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Paul Masterton- Belfast's Child On Yomanda, Ultra Nate and Staying Free

Author: Jonty Adderley
Monday, June 2, 2003
"When I make records I tend to create a mix of all my favourite records. This version I've done of Ultra Nate's song is like Storm meets Darude meets Yomanda."

Having recently released his Hi-Gate double album Split Personality (created with his long-term collaborator and friend Judge Jules), London Irish producer Paul Masterton has now returned to his most successful solo persona Yomanda to rework Ultra Nate's 1997 Balearic anthem Free.

"I can't remember the first exact time I heard it, but it's one of those tracks that you think 'My God'," says Paul.

"It's quite funny because the strings section from the first Yomanda track (Synth & Strings) was taken from Dance Yourself Dizzy by Liquid Gold, which is my absolute all time favourite disco record. I'm hoping to have another big hit this time sampling my all time favourite vocal record."

Chatting to Skrufff's Jonty Adderley in his Highgate studio this week, the Irish producer revealed he developed his cut and paste approach when producing with hard house diva Rachel Auburn in 1994,when the pair worked together as The Candy Girls.

"The Candy Girls' music was almost a combination of Felix, Jay X and Tony De Vit all mixed together," said Paul.

"I always take influences from other records and put them altogether in a big melting pot. With Free, I took the chorus line; 'You're free to do what you want to do' and rather than do a full song, which I thought would turn it too commercial and too cheesy, turned it into a trance, or rather New Energy version".

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): You're Free has a simple but strong message, how much did you identify with it-

Paul Masterton: "Having been brought up in Belfast as an only child, I was always a sort of loner at school, I never really mingled and played sport with the lads, I was always at the back of the class with the asthmatics. I suppose I can identify with the song because when I left to come to England, I found myself free to do what I want to do, to go out and be myself. I had one good friend at secondary school and he was pretty much the same as me, quite quiet and artistic and he hated sport with a passion. We hung around and used to sit on the wall at lunchtime talking about music."

Skrufff: Which part of Belfast did you grow up-

Paul Masterton: "I grew up on the Falls Road which is notorious in the history of the Troubles but it's quite strange, I never actually witnessed anything bad. We lived in a quiet part of the Falls Road, then after I did my 11+ (school exam) we moved to an even quieter place. I do remember in the late 70s once, waking up at six in the morning when they were doing the binlids (banging dustbin lids) but that's my main memory of anything connected with that situation. I never took much interest in the Troubles, to be honest, and I don't know whether that's because I was too much into my music, it just didn't interest me."

Skrufff: Were there certain areas you wouldn't go to-

Paul Masterton: "I grew up in the West, which is a Catholic area, on the Falls Road in Andersons Town and yeah, I wouldn't venture into protestant areas, places like the Shankhill Road, for example. I was told not to walk up there, because you wouldn't know what could happen. But I stayed in my own little corner of Belfast. I think it's connected to me being an only child and a bit of a loner, I wasn't the type of kid that went astray with mates, I was just a weird lonely child, I didn't venture out. I just stayed at home, played with my toys and listened to music. I think that's probably something to do with why I didn't have a troubled teenage life, getting into loads of mischief and venturing into the wrong side of town, because I wasn't that type."

Skrufff: When did you start playing music-

Paul Masterton: "When I was about seven or eight I had to go to a childminder and she had a Bontempi keyboard organ, the one where the wind comes out the back. So I was cons