In a career now spanning over 20 years, Demi’s holistic approach to DJ’ing has seen him tour across the world, releasing numerous mix compilations including a Radio One Essential Mix as part of the SOS triumvirate, playing in almost any and every imaginable sized venue from the basements of East London to huge scale festival stages in places such as Buenos Aires and Tokyo.
Now spending most of his time in his hometown London, and with a new found love and discovery of a record collection that had been lying in storage dormant for years, Demi can now be heard sharing a slice of his collection and inimitable approach to programming at some of the most forward thinking music venues in the city such as Brilliant Corners and Caia.
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Each week we will be taking a dip into the crates and minds of some of the digging scenes most prolific collectors.
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First record purchase and where you bought it?
“Blackmarket Records in Soho London. 1997 A Johnny Fiasco EP called Moody Grooves Vol 1.
This came out on Cajual Records during a prolific period of releases by Green Velvet. For about the first 15 years I was playing the A side until I then realised years later I had been sleeping on the 2nd track on the B Side. Still in my box whenever I play out.”
Strangest place you found a record?
“Street and Gangland Rhythms – Beats & Improvisations from 3 Boys in Trouble. 12 years ago in a department store inside a shopping mall in Nicosia, Cyprus where my parents are originally from and where half my extended family still live there. I was visiting an Auntie who lived in the capital and we spent a day running some errands and she needed to return some items at this store. So whilst she was doing that I had discovered in a random corner of this store some shelves which had a bunch of vinyl records which dually grabbed my attention. Rummaging through, what struck and impressed me was the range of compilation albums that were on the shelf and this one particular record was what I pulled out. Being a total sucker for the more off-piste looking record sleeves and sounds enables you with an instinctive hunch for records that may also have some use for sampling too in case I’m not familiar with the artist or label. Or in this case an interesting title 🙂 Vinyl collectors will understand this when I say, “it’s as if the record found me, speaking to me to take from the rack, as if it was meant to be that I was to have this record” . On the back of what had been a difficult period of my life, here I am in my spiritual motherland with some of the answers presented to me in order to move onto the next stage of my own artistic development. There’s a forthcoming single called ‘3 Boys in Trouble’ that is born from the back of that.
What is one of your favourite pieces of sleeve art and why?
“Being a little biased here. But would be the Eyetone limited edition releases I am planning to release later this year. This was a collaborative project between myself and a super talented textile designer friend of mine whose company Beatwoven re-interprets sound through visualisation using traditional weaving methods to create bespoke designs. What intrigued me was wondering if this could be applied onto a record sleeve and so a collaboration was born to create a record sleeve that allows you to see as well as hear the music on that record. We made this into a collection of the first 3 releases on my Eyetone imprint.”
Who are your biggest musical influences?
“For his level of prolific releasing, for his live musicianship which I’ve been fortunate to witness first hand on multiple occasions, for his musical compass when it comes to how an artist should be, it’s all about Prince. And now that he is tragically no longer with us, I feel there is another level of learning and discovery we will all benefit from and begin to fully realise from his vault the true breath of his music output.”
It’s a slothy Sunday… What tune are you hanging out to?
“Culture Music – Eventually. The lyrics can pretty much sum up any end of week mood. Admittedly I paid an obscene amount of money for it but thankfully this was justified as the other two tracks on this EP which I’d never heard of and are not published anywhere online are also certified bombs as well.”