Back from a hot summer, Dirt Crew Recordings are presenting this great new release by Steve Mill who truly captures the sun and warmth in these new jams for us. The Greek-born artist who lives between Berlin and Thessaloniki just released his ‘The Mistake EP’ on Tensnake’s own True Romance label where we could already hear his soulful and groovey disco-infused sound.
The opener ‘Love Attack’ is a real “good times” tune with catchy vocal snips and a badass funky arpeggio bass line topped with spaced-out strings and pads, this one reminds us a lot of Krystal Klear material and Lorenz Rhode. Saying that, we could not think of anyone better than him to take on this tune and drawing the inspiration to create his own super-funked-up version! As always all parts are played and recorded live in his Cologne studio with the same hot summer vibes on this one as well! You can find the vox version on vinyl and an instrumental as bonus digital track to get your party really started. On repeat!
‘Make Me Feel’ featuring the Berlin-based vocalist Tee Amara has disco flavors all over it and is just an irresistible house tune, majestic and soulful. Followed by the slow and developing ‘Next to You’ that’s steadily building towards a crescendo “heaven” gem, much in the tradition of disco edits from back in the 80s. It reminded us a lot of our old Ben La Desh records we put out some good 10 years ago. Maybe this one is our personal fave, for sure a tune you could drop on any floor: disco, electro or house.
Get in the groove with Steve and Lorenz and be surprised with a truly funky, groovy and above all positive vibes-only release to reminiscent the summer time.
You can now listen to the full premiere of Lorenz Rhode’s remix while reading the interview we had with Steve exclusively on When We Dip. Enjoy!
WWD: Really great to talk to you Steve. How are you doing?
Hey hey, not bad, a lot of travelling recently and now will spend time back to base for some weeks. Gearing up for ADE! Hope you are well team and thanks for having me!
WWD: Are you’re living in Berlin these days right?
No, I moved back with my family 2 years ago, right after the pandemic hit. We had a newborn daughter and we felt safer around extended family. We ended up staying in Greece at the end. I spent 4 years in the UK, between 2011-2015. London was my first (out of the two!) explorations abroad!
WWD: What made you leave Greece originally?
That was my desire to explore my artistic path and what the world might hold for me out there! It ended up bringing me a fantastic professional career along with my artistic endeavours.
WWD: There seems to be quite a scene going on in Greece and the islands right now. Do you get back to play at all?
Indeed, I mean, Greece has always been a very popular touristic destination, but with people travelling more and more, there is a lot more party explorers travelling too, so the scene on the islands is trying to please the demand! Funny, I’m writing this piece while I’m actually on a plane travelling back to Thessaloniki, after playing 2 gigs in Crete! Beautiful place to visit on the second half of September, first half of October. Not many parties though, the fun is in July and August (if you can bare the crowds!)
WWD: Where did you grow up? What was the music scene like there for you in your teens?
I grew up in the north of Greece, in the city called Thessaloniki. Teenage years were fun, we were patiently waiting for the radio (or TV!) to announce the next guest DJs in the local clubs. I feel like I’m revealing my age but yes, I’m close to 40 now and didn’t have a computer until I was 18. The internet was a luxury, accessible only in Internet cafes! So when we heard on the radio that people like Harry Romero or Armand Van Helden would come to town, we were thrilled and pretended we were adults to try and get in. Obviously, we mostly failed! It was fun, good memories were made and a lot of lessons learned.
WWD: How long have you been working in music?
I’ve been releasing music for 17 years now, and working in managerial jobs in the industry for more than 10.
WWD: I guess your first step was collecting music. What were some of the first records you bought? Where did you buy them from?
Indeed, started buying vinyl around 16 I think, very expensive hobby! Right of the top of my head, I remember buying records from Onions, Robbie Rivera, some Spen and Karizma goldies on Defected and a lot of Bob Sinclar! I would visit all the local record stores, trying to find the right thing that would be worth the 15euros I could afford to spend per week, for records.
WWD: When did you first start to DJ?
Started at the age of 15 in bars and pop up school parties. I would try as much as possible to play the sound I used to like, the music that I bought on CDs and vinyl, but it was tough. In my early 20s I went the mainstream way, because that used to make me money, but eventually, when I put my first “serious” record out, l stopped.
WWD: What was your first release?
On a digital label from USA, called Fiberline Audio. Not sure they still exist. 2005 or 2006 that was.
WWD: What has been your most impactful release in your opinion?
The thing that put me on the map in the late 00’s was my inclusion in Hernan Cattaneo’s Sequential 2 compilation. That was in 2007, released in Renaissance. Since then, I’ve had numerous stuff that made some noise. Releasing on Nick Warren’s Balance compilation a few years later, signing for Kerri Chandler’s Madhouse in 2011, up to nowadays, striking deals with True Romance and Dirt Crew.
WWD: What release do you think was great and went under the radar.
A remix for Jeff Bennett comes to mind, for his label 10 years ago. Another amazing single that came out on Echonomist’s label, like 5 years ago. He also remixed it, killer tune!
WWD: You’ve put out on some pretty cool labels over the years. There’s been a fair few releases on Large. How did you first hook up with this mighty label?
I have been a fan of Large Music since I remember myself, being a House music head. At some point, in 2012 while living in London, I started writing some House stuff, very influenced by the local Garage scene. Eventually, “Fizzy” happened, I sent it to Jeff Craven (the owner) and he loved it. The rest came out easily, I was inspired so I delivered great music. Me and Jeff clicked since then, he’s been a great inspiration on my House music journey.
WWD: You’ve also released on Kerri Chandler’s Madhouse, how did you get signed to the label?
I was working on a lot of music the time before I moved to London. Eventually I made something I was confident to send to the label. They had just put out a Tony Lionni record at that time, I loved it and I got even more motivated to send them my work. The A&R loved it and signed it. We had some fruitful back and forth feedback exchange and I delivered some more records the next few years which they put out and they did great. I remember once Kerri saying that my record reminded him of Inner City, which was a huge compliment. He was referring to Nobody, featuring Keisher Downie. Eventually, on my last year in London, I got the job of managing Madhouse. Working directly with Kerri and sending him music for feedback created a powerful connection. So much music knowledge and understanding in one person. We’ve stayed close since then
WWD: You went out to manage the label for him right? How was that experience for you? Is there something that you will always carry with you from that time?
Indeed, it was a huge accomplishment to be offered this position by Kerri and his team. I held it not for long, just 1.5 year, but I learned a lot, I connected with so many amazing artists and helped them develop their work and eventually releasing with Madhouse. I remember signing records from La Fleur, CASSIMM, The Checkup and a lot of other talented people. Kerri once texted me, we had just put out an Amsterdam VA compilation, hitting the no1 spot on some digital stores, he was like “that’s what I’m talking about, great job”! Anytime Kerri would give me kudos, I’d be a happy man. Such a legend!
WWD: You’ve had various roles within the industry over the years. Can you tell us what you do at Beatport?
Currently I am part of the Artist Services team, working with artists in order to do features for us. Like Instagram interviews, takeovers, written Q&A’s on Beatportal, our editorial website, content for TikTok.. and a lot more. So it’s a lot of communication directly with them as well as their teams and a hell lot of admin work! But it pays back when you see some of your favourite artists showing their amazing work on our network and getting so much recognition. I love it!
WWD: In your role you get to hear a stack of up front stuff. Who do you think is making great music just now?
Enduro Disco I love, Crackazat I love, Lorenz Rhode and Tensnake too! From newer talent, I really like Dasco, Athlete Whippet, Makez, and ANOTR amongst others.
WWD: Do you think that the vinyl record industry still has a place and a future?
Absolutely, the more we’re moving towards the digital space, the more people will want to collect tangible products.
WWD: I guess there will always be collectors of vinyl. What was the last record you bought?
Definitely still collecting records that I really want to have in my case. I bought an old Robbie Rivera just recently, track is called “Come With Me”. I go on the online stores quite regularly and I add things on my bag.
WWD: Your next release is due out on Dirt Crew. How did you hook up with the label? Have you been a fan of the label over the years?
Not just a fan, but a HUGE one. I ve been buying the label’s records for many many years and its an honour to be signed by them. I have been in close touch with Peter for years, eventually I sent him some of my music and he helped a lot with his A&R input. The rest just happened naturally.
WWD: Talk us through the Love Attack EP a little please Steve..
It started when I wrote “Make Me Feel”, using my MPC, where I programmed and then recorded the chords. I then sent the idea to Tee Amara, a very talented Spanish singer songwriter who lives in Berlin. She came back with plenty of ideas, which I then put in my MPC (again!) and started chopping and sampling and creating lines (Todd Edwards style!). Peter loved the track and with a bit of back and forth, we shaped the final result. Then “Love Attack” happened. I had written the arpeggios already but then I couldn’t find the right drums. Until I bumped into this big, 80’s kinda snare. This changed the whole track and I was like, “Yes! This is how it should sound. Gerd Janson, Krystal Klear style” Finally, “Next To You” was a bonus addition that Peter loved!
WWD: Lorenz Rhode is quite a talent to have on board. Tell us about his involvement on the release.
Peter and I were thinking whether we should add a remixer on the package. Peter suggested Lorenz, I of course agreed with the idea because I love his work. He then sent us the first draft and that was it. His keys took the track to a whole new level, super funky and disco-y. This guy is so talented, I didn’t have a single doubt he would deliver something amazing. We’ve also prepared a nice studio jam with him playing the track live! It should be live on the internet already.
WWD: What other projects are you working on right now that you can share?
Hm, I have a single coming out on my own label, Simples with remixes from Crackazat, Piem, Brabe and a bonus version from myself and I m also working on the music to release next year already.
WWD: When you’re not working on music what do you like to do with you time?
Cook and play outdoors with my daughter <3
WWD: Really great to talk to you Steve. Thank you!
Likewise peeps, thanks for having me 🙂
Release Date: October 7th, 2022. Buy Here