Behind the Beat: Sandy Turnbull
With his EP ‘The Most Fantastic Thing’ dropping November 2nd on Galleria we caught up with Sandy Turnbull to get behind the scenes of this exciting EP.
Only the Beat: Tell us a bit about yourself, have you always been involved with music?
Sandy Turnball: Well, I was always the kid who was listening to music and I got the bug for house music while at college in the late 90s and early 00s. I started buying vinyl not with the intention of djing initially but because you could only get certain records I like on imported vinyl (at least for a good few months). I started going to places like Bed and Gatecrasher in Sheffield, Hard Times and Back to Basics in Leeds my tastes to developed even more. I went on to put on a few nights, doing mainly local gigs and worked on making music for a few years until around the mid 2000s I got two significant residencies, The Pin Up Club in Sheffield and Gatecrasher. While these residencies were happening I decided to take music production more seriously and went to study production. My first release came out in 2011 but it was my second release that relaunched Soulfuric and was my first Traxsource number 1, the original: The Most Fantastic Thing. I went on to having another number 1 with Camino straight after. I have gone on to release on Solid Ground, Look At You and I launched Galleria records in 2012.
OTB: What came first for you, was it DJing or producing? How long was it until you were doing both
ST: Definitely DJing first. I only seriously started productions because at the time I couldn’t find that many I really wanted to play. I’ll not count my early records that were never released but it was probably 10 years after djing I started production and about 12 months before anything I was doing was ready for release.
OTB: How is your studio looking right now, what is the latest addition to the equipment list and how has it changed over the years as the technology available has become more and more accessible?
ST: My studio is in a basement and with a few bits of outboard hardware, The latest addition was the Roland TR-8 which I have been enjoying taking out and using at gigs. I just have it going to the mixer via phone and have to mix it in live. I love how accessible technology has become but also it forces people to work harder to make their music stand out. I do like to bring in musicians and record them, bring the live feel the music that you can’t get unless you play the instrument.
OTB: Do you think it is beneficial to the scene that the equipment is so readily available, leading to a lot of very young producers?
ST: I think its great that it is available and I’m all for young producers. If it sounds good and works on a dance floor the age of a producer doesn’t matter. On the reverse of that I was sent a track by artist in his 40s which was amazing.
OTB: Again with DJing, how do you feel the scene has changed with the introduction of laptops behind the decks, is it all positive or a bit of both?
ST: I personally use Traktor for DJing so don’t have an issue with it. I do to try and always have it to the side so it’s not a focal point. I use it as a digital music library, I don’t ever sync, even when I introduce something like the TR-8 in to my sets. I record vinyl in digital files and don’t do any time warping etc, I like to actually mix the records.
OTB: When you were growing up as a child what did you find yourself listening to and how do you think this has helped shape the sound you create today?
ST: Growing up my influences were my parents. My Mum liked The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow. My Dad the Beatles and a Scottish band called Run Rig. my own tastes until I went to college were bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, then hip hop like the early Snoop Doggy Dog and Dr Dre so I can hear a little bit in the funk and disco samples.
OTB: The Most Fantastic Thing EP is out now through Galleria Records. Can you describe the release a little bit more to our readers?
ST: The track started out on Soulfuric Deep. I was speaking to Soulfuric label boss Brain Tappert about a interview I had scene with NYC disco legend Danny Krivit. Brian knew Danny and asked if would be up for hooking up with them if he liked the track, the rest is history. I revised the record because of DJing. I was playing the original with new drums layered live from my drum machines during my sets and decided to go in to the studio and make a new version purely for djing with. The reaction was unbelievable from the crowd and other djs wanting a copy I approached Brain Tappert with the idea. We decide to put it out on my label Galleria.
OTB: How do you stay motivated musically?
ST: That is easy! It can come from a great gig, working on something exciting in the studio or even hearing another record…Sometimes an old disco track
OTB: What do you think the best thing is about the modern day house music scene?
ST: I’m loving how there seems to be a lot of funk and grooves back in house music. Also how a lot of knew young producers want to work with the originators of house and disco and take an interest the history.
OTB: What’s next for you?
ST: I have releases scheduled for Galleria until the spring next year. A couple of new ones from myself and signing a couple of EPs by some new artists called The Reprobates. Their stuff is super exciting as the produce a lot by reconstructing records and not just sampling in the traditional way.
As well as that I have lots gigs and time in the studio upcoming.
‘The Most Fantastic Thing’ lands November 2nd on Galleria Records.
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