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 Toolox Interview with Nik Denton Dave Owens & Tim Stokes

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PostSubject: Toolox Interview with Nik Denton Dave Owens & Tim Stokes   Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:23 pm

Taken form Dont Stay In

Label founder and manager and key industry record distributor Ė Nik Denton is a workaholic who eats, sleeps and breathes hard dance. Itís been a dream decade for the independent entrepreneur, whose career began in Southampton more than 10 years ago with DJ residencies at Debauchery and Soap. Renowned as one of the most likeable DJs in the business, Nik has worked his charms on dancefloors at many of the UKís leading nights: Trade, Tidy, Vicious, and Insekt to name a few.

Nikís name is synonymous with Toolbox, which in seven short years has grown from fledgling bedroom label to respected brand leader. The imprint has an impressive back catalogue, now clocking an impressive 50+ releases on the main label and a further 20 on sister labels and white label projects such as Toolbox House and Hammerheads. Nik and Toolbox have worked with the biggest names in the field of hard house: Andy Farley, Paul Glazby, Steve Thomas, Ben Stevens, Dom Sweeten, Justin Bourne, Marc Johnson and Paul Maddox among them.

Dave Owens is well known to hard house fans for his work In the studio with top producers such as Karim, Nik Denton, Marc Johnson, Pierce Rooney, Defective Audio, and Captain Tinrib. Not only is he the engineer of choice to some of the biggest names in hard house, he is also a highly talented producer in his own right, under his own name and various guises like Munkjack (with Frank Farrell), DFO and Curve Pusher.

Through his studio work Dave has been responsible for some of the most exciting and innovative hard house tunes in the last two years. These include modern classics on labels like Vicious, Toolbox, Hammerheads and Flashpoint including 'Hot Tamale', 'Margherita', 'Screw loose', ' Graduate' and his collaboration with Defective Audio 'Macadamia'.

Daveís DJ career took off by the turn of the millennium and over the last few years he has graced the decks at various clubbing institutions such as Insomniacz, Storm, Insekt, and Housewives Choice to name a few.

Tim Stokes is one of the latest additions to the Toolbox stable. Hailing from Birmingham-way his chunky and groovy productions have hit a chord with the hard house fraternity. Tunes like 'Adaware' (Toolbox) and 'Gutterpunk' (with Adam K on Combat) mark out Timís distinctive sound, whilst the amazingly infectious booty of Base Graffitiís classic 'Smash ní Grab' (with CK favourite Riggsy) has been destroying dance floors across the country. Although seemingly bursting onto the scene in the last year Tim has actually been djing and producing for a good few years catching the bug back in 1997 at Bakers in Birmingham. With productions appearing on Toolbox, Combat and his most recent signing to Nukleuz with a cheeky 'Music is Moving' remix Tim Stokes is definitely one to watch!


So letís start with the introductions Ė we know your name but where do you hail from?

Nik: I'm a Southerner living up North. Iím a Southampton lad!

Dave: Originally Santa Clara, California, but currently I hail from Manchester.

Tim: I'm from a place called Stourbridge, near Dudley.

What was the first tune you bought as a dj?

Nik: The Shamen Ė 'Phorever People' or mabe it was The KLF Ė 'Justified and Ancient'. Something like that! One of those two.

Dave: Umm, not sure really. I remember the first vinyl I ever bought was Prodigy Ė 'Breathe' but that was before I had decks. Probably something on Tidy though I imagine.

Tim: It was something on Positiva, erm I think it was Novy vs Eniac - 'Pumpin'.

Whatís been the most unusual request youíve received when behind the decks?

Nik: Speed Garage in the middle of a Hard House set. It makes me really angry!

Dave: R&B, or Hip Hop. They are normally the worst candidates.

Tim: I couldn't hear the guy properly but I'm sure it was a Paul van Dyk track he was asking for.

And the strangest thing you have seen in a club?

Nik: A man walking around with 8 syringes stuck in his back, all half full with blood!

Dave: Luckily I donít think Iíve ever seen anything too traumatising in a club! I must be going to the wrong places.

Tim: At Goodgreef once I saw money all over the floor, but when I went to grab it, it dissolved into the air, was strange hehehe.

Best city for a mad weekend?

Nik: I have all my mad weekends in Manchester, but it used to be London. Leeds is a good one too!

Dave: Bray, Ireland. Best crowds. Best atmosphere and the best club night at Devotion.

Tim: Manchester.

Whatís the most expensive tune you have ever bought, how much did you part with and do you still play it now?

Nik: I donít think Iíve ever paid anything over the top for a record. I did have a CD single stolen of Trigger and Auburn - 'DO IT' Ė and I had to pay about £20.00 for a new one on EBAY! But thatís about it. I still play the De Vit mix.

Dave: Iím cheap so normally I tend to use e-Bay for the £1.99 bargains that no one else wants. Haha.

Tim: If I'm honest I've never parted with more than the normal price for a record. good old Factory Records in Manchester was amazing for picking up rare gems for £3 or so.

Which is your favourite tune that youíve produced, or what tune do you wish you had produced and why?

Nik: My favourite original track is 'Freak Right Out', followed closely by 'SpaceHopper'. If I had to choose a track that I wish I had produced I think I would have to say Knuckleheadz Ė 'Houserocca'. That track always gets me by my balls!

Dave: 'Screw Loose' was the first track signed to Vicious that I had engineered myself, so Iím proudest of that one and still love to play it.

Tim: My most recent production 'Ten Men' is probably my fave I have done. And I really I wish had come up with 'Hocus Pocus' on DNB.

Djing is thirsty work! What drink gets you through?

Nik: Lager Shandy! Iím a bit of a girl when it comes to drinking. Iím always driving anyway, Iím not glamorous enough to have a driver.

Dave: Diet Pepsi, by the bucketload!

Tim: JD & Coke.

What was the last film you watched?

Nik: "Shrooms". It was SHIT, Donít watch it!

Dave: ďThe VillageĒ by M. Night Shyamalan, not very recent but I realised I somehow missed it the first time round.

Tim: "Pulp Fiction".

Seriously single or deliriously attached?

Nik: Attached to my Boyfriend of two and a half years.

Dave: Deliberately attached.

Tim: I'm desperately in love with my gorgeous girlfriend Laura.

What was the last text you received and who was it from?

Nik: One of my business partners asking to send a logo for some artwork! Not very exciting Iím afraid.

Dave: It was about 4 pages long(!), but it was from my other half telling me I better be eating the packed lunch sheís made!

Tim: It was from Coalition resident Ross Homson, telling me how good his new track is.



Complete this sentence. I love hard house becauseÖ

Nik: it loves meÖ

Dave: the energy in the music is phenomenal.

Tim: it makes me smile!

Tell us one thing about yourself weíd never ever guess?

Nik: I have webbed toes!!!

Dave: Iím a complete addict (and can recall at will) every episode of "Charmed".

Tim: I have a degree in Molecular Biology.

Finally - what words do you live by?

Nik: These are the words that get me on my feet each day: If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got!

Dave: ďMore bass.Ē

Tim: I love Laura!!

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Toolox Interview with Nik Denton Dave Owens & Tim Stokes

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