Dustpan does it again! The local label is famed for their international reach and world-class quality, and Kane Ian’s crew has once again delivered a beaut for their latest release (Dustapan’s 56th overall). Entitled “Grooves At Midnight”, the new drop is produced by none other than Michigan-bred mad man Juwan Rates, a straight-up house maestro of the highest order. He’ll be dropping by Tanjong Beach Club later this month for Dustpan’s grand record release party and we took the opportunity to talk about gear and games with the man of the moment.
We see your tour heading to Manila this month and Shanghai at the end of the year, Are you excited to play in Singapore?
I'm estatic about this! It feels good to be able to perform for Dustpan Recordings and for the people who love the music as much as I do.
What was your inspiration for writing “Grooves At Midnight”?
I actually wrote the song at midnight. The night always inspires me to write music because that's when the best time is, that's when the party happens.
Who were your influences in house music?
Well as far back as I can remember, it was Farley, and the rest of the Hot Mix 5, I can go back even further to just the music side of it with artistes like, D Train and GQ. My family is really big on jazz too so I would hear a lot of Sun Ra, Horrace Silver and Gene Russell.
Who influenced you to DJ?
Every DJ that I've seen in the late ’80s to early ’90s. Rob Swift, Jazzy Jeff taught me that timing is everything. Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Doc Martin really made me step my game up as far as mixing house goes. Those guys really set the bar for me. Watching all these DJs perform over the years has been amazing!
What kind of set can we expect from you at Tanjong Beach Club?
Expect anything from jazzy to techy, and probably jackin’, deep or minimal. I guess it depends, but it’s all house no doubt. All I can say is when you come to see me, you will be entertained. I love to dance, so I know how you feel.
What's going on in the studio at the moment?
Right now, I'm working on a couple of projects for Lingo Recordings. It’s a hip-hop-meets-house track with lyrics by Donte from the hip-hop group Mood, J Lettow, Giano and myself on beats. I cannot wait for that to drop! The second is we're releasing remixes of "The Time Machine" with Oscar P from "Open Bar Music" which once again is going to be a really fun project.
What kind of gear do you use in the studio?
Anything I can get my hands on, but my favorite is my MPC 2500. I like to make drums so it just feels right to use. Yes I do use Ableton a lot, everyone has it and it’s really easy to swap projects. I still sample using the MPC depending how fast I need to get it done. Every once in a while I will use my Korg x50.
We heard that you were quite the gamer. What type of games do you like to play?
Fighting games! Tekken Tag Tournament would be my number one right now! Anybody wanna challenge you can find me on the PlayStation network as dj_juwan. [Laughs]
We look forward to your set here in Singapore, any last words for your fans?
Thank you for listening to my music and keep it live.
“Grooves At Midnight” is available at Amazon, iTunes, Beatport, Traxsource, Stompy and all good music stores.
Juwan Rates, Mr. Pirated and Kane Ian will be performing at Tanjong Beach Club on October 26 from 3pm to 7pm. RSVP for the party here at www.dustpanrecordings.com/events/groovesatmidnight