Ihouseu.com catches up with Sheffield's red hot DJ & Producer, Groove Assassin, who joins Louie Vega, Bobby & Steve, Joey Negro and Live: Barbara Tucker and many more at the Groove Odyssey Sessions Album Launch Party on Easter Sunday March 31st at Ministry of Sound. Here Groove Assassin aka Nick Moss talks about the new remixes he's done for the Groove Odyssey label, mixing the album, his influences, heroes and what the future promises.
Q: What can party people expect from your set, styles and sounds at the Groove Odyssey LP Launch ?
I'll probably keep it nice and bumpy few vocals thrown in a mixture of some new tracks and some classics with one or two special edits I've been working on to keep the vibe bouncing and set the mood for Louie Vega to come on and take it to the next level.
Q: Do you have any secret weapons you can share with us ?
I've just finished working on 2 new remixes for Groove Odyssey so I'm sure i'll be giving those a spin..I've always got a few exclusive edits to roadtest but I like to keep those under wraps until the night as they're secret weapons :)
Q: Can you tell us about the Groove Odyssey LP and your mix on it. Also what's new in terms of productions, remixes, projects etc etc ?
I'm very honoured to be involved closely with Groove Odyssey and extremely excited to be getting to mix the compilation. There's a whole host of brand new material on there from the likes of Louie Vega, Mr V, Barbara Tucker, Michelle Weeks, Sarah Divine, Leroy Burgess, Bobby and Steve, Sean Mccabe, Matt Early, Pauline Henry, Bizzi, Lifford and myself plus many more.
I've just finished 2 new remixes for Groove Odyssey - Bobby & Steve & Michael Hughes ft Wyen Solo's 'Smile' & ' No Strings' and sure to be airing those on the night and possibly a sneaky peak on the compilation .
How does playing in London, especially @ Groove Odyssey & Ministry Of Sound, compare to other cities or countries, and do you count London as one of your favourite spots?
I've actually only played at MOS once before alongside Osunlade so I'm really looking forward to getting back there - the venue and system is incredible. Groove Odyssey know how to put on a party and from previous line ups like MAW, Kerri Chandler, Julie McKnight and Dajae.. the guests are the best DJ's & Artists around. GO always put on a top night and attract an up-for-it clued-up crowd and being back at MOS is gonna be very special! Compared to other countries and cities I'd say MOS is probably the most recognised club in the world - it really doesn't get much better . London has always been a face of mine and it's great to catch up with friends I don't get to see every weekend and MOS seems to have the perfect blend of locals and tourists to help create that special atmosphere.
Q: How does it feel to have been working in House music for the last 20 years or and what are you proudest moments/memories ?
I've seen a lot of changes in the scene over the years - some good some bad - and clubbers are a lot more clued up nowadays and know exactly what they wanna hear. There's so many more styles/sub genres of house these days, as when I started there was just one sound.
I'm very grateful to still be part of it and I've travelled the world, played at some of the best clubs and have been blessed to produced records & remixes for some of the best labels in the world.
A few special moments, from a DJ point of view include getting to play alongside my all-time favourite production duo, Masters at Work for Groove Odyssey , spinning at clubs like Pacha, Space, Amneisa and Cafe del Mar in Ibiza and Cielo (NYC); spinning at an open air party for 4,000 people in Jakartta, Indonesia alongside Stephanie Cooke; playing eclectic sets at Kudeta ,Bali; touring all over Austrailia and getting the chance to DJ at some incredible locations around the world and meeting some great people along the way who've now become close friends.
From a production point of view having my productions played by the likes of MAW, Larry Heard, Tony Humphries, Kerri Chandler and Roger S as I was buying their records as a teenager and still am now! To receive recognition from them in the way of them playing my productions makes all the hard work worthwhile!
How do you manage to keep it fresh, new and vital? Is it a case of pressure as a DJ/Producer to always be one step ahead in the house/techno scene?
I think it's essential today to keep one step ahead and it's great that there's so much music out there that's easily accessible through many different download sites such as Traxsource , Beatport , Stompy etc.. Obviously the quality is not so controlled but it makes it all the more fun searching and digging out tracks, and it's always nice to have that so called ' secret weapon ' that not too many people have picked up on. I'm still buying a lot of vinyl, be it new stuff or collecting old bits I missed from Discogs etc - it's essentail if you wanna be that one step ahead. There's a lot of stuff that never see's the light of day on a digi release, and I love many styles of music and hate being pigeon-holed. I would like to think that people can hear from my mixes & productions that I'm not just laying down one particular type of sound and I take inspirations from many different styles. It's all about keeping it fresh - don't be scared to throw something in that other dj's wouldn't - thats what make you standout above the rest.
Q: You grew up in Sheffield and how much of an influence did the neighbourhood around you have on your path towards music? Were there any other major influences such as key people, DJ's, producers or clubs etc ?
Sheffield's had a major influence on me musically and I grew up listening to pirate radio stations, and in particularly one called SCR which played a variety of different sounds from house to reggae and beyond. I also spent a lot of time hanging around at the local amusement arcade.
I was addicted to video games and the arcade was a real street level culture and was the perfect place to pick up knowledge and learn about underground music. It was really a melting pot for Dj's, graffiti artists, breakdance crews and nerdy computer geeks and there was people selling and passing around mixtapes from early electro to hip house, early house, disco, funk, jazzfunk etc.
Local DJ Raw also worked in the arcade and was part of a local breakdance crew, Street Crew, and they travelled around Europe breaking. His knowledge of disco, funk, jazz funk, electro breakdance & house was second to none and his mixtures were legendary in Sheffield on the underground scene. I spent many years hanging with him, soaking up his knowledge and learning and later we started producing together and had a few releases on Glasgow Underground, Black Vinyl, Miguel Migs' Transport Recordings, Tommy Musto's 4th Floor Records (NYC) and he was and still is a major influence on my musical path.
Since 2001 I've been flying the flag solo as Groove Assassin but back in the day it was Groove Assassin(s) with a couple of different people. With mainly William Hague as a production/DJ partner, we released music on Defender Records, Glasgow Underground & Black Vinyl and our own imprints and before that around mid to late 90's I Dj'ed as Groove Assassin(s) with another friend Paul (Musol) at our regular night in Sheffield and a few guest spots elsewhere.
Finish the sentence. A good set starts with….abeer.
And ends with…. a sambuca.
Q: And what track should we be listening to as we heard out the door to Groove Odyssey?
'Smile' Groove Assassin Slam Dub by Bobby & Steve & Michael Hughes ft Wyen Solo on Groove Odyssey
Groove Assassin joins Louie Vega (Masters At Work), Bobby and Steve, and Live, Barbara Tucker, Joey Negro, CJ Mackintosh, and Jazzy M for the Groove Odyssey Session Album Launch Party on Sunday March 31st at Ministry Of Sound. Groove Assassin also mixes the debut 'Groove Odyssey Sessions Vol 1' Album and all info on the album and event can be found at www.grooveodyssey.com