August 6, 2020 | Guest Mixes

#89 Remotif for Deeprhythms

Bristol-based DJ and producer Joe Reddick aka Remotif is the man behind the Familiar Strangers imprint launched earlier this year. The label focuses on a slightly more off-kilter dance music and hints of that can be heard in Joe's guest mix. It's a deep and emotive affair, perfect for the all hours of the day - highly recommended listening.

Hello Joe, thanks for taking the time to make a mix for DR! Can you introduce yourself briefly?

It’s an honour! Thank you for having me. I’m Joe / Remotif, from Bristol UK. I’ve been making music and DJing for about 12 years.

What’s keeping you busy currently - you’re a DJ, producer and as of february, a label owner too?

Correct! I recently started a label called Familiar Strangers, and its first release dropped at the end of February, which was very conveniently just a week or so before quarantine started in the UK.

Generally speaking, lockdown in the UK has been a blessing and a curse for me. Whilst I’ve had to put a lot of plans for the label on hold, being furloughed from my job has given me so much time to work on music. I’m lucky to not need a studio, as I’m very much ‘in the box’ production wise, so I’ve been happily sat in my room cranking out tunes for hours each day!

Release wise, I’ve got an EP coming out with Glasgow based imprint Silver Dollar Club, another record on Air Miles (with some amazing remixes that I’m so excited about!), and I’ve just finalised the tracklist for my next Familiar Strangers record.

I’ve also been doing my monthly radio show on Noods Radio, called Super Eccentric Theatre, where I usually play a lot of synth pop, new wave, ambient and so on.

What drove you to electronic music and DJ’ing, and how did you get started?

The now defunct Glade Festival in 2007 was my wake up call to raving, I was about 18 years old and totally high as balls for 3 days straight, LOL.

I’d long been into electronic music as an ‘at home’ listener, but that weekend definitely changed me. It was the first time I’d seen someone DJ on a stage and thought ‘man, I wish I was doing that!’.

What was the first record or a song that made a lasting impression on you?

As a kid I grew up playing a lot of video games, and my first real experience of electronic music came from Yuzo Koshiro’s soundtracks for the Streets of Rage games on the Sega Megadrive. They were totally ahead of their time, with some totally banging 16 bit renditions of what I would later come to know as rave music. I believe he even coded the music production software himself as well – a true wizard!

Yuzo Koshiro – Spin on The Bridge

Can you tell us about your debut as a DJ?

One of many houseparties up in Leeds, where I went to uni. The house parties up there are like nothing else. We once had about 250 people in our little 4 bed house in Hyde Park.

I woke up to find all our shoes had been nicked and the entire house had been tagged up by local kids. We had to repaint everything.

Did DJing eventually turn your attention into making music or was it always there right from the beginning?

Yep, I just made music cos I wanted to get gigs. No joke, I HATED production for like ten years. I was always trying to copy my favourite producers. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of making music for the fun of it… which is obviously how the best tunes are made.

How have you evolved as a producer? 

Well, now I actually enjoy it! If anything, now, I get more gratification out of production than I do DJing, although I do love both.

A real turning point for me was when I went travelling a few years ago, and I brought this crappy little Dell laptop with me instead of my expensive Macbook.

When I decided to pick up production again, my new laptop could hardly run any demanding VSTs, which forced me to get more creative with sampling tracks. Now using samples are a crucial part of my workflow.

Are there any new tools or musicians or artists who recently inspired you?

In terms of production tools, I only really use Ableton and the Omnisphere softsynth. Both are incredibly powerful, versatile pieces of software and IMHO all you need to create pretty much any kind of music you could imagine.

Also it’s not a tool per se but the book Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers’ by Dennis DiSantis is amazing, and will totally change the way you approach production.

Familiar Strangers is your label - tell us about your vision for the label and what’s in the pipeline?

As I mentioned, the covid situation came at a time when I was still finding my feet as a label owner, but the vision will remain very much the same.

I want to put out left-of-centre dance music, that takes in all my influences from house and techno, to breaks, Balearic, new wave, and so on.

A key ethos of the label is that it doesn’t it take itself too seriously, and has a sense of humour about it. I think the label’s logo encapsulates this perfectly (shouts to Turbo Island!)

Name 5 tracks or releases that’s currently on heavy rotation at Remotif HQ?

I’ve gotta admit I’ve not been keeping my DJ crate up to scratch as much as I’d like, because I’ve been either making music or listening to LPs. So here are five beautiful non-dancey songs that have kept me sane during lockdown

Your Girlfriend – Bella Boo

K-Lone – Cape Cira

Duval Timothoy – Ball

The Stars vs Creatures – Colleen

Time Million - Feater

Let’s talk about Bristol. There’s always been a steady stream of very forward thinking music coming from the city, genres have been named after it. What makes the scene so fertile there?

I think there’s a couple of factors at play. Being a very liberal city means culture, music and art are at the forefront, but there’s also a very pervasive ‘DIY’ mentality where grassroots individualism is fiercely championed above anything else.

This allows a lot of unique voices to come through. Throw this into the mix with the much-lauded ‘Bristol Sound’, and you’ve got a city which is, as you say, very creatively fertile.

Can you name a few local acts that you follow closely?

Some of the best local DJs, labels and promoters in no order whatsoever:

Owain K, Kiia, James Dyer, Banoffee Pies, Dr Banana, Hodge, Extrapolation, Admin, Tilly, Bruce, Boulderhead, Yushh, Chungo, Jessica, Manami, LMR, Gallegos. Mint Tea, Musu, Cue, Dirtytalk, PLU, Satsumas, Midnight Shift, Method lab, Ramu.

So the mix, can you tell us a little something about that? 

With the exception of two new tracks from me, it’s an all-vinyl mix. Truth be told, I’ve always been a CDJ guy at heart, so I wanted to push myself a little bit with this one. I’d be lying if I said I smashed it out in one take! It was a fun challenge but I’ll always prefer the freedom and flexibility you get with Rekordbox software, playlists and so on. I hope you all enjoy it!

Many thanks Joe, anything else?

Nope – enjoy the mix, and keep an eye on my social media channels for lots of exciting new music coming in the next few months


PLO Man - TX-i
Studio OST - Eventide
Bejjer, Drømmi - Theme From Bostrak
Edge of Motion - Reprise
Remotif - This Brilliant Cage
The Ambientist - 1
Remotif - Telepathic Heights
I:Cube - 11 Novembre
Stumplank - Goblin
Galarude - Cero
Orson Karte - Tonight
Automatic Tasty - Evening Coming Down On A Hill Above The Town
Binary Digit - Tape Brunch

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Location: Bristol, UK
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Bristol based DJ and producer, head chef at Familiar Strangers label.

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