For the 41st Guest Mix on our VAN series, we're joined by a very very familiar face and a name. Considered somewhat to be next generation of lo-fi stars, with a unique sound and approach into transforming disco tracks into something more, we're pleased to have REES joining us for this week's guestmix. If you don't know who REES is, you're a neek and shouldn't be on Vandelay, but we don't blame you. Here's more about lo-fi's shining star!
What pushed you into producing music and where did the moniker REES come from?
I’m constantly hearing all this amazing music around me and I always longed at the thought of playing your own tracks to a crowd and seeing them dance, that’s what pushed me to learn how to produce. Luckily I’ve been able to play & watch crowds enjoy my music which makes me want to push on and better myself, I’m still very early in my production knowledge days but I’m striving to be at a level of Folamour and Bellaire. Apart from music two things I’m very passionate about are my hometown and my family, REES is the family name which makes it very cool to see on posters & line ups.
Majority of your music are classic disco edits, but with a tinge of something special. How are you able to create tracks that heavily sample but also highlight the level of your own production?
I’m always trying to include new production tricks/techniques that I’ve learnt into my music without taking too much from the original sound that makes it so passionate and full of life. I’ve noticed improvements from my first track but at the same time I want people to instantly recognise it as a REES track, this is a balance I find Late Nite Tuff Guy has mastered perfectly.
Where do you source your samples? Majority of your songs tend to be inspired by unrecognisable disco songs that no one seems to identify, do you have like a secret vault or what?
Hours and hours of digging through blogs, magazines, mixes, record stores and any digital platform you can think of! They’re all home to some gems you’ve just got to have the perseverance to find them. My area only has only 1 record store in it – with no record player to listen with which makes it a bit more time consuming, but whenever I visit a new city I find a couple record stores and make sure to bring home a bagful.
You’ve collaborated with Paddy, another producer with similar styles to yours. How did that come about? Were there any clashes due to the similarities, or were you completing each other’s musical sentences?
Paddy is a great producer and a good mate, we had been speaking of doing a collab for a while before it happened but once we got to work on it the workflow was great, our styles are similar yes but we have our own unique spin and other influences which is why it was easy to make ideas flow! We’ll definitely be working together in the future, with some B2B sets too.
One of our favourite tunes from you must be Rave It Up. It’s so fuzzy and warm, and instant classic in terms of lo-fi, what inspired such a smooth track?
I’m a sucker for smooth track being transformed into raw bangers, especially anything from Sade. The original is such an amazing uplifting track, one that I regularly listen too, so I thought I’d try give inject some distorted energy into it with some mad drum work, pads and filtering. I’m very pleased with the result and response its received.
Favourite song or songs of 2018 so far?
Wow that’s a hard one, there’s no way I’m going to be able to narrow it down to a single one but for me some stand out ones this year have been Subjoi - S.Y.T.I.F, Bellaire - Ah, Never Dull - Turning You, Loods – Nevermind and Kettama – Body. But I’m also luckily enough to work for Bolting Bits magazine and get the chance to listen to exclusive unreleased tracks from some big artists, a few will make this list by the end of the year no doubt.
Finally, any big plans in the works? Where do you see REES going in terms of musical projection? Future EP, LP or even album we should be aware about?
Yes actually, I’m playing at Patterns in Brighton on September 22nd when Shall Not Fade stop there on their world tour with KG, Loods & KWG so buzzing to be supporting my favourite label. In terms of my own music I’m forever on my DAW coming up with new tracks, working on the sounds I love House, Disco & Lo-Fi. Recently I’ve been looking into buying some hardware, maybe a drum machine or Ableton Push with a Portastudio tape deck. I’m also in the process of starting a huge project that I will be announcing sometime within the next few weeks so I’m super excited for what the next 12 months holds for me!
Many many many thanks to REES for the quick q & a, many congratulations on your recent success, and look forward to what the future holds!