Co-owner of Strobewax with Bobby O’Donnell, Annie Errez has provided an hours worth of hypnotic tracks that glide between restrained techno & dark, dub-house. We also had the chance to chat with her recently about her new radio show, London nightlife culture & the transition from collecting to producing.
It was a great year for Strobewax in 2014, what do Bobby & yourself have planned for the label this year?
Thank you, yes we are really pleased with the releases and also thankful for the amount of support we’ve all had from people it’s been amazing. We fund everything ourselves and it’s all very DIY so it’s definitely a labour of love. So yes, couldn’t be happier! The next release will be pressed soon and will be out in a couple of months hopefully. Then we’re finalising the next few releases after that, but I’ll be releasing another X0X Tools EP this year to follow up part one that came out in 2013.
Tell us more about your radio show with Bobby O’ Donnell.
The show will be on an independent Leeds-based radio station, KMAH, which has been created by a group of our friends who are all really active in music already. Between them they do club nights, music journalism, run record labels, the whole lot so they definitely know their stuff and have the passion and knowledge to make it a success. Bobby and I will be doing a two hour show once a month which will be more magazine-like in style rather than just a straight up mix. We’ll have guest mixes and interviews but we’re also planning some other features that we hope will make it a bit more interesting. There are loads of great shows on the station itself showcasing a variety of music not just house and techno so I think it’s a great thing for the city and will hopefully show that Leeds and the surrounding areas actually have a lot to offer musically.
After collecting records for over ten years now, you released Deeper Knowledge on Saints & Sonnets, what triggered your interested in production?
Well it’s a natural progression I think. I’ve been buying records for about 15 years now so somewhere around 2005/2006 I started messing about with Reason and Ableton and even went to a course but hated it so I didn’t go back. I then just tried to figure everything out at my own pace, which was difficult & took some time as I didn’t have the basic equipment that is required. So I took a break & when I came back to it I decided that I wanted to try working with hardware, so I worked really hard and freelanced overtime to save up a bit of cash and I’ve been building up my collection of machines since then. Bobby and I now share a music room so it’s great to split costs and be able to pool our gear together.
How did your release on Steve O’Sullivan’s Mosaic Split Series occur?
I had been in touch with Steve before he relaunched Mosaic with the split series but I’d never sent him a demo or anything at this point. I ended up sending him a copy of my XOX Tools EP and he gave some really nice feedback and it basically went from there. I then sent him a demo of the two tunes that were eventually released as split series 4 with Nail. When I first discovered Mosaic it quickly became my favourite label and it still is today, and I always thought to myself if there was any label I’d like to release on it would be Mosaic, so when the label was relaunched and I got to do it i was so happy, over the moon in fact!
You’ve been with System & Mint Club now since 2008, music trends aside, what have you noticed change in the nightlife culture surrounding Leeds & the venue itself?
Although I’ve been playing at Mint since 2007/2008 I’ve been going there and out in leeds a lot longer so I’ve seen some things change and also some not change at all. The one thing that is always constantly evolving is musical tastes and the programming at clubs reflect this. But I’d imagine this is the same anywhere really. Also there’s a lot more choice now, loads of nights to go to, whereas I think there were only two or three nights to go to when I first moved here. The enthusiasm of people here and the atmosphere in clubs has always been ace, however there’s always been a really healthy interest in music and having a good time without any pretension I think.
After the recent events at one of London’s most prolific club, once again the media has begun discussing London club culture. Do you think the discussion between music venues & the government or policing authorities is productive?
I don’t know really, I don’t know very much about it but to be fair there isn’t really a choice so you have to just go with what the authorities deem is the right decision and both the authorities and music venues have a duty of care for people’s safety, and people’s wellbeing is obviously a very important matter and should be taken seriously. I do hope something productive can come out of this though, but maybe there needs to be a general cultural change before that can happen.
What should people be focusing on when talking about music venues & public safety?
I caught the end of quite an interesting documentary with B traits, where they were discussing drug testing in clubs and a doctor was analysing what was actually in the substances found in the club that night and messages were going out to the crowd about potentially dangerous substances – maybe that’s the way to go, zero tolerance hasn’t worked so I think governments need to work with everyone rather than just ignore what’s going on.
Has there been much of a reaction outside of London about this issue?
I haven’t noticed a huge reaction other than showing a lot support for all those affected by it, but people are obviously and quite rightly worried about the impact on nightlife and how it will filter out to other places. The culture around electronic music is very important and to me it’s a legitimate art form so I hope that it will be preserved and protected in the way that any art form deserves to be.
Tell us about the mix you have recorded for us.
I recorded the mix at home using turntables, there’s no rhyme or reason to it except I love all the records on it and I hope I did them justice!
What do you have planned for the start of 2015.
In February we have Systems 7th birthday with an amazing lineup including Sonja Moonear, Paranoid London and Rossko which I’m really looking forward to then we’ll be doing our first Strobewax showcase in London. I’m also playing in Nottingham and Rio de Janeiro which I’m massively excited about too. I’m also trying to spend as much time as I can on making new music.
Finally, what records haven’t left your bag recently?
There are too many to mention really but I don’t think these have ever left my bag and probably never will.
Mark Ambrose – Dimensions EP
Baby Ford – All that Nothing
Russ Gabriel – Spirits, loads of DJ Bone records. More recently the last Tardis record by DJ Jes and I love the Point G album too.