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Miguel Migs - Those Things Again

Author: Cyclone
Tuesday, 17 February 2009

In the high turnover world of dance music, it’s inconceivable that a producer would re-release an album after nearly two years, but Miguel Migs has done just that. 3D’s Cyclone finds out more.

Miguel “Miggs” Steward has repackaged 2007’s Those Things for onelove’s eponymous label, adding a quality remix set. Even Migs’ choice of remixers is leftfield, among them Cottonbelly, otherwise known as Sweetback’s Stuart Matthewman, who’s produced Sade and Maxwell. In fact, the ‘Deluxe’ edition of Those Things materialised Stateside last March, but onelove felt that the original, distributed here by Stomp, deserved “a better boost”. Migs wasn’t about to argue.

The easygoing DJ has toured annually since 1999, recently headlining Better Days. He’s stayed on to conduct interviews and, while in Melbourne, sought treatment for a crook back. “It’s just from all the touring and the flying around,” he sighs. “It’s stressed out my lower back. It’s been an ongoing battle for the last couple of years – but it’s all good. You’ve gotta rest it every now and then and get your strength back up.”

Long before the electro revolution, Migs was the poster boy of West Coast house. He was largely responsible for deep house becoming the sound, not only of main room clubbing, but also swish bars in the late-’90s. Initially affiliated with Naked, he’d build his own stable, Salted Music.

Migs was born into a multi-ethnic family in Santa Cruz. The bohemian youngster played guitar in a moderately successful dub band, Zion Sounds, but, when they succumbed to inner “turmoil”, he relocated to San Francisco, throwing himself into the underground house scene.

Migs relished making music solo. His Breaking It Down put Naked on the map. Soon his profile was such that he was remixing Britney Spears. In 2002 Migs presented a neo-soul-infused debut, Colorful You.

Though deep house has been marginalised by abrasive genres like fidget, Migs has resisted any temptation to switch direction – or bandwagon-hop. “That’s not interesting to me at all. I only know how to do what I enjoy doing and what I’m passionate about – and that’s just doing music that I feel. Of course, I wanna try new things and push myself as a producer or a DJ, but I do them in my own subtle ways.”

Migs is returning to his roots in live music, forming a band, Petalpusher, named after his early alias. “I’ve been wanting to put a new live project together for years to play a lot of the original material that I’ve produced and written,” he says. “We’ve actually played quite a few gigs since I started it – [we’ve] played a few festivals and a lot of club gigs and stuff, mostly in the States. It’s a pretty cool project. I’m definitely gonna continue pushing forward with it. It’s just on hold because I am also touring a lot doing the DJ thing as usual, and I’m working in the studio producing and I’m starting to work on a new album and I have my label - so there’s a lot going on. I can’t put all my energy into the project right now, but it’s still something that I’m gonna continue to do.”

WHO: Miguel Migs
WHAT: Those Things: Deluxe Edition through onelove / Sony
WHEN: Out now
MORE: myspace.com/djmiguelmigs

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