Five Tracks: Dale Howard

British DJ & producer Dale Howard has been at the forefront of the underground house scene for more than a decade, releasing chunky deep house tracks on labels like Rawsome Deep, Gruuv, and Toolroom.

The latest sound to come from his UK-based studio arrives in the form of a collaboration between himself and Kevin Knapp, titled Gunny (In The Arms Of House). The track comes via Lee Foss’ Repopulate Mars imprint.

Joining us this week for our latest edition of Five Tracks, Dale highlights rhythmic deep tech, heavy-set minimal, and thumping deep house from Kris Wadsworth, Jimpster, Horacio, Gerd, and Solid Grooves.

Kasper Bjorke – Alcatraz (Jimpster Dub)
Label: hfn Music

I loved this track when it came out! I was a massive fan of Jimpster and Freerange at the time and took a lot of inspiration from that label. It was the quintessential deep house of that era. You could listen to this one in your earphones and daydream about Ibiza, but you could also really work a dancefloor with it. Proper.

Maya Jane Coles – Nobody Else (Kris Wadsworth Remix)
Label: Hypercolour

Playing this at the afters would pretty much be the green light for people getting sideways. Wadsworth’s sound was unmistakable and totally different to anything else that was out at the time. This track and that filter-tweaking, borderline acid lead in ‘Lime and Pink’ made me realise that some tracks sound TOTALLY different on a club system. Those records taught me not to be afraid to strip things back, as long as it works in the club.

NY Stomp AKA Gerd – NY House Trak
Label: 4lux Black

Just an absolute slammer of a house track. I lost count of how many times I used to sample the kick drum. I still use chord stabs like that today! Heavy clobber.

Room 10 – Maxell (Horacio Remix)
Label: Metroline Limited

Another fine use of the 909 and a right little groover too! This was the first time I’d ever heard that pitched-up snare roll, and, again, I still love to use that arrangement infill to this day. For me, It’s a small but essential element in the drums if I’m making an old skool house track.

Solid Groove & Sinden – Red Hot
Label: Atlantic Jaxx

This could have been any Switch / Solid Groove track to be honest, but this one in particular holds a lot of good memories for me. I’ve heard this so many times in the clubs in Liverpool.

Even though my sound is nothing like his, his approach to making music has greatly influenced me. He was the first producer I heard who just did not give a f*ck about how a track is ‘supposed’ to be arranged. He did whatever was in his head, and some of them were an absolute nightmare to mix! Haha.

Every time I’ve questioned if a sound is too weird or there’s too much of a contrast between a pad and a drop or something, I would think, ‘Switch has done weirder stuff, so it’s sound’.

Dale Howard & Kevin Knapp – Gunny (In The Arms Of House) is out now on Repopulate Mars.