Alex Celler, one of the hottest young luminaries on London’s house scene, wants you to “get ready for some heavy party action” tonight. Drawing on influences ranging from Greek and Eastern music, funk and soul to jazz, blues, classical, chanson and acid house, the 24-year-old created La Palma, one of last year’s biggest tech/tribal house tunes, a track that turned him into a star. The Greek Londoner chats about his career, life, and favorite party spots.
Vinyl Word: Were you surprised at how big La Palma became?
Alex Celler: Absolutely. I made La Palma in an evening or two and didn’t think too much about it at the time. I knew it was a good record but I didn’t expect it to blow up like it did. After it was signed and released by Area Remote it became the No. 2 all-time most charted track in Resident Advisor and that gave a huge push to my career.
VW: Is life as a producer one big party?
AC: Unfortunately I have to spend a lot of time in front of the computer. I buy music online every day. Also I spend a lot of time finding old vinyl releases at Discogs.com. At least once a week I go record shopping as well. Then I take four to five hours to produce my own stuff and of course hang around on Facebook or MySpace, but not too much, as you can get hooked easily. As for the rest of the day I really enjoy exercising with my bicycle, watching documentaries and chilling out.
VW: Do you pay much attention to trends in music, and do they affect how you make your music or what you play?
AC: Personally, I play tech house and techno with a tribal groove, deep mood and a lot of energy. If music trends change in two or three years I will still play this sound. I will not abandon it for the “new” things coming. Yes, I will absorb the new things and get inspired by them, but I won’t change my music or my style. I trust what I play. I remember 10 years ago when everyone was into electro, I felt quite lonely playing tribal and tech house grooves.
VW: How do you usually prepare for your gigs? Do you play different material at each gig?
AC: Yes, I always play different stuff at different gigs. It depends on the crowd, the sound system and the club. The sound I play can be deep, twisted, banging or smooth. Regarding preparation, I have to admit I am a workaholic, working crazy hours to finish my edits, buy music and organize it for the weekend. Unfortunately I’m a perfectionist, but it all pays off when you listen to the music in the club.
VW: What’s the best party spot in London right now?
AC: Impossible to choose just one, but my favorite place is Fabric, because of the sound system. You really can’t beat that! It’s a tremendous experience to listen to music with such clarity, such well-defined bass. It really presents things to you in a way never heard before — so inspiring. The atmosphere is very underground and you got the best DJs lined up every weekend. Also there are other amazing parties in the city ... Sunday parties like Secret Sundays, Fuse, Half Baker, which are considered more “after-hours” places and draw an even more underground crowd. Try them for sure if you visit London.
■ Alex Celler plays at Bass Kitchen’s anniversary party tonight. From 10pm to 4am at Luxy (5F, 201, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei City, 台北市忠孝東路四段201號5樓). The supporting DJs are Mini Jay, Yoshi, and Hooker. Tickets are $600