Lee Curtiss Talks to The Idle Man

lee curtis|Lee Curtiss Interview|lee curtiss idle man interview|

The weekend's in sight and ahead of his set at Fabric this Saturday, we thought it was time to get to know Lee Curtiss a little better!

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He's known for tearing down some of the World's biggest clubs and this weekend is no different. Lee Curtiss Alongside Ryan Crosson & Shaun Reeves as Visionquest are heading to Fabric's Room 1. This weekend looks like it's going to be pretty special with electronic juggernauts Terry Francis, Truss and Surgeon all taking over Room 2. Be prepared for some insanity at the London music haven this weekend. Keen? you can buy tickets here.

Anyone who's heard Lee's Arthur Russell tribute 'I Can Hear You Arthur' on Supplement Fact Records knows he cares about creating decent music drawing from the history of a broad range of tracks. By the way, if you're not familiar with Arthur Russell you need to get to it, such a forward thinking talented artist, taken far too young. Enough about Arthur, here's our interview with Detroit's very own futurist - Lee Curtiss.

Stay up to date on Lee's movements on his Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter | Discogs

Lee Curtiss Interview

First off, 2016, How’s It Been so Far? Any Major Highlights?

2016 has been absolutely incredible so far. I've recently moved to Los Angeles. I was in London for a couple years on and off, and had my studio in storage in Chicago. My wife and I picked up my studio and drove it cross country in a big moving truck, and had a riot. We stopped at Grand Canyon, Sedona and Joshua Tree on the way through. I now have my studio up and running and have had some of the best gigs I've ever played this year. The remixes I've just finished are doing great, the label is churning out tunes and life is amazing.

Since You Started How Has Your Sound Developed in That Time?

Great questions. My 1st studio was very limited and simple. I don't believe that makes it that much harder to make great music, but acquiring and having access to a much more vast array of gear has definitely shaped my sound. I've always been interested in all sides of production and engineering, and the years I've spent reading, working and learning from others have all shaped my sound and technique a lot.

What Have You Got Coming up Release Wise?

I just put out a remix of Lee Foss on he and Jamie Jones' label Emerald City that has got great reviews. I've just finished a remix for Lee's Repopulate Mars label with my studio partner Alex Nazar that we're also very happy with. I'm in the studio working on a couple collaborations at the moment, along with finishing my next solo EP for Visionquest.


It’s a Big Year for House Album Releases – What Ones Are You Most Excited About?

Honestly, there's so much music coming out at the moment that it's hard to keep up. I have actually been so busy that I haven't listened to any complete albums. I'm still constantly buying music, and now that I've moved back to the states, I've been able to go vinyl shopping more. I've been more interested in EPs than albums at the moment. I usually have a tough time sitting through a house producer's full length album, as I always feel there are throw away tracks on them, packaged in with a couple of hits. The Wareika album we just put out on Visionquest is an exception for me, because it's so diverse and full of musicianship. That would have to be my favorite house album at the moment.

You’re Playing at Fabric This Weekend, What Can We Expect from Your Set?

Fabric is one of the best venue's and crowds to play to. I'll be planning something special. We haven't decided who's playing what time yet, so I'll actually plan about 3 sets just in case. I always try to make sure to bring the funk. 

Where Else Can We Catch You Playing?

Oh boy, it's been a busy year. I just finished a long string of great shows in the US; Woogie Weekend for the Lightning in a Bottle Festival people was great, It'll Do in Dallas, Texas was one of the best shows I've played in years as well. This summer I'll be at Fabric, Space in Ibiza, Bucharest and then back to the states for a South American tour. I'm staying very busy, but am also planning some time to be in the studio to finish these projects. 

You’ve Had the Privilege of Playing All over the World. Where Has the Best House Scene in the World for You?

I'd have to say Chicago. If you're asking who has the best house music scene, I would say the city that created it. I know NYC took house music and ran with it, but it was largely created in the Windy City. I lived there for 3 years and there was always real house music being played at all events the city put on. It's rare that a city will book a house DJ to perform at public events and city festivals along with big rock bands, jazz and pop music. They truly appreciate the music in Chicago and treat it as an equal genre to all others. 

Three Tunes Everyone Needs in Their Playlist at the Moment?

The Gift [Lee Curtiss remix] - Lee Foss

Policy of Truth - Depeche Mode

Notorious - Notorious BIG

Finally, 2016 Has Been a Big Year for Some Legendary Music Acts Passing, in Particular Prince. How Did His Legacy Affect Your Own Career?

Prince was single handedly the biggest influence on my music. I have several favourites, but his music was the closest for me. It was nearly unthinkable to believe he would pass, he was one of the characters you expected to live forever, and in a way, I guess he does. I don't think there's another popular artist that matched his level of musicianship, songwriting, charisma and heart. I don't even like talking about it. We lost the best there's ever been.


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