Back in August, my esteemed colleague DEL informed you of another comeback of sorts from Philadelphia’s Rob Paine. With his Blazin’ EP (a collaboration with “Someone Else” whose identity DEL leaked, but I’ll leave it to your own detective work to figure that one out), the erstwhile Reggae DJ and producer marked his determination to return to House after a 5 year absence.
Here’s the extended cut of our interview, only a small portion of which made it into 5 Mag’s October 2011 issue. Watch this space for a mix from Rob Paine that will be making its debut in this space Monday, November 14. And thanks to Zoe Wilder for setting up the interview!
According to my esteemed colleague DEL, “Blazin” was your first release in nearly five years? Is there a story behind the layoff? (were you still DJing in that time? working more on reggae?)
Del is a endless source of information. I love me some Del. Yeah, this is the first release in 5 years I have done for my imprint Worship. I did some remixes for other labels during this time but no original works. The main reason behind the layoff was the building of my family. My wife and I have two children with a third one on the way.
I didn’t step away from the music industry by any means during this time. I just focused on what was bringing in the most income to support the family, which was DJing both house & reggae events, sound rentals, and engineering in the studio. The times of making loot off of releases was passing. I could not afford to pay anyone to run the label anymore and I couldn’t make the time to produce or handle the administrative responsibilities.
Now that I am starting to figure out a system to make this happen again I am very excited to be producing. It really makes me a happier person and reminds me how much I love making music more than anything. Right now, I am focusing more on house production but I plan on getting more of my straight reggae productions going in 2012.
Where are your residencies at – I understand you have them in a few different cities?
We do the Shakedown every second Saturday, usually at the Barbary. It’s a long time venue in Philly that was bought and renovated by my friend John Redden about four years ago. We are truly blessed to have such a great staff and owner to work with. He pretty much lets us do whatever we want to and supports it.
Session is my monthly reggae event at another one of Philly’s musical institutions, Silk City, every first Wednesday of the month. Livity is another reggae weekly every Friday night at Kraftwork I do with Jahkey Chalice of Solomonic Sound. Jahkey is more of the resident.
I have to say I haven’t been there much these past few months because of the focus I am putting into production – one of the things I had to prioritize to get production vibes flowing again. I also have a monthly reggae event every 3rd Saturday at Eric Hilton’s (one half of Thievery Corporation) club Patty Boom Boom in DC. I have been playing the 18th St Lounge in DC for the past 10 years on and off so I built a really nice relationship with that crew. This night has been very successful since its first date on NYE 2011. We usually can not get anyone else in the door by 11:30 pm. Again, we are blessed with an amazing staff and a sound system that puts the Boom Boom into the name properly.
If you haven’t noticed we are very particular about sound…
You used a live percussionist on the Blazin EP – is this something you prefer to work with live as well?
My bredren Carlos Izaguirre just happened to be hanging in the studio when Sean and I were making the tune. Even though the parts he played did not make it onto the original mix, they fit it perfectly into the Beats mix. Carlos is the best percussionist I have had the pleasure of working with in the studio and live. He knows exactly how to play in the cut with a DJ so it is not over bearing. You have probably heard him on some of King Britt’s work as well.
There are very few DJs who work in both reggae and underground House Music. What’s the common connection for you?
Yeah, I don’t know too many that do both aggressively like this… just my partner in Solomonic Sound, Zacharijah. Please link me with others doing the same! A lot of the reggae influenced house we produce isn’t anything new. It is almost taking what cats like Jah Shaka in the UK with his ‘steppers’ sound have been doing forever. We just added hi-hats and more percussion to give it the house feel. I am truly ‘livicated’ to both house and reggae and everything in between. Roots reggae in the morning with my coffee and dancehall and house to burn the midnight oil.
Can you tell me all (okay, many?) details about the album coming out?
The Solomonic Sound album coming out in November is a collection of original and remix works that we did between the years of 1998 and 2005 before Zacharijah moved to Hawaii. We are adding on one previously unreleased track entitled “Neva Dead” which is the title of the album as well. This should have came out about 6 years ago but for one reason or another, it didn’t. We feel this is the perfect time to put it out now with the new life we are putting into the label. We believe all these tracks are timeless and fit into the current tech house sound that is so popular today.
I have to give my homie DJ Dennis from Selekta Recordings some love for taking on the job of helping get the label relaunched. We are on a schedule of a new Worship release every month and a half so be sure to stay updated on worshiprecs.com for the fullness! Bless!