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Miguel Migs interview - Salty House

Author: Stuart Evans
Saturday, 29 October 2005
Is Naked Music really in demise- Will Salted take the reigns as the new Mecca for deep house- Stuart Evans chats to Miguel Migs to find out more.

If someone told you to get naked, how would you choose to interpret the information- Would you feel a sense of embarrassment and a slight blushing of the cheeks- Or are you an extrovert who would gladly tear off your attire in the name of fun-

What goes through your mind-

The word 'naked' conjures up a variety of images for our minds to turnover and process, but for dance music enthusiasts it can only mean one thing - Naked Music.

If one man has empowered dance music to be diverse, accolades must surely be thrown Miguel Migs's way. Migs has previously stated that regardless of the classification of the house genre, be it down-tempo or broken beat, he plays it on one condition.

"It has to have a soulful edge. A real soulful edge which carries emotion," he says. "From a label perspective, you have to remain open minded to different music and different styles. But if it's got soul and funk then I can really appreciate it."

He says that he loves to DJ and entertain the people in front of him by keeping his sets "fresh" and "not playing the same thing all the time." His ethos on DJing is infectious, which is perhaps why he is one of America's most sought after house producers and DJs. After all these years, he retains his passion for djing with vigour.

"Sometimes you get really great gigs and it reminds me of what music is all about. Those gigs don't happen every weekend but I enjoy the response I get from the crowd. Usually it's phenomenal."

Djing aside, he's the founder of the hugely influential Naked Music label which inspired many others to replicate his successful formula. Naked Music, the San Francisco based label, is known for its soul laden, laid back productions which Migs has been instrumental in bringing to the forefront. He's discreet in his achievements, putting out in excess of 100 original records and remixes on a range of high end labels. Migs seems blessed with the ability that whatever wax he touches, it always turns to good fortune as the records always make their way into the key decision makers' record boxes and play lists.

Migs has often been quoted as calling his sound "down-tempo", a phrase which has taken on its own brand in many a way. Leveraging off the Naked Music concept, both he and the label carved out a niche market that soon multiplied - quickly. Migs acknowledges that the rise of Naked Music was far quicker than he anticipated.

With Naked Music now richly cemented in dance music's nostalgia vaults, a new challenge is awaiting the deep house guru. Salted, his new record label, is hoping to follow in the footsteps of its older sibling. Salted is a mere junior in record label terms. The label commenced in 2004 as a foundation and conduit for him to release the records that "inspire him". He says that the label is his way of staying fresh.

"It's been cool as it's a new vehicle and new creative outlet. There is no master plan to Salted as I wanted an outlet where I could release my own compilations and productions."

Despite lamenting the fact that setting up Salted has taken up a lot of time, energy and focus, he still likes the unplanned approach in direction. Naked Music was formed with a clear vision, and that same vision is hoped to juxtapose to the newest member of the Migs record label family. "Naked Music was formed to release forward thinking music. Music from a diverse roster of up and coming artists," he says.

With his energy being placed into Salted, does this mean the end for Naked Music and is talk of its demise exaggerated- "I still work with the label (Naked Music), but just wanted to start something new and fresh," Migs diplomaticially replies.

He adds that Naked Music is more album based, focusing on artist's material rather than singles.
"They've gone in a different direction," he says. "But<
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