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Copyright In The House“One of the things that inspires us most is just listening to other music,” says Gavin Mills, one half of acclaimed DJ and production duo Copyright. “I saw [legendary resident at New York’s The Loft] David Mancuso play recently and I came out of there with so many ideas. I was there with using my Shazaam, asking what’s this? There was some Tracey Thorn, Phenomenal Handclap Band… and I was thinking ‘Love the percussion there, really like the guitar riff there.”“It’s great when you pull out a record from your collection that’s ten years old, put it in your set and the people do not have a clue,” adds his partner in crime of the last dozen years, Sam Holt. “It’s easy to get preoccupied with new, new, new. But a little nod back to the past can open your eyes.”And that’s what Copyright are all about – right there, in a neat little nugget or two of information. Sam (big Liverpool fan) and Gavin (rarely seen without his Rangefinder camera in his hand) have careers in dance music that filter all the way back to the playing at illegal party days like Biology , Raindance in Gav’s case and northern club meccas like Cream and the Haçienda in Sam’s. But they’re busier than ever right now; touring, producing and keeping more than a keen eye on their newly-relaunched label, Copyright Productions. Oh, and the small matter of being curators of the new Defected In The House mix.With experience comes knowledge, and the combined forces of Mills and Holt have used this to ensure they remain relevant where others fall by the wayside. Sam says there’s been three or four cycles of dance music since Copyright first started playing out together at the end of the last century. But by sticking to what they like and what they know will rock a crowd, they’re still packing in the crowds, from Europe to Asia and back again. Part of that is down to Copyright taking their responsibilities seriously. They consider lazily downloading the top 100 from a website and playing them out as an affront to their profession. A perfectionist agenda and eye for detail means the duo are always on the prowl for moments in a set that will make it stand out; that could be a brand new track that flips people out, a classic or an unknown gem. “That’s the art of DJing,” Gavin says. “All this technology is trying to make it easier, but it can dumb everything down. The laptop mixes for you, here’s all the tracks from a website that everyone’s playing – but you have to break out of that.”Sam indulges in a bit of turntable philosophy. “We’ve got to this point, but sometimes it’s good to see how we got there. Some of the music that inspired us along the way still inspires us. If you’ve lost your way then often that’s where you can find it.”It’s three years since Copyright released their debut artist album, Voice & Visions on Defected. Featuring their juggernut-sized club anthems, I Pray and Wiseman(both featuring Imaani)We can Rise (feat Tasita D’amour) and He Is (with Song Williamson), it was a stunning showcase of their bigroom sound. Vocal house that dug deep into the emotions – soul remains the centrepiece of Copyright records – and yet retained that good, ol’ funk. “People will say our style is more soulful,” says Sam, “but we say that we play songs. It’s not about banging beats with us. Everything has to have that funk, have that soul. When I went clubbing, it was the Saturday night anthems that caught my attention. Those American house tunes of the ’90s were big-ass songs, anthemic, with huge choruses. Not many people make songs any more, they make tracks. So by definition, that’s our niche.”2011 has already reaped a bumper harvest for Copyright. Three Copyright Recordings releases have bagged a Traxsource number one, including the riotously bouncy tribal freakout Tomorrow by Kent boys KORT. Copyright continue to put out their own productions on Defected and their very own I’m All Yours, featuring Nuwella Love, showcased Sam and Gavin’s versatility. This is the deepest, dirtiest recording yet. Acid squiggles, a dungeon-deep bassline, driving rhythm and Nuwella’s naughty vocal gymnastics have already secured its status as one of the biggest house tunes of the year. It’s what you’ll hear soundtracking Copyright In The House – songs, albeit backed up with addictive tribal rhythms, afrodelic beats and latin grooves. Four months of chin-stroking, debate, negotiation on the track listing and then onto the mix itself has produced two expertly-crafted CDs that represent the Copyright credo.“You’ve got to try and bottle the live set,” Sam muses. “It’s not like a club experience. We want people to enjoy it in the car and at home. It’s a different beast.” “There were tracks that we really liked when dropped in a club,” Gavin interjects, “but in the studio we had to ask did we want to hear that in a car?”Conversely, it also afforded Sam and Gavin the opportunity to go a little deeper, like the track by Welsh production wizard, Jamie Jones (INSERT NAME?), which Copyright have never played out, and yet has become one of their favourites on the album. It’s an album which features extensive special edits and layers of effects added to the original mix with the aim to create a ‘live’ vibe. Playing live, you see, is still cause for excitement for Copyright; they’ve even broken new ground in the last couple of years by making visits to India.“We’ve played Calcutta, Bangalore, Mumbai… and it’s absolutely amazing, a real experience,” says Sam with a broad grin. “They’re hungry for it like it was here in the UK 20 years ago. The electricity might go but it’s no problem and then the party gets going again. The Indians are so responsive. If you are giving them something and you are enjoying it they will give it back. If you’re smiling, they’re smiling. It’s such a good laugh.”Meanwhile, there’s been two more important productions occupying the Copyright boys’ time – one already released, another nearly ready to see the light of day. Sam is now the proud father of a baby girl, while Gavin’s partner is expecting their first any time soon. “Simon [Dunmore, Defected label boss] says we ought to have babies more often, we’ve never been so prolific,” chuckles Gavin. Eleven years on from Copyright’s first release on Soulfuric, that desire to make not only brilliant dance music but to make people happy, from Hong Kong to Mumbai, Ibiza to London, shows no sign of dimming. “It’s the enthusiasm that keeps us going,” explains Sam. “When we get behind the decks we smile… and we just love it.”ENDS

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