“Meet me at the club,” urges the male vocal on Green Velvet & Patrick Topping’s ‘Voicemail’, the still-hot tech house update of the 2000-released original (‘Answering Machine’), out now on Relief Records. “That’s where we met!” says Patrick, explaining how he first rubbed shoulders with Chicago DJ/producer Curtis Jones, aka Green Velvet.
“I booked him to play at Motion, in Newcastle, in 2012. We got on well but I never imagined I’d make a tune with him. He’s always been one of my favourite producers.”
When Patrick, 25, booked Curtis to play, he advertised the gig as “guest DJ Green Velvet, aka Cajmere”.
“Looking back, I suppose that was a bit naughty,” says Patrick, who grew up and still lives in Newcastle.
“At the time we wanted to get as much publicity as possible for the party but when Curtis turned up, he didn’t know what to play.”
Green Velvet is Curtis’s long-running, green-haired, flamboyant techno alter ego while, as Cajmere, he makes house music. It’s that similar shapeshift between house and techno — minus the green, alien-inspired hairdo — that Patrick is currently purveying. His recent releases on Jamie Jones’ and Lee Foss’s Hottrax — the more banging subsidiary of their Hot Creations label — are more tech house than previous outings.
“I’ve got a track called ‘Free Admission’ that Jamie’s said he wants for Hottrax, that I wouldn’t call strictly techno, but it’s definitely got that kind of techy sound in it,” says Patrick.
“I’m happy for that to come out to show a slightly different side of my sound.”
Since the runaway success of deep-dropping, tech house tune ‘Forget’ — which came out on Hot Creations in 2014, as part of the ‘Boxed Off’ EP — the words Patrick Topping have been cropping up in DJ charts, on club and festival line-ups and on radio playlists all over the world. Pete Tong and Annie Mac are big fans. And Jamie Jones was playing Patrick’s music long before the Newcastle-based producer put out the award-winning tune (‘Forget’ scooped the gong for Best Single at this year’s DJ Magazine Best of British Awards, after being THE tune of the summer in Ibiza last year).
“I just recently got the same tour manager as Lee Foss for North and South America, so I’ve spent a lot of time DJing with him recently,” says Patrick. “He’s started a party brand called Modern Amusement and I’ve already played a few of those. I’ll be doing some more too.”
Earlier this year Patrick played at one of Chicago DJ/producer Lee’s Modern Amusement parties in Miami, for the annual Art Basel event.
“It was the first time I’d played in Miami and I loved it,” says Patrick. “I can’t wait to play there for the Winter Music Conference this year.”
When he plays at the DJ Magazine party at WMC this month, Patrick says he’ll “no doubt” play some of his new releases.
“I love all the stuff wAFF produces too,” says Patrick, talking about the releases from his Hot Creations label-mate, who is originally from Hull. “I’ve known wAFF since before both of us ever released on Hot Creations and I just love the way all his releases are so varied. We’re going to work on something together soon. I’d say he has probably the biggest influence on my sound, just because we both send each other so much music, all the time. I play lots of his releases.”
Before ‘Forget’ came out, Patrick released ‘Get Beasty’ on Hot Creations, bagging himself another No.1 spot on the Beatport Tech House chart.
“When I made that I’d just started changing the way I produce music,” says Patrick, also an Edinburgh University Sport and Recreation Management graduate. “When I first started making music, five years ago, I’d set about it with the idea to try and emulate a particular sound, or style. Now when I sit down to make a track, I start with an idea — maybe a beat pattern, or a vocal sample, or a melody — and I’ll go with that.”
Patrick makes all his music on an iMac, using Logic. When he gave ‘Walk On’ to Jamie Jones — who he first met in 2010 when he asked the Welsh DJ/ producer to come and play at his Motion party — the track had vocals on it.
“Jamie asked me to take out the vocals,” says Patrick.
“I did that and he signed it for Hottrax, and it came out as an EP in 2013.”
While Hot Creations’ sound might be getting more track-based, with increasingly less vocal releases coming out on the transatlantic label, Patrick says that’s not necessarily where his sound is going.
“I’m happy that most of my releases this year are coming out on Hot Creations, but I release on other labels too,” he says. “And for now I’m just happy doing EPs. I don’t have plans to make an album.”
Last year Patrick had a residency at DC10 in Ibiza for Paradise and he has “even more dates” booked there this summer. When he DJs, he’s as likely to drop wAFF’s toughened-up remix of Groove Armada’s ‘Superstylin’' as you are to witness him slice a fresh Hot Creations tech house cut into the mix, alongside one of his own releases.
“I remember seeing Luciano DJ in Edinburgh in 2008, before I’d started DJing or making music, and hearing him play that Michel Cleis track ‘La Mezcla’ and also some tracks by Livio & Roby,” says Patrick. “It was after that I decided I wanted to DJ and try to make some of those kinds of rhythms myself. That’s when I knocked all the commercial, electro stuff I’d been listening to on the head.”
For now, while he carves out his spot as one of the most promising British DJ/producers of the decade, Patrick’s happy living in Newcastle and commuting all over the world to fulfill his growing schedule of DJ slots. And next up is Miami.
“I love Miami because it’s so different from Newcastle and, when it comes to the WMC, there’s a novelty to it that always comes out in people’s DJ sets,” says Patrick.
In Miami, for the WMC, DJs strive to try out something new, original or unusual when they play.
“That’s what I’ll be doing too,” says Patrick. “It’s an exciting place to play.”
The top tunes rocking Patrick's world
“The build in this is really long and always sends a dancefloor off when it comes in.”
“Quite an old track now, doesn’t really sound like anything out at the moment, but still sounds wicked in a club.”
“I’ve hammered this track for months before its release, going to be another huge hit for Hot Creations.”
‘Headshot (Samuel Deep Edit)'
“Guaranteed to get a big reaction.”
Little by Little
“A simple-but-effective jacking jam. Little by Little have a few naughty tracks.”
Gary Beck feat Debra Debs
‘Get Together (Original Mix)'
“This a percussive techno beast and has been one of my biggest tracks for a while. Coupled with the vocal of Debra Debs, sounds amazing. So much energy it’s ridiculous.”
“A massive electro-sounding track from some years back. I’ve only just started playing it out though; works well.”
‘Jack7 (Original Mix)'
“Love the weird melody in this techno bomb. Almost doesn’t sound serious. Love it.”
‘Funky Dope Trakk’
“Was so buzzing when this finally got a digital release, been after it for ages.”
‘Parking Garage Politics (Eats Everything Edit)'
“One of so many wicked edits by Eats Everything.”