- Club bangers of all stripes.
- The many hats of Robert Venning, the London-based artist better known as DJ Pitch, include DJ, producer, label manager, A&R and promoter. (He's also on his way to becoming a qualified architect.) But what really drives him is building communities through music, being the glue between people with shared tastes and talents. His labels TT and All Centre—which he co-runs with Gribs and Simkin respectively—are home to spellbinding records by a network of like-minded artists, many of whom had never released music before. Venning relishes giving people a chance. In this era of fractured online existence and rampant individualism, his humble, behind-the-scenes approach is exactly what the scene needs.
On RA.797, Venning steps out of the shadows and into the spotlight. This two-hour mix—twice as long as his usual club sets—is DJ Pitch turned up to 11, with classics and cheeky edits alongside a wealth of music, some of it unreleased, by the artists in his orbit. There's also new music of his own, including the world premiere of a UK garage remix of "Seven Nation Army." Does he pull it off? Dive in and find out.
What have you been up to recently?
I've been enjoying some time off over the summer from training to be an architect before entering into my final year of study. Making the most of London in the summer—skating, seeing friends and a bit of fishing.
I've also used my downtime to write some more club-focused music following the release of my debut album in July—with some of these tracks appearing in varying forms of completion in this mix. Alongside this I've been working on the release schedule for my labels TT and All Centre and have played at a couple of parties in and around the city.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The bulk of the mix was recorded at home in Peckham on my housemates Pioneer XDJ-700s and Allen & Heath XONE:DB4. I then took the mix into Ableton to overlay some extra tracks so that at certain points I could have two club tracks playing while a third vocal sits on top.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
After such a long time away from the club I wanted to record something that shows how I'd approach playing a two-hour set in a club. I rarely DJ for longer than an hour and wanted to use this opportunity to build a mix over a longer period of time that shows what my style has changed and what stayed the same. Continuing to shine a light on new and unreleased music from the wide range of artists I work with while also using it as an opportunity to work in new music from myself that sometimes sounds at odds to these sounds. As it's a club-focussed set, I've also included a handful of recent favourites, classics and tracks I discovered over lockdown.
The mix includes your remix of "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes. What inspired this? What's the reaction on the dance floor?
Months ago I was listening to a podcast where [XL boss] Richard Russell was talking about Jack White and it (unsurprisingly) put "Seven Nation Army" in my head and I came up with the idea of flipping it into a garage remix—simply because it would be funny and I figured it would resonate with people in the club. I quickly decided it was a bad idea and shelved it but it kept on coming up in my mind, so much so that I decided it was actually a good idea and decided to make it. This podcast is its first outing but I'm looking forward to testing it out in the clubs over the coming weeks now that I've got a decent WIP of it.
You're training to be an architect. Walk us through your ideal club layout and design.
For me the ideal space is about 150-200 capacity, leaving plenty of space for people to move so it would be quite compact in its design. I'm not opposed to dancers all facing the DJ but would prefer for at least equal emphasis to be put on the dance floor and DJ, rather than what dance floors tend towards at the moment (everyone facing one direction). The easiest move to achieve this would be to put the DJ booth in the centre of the dance floor, but ideally I'd elevate it and move it into a corner of the room almost like a nest. Similarly, I'd prefer to have the bar as a mezzanine that floats above part of the floor rather than it all being on one level.
What are you up to next?
Between now and the end of September I'm going to be finishing off a lot of the music I've written since I finished the album, as well as getting my teeth into a few exciting collaborations that I've been wanting to work on for a while. I'll also spend this time finalising plans for TT and All Centre in 2022. I'm hoping that both platforms can fall into a regular release and events schedule after a couple of years of disruption.
Once that's all out the way, I'll be back to a particularly intense nine-month period of studying, using my downtime to write my second album that I'm hoping to have ready for release in 2022.
Organ Tapes - ?????
Yo la tengo - Saturday
SHE Spells Doom - Rudnick
DJ Pitch - Kids With Guns
DJ Meddle - Scania ft. endongo fm & taxikick
Lara Sarkissian - In The Form of a Sphinx
Sasha - Tet Offensive
noctilucents - intrusive
Overmono - BMW Track
Paul Simon - Call Me Al (Architect Remix)
DJ Pitch - Steady
DJ Pitch - Divine Thumbnail
Honeydrip - Brand New Flava ft. King Shadrock
Air Max ‘97 - Eat The Rich
diessa - Fuck Me
hmurd- Cornifer's Song (ft. Emile Frankel)
Junior XL - Orbit
Holloway - Untitled
Maya Q - ??????
Twinsen - They Come Alive In The Darkness (Ian DPM Remix)
BFTT - KEEPLIES
VRBA - OHY
Ausschuss - NK Drift
DÆMON & Cassius Select- Tongues
aircode - Few Steps
Simkin - See U
m.kwas - Hi Bbygirl
Lara Sarkissian - BTWN Earth n Sky [aya Grounded Dub]
DJ Pitch - 23 Rooty
lc - stepper rework
Lighght - walk it off (Take 2)
COLDX£ - DONE OVR
Endless Mow - Articulated Nose
DJ Pitch - Kia Rip
DJ Pitch - Garage Nation Army
FIRST CIRCLE X MISHTI - DO IT
Sobolik - Theatre
Bianca Scout - PRIVATE PARTY
Refreshers - Way U Smile
Jennifer Walton - Flash On (ft. BFTT) - Flash On (Breaks Mix)
Cartier God - In Da Mood (feat. Diamonds On My Dick)
Kat Nzingha - Honey
DETENTE - Faith
Dizzee Rascal - Brand New Day