“Sometimes it does feel like a waste paying two rents but I’m happy to have the flexibility,” says Lee Foss, the DJ who still splits his life between London and LA, despite spending most of his life on the road. Having recently hit the UK charts with ‘Benediction’ as part of Hot Natured, Hot Creations, the label he runs with partner Jamie Jones, continues to consolidate its position — and live up to its name — as one of the world’s hottest house labels.
“It feels good to know there’s a chance we can reach more people,” says Lee on their reach into ever new pastures. “I’ve always personally hoped we would have the opportunity to fundamentally change some things about the make-up of current popular music. Rather than looking at it as a dirty word, I’d like to roll up my sleeves and see if we can bring some musicality back to that world.”
His latest ‘Electricity’ single does just that and finds him teaming up with Detroit cut-up king MK and LA vocalist Anabel Englund for something Lee says is, “a really good representation of where we’re at with song-writing. It’s a record I’m proud of”.
It’s also a taster, perhaps, of what the forthcoming Hot Natured album will be like when it arrives early next year, followed later on by more solo material from Lee, who has taken some tentative steps behind the mic himself. Hot Creations will also be dropping tracks from wAFF, Benoit And Sergio, Butch (featuring Maceo Plex and PBR Streetgang remixes), Digitaria, Funky Fat and Miguel Campbell, as well as a ‘Hot Waves Volume 04’ compilation in January, when Lee and Jamie will also launch a new label, Hottrax.
Having already conquered Europe, including Ibiza with their new Paradise night at DC10 last summer, does Chicago-born Lee now think Hot Natured could take on EDM in his home country? “I think that’s much further off,” he says pragmatically, “but I certainly hope down the road we have more and more of an influence in the US. Some of that will just depend on the radio stations and the major festivals and what they take chances on. We’re getting some very interesting offers in terms of major label artists to produce for, collaborate with or remix, so obviously those are some of the most important early ways to build those opportunities and reach more people.”
These are his favourite records this month:
“When Eats Everything is good, he’s really good. This has got his interesting style of choppy beats and a cool chord progression, and the pitched vox goes well with the melody. Works well for a lot of different kinds of room.”
“This is the B-side on Jamie’s brand new EP on our new sub-label Hot Traxx, a really cool housey track that’s melodic but very underground and tracky sounding. Just a very fresh original sounding record, but very subtle.”
Lee Foss & MK feat Anabel Englund
“This is the A-side to my new Hot Creations record. I’m really happy with the melody and the lyrics. We kept the beat simple and clean and I love the way the synth/bass and vox follow each other, it seems to be really reaching people. It’s always a good sign when one of your songs is a current personal favourite.”
Grand Corporation feat Jeremy Glenn
‘Wonder and Amazement (Deetron Remix)’
“I put this on my Essential Mix. I really love this record, it’s got a great energy and acidy bassline. The best thing that Deetron has done, and that’s saying a lot.”
Peace Division feat Pleasant Gehman
“Been playing this again recently, a big grimy tune from the guys that invented the grimy tech house that made DC10 so good. Love this record… bad boy.”
“One of my favourites from our new album, and possibly a lead single. Rough beat and bassline, my girl Anabel singing and we talk about the possibility of flight. It’s a special song because it’s about potential and enthusiasm, which is what Hot Natured is about.”
‘The Big Fake’
“This is a great Steve Bug record from about 10 years ago that still works perfectly. It’s edgy and funky in that way that he knows how to be. I love this record and it’s worked for me again recently.”