Ones to Watch (No 7): Chamboché

It’s probably fair to say that no one actually knows the lyrics for Blur’s seminal hit “Song 2” (‘woo hoo’ aside). So Nottingham producer Sam Williams is not alone in admitting he made the words up as he sang along. What sets him apart from the rest of us is that he used the name to form a production moniker – Chamboché (actual lyric: “I got my head checked…by a jumbo jet”)  – and even better, has gone onto make some lovely disco house in the vein of the Revenge, Mark E et al. Lets us introduce Chamboché…

Where are you from, and how did you get into disco music?

I’m from rural mid Wales; I moved to Nottingham to study and ended up staying here. I’ve always been into electronic music, mainly house but have always had a soft spot for the slower grooves. That said, I really couldn’t claim to be any kind of long-time disco enthusiast!

How did you get the name Chamboché?

It’s actually rather ridiculous. Almost too silly to divulge! It comes from a line in “Song 2” by Blur, something about getting his head shaved by something. I misheard it and created a new name. I have no idea why I thought I’d use it but its stuck and it’s unique.

How would you describe your style?

Melody is very important to me and in how I approach making music. In terms of style I guess it sits somewhere between house and disco but I’ve also made tougher tech-house and techno in the past. To be honest the style of most of the music I’m currently making came about when I dropped the bpm on “Ipso Facto”. It was originally about 124 or something like that and it sounded so much better slowed down! I’ve also concentrated making music for Under The Shade so have probably adapted my style.

Tell us a bit about the Nottingham scene – what is it like these days? You are involved with the Stealth night, is that correct?

Nottingham is very much a student city and this massively influences the music scenes. At times it seems that they are only interested in dubstep and drum and bass, which has meant that the house and disco scene has suffered. Nights like Basement Boogaloo have consistently pushed the sound over many years now but it’s remained very much an underground scene, which is good in many ways. I’m a manager at the nightclub Stealth, which is arguably the premier club venue in the city. We have all kinds of nights covering the musical spectrum, which is good because I’m very open to all kinds of sounds. I’m particularly excited about a night we have newly launched called Zleep, we’ve got Andrew Weatherall, Hector and Dave Congreve for the first one on the 12th March.

“To be honest the style of most of the music I’m currently making came about when I dropped the bpm on “Ipso Facto”. It was originally about 124 or something like that and it sounded so much better slowed down”

Where’s the coolest place you’ve heard one of your tracks played (and who played it)?

Well I wasn’t there unfortunately but Mark E played “Ipso Facto” at a Warm party at Plastic People. That was pretty much when things started to happen.

“Ipso Facto” made it onto the “Best of 2009” list for Beats in Space last year – did that come as a surprise?

Yes! I was well pleased to see that. I couldn’t ask for a better platform for my music to be heard.

What were your other highlights of 2009?

The principal one has to be the release of “Ipso Facto”. It was my first release and to have it put out on vinyl and with such a brilliant remix package was very special. Other than that, hearing that it was being played by people like Steve Bug, Aeroplane and Ewan Pearson.

Tell us a bit about your new releases on Under The Shade? How did you hook up with that label?

Yep my second proper release “On The Streets” came out last week, with some great remixes by Brontosaurus and Toby Tobias. A mate suggested that I send “Ipso Facto” to David at Jisco Music. He liked it and the other stuff I sent. “Ipso Facto” was initially set for release on Jisco but this closed and Under The Shade was launched shortly afterwards in its place.

What else have you got coming out this year?

I’ve basically got a bit of a backlog of releases waiting to come out on UTS, which is where most of the music I’ve made has ended up going. I’m looking to step up production soon with the aim of looking to release on other labels, but for the time being I’d be stupid not to concentrate my efforts with UTS. It’s a quality label; David has really good contacts and is releasing some awesome stuff at the moment from the likes of Mark E, The Revenge and Ilija Rudman.

“I wasn’t there unfortunately but Mark E played “Ipso Facto” at a Warm party at Plastic People. That was pretty much when things started to happen”

Are you working on any remixes – or are you planning to? (I saw the I Love London remix on your MySpace page)

Yeah that was my one and only attempt at remixing! A friend of mine is their agent and asked whether I’d be interested in doing a remix. I’d love to do more remixes but am very much limited by the equipment I’m currently using, an old PC and Reason 4. But I’m about to start using other means, which will fingers crossed open up doors that were previously locked to me.

What other artists are you really feeling at the moment?

Loads and loads. Azari & III, Erdbeerschnitzel, Chez Damier, Azuni, Runaway, Floating Points, Mark E, Lil Tony, MCDE, Chris Duckenfield, Lone and I’m really feeling Jay Shepheard’s stuff at the moment. Oh and there’s some guy called Tensnake, he’s not bad either…