RS: With your original tracks like, let's say Party for the
Weekend, do you start with a track and then write on top of it or do
you start with the vocals, how do you make your tracks?
Simon Langford: That one was kind of back to front. Normally we'll come up with a backing instrumental track and then get it out to a few topline writers to get the vocals in. This vocal was originally done for one of Julian's other projects, JDS. It didn't quite work on that track so it just kind of stayed on the computer for a while. We did the "Party for the Weekend" track back in October 2004 and we were kind of sitting on it for a while and trying to sort out what to do with it. We got the track to Judge Jules at Radio One and he said he really liked it, but it needed a vocal. We were all just sitting around one day just going through ideas and we found these vocals on the computer. It was the right tempo, the right key, and we literally dropped the whole a cappella on top of the track and it just sat perfectly. It was like right, OK, it was obviously meant to be on this one.
RS: Is that sort of the way that your track with Dannii Minogue,
"Perfection," came about?
Simon Langford: No, that was very different. I'd been working until quite late doing paperwork up in my office and I'd just come down to watch some TV before going to bed. I turned on the TV and it was the end of that Sharon Stone/Sylvester Stallone movie – The Specialist. As the credits were rolling. they got in to the car and were driving off into the sunset and then the Gloria Estefan song "Turn the Beat Around" started playing. Instantly I thought oh my God, I wonder if anyone's actually sampled this. I ran upstairs, managed to get a copy of it and phoned up Julian to say that I had a great idea for a sample record. This was on Friday night and Julian popped in Saturday and had a listen. I was busy so he said we'd get to it on Monday. So Monday comes, I get to the studio and Julian says oh I've already done it. He'd basically done seventy or eighty percent of the track. We finished it off that week and the following week we had offers on the table from All Around the World, before we'd even got a play on it. We held back a bit and didn't rush into anything. We sent it over to Jules again, he gave it a few plays and then All Around the World came to us and said they were interested in it as a Dannii Minogue song. I think Dannii wrote the top line with Rob Davis and Therese and it sort of started with the promo again on the vocal version and then it got released.
RS: That's such a small world, you had Therese in there and you
do stuff with Hed Kandi. So in the UK pop dance world, everyone's
pretty much working with the same people?
Simon Langford: It's a surprisingly small business over here, the amount of people that you know and have connections with without even realizing it, you seem to know pretty much everyone. We do like working with other people and we've got a few collaborations coming up with various different people. It's nice because you get settled into your rhythm when you're working on your own and you've got your way of working and then when a third party comes into that it kind of throws it off balance a bit and there's a benefit that you get a completely different viewpoint.
RS: What's also interesting is how it seems like every couple of
years, that all the British and European producers change names.
Simon Langford: I suppose if you're in a band like Oasis, that is what you do, you never go out under different names. But because of the way this industry is, there are different opportunities and you might be signed to Defected doing a certain style of music, but if you feel like doing something else that wouldn't really be a Defected record, you can come up with anther pseudonym and sign to another label. Of course it means you can obviously get more material out that way as well.
RS: Dance music is definitely of the moment and if you have a
song, you want to get it out as quickly as possible
Simon Langford: Yes, absolutely. I mean particularly now, 2006 wasn't a great year for dance music commercially in the UK. There were some fantastic tracks released, but none of them really kind of hit the charts that high. But towards the end, I mean in December 2006 and January 2007, I think there's been about eight or nine top twenty records.