Tim Deluxe:Fighting talk from the ginger club kid.


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Just when you thought carrot-topped wunderkind Tim Deluxe couldn’t better the success of last summer, smashing global charts and dancefloors with his second Underwater single, ‘It Just Won’t Do’, summer 2003 has seen him riding the wave of success as a resident at Darren Emerson’s Underwater nights at Ibizan mecca, Pacha, which have proved the venue’s most hotly attended in 30 years.

Just to round his year off nicely, he’s dropped a new single ‘Less Talk More Action’ featuring Terra Deva and his debut artist album ‘The Little Ginger Club Kid’ follows this week.

As a warm up for his UK live debut at The End in London last weekend (September 27), he made his live debut at Underwater in Ibiza in August, “It was nerve racking, the first time I’ve been nervous for a long time,” he owns up in his chirpy cockney twang. They had taken the deliberate decision not to do the first live show in London, “We just wanted to do one away from the limelight of the UK. Do something raw, get a vibe for it and see if it works rather than maybe announcing it here and having a load of media come down to scrutinise it.” He was joined on stage at both gigs by the album vocalists including Terra Deva, Sam Obernik, Ben Onono, Shahin Badar and Bugsta. Collaborator, Onono, is the most significant of the lot; he’s had a hand in nine of the 13 tracks on the album.

The two met at London’s Roundhouse studios, where Deluxe is still based, and began a fruitful songwriting partnership. ‘It Just Won’t Do’ was their astounding first effort together (they also racked up a hit with their Saffron Hill project for Sony’s Illustrious label earlier this year). “I’m not a fully fledged songwriter, I can write hooks but to do a full song verse, chorus and stuff is something that I’m developing, and working with these guys helps me.

I do throw concepts and direction at them on some tracks and other times they just come in and go, ‘Look, I’ve got this whole song that will fit perfectly – Ben did that a couple of times. With ‘Less Talk’, he did the whole thing at home on the piano and then I wrote the backing track.”

You get the feeling if there was anything contrived about Deluxe, he’d have had a master plan just in case ‘It Just Won’t Do’ drew major attention from all corners of the globe.

As the idea sounded preposterous, he was completely unprepared for the success and consequently finds himself under pressure to produce a holy grail sized follow up more than 12 months later. “I think if I’d had my album ready after ‘It Just Won’t Do’, it really would have been perfect and there probably wouldn’t have been that pressure. But I’m happy with ‘Less Talk’ and how it’s done; I think it’s a little bit disappointing that some radio stations didn’t support us more, especially when they’re still playing ‘It Just Won’t Do’.

How are you going to break new acts and new people if you refuse to play their new records? But I don’t really give a f*** about that too much because I’ll still be making music.”

And there’s quite a spectrum of sounds on the LP, though it never looses site of the dancefloor, it is not entirely committed to staying there. Unsurprisingly it’s buzzing with warm samba rhythms, bouncing bongos and sexy vocal hooks that span Latin house - ‘It Just Won’t Do’ thru Bhangra - ‘Mundaya' – likely to be the third single early next year. Elsewhere there‘s ‘Little White Ship’ with its spooky Tim Burton qualities and ‘What A Life’ (Amsterdam) – a kind of Cheech & Chong meets Mike Skinner concoction. “I’m sure a lot of people were expecting a Tim Deluxe album to be full of floor fillers and great banging club tracks but there’s more to it than that.

That would make a great album for DJs to play in clubs, but it might not make a great album to listen to at home or in your car.” He says his ultimate aim is to sell records and NOT just to DJs - his big 2001 dancefloor track ‘Sirens’ doesn’t feature at all, “It’s an enormous club track, but in the context of listening to it in an album it doesn’t work.”

He also manages to pull off some brave juxtapositions here and this is key to the way he works, “I like trying out different vibes and combining things – ‘Mundaya’ is a very Latin type track underneath, but it’s got a Bhangra singer on it – it’s not every day you hear that…” Equally your average listener would not predict the rock guitar solo slap bang in the middle of chilled out beach track, ‘Battle’ but it works. “It’s just stuff that’s a bit more fresh and hopefully people will take to it.”

The album has come together in fits and starts, ‘We All Love Sax’, the huge instrumental club hit on the B-side of ‘Sirens’, his first Underwater release, came out back in 2001 and ‘It Just Won’t Do’ surfaced last spring at Miami’s Winter Music conference. “Even after ‘It Just Won’t Do’ I didn’t really think about doing an album.

It was only when I finished travelling at the end of last summer and did about four or five tracks, I thought hold on a minute I’ve got the goods for an album.” Opting for this rather than the random 12-inch route he decided would also help him develop a live show. “It’s very easy to sit in a studio, bang up club records and just put ‘em out, but I think dance music right now needs a little bit more – we’ve been doing that for years and in some ways its been the death of it.

Record companies paying massive amounts for one off records and not developing anyone – it’s just about moments rather than about acts. It’s not very constructive and that’s probably why there’s been no new Basement Jaxx of Daft Punk.”

So has the decision to stick with Underwater and ditch the major offers that flooded in to sign ‘It Just Won’t Do’, paid off? “I haven’t done the exact figures on it yet, but even financially I don’t think we’re that far off what we would have been offered elsewhere. I‘ve got my independence and I’m working with a great bunch of people.”

He was burned by a major previously as part of Double 99, which was signed to BMG, and has learned from the experience, “It left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth – I didn’t want to do that again. The people that did want to sign ‘It Just Won’t Do’ and were offering the big money are not in their jobs anymore, so it just goes to show you – a year down the line where would I be? You’ve just got to follow the vibe and if you’re happy with the people you’ve been working with it’s all good.”
its always nice when someone makes music for the music and not the fame or money

fresh injection of talent to the industry never hurts, keeps things nice and fresh
For some reason i sorta like the mj cole mix of less talk more action. I'm normally not keen on 2-step but mj cole is a great producer so he pulls it off. A lil cheesy but still fun :D