Since exploding onto the scene a few years ago, Late Nite Tuff Guy has forged a position as one of the most in-demand and best-loved DJ/producers on the planet, with Greg Wilson rightly referring to him as “a leading light of the global re-edits movement.” A superhero of soul, a destroyer of dance floors and a purveyor of the smoothest sounds this side of 1977, LNTG is synonymous with the sexiest of sets and the most credible of disco edits, and has amassed legions of devoted fans from every corner of the globe. With a boy in every port and girls in every club, crowds in Berlin, London, Melbourne, Glasgow, Paris, Dublin and beyond have all succumbed to his spell. He’s also a highly sought after producer for some of the world’s biggest artists and most iconic record labels, and has completed official remixes for the likes of New Order, Herb Alpert and Timmy Thomas.
LNTG’s edits and sets have received serious acclaim from an illustrious roll call of heads in the know, including Todd Terje, Ellen Alien, Steve Lawler, Carl Cox, Nic Fanciulli, Jackmaster and Optimo, and his production skills have seen him become an online sensation, receiving over eight million plays (and counting) on SoundCloud. After being approached by iconic and world famous record label ‘Salsoul’ his LNTG EP was released April 21st 2018 to coincide with Record Store Day internationally. But while he is bossing all things digital, it’s the clubs and festivals where his heart is at, playing to the people that know and love him and winning over new fans. Aside from his usual DJ sets, he has been channelling his obsession with Prince into a series of extremely popular tribute shows, proving that he’s one of the few people on the planet who can do Prince’s discography justice. June 2018 saw his inaugural American tour as he headed to the home of disco and he will return to the US in 2019. Playing everywhere from the Berghain to Bestival, and with influences ranging from Mancuso to Toto, Late Nite Tuff Guy is a new breed of disco vigilante, paying his respects to the past while thrilling the clubbers of today.
You’ve been playing for quite a long time under HMC and LNTG as well. So can you tell us some of your favourite records that you’ve played from the very start that you continue to play until now?
A couple of my favourite records would obviously have to be Prince’s ‘Controversy’ – this is why I did the edit of it a few years ago – it is really one of the best records ever made. I tend to be really fond of records that I bought when I was a 15 or 16 years old and those records have stuck with me. Stuff like Sister Sledge, ‘She’s the Greatest Dancer’ and as cheesy as that might be, I like playing those records that are timeless.
Have you found that over time those records have ever lost their timelessness?
No, not at all. A well-written song is a well-written song. It doesn’t age at all.
So when you moved from HMC to LNTG- how did that transition happen and do you have a preference as to who you choose to play? They’re both very successful identities.
And they’re both very different as well. I’ve always loved playing as DJ HMC. I think that I’m true to myself when I play as DJ HMC but I also love the LTNG thing. And in a way, that is me, but there’s something about techno music that really strikes a chord with me. But I think the whole LNTG thing came about quite naturally and organically to me. At the beginning of the 2000s, techno began to become a bit stale and I took a break from DJing for a year and a half and did a bit of soul searching and found some records that I absolutely love and I started to play around a bit. So the whole thing I think was a deeply soul-searching process for me.
When you go into the studio, do you already know what you’re going to work on whether it’s DJ HMC or LTNG, or do you just find yourself going with the flow?
Whenever I go into the studio I always go with the flow, always go with how I’m feeling on the day.
When you were growing up did you find yourself learning more towards house, techno or disco?
I was a teenager during the height of the Disco days, the records that I bought from 1977 through to 1980 are very special to me. Some time in 1987 I bought my first Detroit Techno record and fell in love with that sound straight away. By 1990 I was ready to release my first record.
What sort of place does creating mixes like this occupy in your output? Killing time between jobs? Pseudo-meditation?
Well music making, wether it’s creating a mix or doing an edit or making original tracks, it’s always a form of meditation for me. I would die if I couldn’t create.
When people think of someone on the professional DJ circuit, they generally wouldn’t jump to artists like Prince, Aretha Franklin or other classic soul/funk artists as big influences. Where did a love for this music begin for you?
I grew up in Australia with a family that didn’t listen to Soul/RnB/Funk, or even Disco. The music I remember being played in the house was always pop, and a lot of the time my dad would play his 45s that he brought over from Italy. But I remember one time they bought a record home, it was called Explosive Hits ‘73 (I still have the record). I was nine years old and used to listen to it all the time, there were a lot of pop songs on it that I loved but I distinctly remember being drawn to two tracks in particular. Superstition by Stevie Wonder and Ben by Michael Jackson. They stood out from everything else on that record, not only in the music production but more importantly it was the passion in the vocals that really drew me in. So Stevie and Michael were my introduction to black music.
What’s happening with your record, Tuff Cut?
I really haven’t had much time; I’ve been on the road a lot so I do need to find more time.
Do you think having your own label gave you more freedom?
Yes, it gave me the opportunity to play whatever I’d like, and a lot of people who love the label and some great DJs and producers over the years would want to be a part of that. I’ve started up a DJ agency and label called Reflector and released a record on that. I’ll release more techno stuff over the coming years with that too.
What else is in the works right now?
Currently doing remixes for various labels. Preparing for my second USA tour as well as my 2019 UK/Europe tour, which looks set to be the biggest yet. And as always I’m still creating an LP of original material which has been a long time coming.