The lovely Phil Cooper describes his breakthrough onto the mid 90’s house music scene "from fourth division to premier league". Plucked from relative obscurity, DJing at Chester’s “Sweet” House music night in the North West of England to warm up DJ to the underground stars at Cream, Liverpool by Darren Hughes, promoter and visionary extraordinaire! All this happened in 1995 and the summer of 1996 saw Phil land the first of his many years’ residencies for Cream at Amnesia, Ibiza. Here Phil was allowed to flex his broad musical styles ranging from hip hop to deep house in his marathon 8 hour sets.
Phil’s freestyle outlook on DJing needed an escape, not content with playing these weird and wonderful finds in his bedroom or laying down the odd and occasional mix tape, Phil came up with the NuNorthern Soul concept, a Sunday session of music presented in comfortable surroundings with great food and wine, City Bar in Chester was the landing pad for the Sunday slouchdown and Jim Baron from Crazy P was one of the many NuNorthern Soul All-stars!
Phil now runs NuNorthern Soul records as an output for his love of music aimed more for listening then dancing to, working with both established and developing artists, NuNorthern Soul has been championed by Gilles Peterson [BBCRadio6], Rob Da Bank [BBCRadio1], Craig Charles [BBCRadio6], and has been regular featured on key stations around the world from Berlin to Los Angeles.
Like the events and podcast, the label, which was formed in 2012, is about presenting a rich tapestry of music, not restricted by genre or production techniques, it is not a Soul music label, but a label for music WITH Soul.
KAT and KAT45 is another one of Phil's ventures who he runs alongside Ste Hodge. Aimed squarely at the dance floor working, with established remixers and music lovers to put out ‘unofficial’ edits of lost classics, rare records that may have slipped through the cracks get a loving and gentle enhancement."
We asked Phil our acid house questions ..
1. What was your first acid house moment?
I was a huge Smiths fan and went to the Hacienda in 88 as I was attending a convention in Manchester for fellow Smiths fans, a few of us headed to the Hac to interview Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke from the band and I wandered straight into it... It blew my mind!
2. Favourite club/night ever?
Blimey, difficult... Sir Henry's in Cork was amazing, both for DJing and partying... Cream in its day was a game changer... Back to Basics... Chibuku was another game changer for me, just when I was ready to turn my back on the House scene I stumbled into this Liverpool based bastion of good House music, that was a good few years ago now...
3. Best acid house debacherous moment?
Too many to mention, but to be honest I try to forget them... I think falling out of the tree in Amnesia tops it though.
4. Guilty pleasure always in your box?
Not a fan of the term guilty pleasure to be honest as each bit of music I fall in love with has a particular moment and feeling for me...
5. Give us one of your favourite and hard to find records in your collection?
Wow, big question... I am not really clued up on what's hard to find plus I am always learning about new and old music and my tastes change on a daily basis...
6. Biggest DJ fail / clear the dance floor moment?
Don't think I have ever cleared a dancefloor luckily, but I was recently taken off the decks here in Bali, first time in a 20+ years of professional DJing... But I am sure a few people have wanted to do that in the past...
7. Favourite labels?
C56, Afficando, Strictly Rhythm (back in its hey day) Hi Bias, Tribal, My own NuNorthern Soul, Motown, Moton, I could spend a day doing this ;0)
8. Favourite producer / producers?
Jonny Nash, Seahawks, Neil Diablo, BJ Smith, Jim Baron, MAW, Crazy P crew, Mat Playford, PBR, Osunalde, AtJazz, Phil Asher, Zed Bias on his soulful tip, again the list is endless.
9. Who to watch from the new school?
Neil Diablo and Detroit Swindle producer and DJs, Gavin Kendrick as a DJ.
10. Can u dance?
Absobloodylutly, I am a fantastic dancer and very proud of my dancefloor prowess...
2 great mixes by the Phil here
Listen to some of the artists on the NuNorthern Soul Soundcloud page here
and Phil's SoundCloud page here
Also checkout his newspaper The Phil Cooper Daily for all things music / culture related or as he calls it 'Stuff I Like Across The Twittersphere'
Thank you Phil x