To answer your question, no, Casino Times is not a world-wide, syndicated publication that covers news and goings-on for gambling establishments. However, you’d be correct if you said that Casino Times is a pair of forward-thinking, UK house producers that refuse to be pigeonholed by sub-genre classifications such as “Deep House” or “Nu Disco”. For Joseph Spencer and Nick Church, the need to continuously push their personal boundaries as artists is paramount to their entire arrangement as artistic partners. To create sounds that stimulate both the head and the heart, as well as the body.
Launching their project in 2011 with a single track for then burgeoning, Sccucci Manucci, the reception was instantaneous, gaining the pair nods from Solomun, Jamie XX and Wolf&Lamb, to name a few. With subsequent remixes for the likes of TEED and sharing the stage with Morgen Geist and Todd Terje, whilst on the eve of their second EP’s release, I caught up with Joe and Nick for a quick chat:
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RiCHARD.GEAR: Ok, just for posterity: Full names, ages, favorite fruit and donuts or bagels?
Joe Spencer, 24, Bananas, everyday. I even take them to gigs. As for bagels and donuts, I don’t discriminate.
Nick Church, 25, Apples, bagels with salted beef, mustard and gherkins.
RG: How did you two meet, was it a friendship that bore a musical partnership or the other way around?
Joe: We met at University in Oxford both studying the same course…
Nick: We ended up working on lots of projects together for University… We did a really broad course so one day we could have been soldering PCB’s and the next making video packages for the University’s TV station or performing live Aphex Twin style compositions… I think we knew as we worked so well together in the classroom and the fact we have a laugh while we were doing it, so it seemed only natural to start working on our own project outside of our studies.
Nick: Our manager Matt sent Sean the demo of ‘I Wanna Know‘, probably in early 2012, when they where working on a club night together at Corsica Studios. Sean was really into it and wanted to do a full EP, fast forward 9 months later, the EP dropped and I continued to stay in contact with Sean after.
I saw back in April of last year that Sean was looking for someone to come and help with some stuff around the office a couple of days a week so I applied and was successful (woo!) So far it been a great experience working for both of the brands and we’ve got some really exciting stuff coming up over the next few months that I think is going to turn a few heads!
RG: Can you explain your production process a bit? VST or hardware? Ableton or Logic?
Joe: We tend to switch around with VST’s a lot as they all have their pro’s and con’s and it keep things fresh for us. Software wise it’s a jump between, Reason, Ableton and Cubase and on the external side of things… All the tracks we’ve made for the last two EP’s have mostly been made of samples we’ve taken from old records whether it’s a percussive loop, a snare hit, or a weird chord from an old rock record. There is so much music we go through on a daily basis trying to find the most interesting sounds that we can recycle and make our own.
Nick: We’ve also been trying to get more hardware involved and that’s not just limited to keyboards and drum machines…
Joe: The ‘Casino Edits‘ is really an extension of us going through all these records and finding great loops.
Nick: The initial idea we had was to make an entire mix just full of all these rough edits we had made. When we started working on putting the mix together it became clear to us that though the edits all had that same kind of grittiness and choppy style they didn’t seem like they would fit together in a mix, as even in ‘Casino Edits #1’ you can hear how different the moods are in the A and the B side.
Joe: Not wanting us to just sit on them, our manger suggested getting them out on wax, so we reached out to Phonica and they pressed up the record for us and took care of distribution. All of them where hand-stamped by us so you know they’re special. The next instalment will hopefully be out by the summer.
RG: Where can folks see you perform live in 2014, residentcies? tours?
Joe: We are just dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on some more dates in the UK and Europe that we will be announcing soon. Other than that it’s lock down in the studio as we want to get another record out before the summer.
Nick: I think after the summer we definitely want to try and go a bit further-a-field as well, we would love to come and play some dates in the U.S.
RG: Can we get a Top 5 from each of you?
1. Rick Wilhite – What Do You See? (Rush Hour)
2. Johannes Volk – Glare (Tief Music)
3. Lord of the Isles – co2o (6mins) (Permanent Vacation)
4. Midland – Realtime (Graded)
5. Francis Inferno Orchestra – Vibrations (Let’s Play House)
1. Audion – Freds Bells (Spectral Sound)
2. Gardens of God – Apena (Ellum Audio)
3. Tyson Ballard – All Day (Voyuerhythm)
4. Brioski – Rough Sailor (Throne of Blood)
5. Belfie & Alex Tea Presents Chicago Stories – My Funky Valentine (Robsoul Recordings)
RG: Open mic, anything you want to plug? Shameless self promotion!
Our new record is being released on Wolf Music on the 27th January, please go buy it so we can pay our rent.
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RG: First, please introduce your selves and describe how you met?
PDM: Hello, we are Purple Disco Machine from Dresden, Germany. Tino, 33 years and Matthias, 33 years old and we are in love with music. We’ve been friends for a few years and in 2009 we decided to make music, but only the stuff we really like. This was when Purple Disco Machine was born. At that time, we started with making tunes more in the Nu Disco style, but our sound has evolved to incorporate 90’s flavors and deep house sound. We’ll never forget the best decade in music though, the 80’s.. ;)
RG: Do you have a consistent process you follow when producing?
PDM: We try to catch the flavour from the last 3 decades of dance music. You can hear different samples from more or less well known classic tracks in our productions, this is all part of the Purple Disco Machine sound. We draw inspiration from our diverse tastes in music to collect ideas and compose them together into a fresh track. We also play in all the drums and synth parts ourselves.
RG: Do you each play specific roles in the studio or is it just a matter of who caught the inspiration while sitting in the drivers seat?
PDM: Tino is the creative head of our productions. He is the one, sitting in the studio with his analog synths having slam sessions and is the main contact for all issues. Matthias is responsible for Facebook and marketing stuff.
RG: Do you use any sort of live, recorded instrumentation in your productions?
PDM: Our main production tool is Steinberg’s Cubase for the arrangement. We also use a lot virtual synths as well as some original hardware stuff like a Juno 106, Roland 303 and different drum machines from the 90´s. In the future we want to use more hardware and record found sounds.
RG: How did you get involved with OFF Recordings and what has it been like working with them?
PDM: Our friend, David Jach, gave us Andre from OFF Recordings contact and he saw a lot of potential in our songs. One thing led to another and we signed “My House,” which was released in June of this year. Since our current release, “Move Or Not” we’ve signed exclusively with OFF and are officially apart of the family. More releases coming soon.. stay tuned..
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RG: Tell us about your name, are you of any relation to a “One-Eyed, One-Horned, Flying, Purple People Eater”
PDM: Tino, was watching a random 80’s movie .. something with machines, we can’t really remember. But the 80´s are purple in our mind and disco is in every cell of our bodies so, “Purple Disco Machine” was born!
RG: What’s your favorite tune at the moment?
PDM: Foals – Late Night (Solomun remix) We are big fans of Solomun´s productions, he always shows us that he’s the boss.
RG: If you could write the score/soundtrack to any film, which film would you choose?
PDM: We are both film freaks and its hard to find the perfect combination of film and music. We especially love films from the early 90s and we would probably choose one of Quentin Tarantino´s classics.
RG: You currently have two tracks on the Beatport Top 10 Deep House chart and three on the Beatport Top 100… how does it feel to have that support from the community and what results have you seen from those rankings?
PDM: We are more than surprised how fast everything is going and how successful we are with our music. We’ve both been involved with various musical projects for years, but this is like winning the lottery!
RG: What’s next for PDM?
PDM: We recently did several remixes for labels like Exploited and a few others. We’re also working on our next OFF Recordings release.
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