Edinburgh, Scotland has an extensive list of amazing people, J. K. Rowling, notable author of Harry Potter; places, Arthur’s Seat, castle rock on which Edinburgh Castle is built; and things, such as men in fancy kilts. They also have a talented man by the name of Alan Parley, known to many as Hostage who has been hard at work creating dancefloor slammers that leave everyone with an insatiable thirst for more!!
His production and remixes are absolutely stellar. I don’t think I’ve heard one that has disagreed with me. Banger after banger, he combines elements of rock, disco, and rave into his music. To date, his most popular, Gluttony, which has been played to death (in a good way), and remixed by The Bloody Beetroots, and Felix Cartal, created a life of its own. Gluttony isn’t his defining moment, but a clear indication that there is a lot more where that deadly madness came from!
I shall entice you a bit more and let you know that most all work by Hostage and two of the featured tracks on the mix given to us, “I’m High” and “Sweet Dreams“, can be heard over at our friends wonderful blog, Discodust. Aleks at DD does an impressive job finding the gems and agreeably we have similiar select tastes! Music connoisseurs! Read on to learn all about the Hostage method, as well as to see him in a kilt doing a bit of ‘rave’ dancing!!
Lovestar: How long have you been honing your craft and when did your music making begin?
Hostage: I have been honing my craft for 18 years. I am now 30. I played my first live set at the age of 12. This is not a joke. It was in a Boy Scout’s hall in my local village to a group of my friends and all their Mothers and Fathers. I did 2 tracks using 2 keyboards: when I was 11 my parents, somehow, accidentally bought me a keyboard with a sampler (Yamaha VSS-200) for christmas, “Santa” was good and somehow knew a lot about my fascination for all things electro and musical. I already loved hip-house and rap music so it wasn’t long before I started making my own stuff. So I played these rubbish loops with rubbish drumbeats over the top and did 2 raps about how amazingly good I was at tying knots and cooking food on an open fire and putting up tents. It all sounds very very wrong. It probably is. But a gig’s a gig eh!? I have never really stopped since then, started DJing school discos, night clubs with sticky carpets, had some very very bad hardcore rave records out 10 years ago which I’d rather forget, but was all fun at the time…..
Lovestar: You’ve dished out banger after banger, clearly you have a knack for creating dancefloor slammers! Tell us a bit about the process that goes into creating these lovely gems
Hostage: I try to just imagine what would make me go nuts on the dancefloor. I really like to dance. I really really like to make people dance. The process involves drinking a lot of strong cups of tea and almost making myself deaf until I can’t keep my eyes open, always thinking about the club, the club, the floor, what would make me a little loopier, what would make me jiggle. The process then involves listening to the track the next day whilst traveling somewhere, and thinking “What the hell was I thinking last night!? That’s a load of guff…it’s all over the bloody place!!”, then going home and re-doing it all until it’s good. Other than that I cannot divulge how and where the gems are mined from :)
Lovestar: Tell us about Roccodisco
Hostage: Roccodisco is an Italian label. It’s run by Eduardo and Ugo. Eduardo is in Rodion who is on Gomma. They are an enlightened record label. I went to visit them in Rome when I played there a few months ago. I was also enlightened. I am proud to be watched over by Saint Rocco, who incidentally is the patron saint of dogs!
Lovestar: How do you keep your music versatile?
Hostage: I listen to a lot of stuff – I like a lot of different stuff. It’s like reading lots of books, but I don’t read books. I’ve got a short attention span. Although my sets are DOOF-DOOF there’s elements of rock to disco to rave in them.
Lovestar: Why did you decide to use the Seven Deadly Sins (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride) as the motif of your current series of tracks?
Hostage: They are strong concepts, and ones which I seem to get myself caught up in a lot. They are meant to be deadly but they seem to be a fairly large part of my life. There’s more to it than that though but I don’t feel comfortable going into it. Sorry.
Lovestar: Have you ever worn a kilt whilst spinning
Hostage: No, much to the great disappointment of the Italians! I should though because I’ve got great legs but they are as white as milk bottles. They don’t like the sun. I was wearing wellington boots and shorts at a festival this year and burned my knees. I don’t think I should expose my legs, especially when playing at a gig! I like dancing in a kilt though, it’s very liberating (I am far left, dancing to rave music with my friends).
Lovestar: Your Gluttony EP kind of created a life of its own having blown up all over the place and being remixed by several artists – what do you make of it all?
Hostage: I think it’s great, that a track that’s never even been released ends up all over the place, so many mix tapes and stuff. I absolutely love the Bloody Beetroots mix and the Felix Cartal mix is just insane – there’s something about them along with the original made a really good ‘Blog House Zeitgheist’ and all from quite small artists. A lot of thanks has to go to Aleks at Discodust, he believed in these tracks. It’s that ‘weeep weeep wi wi weeep’ thing in Gluttony, does strange things to peoples minds…creates a bit of delirium for some reason. I love playin it out. My friend Simon calls it “The Big Guns”.
Lovestar: What has been your favorite festival to play this summer?
Hostage: The Edinburgh Festival of course ;) It’s quality, for 1 month, all the pubs stay open till 3am, and for 1 month of the year clubs are allowed to say open till 5am (it’s normally never after 3am), and with the extra 1 million people in the city it’s a month of club atmospheres that are amazing.
Lovestar: What made you want to remix Icky Thump by The White Stripes?
Hostage: What. Um…..to be honest with this one it was a Who….I woman told me to do it….I thought she was really hot….when she first said I should do it I thought “Total nonsense, she hasn’t a clue”, but she was right. I did it to impress her. I loved the noisy grittiness of the track and the slow 4/4 is so heavy! It had to be done. Damn, I’m being honest today…..
Lovestar: Who are your influences in music today?
Hostage: Duke Dumont, D.I.M, Switch, Crookers
Lovestar: How do you go about building music around a sample you have heard and want to incorporate into a track?
Hostage: I’m really not very sure. I’m not great at these technical questions am I? A lot of mashing up the sound, experimentation, find a synth I like, try it over the top, select some lump-hammer kick drum, let it roll for a few hours, it’s all a bit of a haze when I’m building the tune..kinda get submerged in what you’re doing, kinda deep in thought or thinking in a different way, so when I’m trying to think about how I do it right now, I can’t……pretty lousy answer eh!?
Lovestar: Future plans, goals?
Hostage: I’d really like to play USA and Canada next year. Just more tunes, more gigs, and to have as much fun as I’m having just now.