Whether it's straight-up house music, bleepy tech-house and techno, or groove-filled deep house, London duo Late Replies (aka Kastro and Josh Lewis) are the sound of late nights and early mornings in a big metropolis. Regulars at London's EGG nightclub and residents at Metal Works' club night, 33, Late Replies' sets are synonymous with London nightlife. Like their own productions, their live sets and DJ mixes are colourful, energetic workouts.
While it all more or less sits within the house and techno spectrums, there's a seldom-heard warmth and vibrancy to Late Replies' music. Some of the selections in the label promo mix they uploaded to SoundCloud last year, for example, wouldn't sound out of place at a carnival. For this edition of Complex Sessions, we invited the LR boys to collect together some of their favourites from the GroovTEK back catalogue, and a few of their own releases, into a sort of 'Late Replies & Friends' mix.
As they're keen to point out below, label regulars and close affiliates, duo Made You Look, Yorkshire rave encyclopedias Del-30, elrow don Kinnerman and Essex boy and Resonance boss Max Chapman all make an appearance here. Seemingly, everyone in the tracklist has a close connection to the duo—Chapman, for example, became friends with Late Replies after they won a competition on his Facebook page and ended up collaborating together. It's testament to Late Replies as people, as well as musicians, that Chapman contributed at least two label exclusives for this mix. Chances are, with this mix, they'll win you over too.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
Kastro: Mainly, we went down the route of playing our latest tracks that we produced, along with a few more from other producers who are quite close to us, like Made You Look, Del-30, Kinnerman and Max Chapman. The first two tracks in this mix are tunes that we've put together in the last two weeks. They're not fully finished yet, but we couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't put them in. The third track was our collaboration with Max Chapman as a result of the Facebook competition we won on his page; the track "Wassoulou" will be released on his Resonance label later this year. Since meeting up with him in the studio a few times, we learnt a lot and became friends. He supplied us with a few exclusives for this mix as well, one being "La Fiesta"—his release on Hot Creations, which will be massive—and the other being his collaboration with George Smeddles entitled "Hard To Find".
Josh: We also included some bangers made by Kinnerman that we couldn't look past; he's been making loads on the scene recently. Also, two tracks produced by our good friends, Del-30, called "Wildfire" and "Smokin' Us". We've been smashing clubs with their tunes since we met them—they're two of the best producers/DJs in the scene and two of the nicest lads around, too. The track before last is an edit made by our closest allies, Made You Look and Ren Phillips, of "It Just Won't Do"—a lovely party vibe and a brilliant edit of a classic. We then finished with our track "You Don't Love Me", which is one of the first tracks we produced and is one of a two-track EP signed to ANoR's imprint Nite Moves. Look out for Nite Moves—they'll be releasing some good music very soon.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
Kastro: Can we name two tracks? The two Del-30 tracks: "Wildfire" and "Smokin' Us". We've been smashing these two tracks out in most of our sets over the past few months, but this is the first time we've put them in a recorded mix.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
Josh: A track by an up-and-coming producer called Marco Strous from Bristol. We were going to play two of his tracks, but could only fit one in. The one that missed the cut is called "Radical Rebel"; check it out alongside "Call Of The Beat"—the track we included—on his SoundCloud for a free download.
What's the first single or album you ever bought?
Kastro: Tupac's All Eyez On Me album. I still listen to it now!
Josh: Not as cool as Kas', mine was Maroon 5's Songs About Jane. It's still a sick album, and I stand by my purchase [laughs].
What's the last physical record you bought?
Kastro: Max Chapman's Work It Out EP, which is out right now on Twisted Fusion.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
Kastro: Releases, releases and more releases. We have the track with Max Chapman coming out soon on Resonance, as well as the Nite Moves EP. We're aiming for a few big releases in 2018 as that will take us to the next level in the industry.
Josh: We'd also like to play at more parties like ABODE, where we've played quite often recently, and others like elrow and Warehouse Project. More festivals, too. Basically: more, more, more! We are more than ready.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
Kastro: We can't judge a scene, even if we don't like it, because there are ears for every kind of sound in this world. However, we will say that there's a trend that needs to be eliminated and exterminated: the fake twisting of knobs while DJing, which really gets on our tits! DJs pretending they're doing loads of technical stuff on the decks to try and look busy when, really, they're doing absolutely nothing. If you've got nothing to do, just dance and enjoy the music.
1. Late Replies - I See You Baby
2. Late Replies - Fight Talk
3. Max Chapman & Late Replies - Wassoulou
4. Max Chapman - La Fiesta
5. George Smeddles & Jimmy D (Max Chapman Remix) - Hard To Find
6. Din Daa Daa - The Drums (Latmun Remix)
7. Pete Dorling - Daloop (Kinnerman remix)
8. Del-30 - Wildfire
9. Del-30 - Smokin Us
10. CAAL & Baum - Downtown Beat
11. Marco Strous - Call Of The Beat
12. Kinnerman - Watcha Call Me
13. Tim Delux - It Just Won't Do (Ren Phillips & Made You Look Edit)
14. Late Replies - You Don't Love Me