The quick turnover of tracks and fast paced release schedule popular in the current state of the electronic music industry makes the “just sit back and listen” album experience a rare and valuable commodity.
Soulphiction‘s 24/7 Love Affair is one of these releases, designed from the ground up to encourage a deeper musical connection; from the track placement to the hand drawn artwork, passion was put into each piece to create a complete work of art worth making time for.
Released by Local Talk, 24/7 Love Affair is a 17 track story that takes you across various genres and atmospheres with deep, funky, emotional, and soulful selections which showcase Soulphiction’s diverse background and time tested studio skills. Having been a DJ since the end of the 80’s, Michel Baumann (who’s other alias, Jackmate, focuses on his more techy side) creates a fresh set of grooves while giving nods to his early influences of hip hop, jazz and afrobeat in this well-balanced blend.
Released on November 29th, Soulphiction takes us inside 24/7 Love Affair and shares what it takes to make timeless music today.
Congratulations on the album release! How does it feel to have it be released to the world?
Thanks a lot! It feels great to finally put out another album, been a while since my last…
Did you create the album with a particular storyline or message in mind? It certainly feels like it lives up to the title of “24/7 Love Affair,” but I’d love to hear more about your mindset or intentions behind it?
I write music every day, basically for my own pleasure and entertainment. And the premise for this album was to give people a little peek into this, covering different styles, not only four to the floor materials.
When it comes to the track arrangement, what is your process like? Is it an easy or difficult decision for you to put them each in their “proper place”?
Nowadays people listen to music differently, and DJs pick only the tracks they want to play out, then usually skip the rest. To program an album for people to listen through on a whole is critical, especially when there’s not always a medium like vinyl to keep the sequence of tracks.
This is one of the reasons we also made it a three-part experience on vinyl, and a separate release for the digipack to keep the flow tight.
Out of all of the tracks would you be able to pick out one or two favorites? If so, why?
“Goodnite Ema” is a track I did with my son “Ema” when he was quite young. He fell asleep during the process, hence the title.
Another one would be “Speedswing”, which I made nearly ten years ago, but never found a proper way to include it on a 12″. It’s a very personal track, which I’m happy is finally getting an official release.
Is there a recurring element in each of your tracks that you aim to always include? Is there something which you feel gives it a “Soulphiction” sound?!
Coming from a ’90s hip hop background, I developed a certain sound quite early, partly down to the equipment I use and the way I mix down tracks. As both a DJ and producer; I like warm, fat and funky sounds.
Is there any part of the creative process that still feels challenging to you, even as an experienced producer?
Not really… at least not in a way that gets me stuck working on the same track for days or weeks.
Only when I’m trying to use certain skills I don’t naturally have, like singing, or playing a proper live bassline. I love working with other people who have those skills, as this helps me out along with inspiring me.
Can you share some of your thoughts behind your decision to release on Local Talk?
I like the label for what it does, and the artists they’ve featured have a very musical background.
My label Philpot Records is on hold right now, so I’ve returned to handing out my tracks as demos, after releasing mainly on my label for the past 10 years or so. Local Talk does a proper job and they care about the stuff I value, which makes me feel in safe hands when I’m releasing with them.
Shouts to Tooli and Mats for the perfect handling of my album, those guys always keep it real!
I love the artwork and the idea that each vinyl comes with a different version of it. Can you tell us more about the visual artist and decision to do special edition releases?
I had specific ideas about the look and Mats had the perfect suggestion of bringing Paul McDonald into the game who is a talented designer/illustrator.
He had already done a 12″ of mine for Circus Company, and knows how to capture the vibe of a sound using imagery.
Paul gave it a lot of detail especially with it being hand-drawn, which means he has to be very specific because it’s hard to change anything afterwards… shouts to Paul for doing a fantastic job here!
After we decided to make it three parts on vinyl, Mats came up with the coloring idea, from black and white on the first part, through to the full coloring on the third.
Having three completely different covers might have confused the fact that it’s the same album, but Mats idea tied everything together perfectly.
What are some of the aspects of the music that you loved when you first began which you keep alive through your music today? How important do you think it is to look to house music history in today’s industry?
Most of the derivative house music industry of today, to me, is sounding like unfinished tracks from the ’90s, which I’m getting a bit sick and tired of. Lots of it is just made to cash in on the hype. And by the way, calling them “bangers” is the worst!
I’m a true believer in the importance of not losing touch with the roots of a genre, and the history of house influences huge parts of my DJ sets opposed to playing my own tracks.
It’s good to give a nod to the originators, but I feel the genre is moving backwards sometimes, and instead of innovating new ideas people are trying to copy ones from twenty years ago.
There’s more to this music than the classic sounds and old patterns… Guess it’s a case of, inspire or retire!
And in looking to the future… what is coming up for you next?
I’m reactivating my Jackmate moniker, which focuses more on the techy side of things. Under that alias, I’m being featured on a lovely VA called “Zendama”, which is forthcoming on Ripperton’s Tamed Music, and being circulated by Clone Distribution!
Soulphiction tracks will also be featured on the upcoming Heidegluehen VA which is being put together by an infamous club in Berlin.
Then there is my Legit Edits series that coming out over the next months has several remixes for JT Donaldson and Session Victim amongst others.