_"Its always been Quality not quantity." Brian Tappert
Introducing Brian Tappert one half of Jazz N Groove, founder of Soulfuric Records, and partner in crime for the remix duo Cleptomamiacs. Get ready for an in depth interview on remixing, production, and disco for the 21st. Century. Bringing back the value of production to the dance floor, a very rare thing in today's diy software age of music.
e909st_Who is behind Cleptomaniacs, and what is the foundation for their productions?
Brian Tappert_"Originally, Cleptomaniacs was a little side project that John Julius Knight and I started, to pay tribute to some of our favorite old classics. At the moment, we sometimes involve Marc Pomeroy depending on the project."
What has been the most interesting project as far as remixing is concerned?
"I think for me the most interesting project was the Jazz-N-Groove mixes of Lolitta "Dreaming" which came out on Defected a while back. It was interesting cause we got the original 2 inch 24 track masters that were used in the original. For us it was very eye opening to hear the individual tracks and see how they sounded. Especially cause of our fondness of that era, in our Urban Blues Project productions we are always trying to make everything sound as if it was recorded back in the day."
How has Jazz N Groove evolved from the roots of NYC to the sunny coasts of Florida where you now reside?
"Actually, I am from New Jersey but didn't make my first record until I was firmly settled in down here in about 1993. For me, in the earlier productions we did a lot of feeling around to see here where our hearts were at musically and continue to do so, the evolution continues. But I think being away from that area makes it a bit easier for me as there aren't to many people that do what we do here, so its easier to stick out."
What can we expect to hear in the future from Soulfuric Records?
"I hope many more quality records that are able to stand the test of time. So many records come out and are forgotten. Our goal for the Soulfuric Label has always been to only release records with substance that don't have a stamp on them that says this was made in this year...I think we have achieved that in some cases. When I play out records like Donna Allen "He is the Joy" and Michael Procter "Love Don't Live" they still seem relevant...I think many of them have become even more relevant as time passes. More specifically, we have some new things lined up including the return of our Urban Blues Project with a song called "We are One" featuring Bobby Pruitt(click here to hear it!). That should be out in late September 2001. Also, Mine and Marc's very first production together in 1995, "Deliver Me" will see a re-release very soon...this time around with additional mixes by Knee Deep and UBP. Jask "Beautiful"(click here to hear it!), Hard Soul "La Pasion De Gozar...Lots of new stuff..."
Explain the differences between Soulfuric Deep, and Soulfuric Traxx.
"Ahhh...the original idea was that Soulfuric Deep would be a bit more on the jazzier deeper sort of vibe and Trax had more of the prime time thing happening. Since we like all kinds of things we try to keep everything tidy with only big vocals on the Soulfuric Label and trax and deep doing their individual things."
Being from the New York/New Jersey area, how do you see the music/club environment in perspective to say when you lived there?
"Its really hard to say since I don't go out much in New York these days. From what I can see, there's still a lot happening and it seems our sort of vibe is happening again in small little circles. Back in the day there was such a huge scene and everything was so new to me, it just seemed like it would go on forever...but times change and now there's the whole raver kid scene that seems to dominate most of what I see. I guess for me in say 86 and 87, the whole House explosion was the same as what's happening today...only now I guess I'm getting old !"
Who are some of the producers doing it for you these days?
"There's so many...but here goes in no order. Jon Cutler is rockin, Knee Deep, Borris and Michie, Fusion Groove Orchestra, Jask, Dave Lee, Hard Soul, DJ Meri, Copyright, John Julius Knight, Jay J and the Moulton Street crew, Grant Nelson (not the 2 step things), MAW, Sounds of Life, Sandy Rivera and Jose, Migs, and there's many more...I'm sure I missed some."
Is there a motto behind Soulfuric?
"Its always been Quality not quantity."
Which artists on your label have gotten the best response as far as sales and floor response?
"As far as sales, its definitely been Marc's Soulsearcher project. That one was huge all over the world and still leads everything else by a mile commercially speaking. After that its the Cleptomaniacs with various productions. As far as floor response...they all do alright."
Favorite place(s) to spin at? why?
"I like many places all for different reasons. I love to play Jack's House in Tampa cause its such a great little vibe of true music lovers and Jack is my boy(click here to hear Jask in the mix!). I love Ministry cause its got something special in there that's different to most places, plus a huge system...I love Out in the Styx in the north of England, its got that truly basement vibe going. There's Garage City in London that still keeps the soulful vocal flag flying. There's this little place in Norway called Atomic Soul that is really cool. Melbourne Australia has a wicked club called Freak-A-Zoid that is unbelievable...they really like it deep. D-Club in Switz is a great space and the people really dig the music. There's many more as well...."
When is the new Kathy Brown "Give It Up" coming out?
"Hopefully very soon. As we speak Jon Cutler is doing us a mix and the package should be finished soon. It wont be coming on Soulfuric though...its a long story. But it will come through Defected."
Lots of your productions are very rich in musical productions as far as the arrangements of the live instruments are concerned, plus the vocals are put together very well, what would you say has contributed to this talent that your production team has?
"Firstly, Marc Pomeroy, my partner is very gifted both Musically and Technically, mix that together with a love for classic soulful sounds and a DJ mentality...and there you have it. We try very hard to keep our musical ideas fresh. I have to tell you, this is no easy task...on top of that we are both fanatical about vocalists being top notch and we are picky muthas...!!"
Ok, I heard you are a fan of "The Sopranos" which episode would you say suprised you the most?
"I cant really say...none of them surprise me too much and I love all of them equally. Maybe the one where the therapist got it in the stairwell...that was surprising !!"
(Hardsoul, Jask, & Urban Blues Project is out now on Soulfuric Records! Look out for the new Copyright feat. Angie Brown & John 'Julius ' Knight returns!)