Brian Not Brian is a man of many stories, I enjoy someone with many stories. In the short time I’ve been in his presence I have been given countless facts, stories and been spread a wide variety of the musical encyclopedia to which of chapter’s I didn’t even know existed. Brian is a man who lives and breaths this industry, from digging in the furthest crates in the vast corners of the world reissuing never before seen or forgotten gems on his Midnight Drive, or more noticeably to finding some of the most interesting new talents coming up via Going Good.
On top of all this he’s an excellent DJ, a skill which has seen him play worldwide alongside underground greats like DJ Sotofett and Hashman Deejay to name a few. For his Off The Record Brian brings us on deep dive of various club sounds in house, disco and more. So get your pint of Guinness and have a quick once over of the chat we had with the man emself here:
Hey Brian, Thanks for joining us! Can you tell us about your mix and what was the idea behind it? How and where was the mix recorded?
Hello Phonica Crew. As with any mix I make there is no plan, theme, or central idea really. It’s basically freestyle and more focused on just having fun and throwing things in the mix. Experimenting. Listening to new and old things and digging on my shelves and getting inspired. I guess you could say it’s kinda dance-floor orientated, this one. It was recorded at our flat in South London, under the watchful eye of Lola the Whippet on a bleak Friday afternoon.
I grew up in Northern Ireland. Just outside the city of Belfast, in a pretty rough town called Antrim. As a teen I gravitated towards the city obviously, as there wasn’t much happening in my town. I was heavy into skating and graffiti, and had been bedroom DJ-ing since I was about 13. A combination of a free bus pass, cool parents, clued up mates and a desire for escapism – away from the daily sectarian violence and chaos that was going on around me – got me started properly and expanded my interests in music and culture.
I’ll always be a digger. There’s nothing more enjoyable than being out with friends, or being in a foreign city looking for records for example. Especially cheap records, things that are overlooked, unloved and untapped. I prefer to find things that sound good to my ear and move me directly. I’m not hugely interested in hyped stuff to be honest. It could be the shittest looking record, on the uncoolest label ever…. if it does something for me or I hear something in it, I’ll play it. Create your own context as a DJ, try to have an original style – that’s what I was always taught. I’m also hugely into digital and sharing files and vinyl rips with my mates, that’s a good way to discover new stuff! I’m not really into the whole format debate either, I’m just into hearing and playing the music – however it comes my way. Oh yeah, I do buy some records online from time to time of course. Last resort, innit.
You used to work at Phonica, do you have any fond memories from your time spent there?
Far too many if I’m honest. It was a great place to work and the crew that were there when I was were legendary. Musically too, it was interesting. I guess it was the tail end of the ‘Minimal’ sound and Disco and Balearic was coming back in a big way. Peoples tastes were expanding in all directions. It felt like a proper family at the time, and to work behind the counter in that shop for as long as I did, was major fun. It’s a London institution really. I learnt a lot.
Can you tell us a little bit about your label Going Good? How did you get started?
Sure, it was borne of myself and my mate Sal’s boredom. We lived together in Brixton at the original GGHQ, and wanted to do something creative and we were both huge music heads. It made sense at the time. Around the same time, Wes Gray aka Moon B had reached out to me randomly and sent me some of his music and it was perfect for a first release. Basically me, Sal, and my mum and dad (shout out to them) funded that first EP and that was it. It was up and running. The label is 10 years deep now, self distributed and DIY all the way. It can be done.
What do you have up your sleeve for 2023?
Hopefully more DJ-ing, more mixes, more creative projects and label stuff….. and more dog walking!