Terry Farley still two steps ahead

TERRY FARLEY spinning as part of DOITUP with KEVIN WILLIAMS and JASON HODGES at Una Mas (422 Adelaide West), Friday.


TERRY FARLEY spinning as part of DOITUP with KEVIN WILLIAMS and JASON HODGES at Una Mas (422 Adelaide West), Friday (December 21) at 10 pm. $10 before midnight, $15 after. info@unamas.net Rating: NNNNN


As the co-founder of the Junior Boys Own label, West Londoner Terry Farley is probably best known for introducing the planet to the Underworld and Chemical Brothers.

And while he remains a respected house DJ and producer — working with long-time cohort Pete Heller under the names Roach Motel and Fire Island — much of Farley’s studio rep is based on his work reshaping the early-90s rock sound of Primal Scream, the Farm and the Happy Mondays for the dance floor.

It proved to be an important evolutionary step, although Farley confesses that it didn’t seem like he was doing anything special at the time.

“Things were moving so fast back then, I really had no appreciation for what was happening,” he says from his London home. “To be honest, I’d gladly have dropped all the Mondays and Primal Scream stuff in a second if someone had asked me to remix a Robert Owens track.

“We just took what was offered and jumped right in — steal a breakbeat from here, take an idea from there and mix in the best bits from the original song. None of it seemed at all groundbreaking. At the time, the Mondays guys were going to the same parties as us, but I’d never play any of the remixes I did of their records in a club… nor has anyone asked. I’m still amazed when people say they like them.”

Farley is currently readying three new tracks recorded with Chicago disco-soul diva Linda Clifford, while continuing to develop his club zine Faith, itself an update of his Boys Own magazine that spawned the label of the same name.

Knowing Farley’s knack for sussing out trends and his unfailing sense of what’s proper, Faith should prove to be a crucial tip sheet. What can we expect in the new year? Farley feels it’s going to get raw.

“There are too many people trying to make records for Danny Tenaglia to play at Twilo,” he sighs. “Everything’s getting far too polished and boring, and I think to move forward now producers will have to start looking back, way back, to when tracks were much more basic.

“What I really like right now is the new Derrick Carter album, which sounds like it was done in 1986! We need to get back to the rawness that made house music interesting in the first place. But it won’t happen for some time — the tribal stuff still has legs.”

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