Lost & Found 2

Right Reasons: Lost & Found

Switched On Records have followed up their releases from Alex D££mnds and founder S.E.F with a clutch of back-to-basics house numbers from Londoner Lost & Found. Host of The Edit Show, the producer’s thick, raw sound and penchant for hardware continues the promising aesthetic of the label, and we delve a little into the backstory of ‘Dedication’ and it’s conception with Lost & Found.

To start us off why don’t you tell us a little about the L&F project and the music you make?

I’m Lost & Found, I’ve only really ever made electronic music, mainly house. I might only make house but I do listen to all sorts of music, electronic music is my expression but I draw inspiration from…you know, I might make electronic music, but I actually listen to Radio 3 in my car. It’s all about taking in music from everywhere around you.

L&F is not so much about me as a person; it’s more about an ideal. I’ve had a very difficult period of my life over the last 5 years, going through hardship, coming through the other end. It might sound a bit weird but it’s much more of a symbol than anything. L&F could be anyone.

Your debut EP Dedication is out now on Switched On Records. How did you get involved in the first place with SEF and the label?

SEF and I go back a long way. Basically we’ve always been DJs together and always in contact, but always doing different things. We’re friends, first and foremost. When I went through a difficult period I saw myself standing pretty much on my own, and SEF was one of the only people there for me.

When I realised what I wanted to do I had full support from SEF. Before this I had dabbled with making music but never properly. And it felt right for my first release to be with SEF. I owe him a lot. I’ve probably done his head in with the amount of tunes I’ve sent him, in so many different formats sounding so many different ways.

What’s your take on the so-called House revival that’s currently gripping the UK? Is it a revival?

I got into House in towards the end of 2003. I was in garage before, in Black Ops with Jon E Cash etc. I was around from 99-00 and the scene I was in just got worse and worse. So around 03-04, I was at a stage thinking ‘where do I go from here?’ So the natural progression from garage would be to move to house.

I mean, a lot of people are jumping on it now but house has always been there. It just hasn’t been that much of a London thing if you know what I mean? So for me, it’s not really a revival. At the same time a lot more people have gotten involved, maybe for the wrong reasons.

Wrong reasons?

I’m all for everyone loving house. But do it for the right reasons. If they want make house I don’t have issues, the more the merrier. The problem is when people start copying each other, and I feel like there’s a lot of that going on right now. There’s not a lot of originality. When you think about sample packs and stock sounds, it’s just ruined the personal touch of a track.

Judging from previous interviews you’ve seen and done a lot throughout the UK music scene. How do you feel about the rise of the Internet and the bedroom producer?

It’s great because it gives an opportunity for someone to make music who otherwise probably wouldn’t be able to. I mean, if someone has spent time and effort making music I will never criticise, because I know what it takes to sit down and make a track.

It might not be my cup of tea but I would never turn round and say that’s a pile of shit, because someone’s put a piece of themselves in it. I think a lot of people are very dismissive of other people’s music, because they don’t understand what goes into it.

Moving on to your style, analogue plays a big part in your sound and vision…

I just love synths. I love sounds, I love sitting there tweaking it and messing around with resonance and overloads. I’ve actually just ordered myself a KORG MS 20 – no one is gonna see me for years!

How many have you got now?

I’ve got 3 I work with, the Moog, Mopho and Blofeld – the Blofeld is digital but still quite beefy, while the Moog and Mopho are pretty raw. They’re not so polished. You really have to know what you’re doing with a Mopho – a lot of people won’t approach it because you really have to mess around with it to get a sound you like. But I love that.

The Edit Show, March 17.

And you incorporate analogue into your live sets?

Yes, it’s amazing. I’ve been practising using midi controllers and the keyboard to trigger sounds while I’m DJing, so creating a beat on the machine and playing keys on the Moog at the same time while spinning. I think when people see something physical on stage, rather than just the back of a laptop, it makes the experience a lot more real and complete.

Yeah, I grew up watching Laurent Garnier because of my brother. I used to watch his live sets with those old school computers with the big screens, and The Man With The Red Face! With the sax player live. That’s what I’m talking about. No-one does that any more, why the fuck not? When you watch that and you hear the beat its just goosebumps. This guy was doing this 95-96. The effect it has on crowds is unreal.

As a producer that’s what you want to be doing. It creates a personal experience. I can have loads of dubplates that no ones got, but with this you’re giving them an experience that can’t ever be recreated. I couldn’t if I tried, because of the atmosphere, the place and the people, and the off the cuff moments. Fundamentally those listeners will make a producer who they are, so you need to repay them with your performances.

Who would you say are your major influences, musically or otherwise, over the stages of your musical development?

Making music is art, and it is expression, and a lot of questions have been thrown at me asking who is my inspiration – I don’t really have other producers as inspiration. Inspiration comes from who I am, you know, and what happened to me yesterday and what happened 2 years ago, or what I want to happen. I look up to producers of course, for what they’ve done, but inspiration wise I’ve only ever gone by how I feel.

It’s interesting you say that, life in general isn’t usually the answer to that sort of question…

I’ve always said that I’m just trying to tell a story. You can only try and tell your story. I’ve grown up in clubs, and a lot of my music is geared for the dance floor, that’s the bottom line. I remember watching a programme with Goldie on, and he said ‘All I ever wanted to do was make people dance’, and you know what, that’s all I wanna do. I don’t want someone to make love to my music. I think that would be really fuckin’ weird! But at the end of the day they can do what they want, my main aim is to play it in a club, that’s what I really want.

What can we expect from you over the next year or so?

Right now I’m focusing on producing – getting my sound right so when I come out I’m ready. I wanna have another 6 or so releases by the end of the year. Right now I want to now repay SEF for his confidence in me. I wanna do my bit to get Switched On to where it should be, because the people who are involved and what it stands for…to me it’s second to none.

Seb Merhej

‘Dedication’ is out now on Switched On Records. Check out The Edit Show at www.lostandfound.mu