A tribute to Tony Allen, by Emma-Jean Thackray
Cottam is an underground house producer from the UK that’s been on our radar for a while. He started releasing music in 2009 with a trio of untitled self-released white labels that created a stir thanks to the deep quality of his production. Since then he’s remixed and released on labels including Aus Music, Endless Flight and Phonica. His tracks combine a love of afrobeat, deep house and boogie in a way that treads slightly left of centre. While parts of the dance music community are getting a bit formulaic with their tech-house-by-numbers approach, Cottam eschews trends to instead embrace elements of old funk and soul in an intriguingly personalised way. We’re chuffed that he found time away from Dad duties to send us a mix to ring in the weekend.
How’s it going?
Not too bad, just plodding on as always.
Please tell us a bit about the mix?
It was done in my lounge whilst my son was having his post lunch nap (my usual practice time). Had been listening to a lot of the tracks on there loads but when messing about at Jacob’s nap-time I always seem to play groovier kind of stuff. I just decided to stick a mini disc in and try out some of this stuff. It’s not the best of mixes and there are crackles from my mixer (need a new one) but I enjoyed the vibe when doing it.
Highs and lows of 2011?
A big high for me was playing at Warm at Plastic People with Mark E. I’d never been to the club before and loved every minute of it. Fantastic crowd, fantastic sound system, fantastic venue and all topped off with getting to warm up for Mark E. It was a great experience and one of the times I was most comfortable behind the decks. A big low for me was the amount of vinyl that got damaged on airlines when going abroad, not what you need when you arrive to do a gig.
Please tell us a bit about your release next week?
Next Monday is the release of CLIFF01 12-inch picture disc. Two reworks of Cliff Richards’s Ease Along by myself and Paul Watson, the guy that got me into dance music when we were at school together. Paul had been telling me about this Cliff track for a few weeks and I eventually got to hear it back at his after doing the El Diablo’s Social Club in Manchester. It was Paul’s idea to do a version of it so I asked if he minded if I did one. After having a mess with it myself I started bugging him to get his version done. It was a mutual friend of ours, Paul Thornton, who suggested we try putting them out together. So that’s how it came about.
What are you doing on NYE?
NYE I’ll be in my home town (ish) of Preston. A local night called For No Reason, who always put on a good party, are doing an event in a great little venue called the Cafe Bar. Last time I was there they had Chez Damier on and it was fantastic, proper jumping. For NYE they have Move D, Tristan Da Chuna, Seelie, Yffi, Lewis, and me. Move D’s a bit of a hero of mine so you can imagine how excited I am. More info on that here.
Plans and wishes for 2012?
My plan for 2012 is to make more music and, hopefully, carry on DJ-ing. My youngest child starts nursery next year so just gonna mess and learn as much as I can while I have the time. My plan is to enjoy it. My wishes for 2012 are that my son settles into nursery, my daughters’ keep up their good work at school and that me and my girlfriend get to do more together.