Mixing and scratching alone in his bedroom for ten years before breaking out internationally, superstar DJ Simon Baker is the late blooming, deep house don who is bezzie mates with Jamie Jones.
Honing his very specialized techniques in producing, writing and recording, former record label founder Simon Baker recovers from a hard partying marathon by heading up to the Alps to snowboard. An adrenaline junkie by trade, his guaranteed hangover cure is a glass of milk, cheese and onion Hulahoops, a curry and a Bloody Mary. His fully effective signature glitches and staple sounds bounce. Mr Baker wants you to get up and dance when he lays down foot stomping sets designed for hardcore house fans.
A truly visionary sound-smith, York born, London based Baker signed Jamie Jones, Tim Green, Audiofly and Paul Woodford to his late, self founded record label in ’04, way before the hype had fully set in. Quickly turning his attention to generating more of his own new material, Simon sacked off the imprint and went solo in’09. Working out loops, fidgeting with heavy baselines and hugely clued up on hip hop, the raw beauty in Simon’s beats lies in his brave confidence to ignore genres. Still professing to have a lot to learn, one single set of Simon Baker’s is never the same. This is progressive listening for intelligent electronic connoisseurs.
Where are you right now? I am currently in the French Alps snowboarding with some friends, and right now I’m just chilling in the chalet whilst doing this.
What have you got planned for the day? Snowboarding and drinking Vin Chauds, finding some off-piste tree runs and basically having a wicked day.
What did you get up to last weekend? I was at home in London and I went to see the London Contemporary Orchestra at the Roundhouse, which included work from Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) amongst others. It was wicked and not at all high-brow, as it might sound.
What is your background in music? I played classical guitar for years in my teens and also dabbled with the drums, before buying my first decks when I was 15 years old. But I DJ’d in my bedroom for many years before playing out anywhere. I started quite late with everything really. Producing followed and by the time I hit thirty I was really able to start making a living off the music.
What new producers are you into at the moment? Although he’s been around for a while, Julio Bashmore is pretty damn good. Equally, Subb-an seems like he can do no wrong. There’s also a new guy just signed to 2020 Vision, with that crossover sound happening, called Ossie. I’m really liking his forthcoming EP. Other than that, I have been working with Robert James lately, who has a good head in the studio, and we’ve already got our first two releases signed with Hot Creations and Saved.
Why do you think there is a significantly greater number of male DJs than female? I think statistically there would be a lot more lads chasing this and DJ’ing in their bedroom than girls, for a start. More and more girls are now realising they can make it too now, though, which is a good thing for the industry for sure. Also, advancing technology, and maybe the fact that some of the music is more accessible to girls than it was before? Just a thought!
What can we expect to see from you in 2012? Release wise, my album track Let Me In, complete with a Lee Curtiss remix has just come out on 2020. I have stuff coming up with Get Physical, an EP on Leftroom, and my collabs with Robert James for Saved and Hot Creations. And an appearance on UK imprint Fina, also a remix for Marvin Zeyss’ ‘Keep On’, out on I Records now.
What are your insider tips for international party destinations where hardcore dance fans can get down? BPM Festival in Playa Del Carmen Mexico. Best place in the world to be in early January when it’s pissing it down back in the UK.
Text: Milly McMahon
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