Interview: The return of Mylo
Look how excited he is! Yes, Mylo, he of "Da da da da, drop the pressure" fame is back. He has been, like, throwing underground parties an' that at Dalston Superstore in east London for most of the year. But on October 8, he gonna take it to XOYO once more with Ed Banger young gun Breakbot and loads of other face-splitting electro DJs.
Read my interview with him from waaay back in May after the jump. It's all about comebacks and Charles Kennedy. WIN.
This article originally appeared on Time Out London in May 2011.
The electro-disco producer who quietly stormed the charts in 2004 with 'Destroy Rock & Roll' is firmly and finally back. Kate Hutchinson meets Mylo
Electro big-hitters come and go, but this year, the likes of Daft Punk, Justice, Cassius, MSTRKRFT and even Digitalism have returned with a synth-heavy wallop. So it feels like good timing that Myles MacInnes - better known to the world as Mylo - is fighting back this year with them.
Mylo's disappearance from the music world baffled everyone, from his fans (of which he still has plenty) to critics, for whom it is has become an insider's joke. The Hackney-based Scot hasn't released anything since his massive 'Detroy Rock & Roll' album in 2004, bar a couple of low-key remixes and Mixmag cover CDs, having been stuck in music industry purgatory for nearly five years.
But in the last two months, and armed with a new synthetic disco sound, Mylo has been putting on small word-of-mouth parties, Ecstasy, Passion & Pain, at Dalston Superstore, with the pork-pie-hat-topped help of Andy Peyton, who books Get Loaded, Together and Moda.
Before his headline set at the latest Moda night at XOYO this weekend, we caught up with the producer and were delighted to find him chirpy, insightful and, despite being out of current music for so long, incredibly interesting. In his first interview in we-can't-remember-how-long, he reveals why he's been out of the spotlight for such a long time, why he might never tour again, getting banned from Space Ibiza and how he's been larging it with the Lib Dems.
Mylo, where have you been? For reasons I'm not at liberty to discuss, I haven't been able to release music in a couple of years, but hopefully it's not going to stay that way for ever. It's been quite frustrating in parts; I can't believe that it has been so long now! I stopped promoting the first album in 2006, and I didn't think that the next four years were going to pan out the way that they did. I've continued to do the occasional DJ gig, which is what I never set out to do. But I've really enjoyed it. I've also spent time working on new material and remixes, of which I have a fair bit now, and I just need to work out whether I should come back with it in some ridiculous way that involves a triple album or something! But, seriously, I'm just really looking forward to being able to release again.
Do you feel under pressure? Perhaps in 2007 I did, but now there's been so much water under the bridge, and I've continued in a much more eccentric and not very 'pop' kind of way. I listen to the stuff in the Top 40 now and I think, that's not where I want to be. And to be perfectly honest, I don't know whether I want to set foot inside a tour bus again either: they are smelly, claustrophobic, carpeted submarines. I had a blast the first time, but it was a bit of an accident and I'm not going to spend the next few years trying to consciously replicate that. How did your secret pop-up nights at Dalston Superstore come about? I'm a real fan of the place; I find it really fun and inclusive. I ended up hanging out there quite a lot and then they had a few Fridays free, and it all happened very quickly. I wanted a night that summed up the over-the-top drama of disco music, and Ecstasy, Passion & Pain were a disco band in the 1970s, so it fitted well. I enjoy the melodrama of disco, definitely.
Is it part of a comeback masterplan? [Laughs] I'd love to say yes, but I'm not sure I believe in comebacks. I'm just glad to do this in the meantime. I don't know how long we'll keep going with it - at the moment we've got a policy for Belgian-only disco DJ guests, as it's at the forefront of the new new nu-disco sound - so I think we'll just keep going until we run out of Belgians. We had my friends Villa play last Friday, and then The Magician, formerly of Aeroplane, is the next guest. I'd love to have The Glimmers come over and play, but it's a free club, so I have to rely on favours to make it work. I can't imagine being able to book Soulwax anytime soon!
It's a very nu-disco path you're going down - how did you start out in that direction? During the last year or so, I've moved away from the electro noise scene. My interest started out with Italo and the cheesy, synthetic side of it and then that eventually broadened out into other sub-genres: boogie and so on. I must admit, the classic idea of disco with a diva wailing over a percussive background doesn't quite do it for me, but it's all the other interesting bits in and around that that I like. I think it's an amazing time for disco music.
On your Facebook, you've posted up a lot of political articles, particularly about the recent AV referendum - is activism an important part of your life now? It's not something that I ever thought I'd be doing, but I was really proud that the Yes To Fair Votes AV campaign approached me. I've always grown up with Charles Kennedy - he was the constituency MP in Skye - so I'm a big fan. I think that Charles Kennedy, drunk, is a much better leader than David Cameron, sober! They had some parties in London that I DJ'd for and that had a few Lib Dem politicians there. Then I went door-to-door with the Lib Dems in the Cazenove ward in Stoke Newington a few weeks ago - although it's a big orthodox Jewish area and I don't think they vote much, so I don't know how much effect it had.
You could have slipped everyone a new mix CD too, that might have helped? That's an idea that I should have had! I was quite a depressing eye-opener, though. Of course, everyone was unhappy about how the vote went…
Obviously there are exceptions, but it's unusual for DJs to be open about politics - it's quite an 'electro taboo'. I care a lot about politics, but I don't spend a lot of time online trying to promote anything. The first album I made wasn't, other than quite blatantly taking the piss out of American fundamentalism and so on, much of a “political record”. But I had a lot of respect for [electronic producer] Ewan Pearson this week - he wrote an incredibly succinct blog about the ethics of playing in Israel. The complete absence of politics in music these days compared to 25 or 30 years ago isn't great, but DJs make party music and people don't suddenly want to be thumped over the head with some well-intentioned political music at the same time. Then again, I'm not aware of anyone “unfollowing” me on Facebook because I posted up a few links to a campaign. And I don't really mind being seen as a well-intentioned lefty who got completely fucked over by the Tories! Will you tour again? A lot of things have changed; the friends who I did the live show with are off doing different thing, so I don't know whether there'll be a band. I've an aversion to touring, so we'll see what happens. I imagine that there will be a CD and it will be available. And I'm playing at some festivals, and at one of the better, crazy, smaller raves at Secret Garden Party [on the main stage, as well as a secret set elsewhere]. And I'm going to play at Space in Ibiza in a few weeks, which will be great because I've been unofficially blacklisted there.
How did you manage that? I played an unbelievably bad set. It was about 10 o'clock in the morning, I don't think I'd been to bed and it was a trainwreck in every possible way. The mixing was messy and the music was perhaps wrong as well. I thought what I was playing was quite cool - I even played 'Space is the Place', a classic electro track. But, in any case, I was notoriously terrible at DJing to begin with and now I hope I've got the hang of it.