#105 - Oliver Way
After many years behind the scenes, Oliver has come out ‘From the Shadows’ to deliver his debut solo artist album. And well worth the wait it is! Covering the different styles of electronic music that he has been into over the last 25 years taking in dub/reggae, breakbeats, electro, ghetto tech, house and of course techno the album’s journey is reflected in this ‘acid’ mix that weaves the likes of Green Velvet, Robert Hood, Steve Poindexter, Bam Bam, DJ Pierre, Truncate, DJ Hyperactive, Ruskin & Broom, Emmanuel Top, LFO v FUSE and of course a splash of Detroit Grand Pubahs into a hypnotic, dancefloor whirl. As ever, there’s only one Way. Oliver’s Way!
Oliver has been a recognised figure in the Techno scene for some time. As a DJ since 1991 and subsequently releasing under his own name in 1998 on Urban Substance Records before joining the Electro / Techno / Funk outfit Detroit Grand Pubahs in 2002 he took up the pseudonym (The Mysterious) Mr O and produced alongside Paris the Black FU for their own label Detelefunk label. More recently he has collaborated with Ben Long (Space DJz) on numerous releases and provided remixes for labels like Torque, Engineroom, Beard Man and BulletDodge Records as well as releasing on the label he co-runs, EPMMusic.
In celebration of his long time coming debut album, Oliver gets deep down and nasty on the dancefloor with this acid mix, recorded live @ ‘Iiege earlier this month in Liege.
‘From the Shadows’ is out now on EPMMusic.
‘Stained Glass Shadows’ featuring remixes from Robert Hood, Esteban Adame and DJ 3000 is released 29 June on EPMMusic.
Q&A with Oliver Way
- Your mix is described as an ‘acid’ mix. What for you makes a track fit into this style?
Simply the 303 sound. In this particular mix Minimal Techno Chicago Acid, with a handful of exceptions that wouldn’t be complete for me without Emmanuel Top.
- About time! You finally released your debut solo album. What made you decide the time was finally right?
I always had the intention to make a solo album, it was just the right time: my Mum passed away in November 2016, I decided to use the emotion from this to try and make something positive in her memory. The album was released on her birthday, 30 April. I wanted to make an album to showcase a diversity of music that I have had influence me since being into music in a serious way.
- Having worked with so many artists over the years, was deciding on the collaborators for this album an easy or difficult process?
Pretty easy process really. I wanted to work with a handful of people I knew closely for a long time, so the collaborations were very personal, rather than initially having to get to know how someone works in a studio, and if you get on in that way.
- An East Londoner at heart, when did you first become aware of music being more than just noise on the radio?
I was into drums very early on even before I can remember being into songs, I just like drum rhythms on their own. Later I got into Reggae, in particularly Dancehall artists like Super Cat, Cutty Ranks, Barrington Levy, Beres Hammond, Home T & Cocoa Tea and of course SHABBA!! There were loads of illegal Reggae basement parties that I went to when I was in my early teens. The energy in these parties was a big influence on me. The atmosphere always had an edge which added to the excitement, fights breaking out often with MCs over the mic. A good friend to this day called Antonio Pappa, his stepfather, Ernie, used to take us to these parties and I recall he used to always have a suitcase of cassettes he took everywhere with him of Reggae sets recorded from these parties and illegal radio shows. I remember a big all dayer in an abandoned building on Blackhorse Lane in Walthamstow, that also had other rooms playing other styles of music, which is when I started getting more into Hip Hop thanks to the likes of Public Enemy. From their into Hip House, Doug Lazy was the main influence there, then to House & Techno.
- What were your early clubbing experiences?
Raindance on Jenkins Lane, Berwick Manor, Dungeons on Lea Bridge Road, Laserdrome in Dalston, Astoria on Tottenham Court Road, numerous fields around the M25, even the Tottenham Ritzy and Enfield Country Club had rave nights on. The early 90s in the area I am from it was almost impossible being our age not be into the rave scene, it was everywhere. You couIdn’t even stay in as it was on TV with shows like The Hitman & Her. Dance / Rave music was everywhere, everyone was raving anywhere, outside college in the car park with the car stereo on blasting was am impromptu rave up, local football club bar, it didn’t seem to matter - it was like a massive tribe all over the place.
- Was there a moment when you decided you wanted to get more involved than just being a clubber or did you just fall into it?
I wanted to DJ since I was about 14 or 15, There were quite a few mix shows on the radio even on Capitol FM, which for anyone outside London is a commercial radio station. I didn’t know anyone that was doing mixing at the time, so I got this dodgy mobile DJ set up to for a bit, then started putting mixes together with the now classic ‘pause’ button tape mixing, until I found out about Technics and scraped together the money, with my parents helping, to get Technics 1200s. Then when a record shop, Bass Box Records, opened on my street opened it was the first time I worked in music. From there I helped with a few events, inc one at The Rocket in North London called Gravity (big up to Ben Sims for finding that flyer recently and sending it to me). Then I went to live in New York around the end of 1992 and got involved with the scene there, DJing and helping put on parties. That was a big time in NY then with raves, there were clubs like Caffeine on Long Island & Limelight in Manhatten, but it was more about Raves in places like underground car parks in Brooklyn (although unfortunately I never got to experience Storm Rave), warehouse spaces, etc. There were parties like Drum, Outlaw parties, Liquid Sky ‘NASA’ events, etc. After staying there for almost 2 years I came back and started a booking agency called Morpheus Production, the intention was to just to get the friends I had made in NY over to visit me, initially with James Christian, Frankie Bones and Adam X, things progressed from there.
- In the early 90s you spent over a year living in New York, heavily involved in the dance scene and hanging out with the likes of Adam X and Frankie Bones. What are your most treasured memories from that period?
It was a very hedonistic time, parties every weekend, all weekend, the week was just filled with making plans for the weekend, and the odd midweek party. There are a too many great memories to pin point to mention without writing a chapter for a book.
- This year EPM celebrated 17 years. How does that feel?
How the hell did that happen? It doesn’t seem like 17 years. The music business has changed dramatically in that time, we have had to evolve to keep up with the times and technology. I feel proud that we have managed to keep up with the times, and expand the service we can offer to artists and labels, especially being a small company able to offer a service that I believe is equal to other companies that have a huge number of staff and investors.
- You collaborated with some well-respected artists on your recently released solo album. Who, alive or dead, would be your dream collaboration?
These are my dream collaborators on the album, if I didn’t get the opportunity to collaborate with them then they have been kind enough to do a remix for the album. I picked these people because I am lucky enough to know a lot of the artists who have influenced me along the way
- What’s next for 2018?
Production wise there are a couple of remixes coming for Ben Long & Francesco Terranova for the EPM label, also hoping to get the Pubahs restarted with new releases this year. For EPM we have been growing the ‘Rights Management’ side of the company to incorporate publishing, Neighboring Rights and sync licensing so that is keeping me very busy, that has been a huge amount of learning, which continues daily.
EPM Podcast 105 Tracklist – Oliver Way
Terence Fixmer ‘Machine Tool’ (Electric Deluxe)
Heron ‘Chija’ (Afro Acid)
Clemens Neufield ‘Stroblight Acid’
Bart B More ‘Music’ (Relief)
DJ Hyperactive ‘Reptilian Tank (Audio Injection Dirty LA remix)
Materials ‘I Am (Ben Sims Acid remix)’
Robert Hood ‘Power to Prophet’ (M-Plant)
DJ Hyperactive ’25 Hours’ (Droid)
DJ Hyperactive ’11th’
Emmanuel Top ‘Generation’ (Novamute)
Emmanuel Top ‘Acidity’ (Novamute)
Green Velvet ‘Flash (Advent & Industrylizer remix)’ (Relief)
Rytmic ‘Minimal edit’
Tony Rhor ‘Eden Acid (Advent & Industrylizer remix)’ (Hybrid)
Ruskin & Broom ‘Bites’ (Blueprint)
Detroit Grand Pubahs ‘Sandwiches (Ben Sims Acid mix)’ (Engineroom)
Truncate ‘Diffraction (Jonas Kopp remix)’ (Modularz)
DJ Pierre & Green Velvet v Phuture ‘Acid Trax 2011’ (Afro Acid)
Bam Bam ‘Where’s Your Child’ (Trax)
Regis ‘Baptism’ (Downwards)
Steve Poindexter ‘Work That Motherfucker’ (Trax)
MD Connection ‘Tracks That Move Ya’ (Muzique)
LFO v Fuse ‘Loop’ (Plus 8)
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