Photographs by Eliot Gill, Brighton Fusion photographer.
Record label owner and deep house DJ, Magnus Asberg needs no introduction here in the UK. The 39-year-old Swedish native has been a solid part of the house and rave party scene in London and Brighton over the past 10 years, and before that in Sweden divided his time as a DJ, club owner, and professional skateboarder and snowboarder. But as I got talking to him, I learned that his love of music goes deeper than the party scene.
Magnus was first influenced by his father, a jazz musician, who introduced him to bands such as Pink Floyd (literally), as well as giving him his first record player. He recalls the first time he set his hands on vinyl and started DJing and laughs. “It was straight away! I was like six and I loved it.” He cut his teeth as a DJ at his parent’s many parties; at age 11, he broke in his first set of Technics 1200.
At 17, Magnus owned a nightclub in Sweden. Though his love at the time was hip-hop, he found he had to play the crowd-pleasing pop music of the time. It was at this time (1985) that Magnus discovered house music by accident: on the B-sides of hip-hop records. He found that the early house fit in well with the kind of pop music he was playing so he started mixing it in. As well as realising that he wanted to make house music, he deepened his knowledge of the genre by buying stacks of records on trips he made to the UK with his parents, which he said was more underground than the commercial house found in Sweden. He explains his segue from hip-hop to house: “Hip-hop I never really felt part of but house, I felt part of and I knew I was there to create it.”
Magnus made the permanent transition from Sweden to the UK in the mid 90’s, settling in the Riviera of the English south coast, Brighton. He joined forces with one of the South East’s most well-known and respected sound systems, Positive Sound System (“I was only meant to stay with them for a week!”) and continued DJing at clubs such as Fabric, Turnmills, Mass,and Berns (Sweden) to name a few plus festivals, skateboard and snowboarding competitions and parties throughout Europe (including helping to put on some of the early rave parties in France).
Magnus still DJs regularly in Brighton and London. In Brighton, you can catch his soulful to techy sets at On The House Records Late at Kabuki on Middle Street (from 3am) or the bi-monthly Positive Sounds nights at Audio. Magnus is also resident at 3am Nights at Funky Buddha Lounge and Lovestick nights. In London, he plays at Ram-a-Jojo every month at the Bedroom Bar alongside good friends Digs (DiY) and James Thomson (Juno Records).
These days, one of Magnus’s major preoccupations (not the only, mind you – he’s a busy man) is his recording collaboration with Jimmy Day (Mula/Stompa Music/Caged Baby), who is also currently part of Long Range, the new band from Phil Hartnoll (Orbital). The recording team go under the name C-Soul. Why the name? Well, “bits” didn’t gel so the duo went for something a bit more down-tempo (read: literal): “by the sea, seeing the soul, sea soul”. Something like that. Magnus and Jimmy have spent the past five years making music together, having first met earlier through friends in London in the tech house scene.
Magnus explained the process by which they worked, which sounds a bit like a nice game of tennis: first Magnus does fancy footwork on Logic with the ideas and vocals, then Jimmy comes in and destroys the court with his keyboard skills, followed by several more volleys across the net and culminating with a final arrangement. The C-Soul name has appeared on labels such as Flyagaric Trax, Is This, DiY Discs, and Suspect Package. More recent tracks feature on Magnus’s own label On The House Records (OTH), which has produced three EPs to date — “Feel It”, “Got To Be With You”, and “Watch This” – and include C-Soul’s remix handiwork.
Listen : From OTH 3 “Watch This” EP. It’s straight up-and-down house, with an edgier, tech-driven, finger-on-the-wire seam running through (but that’s just my opinion).
Watch This (Original) – C-Soul
04 Feel Like You Do (C-Soul Version)
Also check out http://www.lyme.fm
Lyme FM is an online radio station which Magnus features on alongside with Justin Harris & Digs(DiY). As well as many others. It’s pretty fresh if you ask me.
Up-and-coming: For starters, there’s a nice steady stream of OTH EPs to look forward to…….
OTH 004: EP featuring Justin Harris (Music for Freaks), C-Soul and Eddie Evil Richards remix (Wiggle Parties, London) (expected release date: October 2007)
OTH 005: C-Soul “In The Right Place” EP with remixes from Jevne (OneThirtyRecordings) and Demarkus Lewis
OTH 006: C-Soul “Hustler” EP with remixes from Justin Harris (Music For Freaks) and Toka-Project (Drop Music)
Look out for C-Soul on other labels in the coming year — Plastic City label: Rob Pearson v.s C-Soul featuring: Robert Owens…. Remixes by Inland Knights,Timewriter & Demarkus Lewis — OneThirty Recordings: “Oh So” remix featuring Jevne and remix from Argentinean Jay West — DiY Discs: remix of a Schmoov track; also C-Soul vs DiY.
Also expect more from Magnus and his other collaborators including Andre from Schmoov! Nottingham, Nathan Coles (Wiggle, IsThis! Fabric), and The Swag Records Crew in Croydon.
Buy: Try either Juno or Beatport
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