With releases to his name for Cin Cin and Rose Records this year, Londoner Laurence Guy is already living up to the promise we predicted in our 2016 Ones to Watch list. Penning Move D-endorsed deep house, peppered with playful and melodic samples, there’s nothing revolutionary about what Laurence Guy is doing, but for consistency and quality he’s on the money and an exciting prospect in London. A producer we’ve bigged up plenty on the site, we thought it about time to catch up with him properly with a Q&A and mix. No tracklist on this one, so get the requests in on Mixcloud!
First, our usual ice-breaker. What’s your first musical memory?
That’s a tough one as I’ve got a terrible memory. I’ve got a vague recollection of dancing around my Dad’s living room to ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, so maybe that’s it?
We hear you were into skateboarding when you were younger. We couldn’t even manage an ollie back in the day. Any tricks you were particularly proud of?
I nailed the 900 once, but no one saw it and it was before camera phones, so unfortunately there’s no evidence.
Word on the street is that you only started DJing and producing to become irresistible to women. How’s that been working for you?
Apparently being a massive record/synth geek isn’t quite the turn on I expected it to be. Who knew?!
Have you actually ever been chatted up while DJing or shortly after? If so, what’s been the best/worst lines you’ve had?
Does “can you play something we can dance to?” count as a chat up line?
You’ve spoken about taking musical cues from skateboarding videos in the past. Could you dissect your favourite skateboarding video, to explain how you might’ve channeled it into your own work?
Well, the videos I used to watch were usually pretty hip-hop heavy, so that’s where my interest in that kind of music and also beat-making in general came from. The best example is probably one of the 411VM issues I used to rinse, it had a couple of Common tracks on it: ‘The Light’ and ‘Sixth Sense’. My brother got me the Like Water for Chocolate album one christmas, which was produced by DJ Premier. After that I looked into what else he had done, which is obviously quite a lot, and that’s what made me want to start making music/DJing.
A bit closer to home, you also cite Pepe Bradock, Session Victim and Soundstream as big influences. What about their style do you particularly look up to and try to emulate in your own work?
The thing I love about their work is the way they chop and replay samples to create a new groove. Like Pepe’s ‘Path Of Most Resistance’. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of that chopped up sound and listening to their music opened my eyes to how much you could do with samples.
Much of your work is quite sample heavy. Do you have a go-to source for samples? And what makes a good sample in your eyes?
Not one in particular, but various online blogs, as well as records. I’ll generally get lost in Youtube looking for potential sources and then try and find the album and maybe other albums from the same artist/label or with some of the same musicians on.
In terms of what makes a good sample, I’ll look for something that has a few different parts to sample, so it’s easier to create more melodies and layers. So the ideal might be a record that has a section with just the rhodes playing, another with rhodes and trumpet and then some nice incidental hits and fills.
Now for some London focused question, with this being your hometown. What’s your favourite and worst thing about London?
Favourite thing is the amount of good line ups week in, week out.
Worst thing is how expensive it is!
Where’s your favourite place to buy records in London?
Second hand stuff I’ll usually get at Love Vinyl in Hoxton, or Reckless in Soho.
Newer stuff I’ll go to Phonica.
What are some of your favourite parties to go to?
A big favourite of mine is a party called Unwanted, which is at The Yard in Hackney Wick. They have a really varied music policy and great residents/guest. Other than that I’d say Corsica Studios and Dance Tunnel are my favourite places to go.
There definitely seems to be something bubbling under in South London, what with Church, Rye Wax, Balamii, Rhythm Section, YAM and plenty more forming a real creative hub. Without wanting to label it, does being part of this musical network rub off much on your DJing and producing?
I’d say it’s definitely had an effect. The Church release was a huge boost for me and probably the main catalyst in moving my career along. Getting to know those guys has been great and I think just generally having more people to exchange ideas and music with is always going to be a good thing.
Are there any young and talented producers and DJs we should keep an eye out for this year?
There’s genuinely so many people making great music at the moment that it’s hard to pin down anyone in particular. Having said that, my housemate Joel John is making some pretty serious tunes at the moment, so I’d look out for him. Also my homeboy Harry Wolfman has got some great stuff coming this year.
Move D was giving your last Church record a lot of love last year. Bit of a fan boy moment? Have you had a chance to catch up with him since?
Ultimate fan boy moment for me. He’s been one of my biggest influences in production and DJing so it was a huge confidence boost. I’ve caught up with him a bit, but I’m mainly playing it cool…
Could you tell us a bit about the mix you’ve made for us?
I recorded the mix at a mate’s house (cheers Spinks!) on 1210s and and Ecler Nuo mixer. No big idea for this one really, wanted to make it more dancefloor, less mixtape, so put some tougher stuff in there. As for standout tracks, I played both sides of the latest Millionhands release by Tee Mango – that’s a great record!
What’s coming up on the horizon we should look out for?
I’ve got a couple things coming imminently, the split 12” on Cin Cin with Todd Osborn and a single on Rose Records. A bit further down the line is the Church follow up, which I’m really excited about!