Icee Hot’s 2 year anniversary is right around the corner, and this month the crew are happy to present UK house-centric artists, Mosca and Altered Natives. Mosca started throwing parties a couple years before his Square One EP dropped as the first release on the London-based Nightslugs—an imprint pushing unique, bass-heavy club music. Still, Mosca remains stylistically unconstrained with his ear for solid dancefloor hits from all backgrounds. Read on to get a better idea of what he has in store for Public Works this Saturday, January 28.
What projects are you working on currently? Describe a typical day for you.
Right now I’m finishing off an EP for Hypercolour. Deep techy percussive house, four tracks deep, with vocals from Ben Westbeech and Robert Owens, so I’m really excited about this release. So my day is working on that, keeping on top of promos I get sent, virtual crate digging, and blocking South Americans on Facebook from tagging me in their photos. Should have picked another name…
When did you choose to focus on your music career and what inspired you to do it?
Putting the Square One EP out in 2010 was the first step really – Square One was actually the first track I ever finished. The response and bookings I got off that were so healthy that I managed to give up my job in the same year.
What was your introduction to electronic dance music?
What was your first rave experience like?
I went to see Remarc at a warehouse type rave with unisex toilets. I was hooked after that. Not hooked on unisex toilets though.
What is more fun for you: making a remix or an original track?
Original stuff every time, unless it’s something really different like some Swahili vocal thing that you wouldn’t be used to working with.
When did you start throwing parties? Name some artists you’ve booked and describe the sound and feel you were going for.
That was 08 or 09 I think – we had The Heatwave, Hard House Banton and Dubplate Wonder, Ben UFO, Dexplicit, just trying to cover all the bases really, from dancehall to soulful house, grime, bassline, all sorts. We’ll actually be relaunching at Alibi in east London on February 25th if any SF heads are about.
What was your worst party like?
Deadout! It’s a horrible feeling.
What are the popular dance music scenes in London at this time? Where do you feel you fit in best?
I think it was Slack who described it as tepid house. There are a lot of people still finding their feet with the house-centric sound, and it shows in a lot of people’s production and selection. But I have no doubt that it’ll pick up and we’ll get some great tunes. UK garage is making a comeback, deep house is back in again.
What do you think is unique about the scenes in London? How do you feel styles such as UK funky and grime are received elsewhere?
Grime never travelled well. For me grime needs to be in a UK accent, whether it’s from Birmingham or Sheffield or wherever. Funky seems to spread OK but a lot of overseas people have taken it into quite hard and bashy places, more than someone like Lil Silva say. It was more of a soulful thing to start out with. But that’s London I guess, it’s the ever-bubbling melting pot, there’s no point trying to define ‘the sound of London.’
Your music borrows from a lot of different styles. How would you describe your music?
… In the same way that there’s no point trying to define ‘the sound of Mosca’. I mean there are a few themes running through my stuff, a sense of groove and rhythm—a moodiness sometimes. It might be better to say what I leave out – no screaming electro synths, no whumpy dubstep/d&b snares, no tech hiss, no 808 worship, no Burial vocals…
Based on the tracklists for some of your studio mixes, it seems you really enjoy going all over the place in terms of matching artists. How long does it take you to make a mix?
It depends. I’ve got quite good at organising my crates so sometimes I can just pick one, Dub > Moody, or World > SA House > Raw, and I’ve got a mix selection right there. But I like to take a bit of time over it and I’ve got lots planned. I still like matching identical song names or answering a question in a track name with an answer from a track name, that kind of thing, or doing chronological or alphabetical mixes.
Which styles have you been digging through recently to find tracks for your DJ sets?
Same old stuff you know! New and old dancehall, ghettotech, bassline (or Niche as we call it), loads of underground deep and tech house, kuduro, grime, sexy 4×4 garage, reggaeton, ballroom, speed garage, UK funky, 3ball, rap, deep and dark techno and drone stuff, Baltimore club, Rio funk, new UK music without a name yet, soul, soulful house, early jungle, early dubstep, early electro, 2-step, juke, bits of hardcore, slow jams, soca, 70s and 80s dub, digital era, rocksteady, roots, ska, mento…
Name your current top five tracks.
In no particular order:
Deathprod – Mysterium Magnum [Rune Grammofon]
Pete Dafeet – Stutter (Moodymanc Main Mix) [Forthcoming Lost My Dog]
De’Lacy – Hideaway (Hidden Vocal Dub) [Deconstruction]
Jay R Neutron – Faggots In Paris [Forthcoming Qween Beat]
Cham – Wine [Cashflow]
The first Night Slugs release is your Square One EP. How did you get involved with Night Slugs and what is your involvement with Night Slugs now?
We booked Bok Bok for one of our nights and just stayed in touch, it’s as simple as that really. Still part of the Slugs fam but no releases with them confirmed yet…
Mosca plays with Altered Natives and support from Icee Hot DJs Saturday, January 28 at Public Works. There are no presale tickets available so early arrival is highly suggested. Doors at 10pm.