Thursday, 15 October 2009

Music: Charlie G Interview. Trackitdown (Online)

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Tranzaction Recordings label manager Charlie G spars with Trackitdown…

Words by Gordon Stribling

In just 18 months, Tranzaction Recordings has established itself as one of the most exciting, innovative new labels in Hard Dance. Label head honcho Avaline burst onto the scene last year with ‘Never Sever’, a pounding Hardstyle monster that caused a huge stir amongst DJ’s and clubbers alike, coming runner-up ‘Tune of the Year’ in the 2005 Hard Dance Awards. Label manager Charlie G has had similar success: at just 21 he’s signed to Nukleuz, played alongside all the big names and is considered a star of the future by many of the genres most respected players.

Charlie took time out from his manic schedule to discuss what we can expect to hear from Tranzaction Recordings in the coming months.

You’ve had 6 years of success with your Tranzaction event in Cornwall. What made you decide to start a label?

Partly a natural progression but mainly we wanted to get the trademark Tranzaction sound out to the masses. Like any good night we pride ourselves on having an exciting and unique musical style and by running our very own label means we are able to experiment even more with it. Its also a really powerful and effective way to push the brand as a whole.

Running a label can be an expensive business. Were you tempted for Tranzaction Recordings to be digital only?

If we were to start up a label now it would definitely be digital only but a year and a half ago vinyl was still doing ‘ok’, we never did it to make money it was simply a platform to promote our music and our brand, the beauty of vinyl is that its much more of a promotional tool, almost like a flyer. Having sleeves visible in people’s record bags and kids relating our logo to the music was key.

You’ve had huge success with the label so far, with support from Dave Pearce for ‘Stay’ and of course coming runner-up in the 2005 Hard Dance Awards with ‘Never Sever’. With so many labels out there, how do your releases stand out?

I think it is 100% down to the fact of ‘Daring to be different’, you only have to look at the above facts to see that as ‘Stay’ has a mainstream edge, ‘Never Sever’ has become a hard dance anthem, ‘Killah’ and ‘Brake Stuff’ have the full on punk-style thing going on and then theres also a slice of bouncy hard house with ‘Bass Jumpa’. Not settling for simply making and putting out tunes to earn a quick buck! We make music that we know will rock our dance-floor and release music we fully believe in. Keeping it fresh, diverse and fun, whilst pushing boundaries and new sounds.

The Tranzaction motto is ‘Dare to be different’, and the variety of releases so far demonstrates this. What musical interests, outside of Hard Dance, have influenced your productions?

Every one of my tracks is influenced by an image in my head of our dance-floor, so if I see a room full of clubbers avin it in my twisted little mind then Im pretty confident it will work.

With Avaline as with me the floor is the main factor to bear in mind but its also clear to see punk and rock has influenced his unique style as well as many different genres which I guess inspire and then feed you with passion to create something yourself.

Does running a label and a club night leave you with much time for anything else?

No, not really but it’s like everyone in this game, the passion and drive we all have means its

Not a job but a way of life. The time we have left is taken up by DJing, writing for iDJ and a couple of other mags, studio time and then that’s about it. Busy and sometimes tiring but fucking fun!

If you could remix one classic track, what would you choose and how would you make it stand out?

That’s a tough one, ‘System F – Out of the Blue’ would be wicked to put a filthy tech edge on and take it down a grottier and more furious path. Also ‘Nightcrawlers – Push the Feeling on’ could be interesting to mess about with as its not an obvious choice but has loads of possibilities with the catchy vocal and instantly recognisable hook.

If you weren’t involved in the dance music scene, what would you be doing with yourself?

I use to box when I was a wee nipper but had to give it up because of the late nights DJing brought. So maybe I’d still be doing my thing in the ring, or then again I may have destroyed every brain-cell from that and ended up a cabbage working in a chicken factory.

Tell us about your latest release, ‘The Charlie G EP’.

Ok, well its my debut on Tranzaction and features a 2006 hardstyle remix of ‘Sleepless’ which was my tech trance track of last year on Monster Hard. It was the tune that helped me climb a few steps up the ladder and gained an amazing amount of support and radio play. I wanted to re visit it and transform it into a peak time pounding monster. Mad tempo changes and loads of crazy twists and turns make it a killer on the floor. On the flip side there’s ‘Mentalism’ which is a no nonsense hard houser with a joy energizer type twisted sound evolving through-out, a DnB breakdown chucked in for good measure and the result is a tune which has become a firm favourite with the likes of Lisa Lashes. Completing the package is an exclusive remix of ‘Mentalism’ by Mr Avaline himself, who conjures up something with a totally new angle becoming a new track in its own right.

What projects do you have in store for the near future?

In the next couple of weeks Im in to remix the next track from ‘Kenzie & Cobain’ as well as ‘Michael Splints’ latest steamer so that’s all pretty exciting. For Tranzaction I have loads of ideas and can’t wait to get in the studio and start laying them all down, expect the usual raw punk style meets hard dance for ultimate dance-floor mayhem.

Do you feel that the hierarchy within the scene restricts the progression of new talent?

I think it use to allot but not so much anymore, due to download sites it’s easier for us youngsters to get our music heard, and the big players do listen and are supporting anything that is ‘good’ music regardless of stature in the scene. There’s so much new talent out there rising the ranks that its exciting times for dance music in general. There’s always going to be the big dawgs who have some sort of strong hold but I don’t think this direct restricts anyone else, in some ways it helps.

What do you hope to achieve, both as a DJ and producer, in the next couple of years?

Im still only 21 so hopefully allot! I want to get a fair few more releases and remixes under my belt on more of the world’s leading labels and basically keep improving my production. On the DJ front I hope to gain increased recognition and see more and more bookings come in as well as some international bits and pieces. Would also like to mix my first compilation, and of course continue to push Tranzaction the night and the label. So basically allot more of the same but hopefully reaping more rewards.

Which artists would you like to work with?

I’m sure soon enough me and Mr Avaline will venture into the studio together which will be hot. I would love to work with Vinylgroover, and of course the likes of Marco V, Marcel Woods and Steve Murano. Also Ali Wilson, the guy is on fire at the moment really digging the tech trance sounds of his Tekelec imprint.

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