DJ/producer/label owner of the mighty Maison Records, Ian Bland aka Hollywood Hills/Hot Sensations is a man to keep tabs on with his current projects and vision really tickling our fancy. Ian has experienced ‘House Music from its roots’ and has been in the game for over 20 years with huge successes from his previous projects, most notably from a house/hardcore band founded by him called Dream Frequency. They had huge success with their releases being charted in the Top 30 of the UK charts on various occasions, being signed by the likes of XL Recordings, touring all around the world, and not to mention playing at Japan’s ‘first ever rave’ so we are told, to a 50,000 capacity crowd at the Toyko Dome, intriguing ey!
Now Ian is working hard churning out releases as a producer on his two aliases and as founder of one of our most enjoyed and hotly tipped underground UK labels, Maison Records! We first got wind of Hollywood Hills when he released a dancefloor bomb entitled ‘It’s Over’ on his own imprint – big sound that blew us away and was featured in our February chart. Ian’s recent alias Hot Sensations is showing real promise also with the first and only track so far, ‘Havanah’ picking up almost 1000 likes on SoundCloud! We’ve come to realise that Ian’s productions can always promise real groove, whether it’s the harmonious vocals he incorporates or the funky synths and bassline; he most certainly show off his experience with his boldness to dabble with fresh sounds.
Here’s Ian talking exclusively to YoungOnes on his productions:
Early inspirations that hooked you into music?
Early synth bands: Gary Numan, Kraftwerk , Depeche Mode, Human League. Then early House pioneers: Fast Eddie, Inner City, Derrick May, A Guy Called Gerald. Clubbing at Hacienda and then illegal raves were totally mind blowing.
How long have you been producing music?
Had to think then lol... a long time... 24 years as a pro! I've virtually seen it all; technology changing out of hand from hardware synths and samplers to being able to do it all on a Mac! Still got the love for it, I’m like a kid in a sweet shop most days! Lol
How would you describe your music?
Hopefully something that makes you go…wow! Be it Deeper House or more peak time, I would say I thrive more on something more melodic and driving with more importantly groove! I would want my music to be remembered and loved above all else.
In terms of label releases and upcoming tracks, any exciting stuff that you can disclose on the horizon?
The next 4 or 5 tunes coming out of Maison, in my humble opinion are killer, some great work! Particularly Hollywood Hills + Drew Scott - Senses, Hot Sensations - Havanah feature lush production, pianos and strings and classic house beats, which are 2 massive summer anthems in the making. Feels like your on Bora Bora beach when you hear them! Lol. 'Overflow - Moda' which has an awesome garage feel! The other exclusive I can give you guys is that I will be starting a sub label for Maison called - 'Maison Noir' soon which will focus on more underground vibes, and will really push the boat out artistically and musically!
Where you would like to be in 5 years time?
To curve my DJ’ing upwards, would love to break Ibiza etc and for the label to keep on building, also would love to start a Maison Night, although I'd love to make it a bit different / quirky!
Current four your feeling?
'Taking it back to the days when dance music was underground and music was made purely from love ! ' – the addictive catch phrase that features in Maison Records SoundCloud clips that is a pretty cool touch to the whole label and more importantly true to its word. Ian has a real love for House that we can relate to and Maison is his homebase for sharing his acute ear. Maison Records has been responsible for an array of House goodies that we’ve really been feeling, ‘Walking The Wire’ by Maff Boothroyd, ‘Lift It Up’ by Al Shaw, and the Hi 2 Hat remix of ‘Like I Do’ to name a few. The Maison feel is always brimming with energy and can boast so many unorthadox beats with all sorts of colourful, innovative sounds. We always look forward to any Maison release, as we anticipate it will always be slightly on the eccentric side of House and we feel this is a true selling point and a reason why the label will go far. Ian is full of experience and this shines through with the choice of productions he’s signing and long may it continue.
Here’s Ian talking exclusively to YoungOnes on Maison Records:
What labels have/do influence Maison Records currently and the beginning?
Defected for sure as they have kept to the true house vibes this last 18 months
What do you look for when signing a production onto Maison Records?
Good production, originality, something that hooks you into the zone when listening and playing out.
Apart from the signature American woman shouting out for Maison Records what do you think makes your label stand out from the others?
For the reference the American Woman is Debbie Sharp, my singer from Dream Frequency and current lol at Maison. We try and keep things real ie no style over substance; we put the music first above everything.
Any exciting releases you can tell us about coming up?
I just had my Hollywood Hills remix of Al Shaw – ‘Lift It Up’ come out on Defected which was extra special as it was owner Simon Dunmore’s own CD, really chuffed with that! Really excited about the other project I’m involved in Hot Sensations, ‘Havanah’ forthcoming on Maison - had amazing feedback and over 18,000 SoundCloud plays in 7 days!
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