Under the MEOKO Microscope is a feature series on MEOKO where we bring you new and emerging talents that are breaking through.
We caught up with Zleep resident Chamboche this week, fresh from playing with Palms Trax at Dance Tunnel last weekend. Respected by those in the know, he is a trusted man for quality output guaranteed. Responsible for tantalizing disco fused grooves and re edits on stellar labels such as Tusk Wax, Throne of Blood and Black Key Records, we had a chat to find out how the journey into the depths of electronic fiddling began for the zoology student from Wales.
Let’s start where it all began – Nottingham where you studied at Confetti Music Studios….what did you do there and what made you decide to dive right in to music?
I studied for A BTEC National Diploma in Music Technology. Confetti is a brilliant place, it’s gathered a pretty esteemed rep in it’s short existence. I’d graduated from Nottingham Uni having finished my zoology degree a year or so before and had worked in a pretty mindless lab job which just twisted my arm into taking the plunge.
What was the scene like musically in Nottingham while you were a student there? On a personal level I know in recent years house and techno has boomed but prior to this, when I moved there it was mainly Drum and Bass. It is interesting to know how the cities preferences change.
When I was studying there, over ten years ago now, the music scene was as vibrant as ever. Drum and bass was big as was UK hip-hop and break beat had really risen. House might not have been at the forefront necessarily but was represented well along with some techno – The Bomb was in it’s last years but still a massive force. It was a very exciting time farm boy from mid Wales!
What kind of artists were you listening to and inspired you back in the early days?
Coming to uni was real musical awakening for me as I became friends with people who really broadened my horizons musically. We were listening to Roots Manuva, Roni Size, Nightmares on Wax, Stanton Warriors, Photek, DJ Format and that kind of thing. As the breaks scene took off I got quite into that especially Plump DJ’s, and Adam Freeland’s Marine Parade label.
How did the creation of your club night Zleep happen?
I’d been working at Stealth for a couple of years and had been talking about that particular niche not being filled with Ally, Nick and Alex the promoter at Stealth. Alex was instrumental in getting it off the ground and with a bit of trepidation were given the green light. Since then of course Matt has now become a key member and we have lots planned for London as well as Nottingham which is awesome.
As well as running Zleep, you are also resident DJ alongside co runners Nick Cobby and Micawber. How do you like to approach these residency sets? Do you three have certain slots you prefer to play or do you mix it up each time?
Well Nick, Ally and myself are all quite eclectic but still have quite different sounds so we just decide who would best fit our guest. It’s always worked very well and are quite happy to play b2b when the opportunities arise.
What tune never fails to go down a treat with the crowd there?
Well it’s pretty difficult to narrow it down to one to be honest! One that stands out would be ‘The Persuader – What’s the time Mr Templar?’
Since originally taking place in Nottingham, Zleep made the move to London a few years ago now. Has this change of location and venue brought differences to the night at all?
The venue has allowed us to just concentrate on having one guest who we build the night around but musically I would say it’s pretty similar. It’s nice to do big 2/3 room events but there is also great satisfaction in having it all in one intimate space with one special guest. I’ve recently trained as a primary school teacher so have taken a bit more of a backseat in recent times and admittedly am not so up to the minute as the other guys. The other are on it in terms of suggesting guests. I generally agree!
When not Zleeping, what other parties in London do you like to go to?
Not so many these days but I’m a fan of all night Dance Tunnel and have been known to frequent Secretsundaze and Tief from time to time.
As well as DJing, your productions have caused a stir since your first release in 2009 with ‘Ipso Facto’’. How did the move from simply producing music to having it become a physical release come to be?
A former resident of Stealth, the legend that is Dave Congreve passed me an email of a guy that was running a cool little edits label called Jiscomusic and he just happen to really dig the stuff and it coincided with him wanting to start a new label which was Under The Shade.
Since 2009 your productions are still going strong now, how would you say your sound has developed to what it is now?
Hmm, it’s definitely evolved and has become a little less naïve but still very melody-heavy.
Your remix duties are equally as valued amongst the electronic music community, most recently with Simoncino and Robert Owens on the ‘Some People’ track – what is it you like to achieve when given a tune to remix?
Well I suppose it’s all about just taking elements and seeing where you can go with it. I like to create something quite different from the original otherwise I don’t see the point.
Which has been the favorite or most surprising remix you have produced along your musical career?
I think the most recent one, it was great to work with a great vocal from Mr Owens.
You’ve worked with some amazing labels such as Tusk Wax, Retrofit, Under the Shade and Delayed Audio along the way…which labels are currently stocking up your record bag at the moment?
I’m a big Aniara records fan so all that, along with Running Back, Secretsundaze , Clone/Royal Oak.
What can we expect from Chamboche in the near future?
I’ve got my first ep in a couple of years about to drop. Can’t say which label but it’s one that is close to my heart 😉
Chamboche will be playing alongiside Joy Orbison and Ryan Elliot as Zleep returns to Nottingham on October 17th. Full event details can be found here
Keep up with Chamboche over on his Facebook page here
Keep up to date with the latest Zleep events in London here
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