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Deepgroove; Men in Leggings (& Lashings of ‘Manscara’) (interview) :: Skrufff

Reported by Charlie G [] on November 12, 2009

“We’re very partial to a bit of manscara and nail polish; we're currently spearheading the revolution for men in leggings.”

Though their press shots depict Deepgroove as conventional, straight-shooting regular DJ types, Grayson Shipley insists their love of mascara for men and figure hugging hosiery runs deep.

“Our friend Dionne makes amazing leggings and unitards,” he enthuses, “which always come straight out at the after-party.”

Increasingly headlining superclubs and festivals from Ibiza to Serbia’s Exit Festival and beyond, Grayson and band-mate Lee Pattison can often by found DJing at London club kid/ fashionista events, an environment they feel more at home in, says Grayson.

“Why do we prefer playing warehouse parties in Hoxton over big room clubs?’ he asks, “’Cos we're freaks and it's where we belong.”

Fashion issues aside, the pair are arguably the hottest producers in house music right now, having dropped a stream of sizzlingly superb crunchy electro-house remixes as Idiotproof over the last 12 months for the likes of X Press 2, Cevin Fisher and Malente.

While as Deepgroove they’ve been championed by uber DJs Sven Vath, Alter Ego and Darren Emerson, all of whom have all released Deepgroove tracks on their labels (Cocoon, Klang Electronic and Underwater respectively). It’s as Deepgroove (their older band name) that they’ve just finished their debut album 13 Machines, a collaborative effort made with techno legend Jamie Anderson, that’s out now on Harthouse Records.

Loosely conceived around the concept of each track reflecting a different music making machine, the instrumental album is stripped and decidedly dark, covering minimal, tech-house and post-minimal bases.

“Hopefully it's a chance to express a few more emotions, and perhaps create something with a bit more weight to it so it's not so easily swept away by the tsunami of techno released each week,” Grayson explains.

“We've worked hard to make it so it can be played at a party or on your iPod and hold your attention for the duration so perhaps it will hang around for a for a little while longer.”

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): The two of you work together non-stop, both as Deepgroove and Idiotproof: why bring Jamie in at all- what does he add that you can’t do yourself?

Deepgroove: “Jamie is an absolute Jedi when it comes to production and one of the reasons we can make such sparse music is because he can wring so much out of the simplest elements - its very inspiring.”

Skrufff: How do you allocate ideas between Idiotproof and Deepgroove?

Deepgroove: “Hopefully the distinction between the two is fairly clear in the music. And that's is very much how it works for us - both projects are as much about what they won't include as what they will so we try to stay very tight on keeping both things pure.”

Skrufff: How long does it take you typically to make a track?

Deepgroove: “It can take a very long time, Turbo, our single for Cocoon for example was pieced together over quite a few months. We like each track to be a very good example of its type so sometimes it's a long battle to make things perfect with many iterations of a track until were totally happy.”

Skrufff: Idiotproof remixes have a definite recognisable style and structure; how conscious/ concerned are you of working to a formula?

Deepgroove: “No real formula's, just an affection for certain pieces of software and hardware and the sounds they create.”

Skrufff: How essential is it to be a producer now for DJing?

Deepgroove: “Well you have to have an edge,  whether it’s an internationally recognised blog, soap career, owning a club or whatever. For us it's all about playing to people in clubs, getting on it and having amazing weekends and everything else is done in service of that.”

Skrufff: What’s stopped you from relocating to Berlin so far? What advantages does London hold?

Deepgroove: “Family and friends - we're both kind of rooted where we are though the call is ever present. We shall see.”

Skrufff: How big a role does Bristol still play in your music/ lives?

Deepgroove: “Bristol is just the most amazing place in the world - we always get dragged into hugely messy after-hours parties with our crazy friends and turn up wrecked at our Saturday night gigs. The people are amazing and the city is beautiful.”

Skrufff: You mentioned in a previous interview avoiding suit jobs through music. Have either of you done 9-5s?

Deepgroove: “We’re both career ravers, having moved from the dance floor to the DJ booth with the minimum interaction with the real world of jobs, money and having to stop getting hammered when it gets to Monday morning. So we're pretty lucky in that respect.”

Skrufff: How do your parents feel about you pursuing musical careers?

Deepgroove: “They are happy if we're happy - though basically clueless about the whole thing in the sweetest way possible.”

Skrufff: How worried are you about free downloading?

Deepgroove: “It's never been our plan to make money from music, which is lucky as we rarely have. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle and people these days can listen to whatever they want, whenever they want. How much this is driven by fashion and trends is the really interesting part, and that's where building a career has to be somewhat focused at these days.”

Skrufff: How ambitious are you? How long term do you plan?

Deepgroove: “We're hugely ambitious and think very long term, but we try to grow slowly and build it wide - we're still learning loads every day so the sky is the limit.”

Jonty Skrufff (


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