Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio #29 with Phil Austin (aka Left For Love)

This month we get underway by introducing an up and coming DJ and pure music head from the North West UK.

A sucker for a good re-edit or rework of classic Soul, Funk, Disco and occasionally House tunes; a decent groove and a pulsing bassline are a must for Phil Austin (aka Left for Love).

His DJ sets are a heady fusion of classic and modern dance tunes with a strong leaning towards the soulful and funky. The emphasis is always on the dance floor with pulsating basslines, killer keys, rasping horns and soaring vocals, all lovingly laid over a foot shuffling back beat.

A child of the Second Summer of Love and the Madchester scene, Left For Love's formative years during the late 80s and early 90s were spent on the dance floors and in the illegal raves of the North West of England - The Hacienda, Cream, Quadrant Park, Shaboo/The Abattoir, Unit 7... the list goes on. His musical tastes were forged listening to DJing Goliaths such as Mike Pickering, Graeme Park, Jon DaSilva, Weatherall, Sasha et al. together with the underground heroes of the Blackburn Warehouse circuit.

As the scene changed and age took it's toll on the body and the mind, music from Left For Love's childhood years came back to the forefront with Soul, Funk and Disco providing him with a new musical soundtrack.

Last year Left For Love played the SSW5 Goldmine Showcase at Lebowski’s in Edinburgh, and The Goldmine Room at the SSW5 Weekender at it's new home in Silloth. He has also guested with the Soul Food on Cowbell Radio guys at Bootleg Social in Blackpool.

He recently kicked off the SSW6 Goldmine Sessions with a mix that was broadcast on Pure and in June 2016 he will be playing in the Goldmine Room at the SSW6 Weekender.

Left For Love's exclusive Dig Deep mix has that timeless feel. Expect super-smooth mixing and awesome sound on this set of blissed out Boogie and underground Disco, with a good pinch of soul and funk, that makes you want to shake your rump and put your hands in the air. This to me is The true sound of House.

To get us ready I have a wedge of freshly music from the shelves marked house, disco, boogie, funk, soul, techno and everything in between, plus if we get chance we will have the Global Gig Guide towards the end of the show.

Q&A with Phil Austin aka Left For Love:

How long have been buying vinyl?
I have been collecting vinyl since my early teens, but I have been stealing it for longer. My collection started by acquiring loads off my elder brothers ska and Reggae records in my early teens.

Are you a selector or a collector?
A bit of both, I will only buy what I enjoy, the cost of vinyl nowadays has a huge affect on that and I like to think if I stopped playing out tomorrow that I would be abe to pull a record off the shelves and put in on the turntable just for the joy of listening to it. I see little point in DJs playing music that they don't feel you may as well be an iPod. I do appreciate mobile guys and residents in mixed genre places have to a wide selection but they generally aren't playing vinyl so don't have the same financial or emotional investment in their tracks.

When did you get into DJing and why?
I got into DJing very late in life, my Misses says its as a mid life crisis!. I have been in and out of the dance scene since before I could legally go into clubs and was lucky enough to be the right age when the warehouse scene kicked off in the North West but always as a punter. Loads of mates DJd in their teens and twenties but I always wanted to be out the in the crowd partying. In my twenties I learnt to play bass guitar and gigged with mates for a while, the band I played in were terrible but it was all about having a good craic. When the band parted I was left for a good few years with nothing musically going on in my life other than buying for personal enjoyment but I just got to the point where I felt I wanted to share what I was listening too. So I started tentatively DJing, digitally at first then soon moved onto playing vinyl.

Who and what are your influences?
Again I would say my brothers musical taste was massively influential on what I listened to in my early teens with bits of everything from Punk, New Wave, Reggae, Ska and very early House.

In terms of Djing I suppose some of the early pioneers in the UK such as Sasha, Weatherall, Park, Pickering were a big influence on my idea of what a DJ was and should be. However as ravages of time took a hold of me I found me being drawn back into the music I had heard as a kid with Soul and Disco becoming what I mainly listen to.  I now look to the likes of Levan, Siano, Mancuso and also guys like Rahaan and Sadar Bahhar as they are so musical in what they play and how they play it and their selections are amazing.

How would you describe your style?
Rough as a badgers ar*se! I like to think that I play musically and I try to make my mixing smooth as possible with lots of long blends where obviously key and phrasing are important. That doesn't mean I won't drop or cut tracks in if it suits. But its always with the thought that will this keep people on the dance floor?.

Where will people have heard you playing?
I have played for a couple of years on a number of internet radio stations but always under a nome de plume. However in the last few years I have started playing out a bit more and have guested with the Soul Food boys at Bootleg in Blackpool and also with a great Northern DJ from Workington, Ian Pattinson whom I met through playing the Goldmine at SSW5. I also played a Goldmine Sessions night up in Edinburgh for Yogi Haughton last year.

The Scottish Soul Weekender always has a great line up. Do you have any personal highlights you'd like to share?
Last years SSW was a real treat as there were some personal heroes playing but I have to say I was over the moon when I saw the t-shrits with all the DJs and acts names on the back as somehow I made it onto the top line nestled between Nicky Siano and Robert Owens.

The Goldmine is always a pleasure to play as most of the guys and girls who play are huge enthusiasts, proper music heads, the styles and genres they play can vary massively but there are no egos involved as we are all in it together. SSW always has huge acts on and this year is no exception with the likes of Joey Negro, Al Kent, John Morales, Opolopo etc. June cannot come fast enough.

What have you got coming up next and later in the year?
This year I am again lucky enough to be playing Goldmine at SSW again which is always a massive privilege. And I am hoping to do some more stuff with the Soul Food boys Johnny Loder and Nick Witts. As I DJ for pleasure I don't actively go out hunting for gigs but I am available for Weddings, Christenings and Bar Mitvahs.

Where can people check you out online?
As with most DJs nowadays I am scattered all over the web having actively moved away from posting stuff on Soundcloud but mainly I am using Mixcloud and Hearthis (which includes last years SSW set alongside his own series of Left For Love mixes).

Phil Austin aka Left For Love links:
Juno Records Charts

Facebook Event

Dig Deep On Cowbell Radio
with Phil Austin (aka Left For Love)
Saturday 23rd January 2016

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