In the midst of running two record labels (Tummy Touch and Peace
Feast), extensive globe-trotting, sculpting his beard, various promotional
duties, and his Kiss 100 radio slot, Tim “Love” Lee has managed
to create his latest album, “Just Call Me ‘Lone’ Lee.” Created as
a continuation from his debut album “Confessions of A Selector,”
his new material combines influences from around the world
into an intricate soundtrack for a jet-setting selector on the search
for romance. The sound is an organic and warm mix of down-tempo
ranging from complex cinematic vibes to Latin percussion and a huge
variety of acoustic strings, guitars, and horns. Tim Lee’s aesthetic
may come off as the carefree party-goer but no doubt about it, Tim
is a talented musician/producer and his new album seems too introspective
to just brand it as a great neo-lounge record. Tim has been so busy
promoting his new album that he tried answering some questions over
the phone while he was in the shower, hung over, and attempting
to get a taxi to the airport. Luckily I was able to catch up with
him later with a few questions.
was your reasons for creating Tummy Touch and how did you want it
to differ from Peace Feast? A friend of mine had done a track
for Peace Feast, which I only heard for the first time at the mastering
studio. It turned out to be an uptempo floor filler, which wouldn't
have fitted in with the far out dope beats of Peace Feast so I had
to set up a new label to put the record out. I originally only intended
to release one single on Tummy Touch! Peace Feast is for one-off
singles while Tummy Touch is more about artist development.
After your stint playing for Katrina and the Waves, what inspired
you to take up "electronic" based music and DJing? I
was into dance music and DJing about 5 years before I was playing
with K&TW and still did DJ gigs while I was with them.
In addition to the obvious, like Lounge culture and 70's porn,
what are some other influences on your music (musical and otherwise)?
Girls, beer and beards.
Outside the Leftfield neo-lounge scene, what are your opinions
on Trance DJ’s and producers from the UK trying to break the mainstream
U.S. market? What do you see as the differences (if any) between
the US and UK scenes? Generally the UK music industry is doing
pretty badly in the US at the moment so anyone trying to improve
things is fine by me. America and Britain are very different in
many ways, mostly in size so gigs in San Francisco can be incredibly
different from gigs in Dallas
How has the response been stateside? Very good. People
are a lot more supportive in the USA and love to give compliments.
This never happens in Europe, especially not in London.
Do you feel that working on the creation/promotion of Tummy
Touch has changed your views at all when it comes to the creation
of your own records? I have a pretty practical view of what
a record need to have so we can sell it, but also with my own label
I can release tracks that would never make it out otherwise (e.g.
my Christmas LP)
there a theme or a certain inspiration behind the title and music
of "Just Call Me Lone Lee"? Have you really not been in
love? I have been in love but not for a while. The theme is
the lonely life of an international DJ and the whole vibe was inspired
by an unhappy love affair and listening to lots of romantic 50s
In addition to your DJ schedule, are there any plans of going
"live" with your material? You bet! I'm retiring
from DJing in May of this year so I can get a band together. I have
lots of ideas for a crazy multimedia show and a very strange line
up in mind.
There are a few acts out there with the lounge sound incorporated
into their tracks, but compared to some others, your album has a
warm organic sound and comes off very refreshing. Is there anything
in particular you did to establish this? How do you incorporate
samples into your music? There are quite a few samples on the
album and I tend to sample from very old records. Also all the live
instruments are proper vintage gear so that no doubt helps the album
sound more organic.
What’s on the horizon for Tummy Touch? Brilliant new music
this year from: Patrick Dawes (the percussion player with Groove
Armada), Los Chicharrons, Tutto Matto, Mains Ignition, Leo Young
and myself. And we're doing a few parties and live showcases to
celebrate our 5th birthday.
Rumor has it that you have a pretty slamming analog keyboard
collection. Not as slamming as I'd like as I don't have a Minimoog,
Hammond b3 or modular synth. Hopefully this year I can rectify that
How did the "Love" nickname come about? It's a
hangover from the early days of UK rave. I used to have "Joy"
shaved in the back of my head and we were all in love and things
felt very good. Still do.
is your opinion on hip-hop in 2001? Just heard the new Princess
Super Star LP which is brilliant, so judging from that things are
Tummy Touch has just released their “I Am Fearless Funky &
Five” compilation celebrating their five year anniversary. It’s
a wonderful introduction to the label or you can get the latest
on Tim Lee’s releases and Tummy Touch records at www.tummytouch.com