Dale Howard is a name that is fast becoming synonymous with top quality house music. With releases on Noir, Morris Audio, Local Talk, OFF and Lost My Dog and with support from artists like DJ Sneak, Luciano, Reboot, Dyed Soundorom, Steve Lawler, Dubrire, MANDY and beyond he is fast making a name for himself on the international scene.
We got the chance to speak to him during a break from his hectic production schedule and ahead of his performance at this summers Noisily Festival to find out more about his past, inspirations, studio tips for aspiring producers and of course, what we can expect from him at the festival.
Thanks very much for taking time out to speak to us! Can you tell the readers where you are in the world today and what you’ve been up to over the last 7 days?
No problem! Last Friday I was in Utrecht playing at InMotions and then I played in Derby for Discotech's 1st Birthday. Monday I played in Newcastle and i'm currently at home about to head to Manchester to play at the launch of a new night called 'Frank' at Underdog.
You have a huge response to your productions. Can you tell us how you got started in music production?
Thanks a lot. I kind of just got into it because I wanted to start making my own music. I'd been DJing for a year and I wanted to be able to play my own music, as opposed to just playing other peoples.
What have been your musical influences past and present?
Wow. Loads really. I'm not going to do the whole cliched, 'I was raised on a diet of motion, soul and US garage' nonsense. My diet was much more varied than that, carrots, peas, potatoes and a variety of meat and poultry.
I only got into music when I went to Uni really and at the time, Electro was really big so people like Leger, Mark Knight, Dave Spoon, Switch were all major influences at the start. Then I started to get into more 'Techy' sounds like Steve Lawler, Audiojack etc. Then I became obsessed with Techno so people like Faki, Hawtin, Vath, Beyer, Slam, Klock, Dettmann. Then, simultaneously I became a fan of deep house - perfect for winding down your 2 day parties with. I could go on for ages but the more confident I beam with my sound, the more I like to incorporate stuff from places I would never have dreamt of before. So elements of UKG, US garage, Bassline, Electronica, Chill out, even if it's just a tiny little thing you hear in an arrangement or track that stands out, it's cool to try out different stuff in my own tracks.
You're touring loads at the moment? In the last few months you have performed in Germany, Iceland and Holland. Do you have a favourite gig from last year and one your most looking forward to for 2013?
There's been a few actually. Teknicolour at Mint Club was really great, played for 3 hours to an awesome crowd too! Playing overseas is nice but I love England and playing here, the crowds here are ace. Club AIR in Amsterdam was wicked as well when I played for Windmill in December.
Can you list your can’t live without studio gear?
I reckon if i didn't have my Mac i'd be in a spot of bother. For obvious reasons.
I’m sure all the aspiring producers reading this are keen to know how you make your records. Can you give them a tip or tick that you feel every tune needs?
I think every track you make (unless you're making a raw / groove tool just for club use) has to have a hook, something that will make it stand out from other tracks, change the mood of a dance floor etc.
You’re playing Noisily festival this year. What can we expect to here from your set?
Do you incorporate any other software or instruments in to your performances?
No I used to use 2 Traktor Kontrol x1s but i've gone back to CD's and i'm starting to play vinyl again now too.
What advice would you give potential producers of the future?
Just make sure you make time to make music. No one just loads up Ableton or their sequencer for the first time and makes a banger that gets signed by an amazing label. So you need to put in a lot of hours to get used to stuff and to refine your sound.
What does the future hold for Dale Howard? Any remixes, collaborations or an album on the cards?
I'm just trying to build on things really. I've got goals i'd like to achieve by the end of the year so hopefully i'll be able to accomplish some, if not all of them
A big thank you for Dale Howard for taking the time out ot speak with us. You can catch Dale Howard at the brilliant Noisily Festival which takes place between May 24th & 27th at Noseley Hall in Noseley.
Dale Howard Recommendations
John Dimas has a great sound and this track is a great reflection of that.. Perfect 5am stuff!
Errr.. what to say about my own tracks... This always gets a good reaction from crowds and I'd be a bit stupid not to play my own music when I play.
Really like this track, blurs the line between house and UK garage and is a general banger of a track.
This hasn't left my sets since I signed it about 6 months ago.. was my favourite track of last year too. Just complete and utter raw, subby loveliness!
Don't know too much about these guys but I hope they keep making tracks like this!
Hector Couto is the best thing to come out of Tenerife since the girl I slept with on sports tour with my University football team! I always play his stuff.
Been into Samuel's stuff for a while now, this is another fine example of his sound.
I'm putting another one of my tracks that I like, in this chart, OK? Cheers.
Another great track from Jack that i've played a lot. Really nice bumpin' house!
This was the first time i'd heard Sidney's music and i've played this track a LOT!