The Coyote interview -

Is It Balearic?

We caught up with Timm and Ampo to talk inspirations, their favourite remixers and the all important b-word...

Interviewed by Mark Limb • September 28, 2009

Timm, Ampo, thanks for taking some time out to chat to us...

How’s it going and what’ve you been up to recently?

Timm - Well getting the album finished and out took a lot of time, then DJ’ing at the Big Chill then more production and sorting out the releases for the next year

Ampo - We have just done the Rizla Arena at the Big Chill with Todd Terje and the Glimmers which was nice, playing records in the sun in England was a real treat. Working hard on new material.

You’ve been involved in the music scene for nearly 20 years now, can you describe how you think the scene has changed during that time and how your sound has changed with it?

Timm - Well it’s a lot easier to put music out if you go down the digital route - however there is very little quality control.. so just lots of average music - if you try and sell vinyl like we do, we have to try and keep the quality high to sell units and to keep our distributors happy. 

As far as music itself has hanged over the last 20 years thats a whole article on its own. Our sound was born out of our influences over the last 30 years and only changes as we get new influences and get better at writing/producing.

Ampo - Too many changes to mention. I played a lot of techno and harder stuff in the early to mid nineties, playing at Weatherall’s Sabresonic, Ministry of sound, Club UK stuff like that, was resident with Fabi Paras at the Gardening Club on a Tuesday night where I would be his warm up rotating with Phil Mison and Grant Nelson, playing mainly house and techno. 

It’s just what I was into at the time, moods change. It wasn’t until I started producing my own music that I discovered I was naturally more drawn to downtempo stuff as a producer.  

So now I tend to play more varied stuff but also still have a hankering for deep techno stuff Moritz Von Oswold type stuff

You’ve released tracks under the names Unity Crescent and Coyote, do you have any other guises that people might not know about?

Timm - Freejack, conquista da casa, and eat the pig-all a long time ago....

Ampo - A few, not that I wish to tell you what they were!!

Have you got a secret x-factor past or something that you’d rather we didn’t know about?

Timm - Ampo played drums with Showaddywaddy once....

Ampo – Actually youre bang on, I played drums live for Showaddywaddy, in a local pub, I was mates with the lead guitarist son, so I do have an an x-factor past!

Your Coyote releases have gained a lot of positive attention and you’ve subsequently had remixes by Phoreski, Aeroplane, Max Essa, Rune Lindbaek and Windsurf amongst others, all fairly prolific producers in their own right, how did these hook ups come about?

Ampo - We just asked them and they said yes. They had heard of the label and what we wanted to do, we just wanted to release our stuff with a respected artist to remix, which has followed right through.

Timm - We started looking for up and coming people to remix at first -Phoreski was someone I spoke to online, same as stephen from aeroplane (they hadn’t started when i met him on myspace) then as the label got a little better known we decided to jut ask some like minded people and got a little braver with who we approached - you never know if you don’t ask - we got the knock backs from a few people but thats cool.

What other artists are you rating at the moment and is there any one in particular that you like to get on board is it balearic....? and why?

Timm - Rate Woolfy, Mudd, Todd Terje, the usual suspects. Would love to get Lexx, Cantoma, Walter Jones, or Jose Padilla to do stuff on the label

Ampo - Quite a few yes, couldn’t say yet

You recently featured the flamenco guitarist Saro Tribastone on your track ‘Bongo Beach’, how did that particular collaboration come about and was he into the resulting sound?

Timm - Another myspace connection. I was searching for flamenco guitarists and came across Saro. We did another track called ‘Eve’ with him that seems to be a compilation favourite. He was pleased with the results and we are doing some more stuff with him next year. 

He has an album of his own here - currently unsigned, I don’t know why... it’s ace

So you’ve already released 6 EP’s with Coyote, a few other singles on is it Balearic, and the first Coyote album, ‘Harlyn Bay’, which has been massively well recieved. 

That’s a lot of material in a relatively short space of time, how do you stay inspired and can you tell us about anything new that you’re working on or have planned for the future?

Timm - The LP we had been working on along side the other releases for 2 years. We don’t seem to have a problem writing stuff, it helps that there are two of us - we bounce stuff around a lot.

 Ampo - Next up we have the Project club from London with an awesome track called ‘Intro’ with a remix from Ray Mang, also a couple of weeks later Coyote Versus Smith & Mudd, with a remix from the Nhessingtons which is a ten minute epic, an original recording from Smith & Mudd with amazing vocals and an ambient remix from us. 

After that a Max Essa release with Soft Rocks on the mix, then Mushroom project from Italy, plus a few special things on the remix label.

Timm - We just had a remix of Deadstock 33's out on Paper, maybe an ep from Phoreski... 

The Deadstock 33 stuff is great. Justin Robertson has been killing it for ever!

Timm - Justin was probably the biggest influence on me as a DJ when I first started, we used to listen to his spice mixes A LOT back in the day - they were legendary and very balearic. We really wanted to get him to do something for the label and he was up for remixing a Coyote track and then we released ‘Drifting on a Wave’ and ‘Echo Sound’ earlier this year.

He is a bit of a legend - remixes, Lionrock, Spice the list goes on. he is probably responsible for one of the best remixes ever with the Sugacubes ‘Birthday’ remix

Ampo – He’s is an interesting guy and artist, and a very busy producer, a lot of remixing. He has just done vocals on Dub pistols album & Fat Boy Slims BPA album, amongst a massive DJ Schedule. I think there will be a big Album from him at some point, but he’s a top guy, and has always been a favourite of me & Tim for years that’s why we wanted to do something with him.

During the late 80’s and very early 90’s, the balearic beat as it was originally championed, seemed to be a lot easier to identify and for a time had a fairly common sound to it, but with time it seems to have become more and more diverse and less easy to pin down.

Timm - Yeah true

DJ’s such as Harvey, Moonboots, Balearic Mike and yourselves are re-discovering and playing out some phenomenal old records and I’m personally hearing some fantastic music for the first time from pretty diverse genres. Folk, funk, italo, rock, disco, it all seems to be in there, but what do you think the common thread is that ties it all together for us?

What gives it that extra bit of spice that ultimately makes us class it as Balearic?

Ampo - You will have to ask Timm on this one it’s just good music that feels right, it’s a groove a feeling 

Timm - Who feels it knows it. It’s just a certain laid back and almost happy feeling a record can give you, vinyl sunshine... although lots of things are classed as balearic that really aren’t. The whole idea behind calling the label is it balearic..? is that its a question not a statement - you decide!

A mate of mine recently suggested to me that Balearic just means "all over the fucking shop..."

Timm - Thats bollox, a proper Balearic DJ set is not all over the shop at all. Check Moonboots mixes from EE last year, a great blend of music all with the vibe not all over the shop at all. Diversity with common vibrations, or Jose Padilla mixes. The term balearic originally applied to music from the late 80’s in ibiza that people brought to the UK to clubs like Shoom. 80's pop, early house music, disco, italo, and whatever else Alfredo was playing, diverse but all with something in common - they sounded great on an E in Ibiza!

Did you ever go to Shoom?

Timm - nope

Ampo – too young

Talking about the original London scene, Boy’s Own are undergoing a bit of a revival at the moment, re-releasing a lot of the old classics and the entire back catalogue of fanzines which is pretty cool. Do you get nostalgic about that era at all?

Timm - Well they were great times - some brilliant parties real hedonism with a unparalleled soundtrack. Some of the things that went on were just unbelievable but they are done and you move on to new things. 

The spirit of those days lives on but I don’t think you will get parties like that anymore. The music was new and good so were the drugs.

Ampo – Not wanting to sound like an old raver but I get nostalgic about the fantastic atmospheres back then, hard pushed to find that these days.

What are your thoughts on the Nu Balearic sound that seems to be popular at the moment and how do you think it relates to the more traditional sound? 

Ampo - It’s always been around and it’s the majority of the guys who were doing it in the first place and are still producing it now

Timm - It’s all good - although its a shit label. Real Balearic is Balearic nu or old....

The records being played by a lot of the Cosmic and Balearic DJ’s nowadays are getting pretty obscure and hard to find. Do you still find yourselves doing a lot of crate digging and if so is it online or good old car boot’s?

Timm - Sometimes when I can be arsed. I was never really a great collector. I just used to buy records to DJ with in the club, then started doing more bars and began buying more balearic type stuff

Ampo - I used to crate dig, now i just pop into Oxfam now and again. I went in last week picked up some fantastic Holy Ghost Inc twelves

Timm - I’m too busy doing other stuff to do car boots and stuff. 

A second hand vinyl shop once a fortnight or something, otherwise its discogs all the way

Ampo - When I get the time I like trawling the net for stuff too 

Are you still vinyl purists then or have CDJ’s snuck themselves into your armoury?

Timm - Vinyl all the way - and a few CD's...

Ampo - Vinyl purist, I do use CDJ if required but wouldn’t buy one

So is having your music released on vinyl still important to you or can you see yourselves going down the purely digital route in the future?

Timm - Yes most definitely and no I always want to be putting out vinyl - it’s important that we keep it alive.

Ampo - If we keep selling on vinyl we will keep doing it

Are you analog purists with your studio equipment as well as your vinyl?

Ampo - We are the opposite when it comes to the studio, digital all the way - could never afford hardware.

Logic, laptop, couple of external synths and a mixer, that’s it.

Timm - Laptops and a Micro Korg that we are still working out and a keyboard.

Have you got a method to your composing that you follow when you go about writing a new track or does it just happen naturally?

Ampo - We tend to work on ideas separately then come together to finish off, it happens naturally of course.

I have my own way of arranging and mixing the tracks down and tend to do the final mixes on the tracks. 

That’s cool that you’re on the same vibe in the studio. Was it always like that or did you have to work at developing a sound that you were both into?

Timm - We just work that way, it’s never been a problem, you have to be able to say what you think and accept each others opinion. We have very similar taste in music -we like stuff thats good

Is there any kit that you just can’t survive without?

Timm - Mac

Ampo - My laptop

On the flip of that, is there a dream bit of kit that you’re always on the lookout for?

Timm - Liqiud mastering thing cant remember what its called and a 303 would be nice

Ampo - 303. Had opportunity a few times to buy, wish I did!

Where do you get your inspiration from? I guess this applies to DJ’ing and production...

Timm - Everywhere / life in general

Who would you like to see play live and which DJ would get you on the dancefloor?

Timm - Fleet Foxes live, Coyote DJ’ing gets me dancing... or Todd Terje. Would like to see Rub n Tug

Ampo - For me I love to see Andrew Weatherall DJ. He has actually got better over the years. 

Production wise Idjut Boys, Mudd, Todd Terje is racking up a few massive remixes - he has a very nice touch to his production.

Todd Terje rocks. There’s been some amazing stuff coming out of Norway for quite a while now.

Fleet Foxes have got a nice sound too, quite commercial. Are you into that kind of 80’s pop sound that’s popular at the moment, MGMT, Empire of the Sun, that kind of thing, again being labelled as Balearic...

Timm - I like MGMT - The live from Abbey Road thing was amazing (check it out on youtube) the two Empire of the Sun singles were nice, but i am still not convinced that they are not just having a bit of a laugh. Fleet Foxes are ace

Do either of you have any traditional musical training, or have you taught yourselves along the way?

Ampo - I played drums for years and hoping to get some live stuff on some new material, I can play a few chords. 

Timm is pretty good on the ivory’s so that sees us through. 

Timm - Nope... yes

Harvey was originally a drummer too wasn’t he?

Are you ever tempted to move entirely into the live band set up like he has with A Map of Africa?

Timm - AMOA of great but I’m not so sure that’s where our strengths are. We will at some point use live drums, but more like recording our own live loops.

Ampo – I would like to do it for the next album project, get a few session people in so we’ll see, time to dust of the drum sticks!!

The Balearic scene seems to be generally pretty strong right now. How are you personally finding it at and where can you see it going next?

Timm - Well there will be some kind of backlash some time, but we just do what we do and get on with making music

Ampo - It’s great really healthy, god knows where it will be going next. I will keep making music firstly for my own enjoyment, anything else is a bonus

Do you reckon a backlash would be a bad thing? I think it’s nice when things go back underground a little... feels more like a scene again rather than just a trend that you’ll hear diluted versions of in every other wine bar?

Timm - Don’t know - it’s hard enough to sell vinyl already, but the point is we are always developing and as I said before the label is asking a question is it..? not saying we are. We do what we do whatever.

So what delights are currently in your record boxes / on your ipod?

Ampo - The Meanderthalls album - it’s brilliant

Timm - DJ mixes on the pod.

Record box is empty as i have just sorted all my tunes out ready to be loaded up for upcoming Coyote DJ’ing

Meanderthals are ace... Norwegians again! What’s their secret?

Timm - Aquavitt and Lingonberries

Ampo – Dramatic scenery, clean air? 

Is there a record that you wish you’d written?

Timm - Woolfy vs Projections - Starlight

Ampo - Too many!

What’s your favourite track of all time?

Timm - Changes every day, maybe Stex - Still feel the rain or Thinking of You by Sister Sledge

Ampo - Couldn’t possibly answer

Ultimate Balearic classic?

Timm - Josephine - Chris Rea

Piano Fantasia - Song for Denise

Jesus on the Payroll - Thrashing Doves

Ampo - Sueno Latino

Rarest record?

Timm - No idea

Ampo - Don’t know actually, maybe I should!

Guilty pleasures?

Timm - Train - Drops of Jupiter

Ampo - I couldn’t tell you 

Timm, Ampo, thanks a million for taking the time out to chat to us. Any last words?

Timm - thanks for taking the time out to support Coyote and Is It Balearic..?


Ampo - Put the kettle on

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