The wait is over! The London duo unveil their new album The House Of X-Press 2
Morning boys. How was Christmas and New Years then, where was the party?
"Christmas was fairly quiet, we both spent it with family. New Year's Eve we DJ'd at the W Hotel in Wardour Street. We played alongside Robert Owens, Terry Farley and Mutiny. Was an excellent party. New Year's Day we went down to Horse Meat Disco which was, as always, completely amazing. They had John Morales playing, he of the M&M mixes fame."
The new album ‘The House Of X-Press 2’ is out next week on Skint Records with some mighty fine collaborations. Talk us through this most excellent long player, how hard was it to choose your guests?
"It wasn't hard to choose them at all really. We're fans of everyone that we've worked with first and foremost. It's then just a question of making contact and hoping that they're interested enough to work on the project, which, thankfully, they all were! Initially we didn't set out to make an album, there was no great plan. We were just putting tracks together, then realised that we had built up quite a body of work again, so the guys at Skint suggested putting it all together. I guess there is a bit of a vibe to the whole piece. We would like to think that it's just straight up, honest, traditional house music. Taking in lots of different influences. The sounds of New York, Chicago, Berlin and London are all represented. We were also watching the movie Paris Is Burning when we were away touring during the time we were writing tracks. It was this that inspired the name, The House of X-Press 2."
How long did the album take to complete?
We started work on 'Time' and 'This Is War' around two or three years ago, but I guess we decided we were going to make an album some time in 2010, so around a year of concentrated work."
Which vocalists have so far escaped your grasp for a collaboration?
"You know what, we've been really lucky in that, everyone that we've asked has said yes. I think it helps massively when you can call up and say, "We're those guys that did the track with David Byrne."
What is each other’s forte in the studio, who is best at what?
"Neither of us have any technical skills, so it's just ideas that we bring to the studio. Always trawling back through our record collections for inspiration and vibes. Although Rocky has almost finished an online Ableton course so, who knows, things may change!"
What are your current top 10 you are bashing out?
1 X-Press feat. Roland Clark - Let Love Decide
2 Kevin Saunderson pres. Inner City - Future. Kenny Larkin Tension Mix
3 Maceo Plex - Under The Sheets
4 Marcel Ei Gio - In The Blood
5 Maya Jane Coles - Parallel Worlds
6 Tim Deluxe - Transformation
7 X-Press 2 feat. Alison Limerick - In The Blood
8 Agoria feat. Scalde - Singing. Dixon Mix
9 Aril Brikha - Palma
10 X-Press 2 feat. Doll - This Is War. KiNK Remix
What do you think of the current state of house music?
"It's absolutely brilliant. We were having this discussion when we were recording our radio show this week. We play 2 hours of brand new music every 7 days and to be honest we could probably play 4. That just shows the amount of great music that's being made right now."
What is the greatest single X-Press 2 have brought to the dancefloor?
"'Lazy' aside, I think it would have to be 'Muzik Xpress'. That record is 20 years old this year and still works. I remember when we made it, we had this conversation along the lines of, 'wouldn't it be great if we could make a track that still sounds good in a years time.'"
When was the last time your turned to your mate in a club and mouthed to them ‘what the fuck is this tune?’
"Probably the last time I was in a club. So HMD New Years Day. It pretty much happens every time I go out to be honest."
Has there been a moment over the years when you saw the way dance music was going and thought, I can’t be arsed with this anymore?
"Absolutely not. That's what we love about this music, it's constantly changing and evolving. Someone will come along and put a slightly different edge on whats gone before and in so doing, create a whole new sound. We love it!!"
Looking forward to this, we come back to yours after the club for an X-Press 2 Back To Mine party – what are the big 10 non house tunes you slip us?
1 Ifan Dafydd - Treehouse
2 Michael Kiwanuka - Tell Me A Tale
3 The Young Delegation - I'll Keep Holdin' On
4 Ashanti Waugh - People In The Ghetto Suffering
5 Pinch & Shackleton - Monks On The Rum
6 The Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio
7 The Weekend - What You Want
8 James Blake Vs Trim - On The Road
9 Linda Evans - I Am Gold
10 Pedro Iturralde/Paco De Lucia - Cancion Del Fuego Fatuo
Not many people know this, but X-Press 2 are really good at?
What is the best album ever made?
"Stevie's Songs In The Key Of Life."
Craziest Ibiza story you’d rather forget?
"What's that phrase about the 60s, "If you can remember them, you weren't there?" I think the same applies to Ibiza."
Looking back over the last 25 years, what club nights stand out from the rest?
"Shoom. Basics. Yellow Book. DC10. Sound Factory. Danny's Miami parties. Mexican Jungle after parties. Boys Own. 100s of others that we can't think of right now too."
What is each other’s most annoying habit?
"We're both perfectionists."
Back in the early 90s I was on the floor (literally) at your Yellow Book residency at The Rock Garden in London’s Covent Garden. Very messy. What tunes from that era spring to mind?
1 Jestofunk - I'm Gonna Love You
2 Pet Shop Boys - So Hard (Red Zone Mix)
3 Diana Ross - I'm Coming Out
4 Bunny Wailer - Back To School
5 St Etienne - Only Love Can Break Your Heart
6 Lupo - Hell Or Heaven
7 Chris Cuevas - Hip Hop (MAW Dub Mix)
8 TC 1991 - Berry
9 Snap - The Cult Of Snap
10 Deepstate II - Eveybody Get Down (Tribal Chant Mix)
It’s your birthdays. What 3 DJs dead or alive do you both choose to rock the Kasbah?
"Larry Levan. Alfredo circa '86. Junior Vasquez circa '94."
And finally messrs Rock and House, what’s next on the agenda for 2012?
"Two more albums. One straight up X-Press 2 and a second a little more listening based. Continue with the radio show at Ministry of Sound radio. Loads of DJing and touring and to continue doing what we love most, just being involved in house music."
X-PRESS 2 release their highly anticipated new album 'The House Of X-Press 2' on Skint Records on the 23rd January 2012. It's an album jam-packed with top to toe collaborations with some of today's finest musical talent, such as JAMES YUILL, ROLAND CLARK, DOLL (DOLL & THE KICKS), AMBER JOLENE, ROB HARVEY, ROLAND CLARKE and many more...all done in irreplaceable eclectic X-Press 2 style.
Listen and stream the album here: http://soundcloud.com/skintrecords/sets/the-house-of-x-press-2/s-X043m