Tapesh was brought up in his father’s clubs during the early 80’s, where had no choice but to listen to things like Kraftwerk and proper funk music. Given his impressionable young ears, it’s no wonder he has never stopped listening and now spends his days playing music to others.
Having finally broken through into the public conscious thanks to productions like Reminisce on Get Physical, Feelings on Mobilee and Got To Live on OFF as well as others on labels like Noir and Defected, Tapesh has become very much in demand around the world, taking his flamboyant DJ sets to clubs like Cocoon in Frankfurt, Warung in Brazil and Studio 80 in the Netherlands.
With multi-cultural roots informed by everything from house to breakdance across scenes in UK, US and Europe, Tapesh has fomented a very unique DJ style that takes in plenty of sounds and knits them together into one grater whole. Loco Dice, Jamie Jones, DJ T and Anja Schneider, for example, are all fans of that special ‘Tapesh feeling’, and that same feeling is what makes the man’s music so well loved.
What was it like growing up in your father’s clubs? Where were they, what music did they play? Did you enjoy being there and understand the music?
I grew up in a discotheque. It was normal for me, like a home, my family. I sometimes think about it like big brother, all living in one house. I played there till I was 31. They played all types of music. It was different from year to year, I learned a lot of it. I learned all the different generations of music, fashion and clubs. Back in those days it was normal that clubs were open every day from 20:00 till 0:00. A real difference with how thing are now but as I said: I learned a lot.
When did you first start to DJ – did he give you any gigs? What were they like? Did you learn on the job?
No he didn’t want that I played in his club. One day I played at the early set. That was so successful that he said I could play one time a week. I was really young back then, around 16. It was really tough on the streets back then, and being out at around 10 at night was dangerous.
I was living upstairs, and in the afternoon, after the club was cleaned everyday, I went downstairs and taught myself to play, actually.
Have you got any formal music training, piano or whatever? Or is your music making more trial and error?
No. I do everything self made. But back in the days as a teenager I played drums.
What do you aim for when writing a new track? Do you start in the same place each time or always have accretion club or moment in mind?
My latest works are always tested on the dance floor in the first place. I’ve got a melody or idea in my head and try my best to realize it in a new track.
It depends on how much time I have. Sometimes im in the studio and I’m in the mood, then I do a track in two days. Sometimes I take my time and I do a track in 3 weeks. Sometimes I have a particular track/bassline in mind and I work from that, but sometimes it’s just free.
Possessing a very unique DJ’ing style, you have taken several sounds and meshed them all together into something beautiful. How would you describe your typical sound?
Craziness techno funk.
What have been the key lessons you have learnt as a DJ, what are the true skills of a proper DJ, do you think?
Becoming a DJ was obviously closely attached to vinyls. I still enjoy a lot playing my old vinyls in the studio as the sound was and always will be the best.
You have worked with plenty of different labels before now, how do you set out writing for each one? Do you have the label in mind each time or do you just do your do?
Of course I have specific thoughts which track should go with which label. When I want to be on a particular label, I produce music that fits to that label. I do my own tracks but I definitely do the direction of the label.
Do you use hardware or software? Which do you prefer and why?
Both. But I use software more – easier to work with. I work a lot on the iMac, and I need a lot of screens. I can open them really easy on my iMac.
Finally, what is that Tapesh feeling, can you explain? I it a feeling you get, or that we get, when listening to your music?
Tapesh music aims to bring a lot of joy and fun and the listeners should be turned into a good mood and just have a good time. I always aim to produce absolute quality.