UE.37: Michael Lovatt
Any producer who can count Detroit luminary Mike Huckaby amongst their admirers can safely be deemed, we feel, ‘one to watch’. When listening back to one of Huckaby’s My Life With The Wave podcasts, Michael Lovatt‘s ‘Tides’ pricked our ears in significant fashion with its deep-slung groove and bubbly warmth, and forced us to reach out to the source.
A Dubliner now residing in Berlin, Lovatt is far from a newcomer to production however, having been experimenting with techno and latterly dreamy, dubbed out house for the best part of 20 years. So forging relationships like the one he’s developed across the Atlantic with the Deep Transportation boss is certainly one way to stick your head above the ground.
Building on that and sign that the tides are indeed beginning to turn for the seasoned producer, Lovatt’s cosmic 2015 Liselotte EP on Lars Behrenroth‘s Deeper Shades gained him new fans in the shape of Josh Wink and Robert Owens. Last month saw him put out a classy 4-track EP on Something Different Records, which features newcomer (to house music, at least) Shamari Rockca on vocals – who takes like a duck to water with his husky flow on ‘Jupiter’.
After catching up with Michael earlier this week, he kindly put together a podcast for us, the meandering pace of which reflects on a smooth yet frequently sombre mood exhibited in his selection. This is deep house with all the introspection and none of the pretence. Tracklist at the bottom.
Hi Michael, thanks for speaking to us. What have you been up to recently?
Busy running around dealing with life stuff!
Mike Huckaby’s a big fan of yours. How did you two come to know each other?
Yeah he’s a really nice and down to earth guy, he’s a big supporter of up and coming artists. Over the years I’d sent him a few tracks I’d made using samples from his My Life With The Wave sample CD and one thing led to another. He said he’s going to use my latest single ‘Jupiter’ in his next My Life With The Wave mix since it also uses some of his samples.
You’ve been DJing and producing for 20 years. Where did it all start out?
I only started to DJ around 2004 though a friend that I really admired for his skills and song selections. I’m more of a producer than a DJ though I do love playing at a good party. I’ve been making music and beats since I was 15 when I saw Front242 in concert on the Headhunter tour, it blew me away and I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do. So I used all my savings and begged and borrowed to buy a sampler. That was the pre-internet days so you just experimented and learnt as you went along, I made lots of mindless industrial techno and EBM for years!
Where’s home for you in Ireland?
Dublin, my mothers family is from there, it’s a great city. I go back regularly a few times a year.
When did you make the move to Berlin?
In 2013. I was living in Dublin for eight years before and Athens for 14 years before that.
Do you feel as though living in Berlin has aided your career, helped build your profile?
Yeah for sure, the biggest advantage is just living in such a creative city. There’s a hell of a lot of quality music being made here so there’s a lot to inspire my own productions. The bar is set pretty high and that’s a really good thing. That was kind of lacking in Dublin because its a much smaller city.
You trade in a subtler brand of melodic house. What’s your view on where ‘deep house’ is in 2016?
Yeah I love subtle and deep grooves. Depends on what you call deep house I guess but in my world its doing great. There’s a lot of love, honesty and commitment in the scene I think, lots of great music coming out every day. Lots of great small labels doing the biz, and lots of amazing artists like Galcher Lustwerk, Mall Grab, DJ Steaw, Brawther, Brame & Hamo, Joss Moog. On the techno side of things I love Lobster Theremin.
Tell us a bit about how you put the mix together.
Its just the tracks I’m feeling lately, mostly laid back stuff that I’m playing in my sets at the moment. I’m really into everything Galcher Lustwerk is putting out and really love Mall Grab too. The track ‘Max Moonlight’ is by a good friend and fellow producer here in Berlin called Ant Orange, very talented guy. The Joss Moog track ‘Secret Garden’ is one of my favorites, it’s just the perfect bar lounge track; a regular in all my sets.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Busy trying to get my next releases ready, I have another two EPs coming out on Something Different this year, just finalizing those. I’m waiting on a few vinyl tracks coming out later in the year too. First up is ‘Tides’ the track Huckaby used in his mix, that’s out June 11th on Mentha Records a new label from the States. Looking forward to that. I’m also planning on pressing some vinyl of my own later this year if I can.
You team up with Shamari Rocka on the Jupiter EP, tell us about how that came about.
I met Shamari at a house party though a mutual friend and basically the moment I heard his voice I knew it would be perfect for house music so I asked him right then and there to do some vocals for me. A few months later we met up and started recording, Jupiter was a first session together done in one take really. He comes from a more soul and R&B background so wasn’t too up on house music, I’ve been feeding him a steady stream of classics and now he really loves it. We’re working on a few more tracks to be released this year hopefully. Stay tuned.
Galcher Lustwerk – Parlay [Lustwerk Music]
Michael Ashe – I Don’t Know (Charles Webster Dub) [Deeper Shades]
Time Cycle – LayLowLeee (Unreleased)
Galcher Lustwerk – I Neva Seen [Lustwerk Music]
Izmo – Echoes [Little Angle Records]
Kody Monroe – House Keeper [Groove Is Our Business]
Ant Orange – Max Moonlight [Lagaffe Tales]
Mall Grab – Orange County [Shall Not Fade]
Michael Lovatt – Tides [Mentha Records]
Joss Moog – Secret Garden [Forest Walker Records]
Duff Disco – Feed the Horse [Home Taping Is Killing Music]
Kaspar – Able to Find (Carlos Nilmmns Glasgow Tangent) [Groovement]
Michael’s Jupiter EP is out now on Something Different Records.