on Neon Dreams, what made you choose them and was it always intended to be pretty pop-orientated?
The Roland TR707 drum machine is a massive staple of early Chicago house and it had that clean sound that I wanted for the album. I used it throughout the album to gel each track together and give the record continuity. There are lots of different ideas on the album so that drum machine just tied them all together.
I didn’t set out to write a pop-orientated album, it’s just what came out at the time. I had just fallen in love and the record was about that story. It didn’t feel right at the time to make a really dark underground album. I wanted to write songs. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I would not change anything but the next album is going to be totally different!!
And you’re playing at Bugged Out. What is it about playing live that you love most?
Live is such a different experience for me. I’ve been DJing for over 12 years and the transition was hard for me initially, I was so used to just being able to drop a track and instantly get a crazy reaction but with the live show you really have to work hard and build it. But the thing I love most is being on stage with my vocalists Javeon McCarthy and Samantha Lim, its so rewarding when it all comes together.
Finally, any plans for 2012?
I’m going to be working on a lot of new music this year, starting off with a new EP for Slugs and a secret collaboration for the Sound Pellegrino Crossover series. As for Night Slugs, each of our artists will have new releases but I am most excited about Jam City’s debut album, which is absolutely incredible. Watch out for new Night Slugs residencies across the globe too.
‘Tonight’ by L-Vis 1990 is out March 19th on PMR Records. Catch L-Vis as well as a host of other electronic artists down at Bugged Out Weekender which takes place in Bognor Regis this weekend.Tagged in: L-Vis 1990, music, Neon Dreams, Night Slugs
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