The Anthony Pappa/Jamie Stevens Interview
27 April 2022

Anthony Pappa & Jamie Stevens Q+A

Your last Selador release Here We Go / Where We’ve Gone garnered a great reaction, were you expecting that and why do you think it struck a chord?

(AP) When making a track you never really know at that time how it will be received. You can only hope that it will get the reaction that you are looking for. I think putting both Jamie’s and my combined years of experience together, it’s safe to say that if we are both feeling it and it sits right with us then we would expect the track to do well. For me personally Here We Go / Where We’ve Gone struck a big chord because it was the first original track that Jamie and l had written and that itself was very exciting for me, especially after not releasing any original material for some years prior to that. Jamie and l had started working together last year, and our first collaborations were on a couple of remixes. We remixed Fabrication – Hot Foot for the Recovery Collective Label (a local label here in Melbourne), then after that we remixed Stelios Vassiloudis – Gone to Heaven (tribute to Phil K) for Selador.
(JS) Working with Anthony is an effortless process as we both ‘get’ each other and what we want to achieve. There’s definitely an essence of 90s progressive house that we feel has been lost along the way and we’ve wanted to tap into that and put our own spin on it. All our productions so far have that in common. But as Anthony said, there’s SO much music we’re inspired by, so who knows what direction the next production will head. Nothing is ever new, it’s how you manipulate, merge and interpret your inspiration. Regarding its positive reception, I think with Here We Go, it’s the groove that really hits strongly. We took our West Coast tribal house influences, worked on that groove and once we had that, we spun in all other manner of things, but it was the strong groove that drove everything.

Please tell us a bit about your latest double header, Like A Satellite / Hold You Back – what were you aiming for when you went back in the studio, and what can listeners expect?

(AP) The last release Here We Go / Where We’ve Gone were two different style tracks. Here We Go being the funkier house vibe and Where We’ve Gone being the more progressive style peak set style. So, with the new release we aimed to do that again with the two tracks aiming them in both of those directions. Like A Satellite is our progressive house peak set stomper where Hold You Back is a groovier disco dub style track. Both Jamie and l are influenced by so many different styles of music and genres and feel that we can draw on that inspiration when deciding what kind of track to write when we are getting our ideas together. I also think if you have a release with a few different style tracks on there you are going to appeal to a larger audience and you will get a bigger variety of DJs playing at least one of them if not both.

Question How do the two of you vibe off each other in the studio?

(AP) It all starts with a chat about what kind of track / direction we want to create. Then followed by listening to a bunch of music, whether it be new or old, to get ideas or references as to what we are trying to create or to capture an essence from those tracks. Once we have an idea from those references Jamie will knock up a percussive groove that’s the basic foundation of that style of track. I hunt through my music collection, vinyl and digital, in search for samples that will work with or add extra layers to that groove. Once they are added the track just starts to evolve as you can start to hear what’s needed or what it should do next. After adding a few more parts from Jamie’s end the track gets to the point where it’s starting to really take shape. It’s at this point where we start discussing what kind of a breakdown the track should have, and we start picking away at the when certain sounds should or shouldn’t come in and then that’s when the arrangement starts to fall into place. Once we have all our elements working well together and a rough arrangement the track starts to get close to its final stages. The final stages are adding in the cool effects where needed or ticking off any little final things that you can either hear that need fixing or adding. Add the mix intro and outro to what we have been working on and that’s pretty much it and how it gets done. Once the track is done and at a road-testing stage either me or Jamie will play it out to gauge how it sounds in a club, and most importantly how it works on the dance floor. Once we have both agreed that it does what it needs to do, Jamie will do a final mix down prior to the track being sent off for mastering.

Jamie, you will be on hand to join the upcoming Seladoria party in Melbourne; Anthony, you’re about to embark upon your first European jaunt post-pandemic. Tell us your hopes for these events, and how has the road back to normality been in Australian clubland?

(AP) I’m super excited to be heading back to Europe for a six-week tour after the two years of Covid and Australia’s international borders being closed. Unfortunately, l won’t be in Australia for the Seladoria shows but could not be happier for Jamie playing and taking part in what will be an amazing event.
(JS) It’s certainly been a rough road for a lot of people heavily invested in the music scene here in Australia, some states more than others. It’s been sad to see venues and promoters struggling so much over the years, so it’s fantastic that it’s all opening up again now and I’m thrilled to play the Selador event. It’s an absolute honour to be asked to play on a line-up that strong! The fact that I have a long history with Dave, Steve and Darren just makes it all the more special, plus I get to see Just Her for the first time, who I’ve been a huge fan of for many years. It’s going to be very special, that’s for sure.


‘ Like A Satellite / Hold You Back’ is out now:  https://seladorrecordings.com/release/anthony-pappa-jamie-stevens-like-a-satelitte-hold-you-back/

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