Success Through Simplicity: Mella Dee

Doncaster don (now residing in London) Ryan Aitchison a.k.a Mella Dee has been hard at work again, this time on his latest E.P, ‘Things Don’t Change’. The 4 tracker, featuring solid remixes from James Welsh and Oushe, sees light through Sheffield imprint Shabby Doll Records.

A real taste of house authenticity shines through on this one, a simple and refined approach to a genre that has had its fair share of overzealousness in recent years. The title track, ‘Things Don’t Change’, will no doubt find its way into the mix bag of many in the coming months – a tight drum sequence and infectious vocal overlay make for a straight progressive mover.

‘Ripe Traxx’ maintains the vein, another track that’ll no doubt settle in many a bag. A similar formula to the first and executed in as an effective manner, ‘Ripe Traxx’ embeds Ryan’s venture into a classic house vibe nicely.

Hear the release and read our brief interview with man himself below.

Hey Ryan, how you doing? Still liking London life?

Yeah its all good down here, never short of anything to do!

I saw you were playing Outout’s Halloween Special at Brixton Jamm on the weekend, did it go well?

Was a nice vibe, got a chance to run a few new bits see how they were sounding, that’s always good when your happy with the result.

So the new EP, ‘Things Don’t Change’, is out on the 4th of November…Excited? Nervous? Aroused?

Always nervous about a release, I think any artist is, just seeing peoples reactions to something you’ve put time and effort into, hoping that it gets the response you’d like!

What does the title relate to?

It’s actually just a play on the sample in ‘Things Don’t Change’ saying ‘that’s the way that it is’, can’t honestly say I’ve ever had the deepest selection of track names.

How did the relationship with Shabby Doll come about?

Steve got in touch about doing a remix, and asking if I’d be down to submit some stuff for a release, and being as it’s a Sheffield based label, and they’re working with other guys I respect , I felt it was a label I was happy to get involved with.


Major authenticity coming out of the EP, have you had to change much by way of production procedure to develop ‘Things Don’t Change’ and ‘Ripe Traxx’?

Not really, I’ve always worked in a similar way, not trying to over do a track or chuck to much at it. Tend to find the more simplistic tracks are the ones that really work for me, the major difference I’ve been developing is the technical side of things, just making stuff sound as good as possible.

Solid remixes on the release, happy with the return from James Welsh and Oushe?

Yeah fully, couldn’t of hoped for more, both bring something different to the table with their own twist without losing the vibe of the original.

I know you’ve got an eclectic taste in music, from Grime to Garage to Hip Hop and so on… Are you going to be on a House tip with your output for the foreseeable future, or just playing it by ear?

I think House will be the major factor, but it’s just my take on it. Adding in parts from what influences, and a darker, deeper edge coming through for sure, stripping things back a bit too, always still aimed at the dancefloor though.

You’ve long been a proprietor for pushing tunes to dance to but what can we expect from a Mella Dee set these days? The blend you did for FACT had me out the chair…

Thanks, glad you liked it, I think that mix was a good showcase of where I’m taking things, a little bit deeper still, low end has always been a big part of what I’m into, stuff that stands out against most things. I’m a big fan right now of tracks that crossover the House/Techno line, things with a dark edge, but still bumpy and not too aggressive.

On the flip, what do you listen to when you’re in chill mode?

All sorts really, living in a house where everyone works in music means there’s a wide variety of stuff going off. I’d say generally Hip-Hop comes through the most, but albums that have been getting a lot of listens lately are stuff like Jessy Lanza on Hyperdub, DjRum on 2nd Drop, Jagwar Ma and always at any given point some Drake.

And finally, do you have anything in the works we can look out for in the New Year or before?

The next release I’m involved in is dropping just after new years on Sccucci Manucci, it’s a track called ‘MOAT’ on a double 12″ VA special package they’re putting out, then an EP to follow shortly afterwards on Manucci’s Mistress. I’m really looking forward to both of them releases, and aside from that I’m working on something very exciting, can’t reveal anything just yet but keep your eyes peeled!

‘Things Don’t Change’ is available now from all good record stores.

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