Vin Sol

Vin Sol talks signing to Ultramajic and the changing face of San Francisco

The West Coast trailblazer steps out with a hefty slab of club fire on new EP Instinct.

Between the unique genius of his productions, his tireless mastery of the decks, and the running of two record labels – Soo Wavey (in collaboration with Matrixxman) and his most recent founding Club Lonely – Vin Sol is fast becoming a noteworthy figure within the West Coast club scene.

His stripped back sound is born from a love of the warped, jacking madness of Midwest house, and it’s this sound which has most recently found its home on Jimmy Edgar’s Ultramajic label with Instinct, Sol’s third EP of 2016.

EP track ‘1314’ harbours thumping techno that’s a wondrous combination of Ultramajic’s proclivity for future facing beats and Sol’s preference for more old school motifs.

In anticipation of Instinct – out October 7 – we caught up with Vin Sol to talk honing his craft, the gentrification of his San Francisco home, and Club Lonely’s first steps. Stream ‘1314’ below and read on…

How did you first get into DJing? How do you feel the way you learned your craft differs from the way people learn now?

When I was in grade school I was making mixes with cassette players, I was buying other DJ’s mixes at this spot called “Behind The Post Office” it was a graffiti supply spot, mixes, graf magazines and clothes. When I went away to college, a friend who was a DJ got arrested for drunk driving and had to sell his rig. Then most of my DJ friends were super secretive about records and technique, very different to now where you can look almost anything on the web.

I moved to back San Francisco and met an older DJ when I was digging and he took me under his wing, but it was tough love. If I blew a mix at the club I wasn’t allowed to play for months sometimes. I’m stoked I learned that way instead of someone giving me their entire iTunes folder and then being tossed into a club. Sometimes I think I hold DJing up as something very sacred, but it’s because of the way I came up.

How has San Francisco influenced you as a producer? What’s the scene like there currently, is it still as active as it has been in the past?

I really don’t think San Francisco has influenced me that much when it comes to production. I love writing music here but that is because there is little distraction. That being said the DJ club scene is strong. We have some of the best DJs living here and coming here to play. I can’t recall being at a loss for where to go dance, whether it be a Honey party, a Sunset party or a Club Lonely joint.

Gentrification and its effect on music and arts spaces have been at the forefront of conversation in a lot of cities in recent years. How have these effects been felt in San Francisco?

The effects of gentrification in San Francisco are honestly devastating. So many friends are leaving because they can’t find a decently priced place, so many classic spots and haunts wiped out to make room for overpriced condos… it’s terrible but it’s happening everywhere. Until society puts more importance on culture this will keep on until only the super wealthy can live in major metropolitan centres.

How did you and Matrixxman first start collaborating? How do you two keep up such a strong working relationship after so many years?

Charlie and I met in NYC when I was out there maybe almost ten years ago. He ended up moving to San Francisco to work on music with his boy from growing up in Virginia. We worked on some stuff and then I went and spent a year in NYC. When I came back we started to really hit it hard in the studio and playing clubs together. I think why we have always worked so well is because all egos were checked at the door, I think we both have lots respect for each other’s art and music, so it just works out really well.

What drew you toward the rougher production style you inhabit? What kind of reception does your style get in your hometown?

I think just from collecting all kinds of records and the gear I use influences my style. The Club Lonely records were made for our club and friends, so people are down with it. I get lots of love from the Bay Area. Parties and records are community builders in my mind, so we all support as best we can. It’s so nice to walk into Amoeba and see your records stocked and put at eye level.

What was behind starting up the Club Lonely label? How’s the label been faring since you started out and how have you approached it in comparison to Soo Wavey?

I had wanted to do a party with DJ Primo and Jeremy Castillo. I was making trax just for the club, so it made sense to start the label. The visual aesthetic that Primo has is so on point for the vibe of the party and then when you put it on a 12″ center label it’s like damn that shit is dope. The sound of Soo Wavey is different it was based on a more classic sound. Club Lonely is rave insanity, weirder and darker. The label is doing great!!! Much more to come…

How did your newfound relationship with Ultramajic come about? What was the process behind the synthesis of the weirder, broken ethos of Ultramajic’s style and your proclivity for the old school on the record?

I’ve always been a fan of Jimmy, his production has always been top notch and his art is fire. Matrixxman put Jimmy and I in touch, as he thought some of my tunes were a good fit for Ultramajic. For this record, I focused on straightforward grooves with knockin’ beats and attention to effects. Effective club records are always my priority. If they have a touch of old school sentiment, I am not mad!

Instinct is out 7th October on Ultramajic, pre-order here.

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