Mavrik Mix #007 – OOFT!

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For our 7th podcast instalment we bring you Ali Herron, the man behind Ooft! Music, Foto Recordings and Prophets Of The South. Ali loves his vinyl and is  known for blending funk, soul and house and this mix follows suit. He has provided us with a 70 minutes of raw house, showing off his musical knowledge with a balance of old and new cuts. 

Glaswegian-born Ooft! has released on a number of labels including; Instruments of Rapture, Delusions of Grandeur and Wolf Music, as well as his own Foto Recordings. Initially, Ali was known for his remix work with Scottish counterpart ‘The Revenge’. The pair actually began working as a duo under the name of Ooft! until Ali started producing his own original work.

Keep an ear out for the exclusive Prophets of the South track, an exciting new side project between Esa Williams & Ooft! You can stream the full EP due out next month on Tiefhere.

Firstly, although we’re sure you have to answer this in every interview, where does the name ‘OOFT!’ come from?

It’s a classic case of coming up with a flippant name and then ending up using it for years. The Revenge and I were DJing once a month down in London back in 2005 and we were looking for a name for our night. We were really into Switch, Jesse Rose, and all the early fidget-house records at that point and usually we’d see  pretty smooth house tracks that would then break into a little section with a dirty bassline or something – the OOFT! section. Since he was already doing solo stuff as The Revenge I adopted it for editing and then later also for solo DJ & production work after it had kinda stuck.  Having said that, OOFT! was better than the other name we came up with: Beef Curtains.

What music did you grow up listening to, before you started DJing and producing?

Like anyone growing up you listen to what your parents listen to. Mine were pretty straight down the line with my mum liking upbeat stuff like Motown and my dad more in to 70s/80s rock like Chris Rea, Dire Straits and the like. Most of the stuff I remember listening to was on cassette in the car. My dad also liked a bit of Bob Marley so I guess I was fairly lucky. Most of those records I hold pretty close to my heart now, although when I was a teenager I thought they were so naff!

You run the label Foto, tell us a bit about how it started and where you would like it to go.

Foto came about as a way for me to release my own productions with complete control. I was getting fed up being dicked around by other labels and wanted to do stuff my own way.  It was only after I started that I ended up releasing stuff by other artists. At the moment I’m not too sure how much further the label will go as it’s always nice to start a new challenge every few years, but we’ll see. There will definitely be a 10th release though, (we’re currently at number 9) which will come out before the end of the year.

Aside from the label, what is in store for the rest of the summer? Is there anywhere you are especially looking forward to playing?

After being pretty busy in the first half of this year my summer has actually been pretty quiet. It’s been cool though as my son is just about to start school so this is his first proper summer holiday, so we’ve been kicking about and enjoying the nice weather. I’ve got some more stuff done in the studio so hopefully there will be a slew of releases and remixes in the second half of the year.

We’ve read that you don’t have any formal music training, is this something that affects studio work? What is your system for producing?

That’s correct. Aside from jacking in piano lessons after a couple of years when I was a kid I don’t have any actual musical or studio/engineering training. I starting doing edits in a WAV editor and just zooming in close then copying and pasting loops! It’s been a gradual process from there. The biggest step I guess was getting hold of Ableton Live 3 (or was it 4?) and learning to use that. Must say I learned a lot more just watching others in the studio than from doing tutorials etc. These days I still use Ableton but have picked up some hardware synths, drum machines and outboard effects over the years so I’m probably about 50/50 software and hardware. I would say currently I use less sampled material and try to concentrate on melodies and rhythms. Not having proper musical training doesn’t seem to hinder me too much thankfully! Someone might be able to play an instrument to a high degree but have no imagination to come up with new songs and ideas …

Now for a Curveball, which DJ has eaten the most at a pre-gig meal?

Easy! Konstantin Sibold before a Flux party in London. 2 mains – 1 pizza and 1 steak salad, wolfed down without breaking a sweat!

Finally, could you give us two tracks that are really doing it for you at the moment?

As always there’s loads of brilliant music around just now. My favourite at the moment is probably the Paradis remix of  Agoria on Rebirth Rec (which I’ve included in the mix).  Also the new MermaidS EP on Non-Local Rec in Canada is seriously good, with Follow The Moon in particular being amazing.

Tracklist:

1. Luvless – Right Now

2. Lillo Carillo – Mercelo

3. Marvin & Guy – Ecstacy

4. Usio – The Force

5. Roy Ayers – Tarzan (Ame Remix)

6. SRF Inc – How To Eat Music

7. Art Of Tones – Queue de Cochon

8. Royal Crown Of Sweden – Malaren

9. Francis Inferno Orchestra – Dusty Echoes

10. Duff Disco – You Shoulda Known

11. Fresh Tunes – Passing By

12. S Express – Theme From S Express (Carl Craig Remix)

13. Prophets Of The South – Ek Maak Julle Dance

14. Agoria – For One Hour (Paradis Remix)

15. Xosar – Rays Of Babylon

16. Rufus & Chaka Khan – Live In Me