Interview: Frazer Campbell

Frazer Campbell’s releases for labels like Arupa Music and DRED Records have put him in front of a wider audience than most get the pleasure of, though it’s his work as a label manager and a DJ that has really solidified his position among the international house ranks.

We spoke to the London based multi-talent about the forthcoming VA release on his Counterfeit SOUL Records which features Jorge Zamacona, Ste Roberts and Jorge Caiado. We asked him about the release, what’s coming from him on other labels and his radio show for Bloop FM.

Frazer, how’s life in London? Enjoying the summer so far?

Hey, as it happens I am writing this while travelling back from a gig in Wales. So I am feeling fantastic as it went really well and I had a great time with the Breathe crew who threw an amazing party in Cardiff city centre. Summer so far is shaping up nicely. I have quite a few releases out and some special gigs coming up too. In particular, I will be playing at the Platform 18 / Detroit Love Street festival in August alongside Detroit’s finest such as Carl Craig, Derrick May, Derrick Carter and Glasgow’s top disc jockey Ivan Kutz who is also the head honcho of Platform 18.

If that wasn’t enough I also play the after-party with just Carl Craig and me so that will be a real moment to cherish for sure! Super pumped for this one. I have been setting aside records since the start of the year, feeling the pressure but these old shoulders will handle it I hope! Playing a few illegal outdoor raves too in London, these are always pretty crazy so gonna be a good season.

Release wise I have the next Counterfeit Soul VA coming out which I am really happy with. Solid house music on this one with great guys on board. It’s kinda funny because things are really flowing nicely for me in my music world but personally, I have been dealing with some tough issues. My mum has been very unwell and it’s been a very emotional year for me. I suppose in some ways that emotion can feed your creativity as you display your soul in what you do.

I actually wrote Cloud 909 (Counterfeit SOUL004 VA) during a really tough period early this year and for that reason, the track means a lot to me. It’s deep and thoughtful I feel and it really perked me up when I made it, I still remember dancing around the studio when it all came together and thought ‘yeah, nailed it!’

Your Counterfeit SOUL Records is about to release it’s 4th VA EP, what’s the concept behind the release?

Of course, releasing VA’s is a useful tool for promotion as you have other people involved and their push is also a great help. But for me, I really wanted to keep laying the foundations for the direction of the sound and indeed the label.

I am a true lover of genuine house music, old house music, original sounding house music. The artists that have joined me are all quite different but there is common ground I feel. All of the tracks carry a true house music sound. Jorge Zamacona’s (Paul Mac) track ‘Doom Dub’ just slams you in the face so hard and makes you feel like partying. That’s what house music is all about! Having a great time and forgetting about the world around you!

Jorge Caiado is a real master of slick grooves, ‘Drifting With Aliens’ is a prime example of that. Outdoor vibes, cocktail in hand and your hips swaying from side to side. That’s what a proper groove does to you. Ste Roberts track ‘Last Saturday Day’ is a smoky raw ass slice which you cant help stomp around too. It really thumps and that again is what house music is all about. It should vibrate against your chest and make you wanna dance. A Job well done by Ste. Class.

‘Cloud 909’ has that vocal element which I really love as it extracts the memories of the good old days for me when vocal house ran the show. I remember dancing my ass off to Defective’s artist Copyright in the Cross. Those guys slammed you with sexy vocal house and the place used to go off! I always try to bring back these memories but with my own twist.

How far do you plan ahead with the project, is number five already in the works?

I plan to keep going for sure! I am pretty driven so once I have an idea it’s pretty hard to stop me. To be honest I haven’t actually started the 5th release yet as I have been concentrating on my other label ‘Elliot Project’. I just released the 7th release on that which was a split EP with myself and TIJN. Counterfeit has been getting all of my attention this year so I don’t want to forget my other project as I love to make all sorts of house music and don’t want to be known for only having one production style. I want my productions to mirror how I DJ. All sorts of house across the board. Well, that’s the plan anyway!

What about other labels, where can we expect to see you release in the near future?

Steve O’Sullivan and I are collaborating on a new EP for Mosaic. We have been working on material for over a year now so I think we are nearly there! Can be tough when you work with a perfectionist! Hahaha, But we have tracks finished and finalizing the last one at the moment.

I started a new project with John Osborn (DRED Records). We are also collaborating under the alias of CAOS. I was over in Berlin a few weeks ago to finish up a four-tracker which will be coming out on DRED records in a few months time. It’s nice to work with such great people who I respect and are very good friends. We get down to work but have a great time doing it! Pure bants!

Finally, I have also finished another collab with Ivan Kutz. We did three tracks recently which sound great and once the Platform 18 festival has calmed down then we will decide where the tracks will go. Looking back it’s been a busy time on the machines but has been worth the crazy long hours, copious amounts of tea and cigarettes!

We saw on your SoundCloud that you’re a radio presenter for Bloop London, what’s that experience been like?

Bloop is great fun! I am no stranger to radio though as I had a show on Hoxton FM for 4 years or so. I co-hosted a show with my brother Anthony Campbell.

I took a year out from radio and then decided to get back into it as I really missed it when the Hoxton FM studios closed down. The bloop team were keen to make me a resident so it all fell into place nicely. Radio is important to me. It’s such a great communication tool and of course, any excuse to pump out some jams is always welcome!

Do you approach a radio show differently to a gig in a nightclub?

Actually, I don’t – The show I do on Bloop called ‘The Project’ is focused on what I play out. I used to do Live streams from my studio where I played records from my collection that I never played out. This was great fun too but for Bloop I just wanted it to be a showcase of what to expect when you hear me at a good old rave-up!

Thanks a lot for talking to us, we hope the release goes off without a hitch! Anything you want to add?

Big thx guys! It was a pleasure! Big shouts to everyone I mentioned, huge thanks to the crew on the next Counterfeit Soul, thank you for all my bookings, thanks for buying the records! Basically a big fat Thanks! Peace x.