- Words Cal McIntyre
Son of Abe has been making waves in the house and techno scene as a DJ for the past decade, so we thought it would be best to find out the 10Trax inspiring his latest release, "Microwaves".
Up and coming London-based DJ and, now, producer Son of Abe has taken London by storm, building his career over the past decade to bring his eclectic mix of disco, acid house and techno music to touch the soul of crowds across the UK, Europe and South-East Asia.
Beginning his career in Brighton, playing student parties and throwing events with his friends, Son of Abe has spent many years carefully crafting his art as a DJ before delving into the wide world of production. His early experiences of the rave scene and relentless focus on the crowd in his sets have earned him an infallible reputation among festivals, clubs and private party scenes alike and demonstrates his ability to bring the party to any environment.
Son of Abe’s DJ sets are legendary, incorporating a deep of knowledge of music from across the globe and spanning a variety of genres. He brings it all together through a disco-infused techno vibe that touches the soul.
Having finally dipped his toe in the waters of production, his debut release Microwaves – out now on LSA Records – has caught the eye of some serious artists in the industry, with strong support from the likes of Ritchie Hawtin, John Digweed, Chris Lake, James Zabiela, Eric Morrillo, DJ T, Blond:ish, Roger Sanchez and WhoMadewho among many others. The release features 3 hard-hitting techno and tech bass remixes from prolific producers Marc Spence, Venice Calypso and Warboy and has been lighting up dancefloors across the UK and beyond.
We catch up with him to discuss his debut release and the 10Trax that influence him.
What’s your story and how has that influenced your sound?
I was born in Florida and grew up in London – my folks moved to Croydon, in South London, when I was about 6 years old.
My parents had eclectic musical tastes from Frank Sinatra and classical to soul, funk, reggae, jazz and country – they have been a huge influence.
London was also a massive cultural melting pot, with different styles of dance music developing when I was young and it was an exciting time. I had a huge group of mates and we’d set-up decks in each other’s places when the parents were away and played tracks all night. From when we were 13/14 we’d hit illegal raves, dancing to acid house, techno, garage and jungle all night (or until the police shut us down).
"The Weight" by Weval
"I can’t stop listening to this tune. Been into these guys for a couple of years and their production is mint."
You’ve played some serious venues across Europe – what makes your sets stand out?
Despite the fact that I’ve played for over a decade, it still feels like I’m still learning and constantly trying to perfect my sets.
I pride myself on buying all my tunes – whether vinyl or downloads and I think that ensures that I make each one count. Any record I buy has to have depth and soul.
I also try to make my sets as dynamic as possible. I have been know to play 40-50 tracks in an hour and I pass through a variety of genres – throwing in accappellas or perc – although it’s all down to what I see the crowd reacting to. The most important thing for me is that the audience is happy – I get a real buzz when I see people dancing to records they’ve never heard before or when I present something old in a new way and it goes off.
"Lebanese Blonde" by Thievery Corporation
"This brings me back - the different styles that go in this tune are vast - it’s got everything!"
You’ve been a DJ for a while – what made you start to produce?
Yeah, I’ve kind of done it the other way round to a lot of DJs – most create music and become big from that. I’ve been DJing for so long and playing parties, festivals and clubs across the UK and Europe, that I just wanted to start to produce my own tracks. In all honesty, I had been making re-edits and mash-ups for a while – I just haven’t ever released any of that material.
"Jet Fuel" by Mac Miller
"I’ve just had my eyes opened to Mac Miller by a mate - he’s amazing (or was) - no sooner had I listened to his most recent album that I understood he passed away - a super special artist."
The Microwaves release has had a very strong reception from some serious names in the business what inspired you for this track?
I still pinch myself, with some of the support this track has received already ahead of release – some of my musical heroes, growing-up (like DJ T) and the thought of them having my record in their bag, blows my mind! I’ve gone directly to my acid house roots for this first release and developed a subject I care about – celebrating the beginning of time and the uniqueness of our universe to allows life to develop. People probably don’t think about that sort of thing very much.
"Infiltrator" by LTJ X-Perience / Anduze
"LTJ X-Perience is one of the House music icons of the 80s and has been influential in the Acid Jazz scene - he’s still cranking out quality records."
So… you’re into science?
Ha! Definitely – I did a science degree at University – and that was where I started DJing at student parties, so it’s fitting in many ways.
"Dedication To All The Mothers and Their Moons" by Toto Chiavetta, Mbissane Ngom
"The vocals in this tune are standout for me and the whole track blends Latino and African sounds seamlessly."
And you performed your own vocals on this track?
I try to write and create most or all of the vocals for all of my tracks – it’s important to me as it’s a key element to making them unique and gives a record its human touch. It’s also something that grows and breathes as the track develops. I’ve always been good at voices and accents, so the geeky American physicist seemed to come naturally to me – ha!
"Ukhamba" by Space Cats
"This is an absolute timeless classic - early 80s reggae disco boogie funk."
Where is your favourite place to produce?
I travel a lot with my day-job, so most of the time I produce on my laptop while waiting in airports and on planes or trains. However, I love working at home. My kids are 6 and 4 and they listen to what I’m up to and sometimes they have an input, but they always have an opinion. I’m in the process of building a small studio at home, so can’t wait for that to be done.
"Wuk Up" by Bosq, U-George
"Found this the other day and it reminds of a Jamaican Louis Vega production - pure genius."
Who are your musical heroes?
There’s so many. One of the most influential artists to me has been DJ T. I’ve been collecting his records since I was about 18 and I’ll buy his vinyl whenever I find it. Some of his tracks are go-to tunes for me to keep the dance floor buzzing. The music from his early career is timeless. MJ Cole has also been hugely influential – his production quality is right up there – I don’t know how he does it.
"Human Animal" by Total Giovanni
"I love this track - gives me pure energy. This was Total Giovanni’s debut single and this band is just pure class - you can’t help but shake yo ass to this one."
How would you best describe your sound to new listeners?
Acid house and melodic techno with soul. It’s really important for me to create music that people can connect with. I love hearing dark techno vibes when I’m in a club but I stay on the more melodic, vocal side when I play out and I think my production style fits that vibe well in clubs.
"Hounds of Love (Phone’s Wolf At The Door Remix)" by The Futureheads
"This is really important tune in my history and shows what you can do with a Kate Bush classic. I played this to end a set years ago in a tiny club in Dublin and the whole room just went mental."
What advice would you give any aspiring DJs?
Practise incessantly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, make sure you know every tune inside out when you play out and always give as much of yourself to the crowd as you can, they will give back what they get.
"Monsterbaze" by Steve Bug, DJ T.
"I can’t tell you just how influential this track has been to me. DJ T is one of my music idols and he’s one of the reasons I got into DJing and producing."