Los Angeles, what is the deal with you? Something is definitely in the water. The uprising of local house music producers is at an all-time high and it just feels so right. I’d say we’ve been doing a pretty good job of sharing our local gems lately, but there’s one guy I’d like to talk about this time around and he goes by the name of Urulu. Urulu, better known on the streets as Taylor Freels, is a young producer + DJ who has been a recognizable name for the last few years and is finally receiving some impressive response for his hard, hard work. His release earlier this year, “Across The Sky,” topped charts and became a warehouse secret weapon (peep our review here), and he’s returned to Exploited Records once again this summer with “Sincerely 91.” The new EP pays homage to the legends that came before Urulu, yet explores slightly new territory that sets his distinct tone apart from the rest, you really can’t compare…just ask DJ Sneak or Laurent Garnier what they think and they’ll tell you the same. Anyway, I caught up with Taylor recently to talk about his beginnings and the new record, read on below.
Taylor, sup! So I think the first question everybody wants me to ask is, where did you get your time machine?
Hahaha on some post-apocalyptic dinosaur hunt.
Alright, looking back for a moment, what did you start doing first, DJing or producing?
Unfortunately DJing. Then realized I was getting nowhere and pirated my first copy of Ableton.
Oh, and where did the name come from? Didn’t you have a few other aliases before?
There's no origin really. I guess you can relate it to that Australian rock thing, but there's really no relation. Just popped in my head and looked good on paper... so here we are haha.
What were some of the first parties/events in LA that you got a chance to get out and experience the kind of music you’re into today?
What are you currently running in the studio? As far as gear, do you think that instrumentation from the past goes hand in hand with todays forward thinking artists?
It's relatively simple. A pair of pretty worn Mackie Mr8's, little 25key MIDI, my laptop, and a Roland MC303. Would kill to get my hands on a Yamaha an200 or Juno 60. I think, especially for house music, the structure has relatively been the same. So yes, to answer that last question.
“Across The Sky” came out back in March and seemed like a gradual progression to “Sincerely 91” after listening to both, regarding overall tone and feel. How would you explain your sound development over the years?
Glad you got that, I would definitely agree. For me, I'm not trying to branch out of a genre, it's nothing leftfield... and I'm totally fine with that. Producing house music has a bit of job security that tags along with it haha.
What were you listening to at the time of writing the new material? Have you seen any DJ sets over the last year or so that really pushed you to refine that “nostalgic” sound?
It was a couple years back, Joy O & Ramadanman were playing in Hollywood. Was pretty cerebral, I think that gig alone had a huge impact on my production.
So when did you begin working on the tracks for “Sincerely 91”? Were these in the making for a while, or did you begin after the last EP was finished?
The EP all materialized relatively fast. I wanted to make the EP in one sitting, so that everything sounded cohesive. I wanted the release to have a theme that was easily understood. It's ["Sincerely 91"] essentially an ode to a generation I was unable to experience.
You also recently contributed to the new Young Adults compilation EP, how did that come together? Seems like a lot of exciting local artists and labels are working together these days.
Leeor (Friends of Friends) and Dave (D.Fish) approached me with the idea of a sister label to FoF. I essentially just sent them the demo and they loved it. Yea, they are an awesome bunch. Real vinyl heads, they know what they're doing.
Looking at the impressive feedback from the new EP, I must say it’s really cool to see the variety of DJs who are supporting it…ranging from different styles. Were you surprised to see such an extensive range?
Yea, I was honestly quite blown away. It's awesome to put a concrete idea out there and have it received exactly how you wanted it to be. Makes me feel like I pulled off the overall theme for the release that I was originally setting out for.
What would be your ideal setting to play out the new tracks? On a similar note, where would you especially love to play at some point in your career?
I love smaller, more intimate gigs, especially outside or by a pool. I absolutely love playing slower material; it leaves more space for a groove.
After a steady stream of releases all through the year, what does Urulu have in store for the rest of 2012? More studio time, or maybe some live dates?
Definitely a full string Europe tour in the winter. Release wise I have a two track EP coming out on Kerri Chandler's MadTech in October, a few remixes here and there, and then a few collaborations with the likes of Prince Club, Chaos In The CBD, Dale Howard and Steve Huerta I'm still looking to have signed.
At the moment, which other producers/DJs are you stoked on, both locally and worldwide? What are some of your favorite new releases, and who should the readers be keeping an eye out for?
Lots of talented friends living in LA right now, Prince Club and Steve Huerta being two of them who I have already worked with. Also keep an eye on James Del Barco, been rinsing a lot of his stuff.
Internationally, Exploited has heaps of quality stuff on the way. The next Black Jukebox Compilation is going to be a big one. Actually all of them are pretty much timeless.
If you could collaborate with literally anybody in dance music (or beyond), who would it be?
Would most likely be a vocalist. I'd kill for Brandy, or Erykah Badu, just someone I could sit in studio with and record for a whole day. Even just the dialog would be rad.
Top 5 best things to come out of the '90s:
Ace of Base
And last lastly, how about some words of wisdom before we end this? Or perhaps plug some of your latest happenings / anything I left out?
Steve Huerta Everything.
Alright man, thanks again and see you soon!
You can buy the “Sincerely 91” EP now on Beatport. Make sure to follow Urulu on Facebook, Soundcloud, and Twitter. And make sure to catch him performing live alongside other mentioned local producers this Thursday in Hollywood!