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Interview

My Digital Enemy launch Zulu Records and start planning a second imprint

By Brittany Gaston
mde

Brighton, UK-based producers Kieron McTernan and Serg Hall have been popping out releases as My Digital Enemy since 2006, with hits like “Wasted” (and its amazing Lys remix) becoming staples in many house heads’ music libraries. Fast-forward to today, and the duo is still creating anthems, but for a whole new batch of house fans.

Last year, the boys had a string of successful releases like “Got To Be Strong” and “New Sensation,” both of which held steady on the Beatport house charts for multiple weeks.

Of course, they haven’t just been cooped up in the studio. They’ve also launched their own label, Zulu Records, which promises to deliver uplifting and memorable tribal grooves for years to come. What do McTernan and Hall have up their sleeve for 2013? Outside of releases on Munich’s Great Stuff Recordings, there are talks of a Zulu night in their hometown. We caught up with the two to talk about running a label, their latest Beatport Mixes, and their chart-topping hits.

Tell me about your mix up on Beatport, named after your single “New Sensation.” How does it feel to have that much support given by the public?

Keiron McTernan: It’s always so rewarding to see people supporting our work. “New Sensation” is one of our favorite productions to date, and it’s great that we have had so much DJ support on the track.

The mix itself seems to give a nod to the early days of house, while giving us your trademark tribal vibes. Was there a certain approach that you entered this project with? Does the finished product differ from your original plan?

Sergei Hall: With “New Sensation,” we really set out to do exactly that. Deep house has become massive recently, and we wanted to draw the deep elements into our sound. We used an organ bass sound to give it the old-school vibe. This also gave it a classic ’90s sound, which everyone seems to love! We always add tribal elements to the groove of our tracks, and this has become trademark sound for our productions.

Speaking of tribal, you just launched Zulu Records last year. Is there a meaning behind why the label is named that? What does Zulu Records pride itself on?

KM: All house music is based on the original tribal grooves which were born in Africa. We called the label Zulu as a direct reference to that. As well as having a fat groove, all Zulu tracks have to be uplifting and memorable. We pride ourselves on all our releases. We never put anything out that we are not 100% on. The quality of our releases is paramount to us, and we won’t sacrifice it for anything!

What plans or prospects do you have for Zulu in 2013? Do you have your eyes set on any artists?

SH: We have signed some amazing tracks to kick off 2013. Our first release of 2013 is My Digital Enemy Hear No Evil, which is currently climbing the Beatport house chart faster than any other release so far!

Next up, we have a massive main-room track from Benny Royal and Etienne Ozborne called “Can You Feel It,” with an Abel Ramos remix.

After that, an amazing rework of Liquid’s “Sweet Harmony” by Will Gold and Reworked Robot, which we are massively excited about as it is one of our favorite tracks from the ’90s! We are big fans of DJ Chus, David Penn, Mark Knight, Manuel De La Mare, and Luigi Rocca, so to have any of them on Zulu would be amazing!

What plans or prospects do you have for MDE in 2013?

KM: We spent a lot of 2012 in the studio and running the label. This year we would like to get out and tour more! That doesn’t mean we will be slowing down on our productions. We will just have to work twice as hard!

Do you want MDE and Zulu Records to be mutually exclusive? Or do you want MDE to be (or embody) Zulu Records—or vice versa?

SH: We see MDE as being part of Zulu. We used our production skills to push the label through releasing our original tracks or MDE remixes of tracks that we signed, and it worked! The label seems to have taken off and now we are planning a tech-house sister label called Vudu! You heard it here first! We still work for other labels, as in this industry it is very competitive and it is good to be seen on other labels to boost your overall DJ profile.

What’s been the biggest thing you’ve had to get used to in the transformation of “artist” to “artist/label frontmen”

KM: Deadlines! [laughs] When running a label you have to work to a timetable to ensure each release has the best chance of success.