to be laid out and bushwacked by Layo
and Bushwacka!, two DJs ready to drag
you deep into the night. Funk, soul, house,
jazz, ambient -- you'll find aspects of
all of these in "All Night Long",
the newest two-disc release from L&B!.
Recently, Kristofer Upjohn had a chance
to dig a little deeper into the night
sounds of Layo and Bushwacka with an interview.
KU: How did you
first become involved with electronic
music, before your club days that is?
In other words, what sparked your original
interest in electronic styles, generally,
and the house/funk related genres, specifically?
Layo: I started out
going to underground soul and funk parties,
sorta Norman Jay type stuff, around about
where I grew up, North London. This was
in 1985-86, so I was about 15, 16. When
Acid House came along a few years later
it was a kinda natural development on
from the types of parties - word of mouth,
usually illegal, all night - that my friends
and I had already been going to.
How did you first start the journey
from being a fan of this music to being
one of its public purveyors? From there,
how did you end in The End, so to speak?
When I went to university I started
promoting my own parties, and from there
I got into DJing myself. Through all of
this I became friends with Richard (Mr
C). After graduation I continued putting
on parties, one of which was on the site
of a recently closed down Post Office
in Holborn, London. This must have been
around early 1994.
Richard and I had been discussing the
idea of opening a club for a while, but
it was pretty much a pipe dream. However,
when we saw this site we realised it could
be possible. My dad's an architect so
we showed him around the site, got more
of a professional input and started talking
about it more seriously. The End opened
in December 1995. Everything I've done
since - meeting Bushwacka!... the DJing,
the production work - its all come from
Tell me how Layo and Bushwacka first
met? From there, how did a music partnership
come about ?
Matthew (Bushwacka!) and I met through
Richard (Mr C). Matthew was the engineer
at Richards studio while Richard and I
were recording together there as Killer
Loop. Richard suggested Matthew and I
would work well together, suggesting we
do some tracks for The End's label End
Recordings. Richard was right, in that
we had complimentary, if not exactly similar,
styles. The partnership developed from
there, moving from production into DJing
and then back again into more production,more
What did you originally envision
the CD being? Is "All Night Long" how
you imagined it would turn out?
Yes and No. Although we've done two
artist albums together we'd never done
a mix album. What we wanted was to do
a mix album with the personality of an
artist album, something which was clearly
our own, not a part of someone else's
series, not just a cleaned up 2-4am club
set. We had a rough idea of a template
in terms of the music that we wanted to
cover but, well... it was a question of
trying things out to see what would work
and what wouldn't. To answer your question,
the form may not be exactly what we originally
intended but the overall spirit of it
How did you go about deciding which
tracks to include on your CD?
Again, its only in the execution that
you find out what is and isn't feasible.
In total we asked for 78 tracks to be
cleared and in the absolute final mix
we used 29 of those. All the tracks we
cleared were great tracks its just that
they didn't work as part of the whole.
It seems that each of the two discs
has its own personality. Was that your
intention, and how would you describe
each of the discs?
Yes, I'd agree with that, CD1 is more
home/car/office listening than CD 2 but
having said that there isn't anything
on either disc that we don't play out.
In terms of breadth, yes, CD1 has a greater
scope in that it moves from hip hop to
breaks to electro to acid to hip house
to broken beat or whatever, whereas CD2
is more of a straight 4/4 DJ mix. But,
4/4 music really needs the room to stretch
out in a way that the other genres don't
so it had to work that way. That was the
challenge really, to get a true representation
of our 6 hour sets at The End on to two
What, besides house, obviously,
are your favorite electronic music styles?
Layo: We're open to all styles really,
I mean, that would be, in my opinion anyway,
one of our strengths. I dunno, have a
listen to the CD, come to see us DJ, see
what you think yourself
What directions do you see your
music taking in the future?
We're currently working on our third
artist album. It's hard to say what direction
it will take though. As with the mix its
just a question of getting in there and
seeing what works and what doesn't. Finding
something you haven't done before that
retains the best elements of what we do.
For example we've recently finished a
weeks studio time in NYC working with
some seasoned funk musicians, percussionists
etc. It was really exciting and we recorded
some great stuff but its now up to us
to find a way of working what they do
into what we do, finding a balance, something
original that, just, well, works.
If you could change anything about
the current electronic music scene, what
would it be?
Quite simply there are far far too many
average tracks being released. Not bad
ones or terrible ones, just average ones.
You know the type, nice enough productions
but really they're nothing more than DJ
tools. The tracks that aren't really adding
anything which hasn't been done better
before. What is the point?
-- interview by Kristofer Upjohn