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HeavyFeet

"Just finishing up in the studio for the day. It has been a fairly long day mate, but it's all good, all good. We've been doing a new track for a vocalist from London who is coming up next week to record with us. It is sort of a big Ibiza house type thing. We are working on a new pop project as well actually, we do a few bits of pop for people here and there, so just fitting that around remixes at the moment."

 

Having made their name through their Kanye West Goodlife bootleg, Manchester's dynamic production partnership HeavyFeet (Mike Burgess and James Medina) have seen their work jump in popularity over the past few years. "People tend to associate HeavyFeet with our remix output, due to when we started up in late 2007. It was at a point where we did a couple of bootlegs and they thought it was really fresh, so we got inundated with remix requests. The other thing with remixes, if you are getting offered money to do it, you think of the bills you have to pay. We have a catalogue of about 60 remixes out there from the last three years. A lot of those were done between the end of 2007 and end of 2009."

 

Having found that one remix leads to innumerable opportunities, Burgess and Medina initially found themselves unable to refuse offers of work. However, having further established their working relationship, the pair started to experiment with creating their own sounds. Though they still have a passion for recreating the crafts of others, Burgess concedes, "Where we are at the moment, we are much comfier writing original material. We are not the sort of artists who like to take someone's work and remix it and pretty much take nothing of the original. We won't remix something we don't like as there has to be something to catch on to. But that can be restrictive as you have to please the label and the artist and make sure it is something you want to play in the club yourself. With original material, there is so much more scope to create the perfect track with the right vocalist".

 

Though they are probably best known for their beats, bass and breaks, it is immediately apparent that, for Burgess, the real thrill comes from the diversity their combined skills allow them career wise. Having more than proved their eclectic output with their 12x12 releases, Burgess is keen to clarify the project for those who are unaware of their releases to date. "It is an album we started in April of last year. It is essentially like making an album, but instead of releasing it as one piece of work, we would deconstruct into a new format. We released a single a month for the last 12 months through our record label. Each one of those singles has a slightly different slant on it."

 

"I don't tend to listen to a huge amount of dance music when I am away from the studio. Obviously when we are in the studio, we do listen to other people's bits and pieces and old records a lot of the time." Though he works closest with dance music, Burgess finds that once the studio door is locked behind him, he enjoys nothing more than tuning in to something different. Perhaps it is the professional relationship with his discipline, or simply a desire to hear something he can enjoy rather than contemplate. However, the latter seems unlikely, given that he admits, "I personally listen to an awful lot of UK urban music and quite a lot of US urban stuff on the r'n'b and hip hop lines, just because usually the production standard in that line of music has very high values, so it is a good area of music to look for ideas for your own music."

 

Given his preference for the Urban music scene, it is easy to understand why vocally driven dance music dominates his output. However as someone who dabbles in pop, we close with what should have really been an opening question - how did you get into dance music? The answer is an easy and obvious one..."I guess, it is just, you know, you grow up listening to certain records when you were a teenager. I used to be a big Underworld fan and the Chemical Brothers and Prodigy were the biggest dance bands. It was late 90s and you couldn't avoid dance music in the UK. I guess, at that point, they were almost stadium performers. My inspiration really came from dance music that could be performed live. That is definitely something we are actively working towards."

 

HeavyFeet [UK] play Revolver Upstairs on Saturday April 9.