Where: The Shelter, 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Lu, 5号 近复兴路, 地铁1号线常熟路站
When: Friday at 10PM
Tonight, take it back to the old-school with British DJ Andy Smith at The Shelter. Since 1998 Andy Smith has been releasing multi-genre mix albums, segueing vintage funk, R&B, and soul with doses of contemporary hip-hop . When his mix-CD The Document hit the streets back in 1998, it became the soundtrack for a generation who had heard Coldcut’s Journeys By DJs but needed to hear more – The Document filled the void. He was also the touring DJ for Portishead some time ago and worked on their first two albums with them.
Hearing this musical architect mix and sample the likes of Tom Jones, Marvin Gaye and Grandmaster Flash will be sure to knock your socks and your hat off and make you feel like you’re back in the “Red Dwarf” days. Here, he talks to us about Biggie & Tupac, breakfast cereal and Portishead’s hotel ironing board circa 1994.
Who was the first hip-hop artist(s) you really got into? And if you had to answer the eternal question – Biggie or Tupac?
I guess that would be disco tunes with a rap in: “Do It Anyway You Wanna” – Mike T, “Rhythm Talk” – Jocko, “Christmas Rapping” – Kurtis Blow, and “Rapper’s Delight” – Sugarhill Gang.
As for the second part, Biggie over Tupac any day. Premier’s beats were top drawer and Biggie was a deep MC. I think I only ever thought one Tupac tune was average!
I know you worked with Portishead on their first two albums, and even toured with them as their DJ for some time – any hilarious or interesting story you can share with us?
That’s all a bit of a way back really! I guess the after parties were always great fun for me. I used to take my portable turntable to somebody’s room, set it up on the ironing board and hook it up to the room’s Hi-Fi system and just play tunes ’til the early hours.
I love the choices for your samples and remixes – Tom Jones, James Brown, Muddy Waters. On your latest album “Let’s Boogaloo Vol 4” you used some Latin (jazz) influenced music – any chance of getting some Manu Chao in there going forward?
You never know. A good tune is a good tune, I don’t really mind where it comes from!
What artists would you love to collaborate with next? Any Chinese DJ’s or artists in particular?
Well I am looking for a vocalist for my solo LP. I have a few in mind but am always up for checking out new vocalists. But I’m afraid I’m not really that aware of any Chinese artists or DJ’s.
While you stay in Shanghai, any favorite Chinese cuisine you’ve got to have, or heard you must try?
I do love Chinese food here in the UK, but I am aware that it’s totally different to the real thing. I would be happy to take anybody’s suggestions!
What do you expect from Chinese audiences, compared to Europe or North America?
Not really too sure. I guess as long as they come out realizing that there is a lot of other great music apart from the stuff that gets pumped out on MTV all day long.
World Cup 2010 coming up, you’re from the UK, enough said. Who do you see in the finals?
Well I’ve got to say England. I can dream can’t I??
Last and most important question – what’d you have for breakfast this morning?
Crunchy nut cornflakes – they always hit the spot!