When the subject of drum & bass legends often arises in clubs and pubs all over the world, London Elektricity (AKA Tony Colman) surely has to be one of the first names mentioned. From founding the legendary Hospital Records label, to the release of classic albums such as 1999's 'Pull The Plug', 2003's 'Billion Dollar Gravy' and 2005's 'Power Ballads', this man has seen and done it all, and probably has a fair few t-shirts to prove it.
This week sees the release of his latest record, the highly anticipated 'Syncopanted City', and here at Trackitdown we were lucky enough to catch up with Tony for a quick chat about the new album, his work at Hospital Records & Medschool, and the art of eating a sheep's face after a gig!
1) Syncopated City is your 4th studio album, how long have spent making it, and who with?
It's taken 18 months, and I've worked with the vocalists Liane Carroll and Elsa Esmarelda, plus my stalwart string and horn players Orchestra Galactica.
2) Why the title syncopated city, what does this mean to you?
It describes where i live. it describes me too - I always have rhythms going on - my teeth are worn down from years of mouth drumming.
3) What has changed in the London Elektricity sound since earlier albums Billion Dollar Gravy & Power Ballads? I think it's lusher now, and also I didn't really give a toss about how this album would play out, I just cared about how it would play in - if that makes sense! Mind you I'm suffering the consequences on the road now...
4) How hard is it to juggle being a producer and DJ and also running Hospital Records & Medschool?
I've been doing it a long time so I think I've finally got the idea now - it's all about sleeping before the gigs. - get to the hotel at lunchtime and just go to bed. Then driving to the airport at 4 am is easier. As for being a producer, you just don't gig for 6 months! I can help run the labels cos i'm very lucky to have the best team in the business in the office.
5) The Hospital Podcast has been a phenominal success what did you expect when you started doing it and how has it developed?
Haha yeah it was just an experiment. I missed doing pirate radio (RIP interface) so it made sense to gve it a go. it's no more than pirate radio now, just that you call it a podcast and everyone thinks it's really modern.
6) All Hell Is Breaking Loose from the album has a wicked video, for those that haven’t seen it can you tell them about it, and also how did the video come about?
It's kind of a bit like Thriller only with camp loungy D&B behind it! Chris at Hospital put the tune up on the internet on a site called Radar and got bids in, the only one that was any good (and it was wicked) was Kenny Frankland's from Tin Spider. he smashed it. on time and in budget.
7) You still cut dubplates, what have you been cutting recently, and which new producers are you excited about?
Yeah I cut at Dubstudio with Henry like all hospital artists. i've been cutting some booties, some stuff by Break, Noisia, Mistabishi, Randomer, Martsman, SKC, the list goes on...
8) Of all the places you have DJ’d what has been your favorite City? Nightclub? And Experience?
Seoul - Cargo - did that with cyantific 2 years ago and I think for both of us it's still our favorite nite ever.
Experience - eating half a sheep's face in a drive in burger joint in Reykyavik after a gig.
9) What is next for London Elektricity and Hospital?
LE - lots of DJing frantically for the rest of this year then a bit of a break from it all next year so I can get back in the studio and also take my family out at weekends like a normal dad!
Hospital - we're upping the stakes with Hospitality in 2009, checkout out hospitalrecords.com for details soon to be released, we're releasing the first ever Future Sound of Cambridge album in November, and next year will see the debut album from Mistabishi.
10) And finally, on those long drives / flights or train journeys to DJ destinations, which tracks make it onto the London Elektricity mp3 player playlist?
'Syncopated City' is out now on Hospital Records, download it here:
Exclusive London Elektricity Trackitdown Top 10: