Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio #28 with Robert Tomlinson (Jelly Roll Soul)

For the last show of the year I am pleased to welcome Scottish based DJ, Club Promoter and Record Label owner Robert Tomlinson to Dig Deep on Cowbell Radio.

A time served DJ, Robert has been spinning since the 90's and is one third of the Stirling based Jelly Roll Soul club night. The close-knit crew have had the likes of Jay Daniel, Fred P, House Of Traps, Aiden D'Araujo, and Space Dimension Controller up in the headline spot. Plus Kyle Hall and Funkineven made their Scottish debuts there.

Not ones to shrink back from sharing their love of the music, the trio are about to launch their own record label - more on that in the interview below.

Possibly sometimes true to life, Robert's exclusive mix comes hot on the heels of his big brother's Dig Deep session, albeit with his own distinct style in tow. With a mix that effortlessly captures the true underground sound of Detroit and Chicago, it's fair to say listeners can expect a super smooth ride through a landscape of beautiful Deep House. Vibe wise think Larry Heard, Ron Trent and Kai Alce rolled up with tonnes of soul.

Simply put, Robert plays the kind of House music that makes you feel fine with a capital F.

Q&A with Robert Tomlinson:

How long have been buying vinyl?
Since I was about 8 years old and my brother got me into the Sex Pistols. I went and bought 'Never Mind the Bollocks' with my pocket money. After my punk phase I got into De La Soul, NWA, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and everything in between - so I was always buying records. I got into buying records seriously around 1994, going to record shops whenever I had money.

Are you a selector or a collector?
I wouldn't buy a record I wouldn't play, but saying that I quite like to collect everything on certain labels, and we all like a nice record sleeve don't we?

Lnrdcroy - Terragem (Unthank)
Lnrdcroy - Terragem (Unthank)

When did you get into DJing and why?
I got my first set of turntables in 1995. I'd always had an interest since hearing 'Tin Pan Alley' mix-tapes around 1990 (Tin Pan Alley was a night club in Glasgow) and various House/Techno mixes when I was younger. I wanted to find out more about it. Records came first though, then my brother Colin got a set of decks in about 93, so I'd go down to his and mix very badly!!

Who and what are your influences?
Where do I start... Record shop wise Rub A Dub Glasgow (everyone who works in there) have been a big influence and they have also helped with our label. I even met my wife there! 23rd Precinct when it was still mainly about DJ Billy Woods, and Underground Solu'shn and all the Firecracker mob in Edinburgh. Not forgetting a shop in my home town of Stirling that was around between 1994-1997 I think. Fourth World it was called, run by Stewart who switched me on to loads of Techno/House future classics. There is also Europa in Stirling which is a bit of an Aladdin's cave for second hand records, and it's always good to unearth a gem whenever I get the chance.

DJ wise seeing Joey Beltram at a rave in 1992, Derrick Carter many years ago, Kenny Dixon Jr playing all night in the now gone Arches, also 3 Chairs, seeing Theo [Parrish] play up here, and a couple of trips to Plastic People. Fudge Fingas is always on point, Laurence Hughes, PVK and our Jamie Alexander, and my bro Colin, too many to mention.

Labels - Relief back in the early 90's was a big one for me. KDJ, Cajual and UR. These days Downbeat, Rhythm Section, Firecracker, 22a, Must Have, Get The Balance Right, Perpetual Rhythms, Lnrdcroy, The Nuclear Family, Dixon Avenue, and ALL CAPS. Nu Guinea is also making great tracks, and The Mystic Jungle Tribe, Henry Wu....

How would you describe your style?
Mainly House, a bit of Disco, Techno, Jazz, anything I like I'll play, if it's a good record no matter which genre. I love music and it's fair to say I have developed an eclectic taste into various different sounds over the years.

What tracks did you play in the mix?
There's a track by Prequel on Rhythm Section, some classic Joe Lewis, an old Linkwood track, some GU, and a belter from Lnrdcroy on Unthank to end with. I won't name them all, it'll take the fun out of listening.

Where will people have heard you playing?
Mostly at Jelly Roll Soul nights at La Cheetah Club in Glasgow, various guest spots now and then, Safari, SSW, and in Stirling when we put on our nights there.

Tell me about the the Jelly Roll Soul club night?
It's Jamie Alexander, Ryan Coyle and myself. We were friends for years and DJ'd around our hometown for the best part of 10 years before we thought about starting Jelly Roll Soul in Glasgow in 2010. We started it so we could play the music we loved and book DJs that not a lot of people were bringing over - for example Marcellus Pittman, Specter, Funkinevin and many more. We also collaborated with another night to bring over Theo Parrish and DJ Stingray.

You are on the cusp of launching a new record label. What inspired you to start that up? Who is involved? What can we expect and when?
It's something we've always spoken about, Jamie has been making tracks for years and we always planned to put them out. Then we heard Matt Harris' (Sirrahttam) stuff through our mate Alex McVey (Ander-Traxx) and thought it sounded different to a lot of music out there. Jamie was still working on his stuff so decided Matt's would be first. After a bit of delay due to a pressing plant back log 'Sirrahttam - Tanz EP JRS 001' will be in shops hopefully next week; and to quote Jamie on the label's ethos "There will be no insipid deep house plodders and there will be no unnecessary identikit club bangers, albeit there may well be some necessary club bangers."

Pre-order / Buy Sirrahttam - Tanz EP at:
Juno Records
Phonica Records
Piccadilly Records
Rub A Dub Records

What have you got coming up next and later in the year?
Sirrahttam - Tanz EP (Jelly Roll Soul) release date is late November. It's on pre-order in the usual outlets now and is being distributed by Rub A Dub.

We are also supporting Jackmaster on his Scottish tour at Stirling's legendary night club Fubar on Wednesday 25th November.

Our Label Launch Party with Sirrahttam is on 27th November at La Cheetah in Glasgow. And our Xmas party with Linkwood is on 19th December at Mediterranea Basement in Stirling.

We will be concentrating on more releases on the Jelly Roll Soul label, and more parties next year. We are booked for SSW6 Summer Weekend in June 2016.

Do you have any personal highlights you'd like to share?
Loads of highlights including Marcellus Pittman playing Roy Ayers 'Chicago' 3 times in a row as he was so drunk but still great. Marcellus again in Ryan's Dad's pub DJing to workmen, Elvis fans, House heads and more. A trip to TK Max with Wbeeza, the cops breaking up our party with Scott Ferguson was a low light but memorable, and my personal highlight - going record for record with Specter.

Where can people check you out online?
On Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud. Jelly Roll Soul Bandcamp page coming soon

Robert Tomlinson links:

Jelly Roll Soul links:
Juno Records Charts

For another slice of Jelly Roll Soul, check out the interview with Jamie Alexander in The Skinny.

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
with Robert Tomlinson (Jelly Roll Soul)
Saturday 19th December 2015

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