STEVE PORTER with BRAD COPELAND and SYDNEY BLU at This Is London (364 Richmond West), Friday (April 7). www.thisislondonclub.com Rating: NNNNN
Steve Porter sounds surprisingly alert considering that the Miami Winter Music Conference just wrapped up a few days before this interview and he's still on tour, preparing for a gig in Boston later that night. The annual festival is a week-long party when most of the big tracks of the next year are broken and all the main labels do their best to sell their upcoming catalogues.
"It was really reassuring to see that all the hard work we put in over the last year paid off," Porter says of his own WMC event. "That raw electronic thing that we've been calling electro was definitely the predominant sound this year all over the place. There was also a bit of a shift because there was way more hiphop than in previous years. They've been trying to broaden the appeal of the conference to make it more financially successful."
Porter himself doesn't specialize in that 80s-influenced electro-house sound, but his range is wide enough that some of it will likely find its way into his crate. He was initially known as a progressive house DJ and producer, but has slowly carved out a more open-ended niche for himself over the past few years.
"I call it the four food groups of dance music: techno, trance, house and breaks. Mixing between genres can create a bit of an ugly child sometimes, but I think it makes for a more interesting party. If I'm getting paid all this money to DJ, I don't really feel comfortable just standing there sipping a cocktail - I like to keep busy up there."
That attention-deficit-inspired approach is showcased on Porterhouse, his new mix CD, which crams 26 tracks onto one disc. It's kind of the opposite of the prog stereotype, which many complain is full of long songs that don't go anywhere. Porter edits the tracks down to his favourite sections and then pieces them together in a surprisingly fluid way. He describes it as a family affair, since most of the tracks come from producers he's friends with, and he also stacks the disc with eight of his own tracks and collaborations.
"The producing and DJing have gone hand in hand for me. I feel most comfortable when I'm DJing my own tracks. I don't think I'd feel as legitimate if I didn't have my own songs to play."