Interview: Pete Carvell

Hey guys, I’m here to bring you my first self made interview. The first one is with Pete Carvell. He is one of the guys behind “Bad Life” and also had his own digital only independant label “Gash Digital“. If you’re unsure and don’t know anything about it let me say this. Bad Life was formed by autoKratz and their friends. They signed artists like Sovnger, TWR72, Evil Nine and Attaque and releasing big stuff like this or that!

With Gash Digital he released EP’s with remixes by Don Diablo, GTRONIC, Hot Pink Delorean, Mikix The Cat, Funkin’ Matt, Polymath, Roby Howler and many more! So you see, it fits perfect! And here we go first read, second listen…

ME: Hey Pete, hope you’re fine! Please be kind, say hello to my readers and introduce yourself.

Pete: Hey Lorenz, thanks for inviting me on board As well as DJing, I manage and A&R two small UK based independent record labels called Gash Digital and Bad Life (Bad Life I look after alongside Autokratz).

ME: First necessary question, are you listen to music right now? If yes, what’s the name of the track?

Pete: I’ve currently got a fantastic uk radio station called 6music on and am listening to a weekly reviews feature called Steve Lamacq’s round table. This week Mr Lamacq has been joined by the rather fine Liela Moss from the Duke Spirit and Mark Sutherland. They’re currently reviewing TEED’s ‘Garden’ and the review isn’t particularly favourable, I disagree with them wholeheartedly. Garden is a beautiful record!

Me: If I had to assist you while working for Gash and Bad Life, how would my day look like? What’s your daily business?

Pete: A typical day involves plenty of tea, cake, listening to lots of new music, speaking to lots of people like your good self and wondering where the next pay cheque is going to come from. Do you like tea, cake and new music? You’re hired!

On a more serious note, today for example I’ve been working on new release from a very talented Russian called Roby Howler that is due out on Gash Digital next month, the usual essential PR and marketing that both labels require and we’re also in the process of booking the Bad Life 1st Birthday European tour so I’ve been contacting folk across Europe with the intention of confirming some more dates. If anyone of your readers want to bring Bad Life to your city please feel free to contact me at

ME: Cake, music and tea – sounds like a perfect job and a lot of work. Are there any details for the tour? Alternatively dates in Germany?

Pete: We’re still busy confirming dates and lineups at the moment, keep your eyes on for the full details, but what I can tell you right now is that we’re fully confirmed to be bring Bad Life parties to London, Manchester, Barcelona and Paris and that all the usual Bad Life family members (Autokratz, TWR72, Evil Nine, Attaque, NT89 and myself) will all play a part along the way. We’re hoping we’ll have at least one date in Germany and are currently working on getting that confirmed alongside possible dates in Italy, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands.

ME: You’re also a DJ. So how did a pefect show look like?

Pete: I’ve always judged a party from the dancefloor’s perspective. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 10 people in front of you or 1000’s, you can play a great set even in situations when everything else stacks up against you. If the people on the dancefloor in front of you are having a good time then it is highly likely that as a DJ you will have a fabulous time as well, and vice versa, I think a DJ’s energy translates to the people in front of them. Nothing beats that feeling of looking around a dancefloor with a smile on your face and feeling a connection with the people that are smiling back at you, that’s when you can really start to truely feel that your job as a DJ is done.

ME: Which are your five favourite tracks at the moment?

Pete: Here are five choices, some in my CD wallet for my DJ sets, some not.

1) Dems – House (Evil Nine Remix)

No preview of this remix I’m afraid, but you can hear it on my mixtape. Dems are extraordinarily talented London band that we’ve just signed to Bad Life, they are absolutely amazing live and we’re all super excited that we discovered them. Their sound is beautiful, soulful electronica partnered with the kind of bone rattling bass synonymous with London. They’re capable of making blokes smile blissfully and giving girls moist knickers. We’re not afraid of sounding a bit self assured when we say they are likely to be amongst the most significant of musical discoveries this year.

2) Justin Martin & Ardalan – Lez Go

I’m a massive fan of Justin’s and he has never failed to impress me with everything he’s done since Sad Piano launched his career back in 2003. His DJ sets are always fun, well constructed, never forget their groove and yet still include enough low frequencies to encourage the odd wild bass face moment. He’s undoubtedly one of the greatest, most original DJ’s and producers in the world right now. Ardalan is well worth keeping your eyes and ears on as well. Like Justin Martin he’s also based in the mighty fine city that is San Francisco and I’ve loved all of his last few productions.

3) Little Dragon – Ritual Union (Maya Jane Coles Remix)

I’ve been listening to the fantastic Little Dragon album a hell of a lot recently, it is one of my favourites so far this year. The UK’s leading lady Maya Jane Coles, has taken the original to the dancefloor and given it a glow not dissimilar to the XX. I’ve re-edited her remix recently and often use my re-edit to start sets with at the moment. I’ve included the remix in all it’s original glory on this mixtape.

4) Attaque – Lightfalls

Attaque is another of our artists at Bad Life that we’ve been getting accused of getting a little bit smug about. Since we plucked him out of Colchester and presented him to the world his music has done all the talking that it needs too. This was Mixmag’s Electro tune of the month this month and has been picking up plenty of much appreciated support from the likes of Erol Alkan, Brodinski, Tiga and Fake Blood.

5) The Rapture – It Takes Time To Be A Man

The new Rapture album is an absolute gem of a record, this is one of my favourite tracks taken from it. I love how whoever scribed the ‘lyrics’ in the about section of this youtube video has missed the message of the track completely though! He/she’s written ‘Can’t’ instead of ‘Can’. Oh dear.

ME: And your five favourites all time? I know this is a hard question, couldn’t give an answer but try your best!

Pete: Haha, yes indeed… very difficult, impossible in fact. Rather than five all time favourites, here are five recommendations for various tracks that have meant a lot to me over the years and a bit of blurb about each, I’ve tried not to simply opt for some of the more obvious choices that instantly sprang to mind!

1) Spektrum – Kinda New (Tiefschwarz Dub)

I could have chosen any of several records that tore me away from some of the heavier sounds I’d been DJing and listening to before reigniting my flame of desire for house, electro and techno, but this is one of the standout records from the first season I had opportunity to DJ in Ibiza.

2) Mansun – Mansuns Only Love Song

Mansun’s ‘Attack Of The Grey Lantern’ album was the first album I ever owned on CD, and it is one that I still love just as much today as I did back then. I adore the flow of the record and the twisted story it tells. I’d highly recommend digging it out if you’ve not heard it before. Mansun were undoubtebly one of the nineties biggest underachievers.

3) Steed Lord – Dirty Mutha (DJ Mehdi Remix)

I couldn’t answer this question without paying my respect to the inspirational man, producer and DJ; Mehdi, who very sadly passed away recently. I only met him a couple of times and DJ’ed on the same lineup as him just the once, but he was the kind of guy who didn’t fail to leave a lasting impression on you. His smile warmed your soul. I have no doubt that I would include him within my top five favourite DJ’s of all time. He has certainly been one of the most inspirational DJ’s I have ever had the privilege of dancing my ass off too. My thoughts are still with his friends and family and everyone else involved in the tragic accident. He’ll never be forgotten by all those lucky enough to have experienced the joy he shared so readily.

4) The Chemical Brothers – The Private Psychedelic Reel

Mixmag are carrying out a survey of the greatest dance acts of all time at the moment. I reckon that the Chems just about pip it for me. Dig You Own Hole was an album loved by so many of my good friends during my teen years and this track holds many great memories of the time I spent first learning to mix two pieces of vinyl together. It’s a ‘headphone moment’ that really showcases electronic music at its very best.

5) Lo Fidelity Allstars – Nightime Story

I wanted to choose a couple of big beat tracks for you as that period of electronic music had such a big influence on my musical tastes, and I love that some of the sounds and broken beats are creeping back into electronic music today. I was torn between the likes of Cut La Roc, Deejay Punkroc and Midfield General for this final track. Instead I’ve opted for a track that I’d forgotten about entirely and had a bit of an emotional connection with when I was listening back to the Lo Fi’s fantastic album ‘How To Operate With a Blown Mind’ a couple of weeks ago. This could happily hold its own if I were to play it out in a set today, it’s perfect last tune material, I’ll definitely be digging it out again sometime soon!

ME: Great. Could you share some secrets like upcoming EP’s, new talented artists or something? It’s save here 😉

Pete: I think I’ve already spilled the beans on lots of what we’ve got planned for the rest of 2011! As far as Gash Digital is concerned you can look forward to releases from the likes of Arveene & Misk, Coin Operated Boy, Jukebox Collective, G.O.L.D., Frenetics, Night Symmetry and Dan Neon and remixes from the likes of Wax Motif, Hickup, Maxim Lany, Acid Jack, Beens, SCNTST, Hybu and myself. At Bad Life we’ve welcomed on board our first band (If you forget about some live act called Autokratz). Dems are set to make their mark on what remains of 2011 and as I mentioned before we’re expecting big things from them. We’ve also got brand new releases planned for Evil Nine (You can hear their brand new track Weird Dude Energy in my mix), Jean Nipon, TWR72 and Attaque to look forward too and a CD compilation album planned to celebrate the first birthday. It’s exciting times!

ME: Last but not least, what do you think about blogs? And for sure, mine as well!

Pete: I love the blogs as much as I love bacon, bottles of Jack Daniels or a cold pint of cider (Let me assure you, that is a hell of a lot of love). Ever since I started my first label I’ve always had my eyes and ears closely on the blogs whilst always being on the look out for exciting new artists. The blogs in my ever expanding database have always been supportive of the majority of the artists I’ve worked with, it’s a highly successful relationship! Things got a bit out of control a couple of years ago when people were illegally posting tunes to download left, right and centre, but thankfully that culture appears to have slowed down a bit again recently, and there are services available to record labels now that make keeping tabs of this much simpler. I love what you’ve been up to with You’ve got your blogging fingers bang on the musical pulse and I’m sure many folk really appreciate the music you share. Keep up the great work.

ME: Thanks mate! It was a big big pleasure to speak to you! Cheers and keep in touch!

Pete: Thanks for having me, my pleasure!

So finally grab his latest 2 hours mixtape which includes some exclusive tracks! Listen it the whole day! Love it! Enjoy!

? ? Pete Carvell – It Takes Two Mix – September 2011

More Info’s:
Pete Carvell on Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Mixcloud

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