Manchester-raised Trus’me has just released his third LP, ‘Treat Me Right’; an intriguing move towards peak-time house and techno that leaves behind little of the soul and songwriting found in his previous work.
Trus’me, real name David Wolstencroft, has followed through on the claim of his alias. The phrase is a plea to trust in what he’s doing and – for someone whose music has evolved through a number of styles, whose DJ sets embrace the past as much the present, and whose re-location to the Far East has profoundly affected his music – trust seems key. A business-savvy, modern producer whose music has a distinctively timeless quality. The sampling, analogue touch, and persistent usage of classic house sounds roots his releases, ‘Treat Me Right’ especially, in house music’s more credible ends.
His London-via-Manchester Prime Numbers label, too, has developed into a top quality source of house and techno, pushing both UK and foreign sounds in interesting formats and directions. They count Actress, Adesse, Truss, Ben Klock, Linkwood, Marcel Dettmann, DVS1, Terrence Dixon and Massimo Di Lena on their books, and as revealed below, have much more on the way this year.
David discussed the recent album, his long-term label and artist plans, what he’s gained from travel and his feelings towards the Manchester scene, or apparent lack thereof.
Firstly, how’s it going in general? Tell us a bit about life as a globe-travelling DJ, sleeping in hotels and the rest…
This side I will never complain about, ever! Travel for me is the best part of the job. Yes nobody wants to be stuck on a plane, but hey I’d rather be doing that than nailed to an office chair for 5 days a week. My office is a metal cylinder that takes part in the miracle of flight. Right now I’m on Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia fresh from a swim in the sea and debating where to eat. I have nothing to complain about, life is good.
Do you feel any less attached to the UK, in particular the Manchester, scene? Does that matter to you?
What Manchester scene? seriously that is a myth – there is the Warehouse Project but I’ve played it zero. There is nobody supporting their own in that city. I’m from Salford, so I’ve never got involved in that cliquey crap. Those who are doing anything worthwhile in Manchester are not even originally from the city. Generally in the UK they look outwards, which was once upon a time anything from the USA, but these days if it has a slash of Black/Red/Gold then they’re all up in it. I live mainly in Asia these days – I like to move forwards need I say more.
How does the excitement of your third LP release compare to the other two?
This feels like a true representation of me, I feel like what I have created has no true comparison, I’m probably more excited and nervous at the same time about this release that the previous two. The reviews have been great and the peers are playing many tracks from the LP like Ben Klock, Dettmann and Steffi to Deetron, Benji B and Mosca the list is endless. I could not have asked for more really.
Has your enthusiasm for what you do grown or dimished over the years you’ve been making and releasing music?
I’m more driven today to make music than ever before, I’m learning every day to progress and shape my sound. The addiction to make a beat is what drives me each day, I seriously can’t get enough. Too many good DJ’s out there and great music and inspiration to ever become jaded.
Relatively, you’ve written a lot of your music in an album format as opposed to singles and EPs. Do you feel more comfortable this way? Why?
Always loved the LP format, but I feel what I do is a marriage of the 12″ and LP together. I love to sit back with an LP that intros and outros and draws you in, while taking you on a little musical journey but not forgetting the dance sensibility. The LP is a dying art form, I’m a keen believer in keeping it alive.
When you sit down to write a track is it definitively for an album or vice versa, or is that decision made post production?
When I sit down to make an LP, I do exactly that and the same for an EP or a 12″. I decide what I’m trying to say and how exactly I will execute that message. Then I will seek to find inspiration for that sound and moment in the LP or EP. Sometimes that’s instant, sometimes you need to really work at it, but in general I let music happen naturally but within a controlled structure.
So you don’t really sit down to make music just for the sake of it anymore? Is that something you miss?
Oh no I still get that urge and jot ideas down. Although This inspiration hits me when I’m in the zone so to speak, mainly when I’m working on a new project. Some people just can’t switch off, it’s either a passion or a job to them. This is like anything in life I suppose, with me I can switch off, I mean the lights go right out – I’ve just spent two weeks on the beach with not one thought of music in my head – bliss – but, now I’m back in Singapore I’m itching to get in the studio and make music once again.
The new album certainly seems like new territory compared to both ‘Working Night$’ and ‘In The Red’. Can you explain the thought process behind it? You’ve cited travel as a major influence..
Visiting all these great modern clubs you are bound to be influenced but I prefer to use the word ‘inspired’. The production side of Trus’me has sound caught up with the DJ approach. I’m making records now that I can play in my sets at peak-time but still keeping that long player approach. House and Techno have always been an aspect in my sound but there is definitely a broader brush used on this latest release.
Is Prime Numbers designed an output for Trus’me-style music or could the two projects, in theory, go in totally different directions?
Yes completely, it’s an open book, but of course when I ask people to remix or produce for the label my sound and ideology influence the final product they send my way. I believe this is key for any successful label, to develop a particular sound.
Where do you see the Trus’me sound five years down the line?
That’s the most exciting bit. I’m eager to try so many styles and genres I really don’t know. What ever I do it will have that edge and soul, that is paramount in everything I do.
I’ve always wondered about artists’ long-term plans. How long do you think you can sustain the DJ lifestyle? Does there have to be a gradual transition towards prioritising the label and other music-related business ventures?
I had a 5 year goal plan when I set out as Trus’me and well I achieved what I wanted to do with both the label and the production/DJ side of things. I’ve been around the world and seen things my parents only dreamed for me. With a Masters in Business I have always had inspirations outside of music, but this was always a hobby-turn-job. I will always love music, but I will be expanding out into different ventures this year and music will one again become my passion rather than my vocation in life. This is something that drives me onwards.
What happening with your agency/events company D3K?
D3K is still alive and kicking, it is the founding company that both runs Prime Numbers and now 1redlight.com (events). We have lots more in the pipeline this year with a new website and concept for 2013/2014, exciting times.
And what is to come on Prime Numbers over the rest of 2013?
The new LP by myself has just been released, and soon the Trus’me remixed LP series. PN17, a new compilation EP with Truss, Adesse and Massimo Di Lena, and the first solo EP from our new star Adesse with a remix EP to follow from Fred P and XDB. Later in the year there will also be the Trus’me remixed series 2. Lots and lots to come.