The first of this week’s Waveform Mixes comes from Congellous, a former breaks DJ now turned to house and techno. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight welcomes his return, talking b-boy culture, Soba Records, and Liverpool’s Quad nightclub.
Stanley T Jones has recently made a welcome return to the electronic music scene. Formerly known as a breaks artist under the Orange Kush and Jaguar aliases, his return marks a complete change in direction for the Anglesey producer. Previous outings have seen Jones releasing on Botchit & Scarper and Thursday Club Recordings, with the break from his hiatus coming in the form of his latest project, Congellous.
With the focus this time being directed at house and techno, his latest single, The Songlines/Delicious illustrates that Stanley has been hard at work perfecting his sound before blessing our ears with some glorious, synth drenched house. The vocodered element skips playfully around on a soundscape that offers more than a nod to disco and the 80s in one fell swoop, which spark comparison to some of Daft Punk‘s productions. Delicious comes straight at us from the White Isle, with Balearica coursing through it’s veins. Perfect patio fodder for those sundown moments.
We’re lucky enough to have been graced with a contribution to our mix series from Congellous, and believe us, it is a fantastic little journey. You can check that out at the bottom of the page, but first, let’s hear from the man himself.
Waveform: Hi Stanley, how has 2018 been treating you so far, have you managed to break all your New Year’s resolutions yet?
Congellous: I didn’t make any to avoid disappointment!
Waveform: So, hailing from Anglesey, you first discovered dance music in the late 80s / early 90s at famous clubs such as Quadrant Park in Liverpool and The Hacienda in Manchester. What was so special about the dance scene in the North of the UK back then and who were the first DJ’s you were in to?
Congellous: It was actually the B-Boy scene that got me into dance music, I was about 13 and completely obsessed, it exploded all over the world with a small amount of material so everyone was listening to the same music, dressing and dancing the same from the Bronx to tiny towns all over the world.
So, 5 years later we discovered The Quad in Liverpool and once you had been it was unforgettable; just pure buzzing atmosphere and that vibe got everyone talking about the club scene. That vibe was unfortunately a bit unstable and could appear and disappear from a club, so we used to travel around on recommendation from people in the know.
Sasha was my first favourite, circa 1990, his mix tapes were everywhere and it was because his sets were so creative. With acapella mixes, hip hop beats, he was top of his game.
Waveform: What first turned you on to producing music and in particular Nu School Breaks?
Congellous: All of the above as I was just fusing Electro and Drum & Bass, experimenting with sounds when it turned out a couple of labels were doing the same thing that I was unaware of, I signed to 3 labels within a few months.
Waveform: You had success with releases on Botchit & Scarper, TCR and Second Skin, among others and remixing for the likes of King Kooba and DJ Food.. it was a very exciting time for the then new Nu School Breaks genre, have you got a favourite memory and a particular favourite track from this period?
Congellous: Maybe Vinny playing my track “Trigger Happy” at Movement, it was his only dub plate and I hadn’t heard it on a big system with a big crowd and it kicked off, I was anonymously in the crowd as he waved it at me.
Waveform: So now after years of making breaks and beats, what made you decide to explore the world of electronica and in particular analogue sound?
Congellous: I love synths! But, I also use hip hop and disco techniques like MPC cut ups of vocals and synth arpeggios, so it’s not exclusive to one genre.
Waveform: You’re kicking off the musical year with your new ‘The Songlines EP’, tell us a bit about the release?
Congellous: The songlines is the idea that a piece of music can be a map or a description of a journey which comes from aboriginal culture, they believe that songs are the source of creation.
I’m imagining a road trip, in a 70’s Dodge Charger, stereo on, driving through vast mountains and I made the track more visual as this became my theme.
Waveform: So, in the studio are you more of a hardware or software man and what inspires your creations?
Congellous: Whatever I’ve got really, I learnt synths back with Roland Jupitar 8‘s and the like so once you know your way around the different manufacturers then you can get amazing material quickly.
The software emulators are so good that it makes it very accessible which I think is great for new producers who can get £100,000 worth of kit on their laptop for very little. When you go into a studio and they have a Moog modular and you know how to set it up because of the emulator then happy days.
Waveform: You also recently made a cover version of Daniel Norgren’s ‘Are We Running Out Of Love’ featuring Jess Bishop, will you be making more song based material in the future or are you more of an instrumentalist at heart?
Congellous: I’ve written quiet a lot of song material and have some great songwriters around me, so it will all come together at different times.
Waveform: You have also started your own label, Soba Records, how’s that going and what made you favour the do it yourself route as opposed to signing your productions to more established labels?
Congellous: Yeah it’s great to just be able to release on your own label, I like getting the music out there and getting on with the next tracks, I wouldn’t rule out bigger labels but DIY is growing for good reasons.
Waveform: Are you looking to sign other artists to Soba, or is it just an outlet for your own music?
Congellous: Yeah, at some point, I would like to produce some other artists and collaborate this year.
Waveform: Who are your favourite producers at the moment?
Congellous: A range of ever changing stuff –Bicep, Avalon Emerson, Maceo Plex, Mura Masa, Mssingno
Waveform: What do you hope to achieve with Congellous?
Congellous: I want to write some amazing music. That connection I get to a song that I love. I’d like people to feel like that about something I’ve made.
Waveform: What’s in the pipeline for 2018 you can tell us about?
Congellous: I’m attempting to write an album, or two, a dance floor one and maybe a more experimental piece and maybe that road trip.
Waveform: What can The Waveform Transmitter’s readers expect to hear in your exclusive DJ mix you’ve made for us?
Congellous: Sounds that I’m digging at the moment, things that are inspiring me that will give you an idea of where I’m going.
Congellous ‘The Songlines’ will be released on January 22nd 2018 on Soba Records. In the meantime, check out Congellous‘ awesome Waveform Mix, below. (Tracklist after stream.)
1 Find Love – Andrew Weatherall Remix – Phil Kieran, Andrew Weatherall
2 Regret – Shinichi Atobe
3 Adrift – Avalon Emerson’s Furiously Awake Version – Octo Octa, Avalon Emerson
4 The Songlines – Congellous
5 Can’t Leave You – Original Mix – Maceo Plex
6 Bump – Brioski
7 I Feel Love – 1979 Disco Club Mix – DJ Pierre, Chic Loren
8 Motor Rotor – Maceo Plex
9 Class– Hot Natured
10 Charcoal Eyes (Glass Tears) [feat. Mark Lanegan] – Factory Floor Remix – Dave Clarke, Mark Lanegan, Factory Floor
11 Just – Bicep
12 Halycon – Dee Montero