Interview: PROK & FITCH

14 November 2013 - - - The DJ List


Since forming six years ago, Brighton based production duo PROK & FITCH have taken the House world by storm. Ranging from Tech to Progressive to House, Prok & Fitch's dynamic DJ sets are becoming highly sought across the globe. Productions boast a multitude of A-list DJ's and producers, having worked with KRAAK & SMAAK, TODD TERRY, ROGER SANCHEZ, LAIDBACK LUKE and MOBY, with their tracks gaining support from well-respected DJ's MARK KNIGHT, AXWELL, CARL COX and FEDDE LE GRAND.

Hotly tipped as one of Toolroom's "future stars", Prok & Fitch return to the label with a welcome edition in the Toolroom Knights catalogue. Pure peak-time House featuring warm, rolling basslines, rock solid rhythms and unmistakable vocals. Boasting the works of Mark Knight, TOM STAAR, Kraak & Smaak, JAY LUMEN, ADRIAN HOUR and showcasing an impressive 10 exclusive tracks from the musical workings of MY DIGITAL ENEMY, RUBEN MANDOLINI, FILTHY RICH & Prok & Fitch.

Jam-packed with 30 massive tunes, an essential full-length DJ mix and a number of handpicked Toolroom classics spanning a multitude of genres, 'Toolroom Knights Mixed By Prok & Fitch' is a true reflection of the duo's mixing mastery and technical creativeness and is a sure-sell for Toolroom and Prok & Fitch fans the world over. We got a chance to sit down with them about their latest album on Toolroom Records.

How did you two get introduced to dance music?

James: I was living in Spain at the time of the acid house explosion. I was 12 at the time and my brother used to go to all these clubs in Madrid bringing tapes back the DJ had given him. I used to nick them off him when he wasn't around and record them, then spend hours in my room with my headphones on wondering what it would be like to hear the music in a club. I became obsessed with the music and have craved it ever since. I fortunately had my bike stolen when I was 16... the insurance money paid for my first set of decks. That said, I'd been wiring up my dad's CD decks to a cheap mixer since I was 14.

Ben: I've been into dance music from a very young age, apparently raving it up to the sounds of madness in my highchair. Getting into house music through the legendary Sterns, then started putting on a few parties in and around where I grew up, renting village hall and blagging marquees. It was all a little time consuming so the next step was getting behind the decks."

We had both been DJing separately and James producing, long before we met 7 years ago. James had spent the majority of his time living & playing around Valencia & mainland Spain. Where as I spent two summers playing In Ibiza, then a 4 year Residency at The Honey Club. Although we were playing to completely different crowds, we both knew how to get the dance floor going, James playing more peak time house and myself playing slightly deeper.

What or who is your biggest musical influence?

Daft Punk without a doubt paved the way for electronic music as we know it, amazing producers & a huge inspiration to both of us.

What is the story behind your aliases?

Unfortunately, no story behind this—Ben Prokopowicz and James Fitchett—Prok & Fitch rolls of the tongue a little better.

How did you meet each other?

Ben: I used to work in BPM Records in Brighton, James used to be in a lot buying tracks. I knew he was producing music as his track 'Pass The Funk' was doing the business in the shop. I'd always wanted to get into production, so had a chat with him to see if he fancied redoing 'Outro Lugar' - he was also a big fan of the track, so the next step was the studio.

Describe to us your sound.

Groovy peak time house, made for the dance floor. Good grooves, some vocals here and there and more organic sounds. We think people have become a bit obsessive about genres, unfortunately it pigeon holes you in something for a certain public, when really a lot of the time it's very accessible to lots of different people! We call what we play house, yet if you put the tracks we play in to genres they cover everything: House, Tech & Progressive.

Talk to us about your newest album on Toolroom Records.

Were very excited about the release of this one, It was really important to us that the compilation flowed and was a true reflection of our sound. Our aim was to get as many quality exclusives as possible, whilst trying to avoid recycling old Material. Was a great excuse to lock ourselves in the studio and get loads of new tracks finished. There’s five exclusives from us Including collaborations with My Digital Enemy, Filthy Rich and SIMON DOTY, a STELLA remix from MARCO LYS of one of our first Toolroom releases “Freak Show”. Dope Drop, is a brand new one of us, seems to be quite a bit of hype around this one, getting some wicked reactions on the dance floor too.
And also plenty of exclusive tracks from the likes of MARIO OCHOA, Ruben Mandolini, Vlada Assasin, Koen Groenvel, ED BRUMWELL and HEATH HOLME

We really enjoyed ‘Diva’ with Simon Doty. Talk to us about that.

Thanks, it’s been a big record for us in our sets. Whenever we have a Canadian Tour that involves a few days off, we always head to Calgary and spend a few days in the studio with Simon Doty, he’s extremely talented and definitely a name to watch out for.

What inspired you two to produce ‘Dope Drop’?

As we were working on so many exclusive productions for the album, we wanted them all to be different and not compete with each other. Guess that’s the beauty of producing an EP/album. We were inspired by the massive basement house/garage sound here in the UK, we wanted to make something that would have elements to appeal to that crowd, but naturally giving it our own spin.

What has been your most memorable gig so far this year?

Making our debut for Sensation a massive career highlight for us, neither of us had been to a Sensation before playing, amazing show & had never seen anything like the level of production that we experienced there. It’s great to be a part of it.

Bonus Question: What has been your most embarrassing moment in your career?

We were in Russia few years ago doing a gig and when we got to the hotel (in the middle of nowhere) in some town you'd never of head of, we checked in and we're both pretty desperate to get some rest before the gig, also pretty desperate for a nice toilet as well, as we'd been travelling all day. Lights off head down—'bang'! The toilet exploded and the room soon filled up with various liquid and solid material, the receptionist was screaming in Russian (we don't know what) and we were quickly escorted to another room, after wading through. The moral of the story is—if you go to Russia, shit out the window!!

Be sure to follow them on their socials to keep up-to-date:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | YouTube

About the Author

Caleb Lau
adrian hour axwell carl cox fedde le grand filthy rich heath holme jay lumen kraak & smaak laidback luke mario ochoa mark knight moby my digital enemy prok & fitch roger sanchez stella todd terry marco lys tom staar ruben mandolini ed brumwell simon doty

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