June 19th, 2011 | Published in Interviews
Lee Mortimer is on the fast track to House and Electro eminence with his new compilation released under his own label, Wearhouse Music All Night Long. We breathlessly caught up with the busy Brit to discuss Wearhouse Music, his influences, and his process behind producing today’s heaviest and most danceable beats.
VS: Your new compilation album Wearhouse Music All Night Long made it impossible to sit still while listening – there’s some amazing sampling there. What’s your favourite, or most accomplished song on the album?
LM: I love and have played all of the tracks loads whilst DJing so it’s kind of hard to pick. ‘Mo Fire’ by Matt Cantor & Peo de Pitte was the first track I signed for the compilation and I knew from that point it was going to be killer! There’s also some great music from artists I wasn’t aware of until they sent me their demos like Clockwork, Reepr, Sunko and El Peurco.
VS: What was it like working with such a varied group of artists for All Night Long?
LM: It’s great to be able to bring so many different artists into one project. There are over 25 separate people involved. When I was bringing the idea of a compilation into fruition I wasn’t sure if I’d find enough tracks as I had quite a short deadline. My fears were unfounded in the end as I was sent many amazing tunes by many amazing artists.
VS: Who are your musical influences? Is there anything outside the musical realm that influences you – people, events?
LM: The main way I listen to new music and hear new things is through the radio. Mainly Friday night on [BBC's] Radio 1 and the other specialist dance shows. I also check into Rinse FM whenever I can. I don’t really get inspired by things outside of music but I’m always thankful for having the opportunity to spend all my time creating.
VS: Our readers would be really excited to know: who’s on your playlist currently?
LM: I’ve really been into the new Metronomy album. I love their stuff. I’ve also been listening to a lot of old 2-step garage lately. Digging through my old collection!
VS: What kind of experience do you look to give your listeners?
LM: To give them good times and move their behinds!
VS: If you could collaborate or mix with any artist, who would it be and why?
LM: Switch would be good. If I’m out in LA soon then I’ll give him a shout. He’s an outstanding producer and I reckon we could come up with some proper wrongness.
VS: Tell us how your record label, Wearhouse Music, originated?
LM: It started off as a vehicle for me to release my own music and just grew from there. I started getting sent demos from other artist and before I knew it I’d released over 200 tracks! I’m really proud of it.
VS: Does producing your own label and being involved with the business aspects of the industry affect your work as a DJ and artist at all?
LM: Only in that it takes up a lot of time running a label so I maybe don’t get to make as many tunes as I’d like! I think watching Wearhouse Music grow has been great for me as a DJ and an artist.
VS: Your EP Bass Ctrl contains several audacious apexes and drops. Do you find it difficult to end a song when you have that much momentum going? How does it differ from playing a live set?
LM: I have found that tracks seem to be getting shorter and shorter so you have to cram everything in under 5 minutes. I’m always thinking about the dancefloor when making tunes so you have to keep things moving fast. I apply the same rules when DJing really – keep the tunes coming thick and fast!
Listen to a preview of Bass Ctrl:
WEAR036 Lee Mortimer – Bass CTRL EP [preview] by Lee Mortimer
VS: House music is enjoying some serious fusion from dubstep right now. What genre of music is having the most influence on your mixes at the moment?
LM: I’ve been listening to some of my own early tracks and the first releases on Dubsided again – proper solid house music. I think I’m going to dabble in that sound again.
VS: ‘The Apple Company is Expanding’ is so layered and textured – what’s your process for arranging such varied sonics? Or is it a progression?
LM: I start with the backbone of the tune – the beat and the bass. I spend a lot of time creating and modulating bass synths from scratch. It’s not so difficult to make one solid synth but I like my tunes to change and expand and be interesting throughout so I need that sound to be able to really open up later on. It’s always good to hold a little something back for later in the song. From there I’ll usually work on the breakdowns and the all-important build-ups.
With ‘The Apple Company is expanding’ there’s a mix of quiet, silence and all out mayhem. It’s good to have light and dark moments in a tune.
VS: What’s next for you in 2011?
LM: Keeping busy in the studio and creating something a bit different then my usual stuff I think. I’ve been making some future garage type stuff. Is that what it’s called?! It’s very steppy, but kind of deep too.
Got a gig coming up in Catania, Italy which should be fun and I’m also playing at Out to Graze festival in Oxfordshire on 8th July which is a really, really cool little festival. The surroundings are beautiful and so are the people and the music!
Read our review of Wearhouse Music All Night Long here.