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Name: Touché (aka Theo Keating)
Music Style: House
Outlar-Listed Events: 5
Outlar Cross-references: Daft Punk, Todd Terry, Carl Craig, DJ Premier
You may think you know Theo Keating. But you don't. Try and pin the man down to one particular genre and you'll fail more miserably than Tony Soprano on a Tuesday morning comedown. Don't try and pigeonhole the man. Theo - or DJ Touché as he's more commonly known - makes music. It may be hip hop. It might be house. It could be tribal beats with a touch of afro-percussion. It could even be all three on the same slab of vinyl. But it's never, ever predictable.
"I make songs," says Theo, just back from another mid-week spin at Centro Fly in New York City. "People either like them or don't. It's fun to play with people's ideas of who you are and what you're allowed to do."
Theo Keating revels in these contradictions. In the last six months, he's left his roots behind to concentrate on fresh new beats. Which is why, as well as recording a vicious house cut for Heat called 'Gimme My Money' ("a bit of a stomper!" he smiles), he's signed a four single deal with New Jersey house imprint Subliminal. "Erick liked some of my material and wanted to put them out," says Theo. "He didn't have any preconceptions, which was incredibly refreshing." Which is just as it should be. Because both 'Good Looking' and 'Tangerine' are a testament to his production skills, a joyous mesh of nifty glitterball funk and luxurious disco samples. "I've always loved house and I've always played it in my sets," he nods. "So let people find out! The capacity of the human brain allows us to like more than one thing simultaneously."
Blame his upbringing. A vinyl junkie for as long as he can remember, young Theo became engrossed in hip-hop culture at the tender age of twelve. "This led to a fascination with scratching and DJing in general," he remembers. "I decided I wanted to try my hand at it at the age of sixteen." The year? 1988, when a simultaneous curiosity with old funk and breaks records led to his first experience with pause-button loops - "the training ground for many a budding producer!"
It was time well-spent. In 1990, Theo released Direct Current MC's 'Keep In Step' EP, which he co-produced. Keating was 18 at the time. "It was a self-financed white that we put in a few Soho shops on a sale or return deal. It sold about 600 copies - but it got reviewed in Echoes!" Two years later he returned with Disco Elements Vol.1 ("Running") and Disco Elements Vol.2 ("I Need It More"), both co-productions on Azuli. "They were house EPs based around disco samples," he chuckles, nearly ten years on. "Classics, mate!"
The Wiseguys weren't far behind. Two albums for Wall Of Sound - 'Executive Suite' and 'The Antidote' - both mined a rich musical seam. A string of killer singles conveniently accompanied them, including 'Ooh La La,' 'Start The Commotion' and the Sanchez-favoured 'Cowboy 78.' All proved to be serious Club smashes, particularly for Adidas-clad ravers at sweatboxes like The Big Beat Boutique in Brighton. As anthemic as they were energetic, these twelves were more than mere vinyl - they were a manifesto for party people to shake their booty. Hard. Looking back, it's not unfair to suggest that he helped define an era of late-nineties clubland. "It was a laugh," he nods. "The birth of it was about not being restricted to one style so it was quality music all the way. People were enjoying themselves themselves and the DJ felt a part of that."
A self-confessed b-boy, Theo's musical and cinematic idols speak volumes about his attitude to The Bigger Picture. Versatility? You got it. David Axelrod, Charles Stepney, James Brown, Pete Rock, Todd Terry
, DJ Premier
, Daft Punk
, A Tribe Called Quest, Carl Craig
and evil bald Bond idol Blowfelt reveal a penchant for wide-eyed adventurers the world over. His cinematic choices reveal a similar passion. Stanley Kubrick, Brian DePalma, Francis Ford Coppola, David Fincher, George Lucas, Martin Scorcese. And we haven't even started on his favourite movies yet. Is having a good time as important as making records, we wonder? "Absolutely," he concurs. "There's no point otherwise."
Past Touché Events ( 2 Listed )
Touché in 2005...
Saturday 27th August 2005 (8 Years Ago) - Creamfields 2005|
Basement Jaxx, Faithless, Audio Bullys, Cagedbaby, Richie Hawtin, Yousef, Jazzy Jeff, Roni Size, Andy C, Felix Da Housecat, Jon Carter, Justin Robertson, Touché, Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk,...
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