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SOS - Saving Music

Author: Cyclone
Monday, 31 March 2008
3d’s Cyclone talks to DJing supergroup SOS about finding balance amongst three powerhouse DJs.

It’s the kind of stratagem a DJ might consider to spark interest in a fading career. Solicit some like-minded DJ friends to start a supergroup. Smart. But the post-progressive auteur Desyn Masiello is hardly in strife. So why has the ex-computer tech launched SOS with Omid 16B (Omid Nourizadeh) and the lesser known DJ Demi-

“We didn’t plan anything, for a start – we’re not really planners, to be honest,” a sleepy Masiello insists. “I think people almost started calling us the SOS collective.”

The trio first DJed together at London’s Neighbourhood in 2004. They then played infamous parties on the Thames as well as in Ibiza. The pals discovered they had that elusive chemistry.

The name ‘SOS’ is, in fact, a nifty amalgamation of the DJs’ respective labels. Masiello and Nourizadeh preside over SexOnWax, while Demi has Deeper Substance, hence ‘SexOnSubstance’ – or SOS. “I don’t know if it actually makes any sense,” Masiello says wryly.

SOS could expand, like Bugz in the Attic. “We’ve always tried to make it into more of a collective – and that was always the aim,” Masiello says. “In the future it may even be six members of SOS.”

Not totally opposed to practicalities, SOS realised too many DJs at the beginning would “confuse” the scene.

The three have now mixed the stunning 13th volume of Balance, which again proves that EQ’s series has rendered Global Underground obsolete. SOS go even further than Masiello with his commendable Balance 008 of 2005.

The posse unify such disparate strands as Detroit, techno, deep house and the maligned prog. And SOS mix in what a press blurb touts as “kinky” New Wave. At one point in the ’90s dropping New Order’s Blue Monday was deemed bold, but Bryan Ferry’s Don’t Stop The Dance – that’s really wild.

Masiello agrees that dance music is returning to the eclecticism of the Balearic era. “Obviously Blue Monday was one of the best tracks of its time, so it was in everyone’s box as well. A lot of people knew about it,” he says.

“I think if you play New Order now, you might get away with it, but it’s gonna be a lot tougher. I know a lot of places that probably will go, ‘Oh, not that again!’

“DJs are forced to dig a bit deeper now and really go, ‘Right, everyone knows the obvious classics – where are the unknown classics-’”

Omid capitalised on an association with Robert Smith to license The Cure’s Lullaby for Balance. “Omid, in particular, is one of Robert’s biggest fans – don’t quote that, he might give me a good kicking if you do – but he basically loves The Cure.

“There was one time I think Omid went to a concert of Robert’s and ended up hanging out with him and going to an after party with him.

“There was this kind of bond between those two that happened once a while ago.”

Omid also fronts the group The Idiots, which he formed with Masiello and Leon Roberts, who’s based in Wales. “Being Idiots, we don’t actually get together that often and don’t put that much music out, but it’s still alive,” he says.

Next, SOS will bunker down in the studio. “After the tour for [Balance], we’re gonna be spending a lot of time in the studio and attempting to create an album of original material – I think that’s what’s in everyone’s hearts to do.”

WHAT: Balance 013 through Global Underground/EQ/Stomp
WHEN: Out now