Wednesday, 7 August 2013

LOUIE BALO (Ride Committee/Tribal Recs) interview for Faith Mag

One of my fave 90s drag house acts, Roxy & Ride Committee, are back with a new single released on Batty Bass. I was asked by Hannah Holland, of Batty Bass, to interview the duo's producer Louie Balo for Faith zine in London. How could I say no?!  

It goes without saying that I love house music. The rhythm, the sounds, the energy, the emotions, everything about it. I love house so much, you can even find me grooving to the background music in a Clairol advert. Sometimes. But beyond what we perceive as being the main tenets of house music, one of the reasons I love it so much that it has validated gay and queer identities in the public consciousness. For real. It may seem outlandish to some, but I am convinced that being shouted at, and sung to, by various drag queens and obviously “queer” vocalists throughout the Nineties is partly responsible for the recent Marriage Equality Bill that passed in the UK (where many of these songs were regularly in the charts).

One of my all-time favourite draggy house vocalists is Roxy, best known for tracks like “Get Huh” and “Accident” with the Ride Committee, released on the legendary Tribal label in the mid 90s. So it came as a very pleasant surprise to find out that the next release in the Batty Bass’ “NY Series” label would be the return of Ride Committee ft Roxy, with the pumping “Guess Who”. It kinda makes sense though, what with 90s house sounds being back in vogue (literally) and also with New York’s current “gay revival” and the re-queering of house music in general. With all that in mind, and also wanting to get the low down on the current NY club scene, the legendary Tribal label, Ms Roxy herself and the Ride Committee’s comeback, I reached out to the man behind the act, DJ/producer Louie Balo, who was kind enough to answer my barrage of questions:

How did you get into djing?

I started djing around the age of 12. My dad owned a social club, and had two complete different stereos, and I would not allow the music to stop. I didn’t even use a mixer, ha ha, and I remember that one set of the speakers on one of the hi-fi stereos sounded better than the other. It was spanish music, but eventually it moved into 80′s r&b, dance, party music, etc… When I finally got two turntables (with a mixer) and a mic, it was popping.

How did you get into music production?

As many dj’s do, I wanted to transition from playing other people’s music to playing my own. So I bought a keyboard, synths, and a drum machine.

What do you use to produce now, and how is that different from what you started producing music on?

Read the rest here, inc questions about the NY scene, Tribal records and Ms Roxy herself...

My personal fave: Roxy & Ride Committee "Accident"

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