The Rob Made moniker may only just be emerging onto the deep house scene, but the mastermind behind the alias is no rookie. Robin Tabor (a.k.a. Rob Made) has been DJing and producing for almost 15 years now. With a slew of labels and side-projects under his belt, it took years of experimentation to get to this point of his career. His recent sound is self-defined as, “synth-heavy epic tracks right now, [with] big bass, 80’s synths, and disco beats,” a very fitting description for the unique and ear-catching “Rob Made style”.
Tabor’s latest venture, his Sleazy Deep Records label, consistently churns out top-notch and vicious deep house tunes from veteran and many relatively unknown producers. Already on its 18th release in just over a year, the label has been making some serious waves with its signature deep, sexy, and sleazy sound. It’s upcoming release, the Miami Sleaze compilation LP, which comes out next week, is sure to be a heavily-charted record featuring newly-discovered talents! Rob’s two mixes for the album (below) showcase the astounding 32 tracks across 2 hours and 40 minutes.
We had a chance to catch up with the extremely busy Robin Tabor and ask a few questions about his influences, his label, and some of his favorite tracks! Check out Sleazy Deep’s SoundCloud for the label’s complete releases and upcoming work. Once you hear a few tracks, I guarantee you’ll be hooked on the funky, deep, and catchy sound.
The Dankles: Hey Rob! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions. Could you start off by telling us a little about yourself?
Solo, I’ve also worked under the names L.E.O. (Saved, Gung Ho!) & London Electric Orchestra (Dutchie Music, Grouper), L.E.O. was very much Tech House/Techno and London Electric Orchestra was using more slowed down deep house grooves mixed in with deep tech. So, as you can see I’ve been pretty busy throughout my career, but nothing has been as successful as Sleazy Deep (my new label) & my new Rob Made sound.
TD: How did you like growing up in London? How has growing up there influenced your sound?
RM: London’s an amazing place, even if you do take it for granted coming from the capital. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world like it! However, I’d like to travel more to find out for myself firsthand.
TD: What were your early experiences with the deep house scene like? What did you grow up listening to?
RM: I think one of London’s greatest qualities is the music that’s been driving multiple scenes since the late 80’s. There’s been so many styles and genres I’ve enjoyed growing up, from early acid house and oldschool, through the breakbeat & drum ‘n’ bass scenes. It all really changed when I got into my house in ’94/’95, which is when my real love and appreciation for house music began. I think deep house has been around for years, but I’d say the difference in the deep house pushing the scene right now is that it’s so open, and crosses so many genres it’s hard to call it true deep house. I don’t think house music has been better than it is now, so all this cross genre mixing has been amazing for our scene.
TD: What was the moment in your life that you realized you could work in the music industry as a career?
RM: I’m actually still working full-time as an account manager for Sony Music in digital distribution. Now the labels really taking off and we’re only 1 year old, plus I’ve just got my agent (www.green-room.org), so am hoping it’s all going to really step up and I can go full-time with Rob Made & Sleazy Deep.
TD: When you sit down in the studio, what is the sound that you hope to produce? And what is the reaction you’re hoping to get from the listener?
RM: I’m always listening to good music, whether it’s demos or current music from my peers and labels that I love. I get a real buzz from current, new-sounding futuristic house, and normally take that in with me. I study other peoples productions and try to put my stamp on it.
TD: How would you describe your music in your own words?
RM: I seem to keep coming out with synth-heavy epic tracks right now, big bass, 80’s synths, and disco beats. I like music to have emotion, so I think that’s always gonna come out in my music. I’m really getting into Kolombo & Sharem Jay’s phatness in their nu disco/G house vibe, so I think I’ll have to play with that kind of sound, but Rob Made’s current hiatus is definitely very Diynamic-orientated. Daaaamn I love Solomun!
TD: When you’re spinning, do you have a vibe in mind that you set out to create or do you like to react to the crowd?
RM: It depends, I really like to plan and think about what I’m playing. I’m being booked for me, so people know what to expect from my sets. I love making edits and creating impossible mixes which make people think… whaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! I’m always playing label exclusives too, so it’s great getting crowd reactions from those.
TD: What made you decide to start the label Sleazy Deep? What has been your favorite part about running your own label and what has been the most difficult part?
RM: It’s all for fun, so nothings been that difficult (I’d learned a lot from labels I’d run before), I was working at Universal at the time when I started thinking about starting a new label. The sound had changed, and labels like Hot Creations & Crosstown Rebels were really doing something different. I was loving the nu-disco, vocal-heavy music, and I had this great friend working at Prime distribution who really egged me onto getting a new label going, so Sleazy Deep was born. I got in touch with a no-so-well-known yet awesome DJ/production duo who were really on the up, No Artificial Colours. So, I launched the label with them, and Rob Made was born with my remix of their original track. I followed that up with the Rob Made debut release “You & Me”. This got some serious love from Miguel Campbell, which was amazing as many people were saying how similar it was to his hit “Something Special”. The funny thing was, I did it out of love for Miguel’s track, but it had been changed. So many DJs love playing my track, as it’s vocals were different, which surprised the floor. The best thing, of course, was Miguel’s love for it throughout 2012!
TD: What has been your goal with Sleazy Deep? How has that changed over its initial year, and what can we expect from the label in 2013?
RM: I just wanted a world-wide respected label that could get me on the map traveling the world with the music that I love. The goals are still the same, but are just now being realized. We’re getting great reviews, and people love the consistent quality of the releases we’re putting out. 2013 will see a lot more music, as we continue to achieve our goal. Believe me, the music is just getting better and better. I can hardly believe how fast it’s grown and the amount of amazing new young and talented artists are joining our rather large family daily…
TD: What stands out for you most with demos sent to you? How do you decide which tracks to sign and which to let go?
RM: Sad as it is to say it’s easy knowing which to let go, as I get sent so many rather bad demo’s. I’m always nice, and try to be constructive if I see something in there. Although people sending me Electro, Trance, Bass Music please do listen to our music before sending, as you will soon realist your wasting our time as well as your own, haha. The good thing is, we obviously get sent a lot of amazing demo’s too which our new compilation is going to prove; Miami Sleaze is jam-packed, and can’t wait to unleash it…watch this space!
TD: If you could sign one artist, dead or alive to Sleazy Deep, who would it be and why?
RM: Solomun, I just love this guy. He’s a great inspiration to the music I play and make.
TD: What’s the background behind the fly on the Sleazy Deep album covers?
RM: Haha, I do all the artwork where Sleazy Deep is involved. I wanted a cover with a different color per release, to keep it simple across all releases. So, it needed to be something bold and that really stood out for me. The fly was something I just came across and thought; it’s got a dirty, filthy feel, which obviously fits with the music we’re putting out. The swirl adds a nice touch in a trippy sense, so it just kinda works with the words Sleazy Deep written within it. Hope you agree! I’ve just started to switch the labels look and feel a little; I’ve added bit more neon glow and 80’s feel with all the nu-disco we’re putting out, but my fly is going nowhere. It’s sad to see after 10yrs Buzzin’ Fly has called it a day. Much respect for Ben Watt and gang (I can’t say that didn’t give me an idea for our logo, subconsciously I think it must have…) Legendary!
TD: Thanks again for doing this Rob! Any shout outs?
RM: No worries… Huge shout out to my Mrs. for putting up with all my music & sh!t, JOBE, Casual Affair, William Medagli, Adam Banks & all my sleazy artists you know who you are (far too many to mention) much luv all, my best mate Jay… and a big shout out to my distributor Prime Direct and my new agent Celas at Green Room…bigup fellas!
Dankles rapid-fire questions:
Go-to track to revive the dancefloor:
Favorite track from the 80’s:
Best after-hours track:
Just to switch things up a bit – Casual Affairs – Heartbeats & Backstreets from their forthcoming album and Miami Sleaze.
Best track to start off a set with:
Ooooh depending on time of set but Monte’s True or Why always seems to get peoples attention to a new beginning!
Track I wish I signed:
If I Only Knew by Finnebassen on Electronique Digital, well jealous of that one haha, well done Simon! x
Favorite track released off of Sleazy Deep:
Surely you can’t ask me that. I love it all… but if I had to pick something i’ll be a prick and say my remix of Casual Affair – Causal Affairs (I’m my biggest fan don’t you know) haha it came out April 8th! (Check our review HERE)
Best new artist of 2013:
Trav & Volta: Since getting in touch with these boys, their consistent delivery of pure quality and turn around, it just has to go to them. Trav & Volta are making waves. Watch this space people, it’s serious!!!!
Artist who deserves more recognition:
Rob Made of course.
Favorite live act:
Last show I went to that I didn’t play at:
Seriously? I can’t remember :-s
Genre I like that you wouldn’t expect:
Drum & Bass / Oldschool
Darkest track I have:
Max Belobrov’s – Wanna Dance! Disgusting… haha