Get To Know: Dale Howard
Was there anything growing up which set the course for your music and career?
Absolutely nothing. Unless you class singing the opening verse of 'Perfect Day' in music class in Year 7.. no
What were the first records you heard that made you think, “I want to do that”
Your EP on OFF Recordings, ‘Some Other Guy’ which dropped in 2012 was your first widely received release. Did your life rapidly change from there? If so what were the noticeable changes?
Not really if I'm honest. For me it seemed like more stuff happened after 'The Hook' came out on Noir later that year. For me, It's that track / label and joining Kal at The Underground Agency that helped to change my life
How would you hope your productions made your listeners feel? What do you hope to evoke?
I just want my music to make people dance and make them have a great time. If you love music, those are the two things you go to a club for. So if i can make people do either or both of those, then great.
What’s your favourite tool in the studio?
Things are looking really bright for you at the moment with a feature as one of Pete Tong’s future stars on Radio 1, being an example. How do you feel about this and do you feel any added pressure with more eyes and ears on you?
I am so grateful for anything like that. It's ace to see things like that happening, but i don't see it as pressure and 'more eyes and ears' on me. I still find it hard to believe that i have 'fans'. Steady success is like getting fatter; You look at yourself everyday in the mirror so you wouldn't see that you're putting on weight. But if you see someone you haven't seen for a year or two who's gone fat, you'd think "Fuck me, they've ballooned!". So it's hard to absorb when people you don't know, say you're doing well, you know what i mean?
Plus, there's nothing worse than someone who blows smoke up their own arse.
Recently you have had a surge of mind boggling releases pouring out from all angles, if you carry on like this the grateful listeners are going to wonder whether you leave the studio! Is this just coincidence with the various labels releasing your EP’s all around the same time or are you a machine in the studio?
Thanks! The slew of releases last month was a combination of altered scheduling from labels and a period of hard work. Two of the releases last month weren't supposed to come out so I ended up with 5 releases out in one month. My work ethic comes and goes in waves really; sometimes I can get 3-4 tracks done in a week, then others I just don't have any ideas going on in my head so I won't get anything done for a week. I prefer to actually stay away from making music during those blank days though, as i only end up getting frustrated when I've been sat down trying to work on a bass line for hours and all I've got is something that sounds like I've pressed record and got my dog to walk across my midi board.
Roughly how long does it take you to make a track?
It depends.. If I've got loads of ideas in my head then i can get one done in about 4-5 hours. Sometimes it can take a few separate goes at it as you can get stuck on where to go with the track.
We are big fans of your slick use of vocals, usually minimal but very effective. What do you look for when choosing what vocals to go with?
Thank you.. I just try different stuff out until i think it sounds good and works really
House music as a genre today is so broad, are you happy with how the genre is evolving?
I am and I'm not. House music now is becoming very accessible to more and more people as 'Deep House' is close to becoming the new R'n'B. I've said this before but if people get their first real taste of House music from a 'crossover track', and then develop a real passion and love for House music, then that's great. The downside to the commercialisation of 'House' music is that there is an influx of people going to a lot of genuine House and Techno events because it's the new 'In' thing and they can end up killing the atmosphere sometimes.
Which 5 DJs do you listen currently to the most?
Who would you most like to play b2b with?
That's like my mum asking me are there any girls I fancy
Best and worst gig?
Best - Soenda Indoor in Utrecht. Worst - There's been a few...
How do you stay on track with what’s hot and what to play in upcoming sets?
Lots and lots and lots of searching
Take us through an average week for yourself?
This changes from week to week really in terms of production. I don't ever plan or prepare sets though. You may as well play a mix CD if you're going to do that
What are you obsessed with right now?
How would you advise up and coming producers to standout?
The most important thing is to make time to make music. The more time you put into it, the quicker you'll be able to refine your sound.
Out of all the tracks you’ve produced, which one ‘never fails’ in the clubs?
What’s next for you?
Gig wise I'm in Brazil twice, Romania, Germany, Switzerland, Strafwerk festival in Holland, Sankeys Ibiza for The Underground, Canada, a South America Tour and some UK gigs. In terms of releases I've got a remix on Suol, which I played in my Future Stars feature on Radio 1, I've remixed a new Oxia Track on Material and I've got another 3 EP's which I'm finalising with some other labels so `I'll announce details of those once the contracts are signed.