Steve Miller aka ‘Afterlife’ is without doubt one of world’s most renowned DJs and producers of electronic chill-out. Working from Ibiza and Cornwall he has established himself as a true leader in his musical genre and a man that specialises in spacey, beautiful music that takes you somewhere special. With a knack for consistently evolving as an artist, and with a CV that boasts countless successful releases and impressive collaborations, it was time for Steve to tell us about his new record, his admiration for THAT party island and what life is like when Wi-Fi makes you physically ill...
If you were to ask people – What’s Steve Miller’s sound? What do you think they would say?
It’s hard for me to speculate on what people might say. What people have said in the past have been things like warm, blissful, lush, melancholic, uplifting and soulful.
Tell us about your new album ‘Electrosensitive’. What can the fans expect?
A few surprises for sure including the marvellous Sharon Musgrave singing the house track ‘Fantasy’. She was the lead vocalist on the classic Bassomatic track ‘Fascinating Rhythm’ which is one of my all time favourites. Juanita Grande on a Parisian dubby tune called ‘Far Away’. More songs, fatter beats and bass, even a bluegrass tech house tune called ‘National Dobro’ which Chris Coco has already remixed into a real smoker.
Why the name?
I am electrosensitive. Sensitive to magnetic fields. I have to be a recluse. I’m in enforced exile on my own planet. About 3% of the population have this problem. I’m not trying to make a big new age deal out if it, this is a fact. Hence the name of the album.
You have collaborated with artists including K-Klass, Cathy Battistessa and Chris Coco. You also recently released a taster E.P with Chris called "the Normalites". How does this project differ to the sound that you and Chris are known for?
The chemistry in a collaboration always brings out new vibes if the writers have an open mind. With The Normalities, it’s dubby, trippy, poetic and brings out the Gonzo in us.
You’re renowned for making down-tempo chill-out styled house music, why did this become your favourite style? Why do you think it is still so popular?
Maybe because real chill-out is the broadest canvas you can have creatively, no specific beat style, no specific instruments. Anything goes as long as it gives a good vibe and enhances the atmosphere. Older house tracks now seem to have been put in the “chilled” house genre these days yet, when they came out they were main room floor fillers, it’s an interesting change of perception.
What are your true feelings about Ibiza at the moment?
Ibiza is a special place – not just because of the clubbing scene but because the native people (Ibichencos) are very tolerant of different cultures which has led to an island full of interesting people doing interesting things. Every musician I know has been changed by going there so I think the spirit of the island is good for artists. I can’t wait to go back as I have not been there since 2004. I have heard tales of over commercialism but I think it’s just another phase of greed. I believe the can look after itself, it’s been a party island for over 2000 years.
How hard was it to become a recognised DJ in your style?
It was easy in Ibiza and Europe but very hard in the UK at first because people didn’t “get it”. These days it’s very different with festivals like ‘The Big Chill’ etc…
What advice would you give to up and coming chill-out DJ’s?
Only play what you love and stick to your guns, that way you can develop your own style and have a lot of fun along the way. I think it’s very important to make your own records to understand how records get made and to have longevity.
Tell us about the gig’s you’ll be playing this summer.
They will be outdoors as WiFi makes me ill – screaming headache, dizzy, horrible. I’ve had to turn down loads of gigs in Europe for that reason. I will be playing at Café Mambo which is a favourite and Kumharas as well as some ad hoc outdoor gigs around the island. I also have a residency at The Cove in Cornwall where I live, playing on the terrace overlooking the sea. For the same reason I won’t be playing at Glastonbury as they have WiFi’d the whole town (of ALL places!) and there is a huge petition by the locals to get rid of it as so many people are complaining of ill health and the usual symptoms since it was turned on.
The new album has already been hailed as your best piece of work to date. Would you agree?
Yes I would, it’s difficult to stand back and be objective sometimes but, having listened to it in a few public places it really stands up as a strong piece of work.
Here’s your chance to tell us about anything you want… fire away...
Please give this petition your support and make Glastonbury a safer place to live: http://www.glastonburynaturalhealth.co.uk/WhyWi-Fi.html
'Electrosensitive' is out 20th July on CD and download - click to listen and pre-order from D-Store