Audio resident Charles Green will be performing at Shakedown Festival this month and Daniel White caught up with the Brighton DJ to discuss what’s in store
Take a look at this summer’s Shakedown line-up and it is clear what has taken over Brighton’s music scene during the last year.
A who’s who of current house music makes 2014’s festival one of the year’s most anticipated events.
Playing the main stage will be house legends Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada and London duo Gordon City, while the Audio presents Area 10 stage features a packed schedule including Marc Kinchen, aka MK, Huxley, Riva Starr, Blonde and one of Brighton’s favourite DJs; Charles Green.
The Brighton-born Green has built a strong reputation throughout the city after a number of years as a resident DJ at Audio. The 24-year-old first caught the house scene by surprise though with his sets at nights such as Schtumm, Warehouse and most notably Motel.
Charles, who is returning to Shakedown for the second straight year, will be performing on the Audio stage alongside Neal Schtumm who together make up, as he jokingly puts it, “the best father and son DJ team on the planet,” and he is eager for the fun in the sun to get started.
“Shakedown’s always fun and I’m really looking forward to it,” he begins. “I’m playing back-to-back with Neal Schtumm and we always work really well together. We played a relatively early slot last year and it was cool because there were people gathering and gathering and gathering and then suddenly you’re DJing in front of loads of people, it’s a really good environment, everyone’s happy.”
It hasn’t always been so easy to find top-class house music in Brighton though. The shutting down of Brighton’s best local music shops, including Music Meltdown, Urban Records and Rounder Records, dealt a massive blow to lovers of electronic music and came just as Charles was making his breakthrough.
“A lot of those shops started to fade, that’s when the vinyl thing stopped,” he explains. “When Rounder shut everyone was thinking it was the death and that was quite tough, I stopped playing records and I was going to USB and CDs.”
However, soon after taking over as a resident DJ at Audio, Charles began using and buying records again, allowing him to be more creative with his sets.
“There were all these record shops popping up again so through that I got back into records, so it’s funny how it’s done a full circle,” he reflects. “Because Audio’s got working decks and in that environment I think I can get away with a lot more.
“You look at the history of Audio and fair play to the whole team there, they’ve got this ethos that they know what they want. Being a resident there, as a development as an artist, it’s been integral. I think it’s a really positive thing for Brighton what they do.”
The house DJ is a Brighton native and he admits that playing in front of his home crowd week-in-week-out still gives him a great sense of excitement.
He says: “Playing in Brighton has always been special for me and it’s just been something that I’ve done as a gradual progression; from doing a student night on a Tuesday night to being a resident at Audio. It’s an interesting progression but I was born here so this place will always have something special for me.”
He is currently working on a range of tracks that he hopes to release in the future but has resisted any releases to date to ensure the standard is one he is totally happy with, as he explains: “the more records you play, the more music you listen to, the more in depth your ear gets for production and the more understanding you get of what you actually want to do.”
For now, though, the Brighton DJ is happy to be enjoying his work and sees no reason to worry about the future for now.
“I’m going to keep doing what I love, which is buying records, making music, surrounding myself with likeminded people and just keep the enjoyment going,” he smiles. “I’m working on productions, stuff coming up at Audio this summer is looking really good and for me it’s something I’ve always done, it’s my life, it’s so embedded in my day-to-day routine that it’s going to take me somewhere, I don’t even think I’m going to be able to control that.”