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Brian Tappert Interview: Work on Wax

Author: Stuart Evans
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
As the head of the respected 'Soulfuric' Imprint, Brian Tappert is one of hte world's leading exponents of house.

Being one half of world renowned remix team Jazz-N-Groove Productions, Brian Tappert's place in dance music needs little introduction. Originally from New Jersey, he started DJing in 1984, finding his love of soulful sounds through Tony Humphries' Kiss FM radio show. By the early '90s he began to explore the production side to his passion of house music and it wasn't too long before the conveyer belt of quality tracks began to attract attention of the majors.

Under many and various guises (including Urban Blues Project and The Cleptomaniacs), Tappert has accomplished much to be admired. But in 1996 he made the decision to change his career path. 'Soulfuric Records' was born and a new chapter in dance music had begun. Based in Florida and initiated by Tappert and fellow producer Marc Pomeroy, 'Soulfuric Records' has grown from a relatively small label into one of the most respected and well known imprints the world over.

He's a proud exponent of the soulful house sound and has developed from a local nightclub spinner to one of the most respected DJs around. Rather than just mix records together for the sake of it, his style is more in keeping with mixing the old with the new and always surprising the crowd for the next twist and turn. But it's not just his DJing skills that warrant a mention. He is known for methodically creating drum programs, producing and remixing, in fact it's little wonder why he's known as a perfectionist.

Tappert and 'Soulfuric' have recently teamed up with London's Defected Records' and Switzerland's Purple Music (represented by Simon Dunmore and Jamie Lewis respectively) to launch the new 'Wax Wars' CD. Whilst it may be yet another compilation to add to the shelves, this one encourages the respective labels to battle it out (in a friendly, non aggressive way of course) to make the labels delve back through their back catalogues and showcase their mixing abilities.

This CD is a new concept in taking out the competitive element in house music. How did you feel when you were approached to mix it-
"I was happy with the CD as I believe it's a unique concept."

You were allowed to use your own exclusive catalogue to create your mix. What were your selection criteria for choosing your records-
"For me it's always the same selection criteria, and that's just playing the music I love. In this case the hard part was that I love our entire catalogue, so to only pick enough for one CD was difficult."

The artwork features an amusing Marvel and DC Comics illustration, depicting you all as superheroes. How do you feel about being typecast as Digi Man-
"It's cool really…with our Traxsource venture, it's actually quite fitting. At the end of the day I am not against vinyl in any way as Soulfuric still distributes eight vinyl labels… and we all love vinyl."

You've been a pioneer of DJ downloads. How do you think technology will impact house music in the next couple of years-
"We all believe that the digital market will continue to grow and evolve, but the one thing that is for sure is this: people have decided that downloadable digital formats are what they want, and it seems like it will be here for a while."

Last time you battled with Simon Dunmore (Defected Records) you claimed it was a 'fix'. What's the outcome this time-
"(Laughs) Simon and I are great friends with a long history. It's all in good fun and to be fair… I'm sure he will win the battle once again!"

How has Soulfuric evolved during the past few years-
"Over the years we have had a lot of talented artists and producers come through our camp. I think we have evolved the Soulfuric Records sound about as far as it can go, which is why we are currently working on our new sound."