Stuart King is best known as one half of the “Sunday Club” who released cult epic house on legendary imprint Stress Records. From Breakdancing as a kid in the 80’s listening to “Streetsound’s” Album’s and spinning on his hand and head all day, the Acid house Movement kicked in and Stuart was helping set up Raves in disused Second World War German Bunkers around his island of Jersey.
Having DJ’d alongside the likes of John Digweed, Laurent Garnier, Parks and Wilson, Danny Howells, Carl Cox, Dave Seamen, Anthony Pappa, Quivver and Boy George, and remixed the likes of Jean Michel Jarre, Way Out West, Deepsky, Sunscreem and Brothers In Rhythm, its fair to say Stuart learnt his craft working with & for some of the best in the business…
We catch up with Stuart about his latest LP ‘Late Night Obsessions’, his inspiration behind it and his musical upbringings….
Hi Stuart, how are you?
I am very well thank you and I hope you are too
We love the new LP on Baroque Records! Tell us bit about your relationship with the label and how you came to be a part of it.
Thank you I’m very happy you like the Album. I have been working on and off with Baroque Records for the past four years and have had a steady amount of releases with them, “On The Edge”, “My Life” and a few other tracks.
It’s a great Label with a solid output so it was the perfect home for the Album.
Talk to us about the LP. What was the inspiration behind it?
My inspiration is life, what a gift it is, you should never take that for granted. I wanted to push myself as an Artist, I didn’t start with the intention of making an album but once I had four or five tracks finished I could see the end product in my mind. I was in touch with a great vocalist from Brighton called Kinnoha and she sent me a few tracks to work on and then the album stepped up a gear. I spent endless days and nights working on the album but not being too critical about it. Instead of trying to fit in with current trends I just made music that I liked and enjoyed working on, that I believed in, and what I knew would make a great album.
Were you always musical growing up?
I was always into music, my family were big record collectors, and music was being played in my household from day one. My Dad always had the best Hi – Fi, he loved music as did my mum and my brothers and sisters and were always collecting records. When I was 13 and got involved with breakdancing I started to buy Keyboards. I had a Mini Casio VL Tone mini keyboard when I was a kid, then I bought a Roland SH-101 with the modulation grip so I could stand up and play it as a Keytar and mess around with the pitch bend! I didn’t know much about Synthesisers but I was fascinated by them. I used to love playing the riff from “Europe” The Final Countdown and “Oxygen 8 ” Jean Michel Jarre was my hero, and it was a defining moment when 20 years later we got to remix him, it was a dream come true!
How would you describe your sound?
I always find it difficult to define my sound as I play many styles. My roots are Progressive but my style is all aspects of house, incorporating various genres, melodic house, vocals, thought provoking music that carries emotion and melody. My sets have meaning and a story throughout, that’s what I always aim to do, to take you on a journey. It’s got to take you somewhere.
Talk us through your journey. How did you come to produce the sound you do now?
I was one half of a band in the 90’s called “Sunday Club” on the legendary Stress Records, we had many hits from “Paladien Dawn” to “Healing Dream” and remixed Jean Michel Jarre, Sunscreem, Art Of Trance and many others. We had a massive following, tracks on Radio 1, Pete Tongs Essential Selection, Sasha using our tracks in his “Essential Mix” live on Radio 1 from “Amnesia” in Ibiza. Everyone from John Digweed, Dave Seamen, Anthony Pappa, Dj Alfredo from Ibiza, Danny Howells, Tiesto were hammering our tracks and Paul Van Dyk remixed us. My sound developed from there, I have always been into the melodic side of house, emotive with deep vocals and a message. A lot of people can relate to it, they remember tracks that make them think and feel. So it has been a natural process for me, I haven’t really changed the style of what I have been doing since day one.
How does one go from breakdancing to being part of the acid movement? Are they not worlds apart?
Well I was Breakdancing from a young age maybe 13 years old and carried this on until around 16 or 17. That’s where my fascination with turntables started, watching movies like “Beat Street” and “Breakdance The Movie.” I was into all the early Hip Hop – Whodini, Public Enemy, Roxanne Shante, all the Street-sounds albums were amazing and I liked to express myself and to dance, do graffiti in car parks, breakdancing and acid house were about freedom of expression so it was a steady transition I think. A passion for music can take you anywhere….
What was the scene in Jersey Like? Not usually the first person to spring to mind when you think of Acid House!
The scene in Jersey was incredible! After the illegal raves in the bunkers and fields stopped due to the authorities clamping down it moved to the clubs. “Inn on the Park” was where the first raves were held and it was voted the No.2 Club in the UK by “Mixmag”. You would have huge guests like Carl Cox, Laurent Garnier and Sasha week in week out and awesome residents like Warren Le Suer, Biko and later on myself. Every A- list DJ wanted to come and play here, you have to remember this was when Ibiza was in its infancy and Jersey was a stone throw away from the UK. It’s a beautiful small island, nine miles by five with beaches in every direction, it was party central! Loads of clubbers were coming to Jersey for a short holiday from all over the UK and they were still here ten years later! A lot came to escape the excessive partying back home and came here to work and to relax not thinking there was a big scene here. They brought with them their experience of clubbing back home and it helped to grow the scene in Jersey. So the place just erupted, it was as good as anywhere, DJ Magazine named it “Fantasy Island”.
Tell us about the raves in the war bunker! How did that come about?
We needed somewhere to party in Jersey after the clubs closed and there are loads of old German Bunkers still left intact after the occupation of the Channel Islands. Some are multi room bunkers that overlook the sea so they were unique settings to party in. That’s where I played my first sets. It was an incredible time, while it was all kicking off in the UK with illegal raves being held in warehouses and under motorways we were doing them in German Bunkers and Old Forts. The bunkers, especially the one at “La Pulente” overlooked the sea, you could look out from the machine gun slots cut out of the concrete, the noise of a generator outside and acid house pumping until the early hours! It’s a beautiful island with some unique settings and history.
This LP shows a very unique sound. What is your studio set up to make such a journey?
Thank you, I made most of the Album on Ableton Live, bounced the parts out and it was mixed in Logic. I used to mostly use Logic and rewire Ableton for my FX, Loops and Samples, but with Ableton it’s so quick to get ideas together, I used a lot of the Native Instruments gear, Komplete Ultimate 10, Maschine, Reaktor 6, Roland Plug-Ins, U-he Synths, Nord Lead, Moog, Roland System 1, Nexus, Guitar Rig 5, a combination of samples and endless hours making it all blend together.
Any more exciting releases in store for us in the near future?
I’m halfway through my second album so I’m looking at releasing that next Summer. Also have a new E.P called “Chanjira” which is released in October on “High Tide Recordings”. Rising stars “Mongo” have done the remix on it and it’s huge, it was played on John Digweed’s Transitions show a few weeks ago and there a big buzz about it! Also I’m just putting the finishing touches to three new E.P’s. which should be out over the next few months.
What does the future hold for Stuart King? Any further goals and ambitions to conquer?
To keep pushing my sound and travel the world. In the next few weeks I’m in Ibiza for a few gigs, then I will be touring Asia and Brazil towards the end of the year. There are always things in life you want to achieve. If it’s not music, it’s travel, or constantly learning about yourself and life itself. I like to be on the move and when I’m in different countries I get inspired by the culture and people and it’s great making music in different countries as you create a different vibe. I believe you can do or become anything you want in your life, if you put your mind to it, you just have to believe in it….
Stuart’s ‘Late Night Obsessions’ LP is out now on Baroque Records
Grab it here