Fingerman: The music has to make you smile above all

We interviewed disco edits don Fingerman before he pays homage to Larry Levan in London this July.

Becca Frankland

Last updated: 9th Jul 2015

Edits producers play a crucial role in bringing the sounds of the past to the audiences of the present, and Fingerman, AKA Greg Holmes has been doing precisely that since the mid noughties. 

Formerly a house and techno enthusiast, the Brighton-based artist shifted his weight towards disco and followed the likes of Greg Wilson, Dimitri From Paris and Todd Terje in taking samples from some of his favourite dance records, and he now champions his own label - Hot Digits. 

We caught up with the man himself before he hits the Larry Levan Birthday Bash at Ministry of Sound, joining an all star line up including Francois K and The 2 Bears to celebrate the legendary Paradise Garage selector (listen to Fingerman's mix for the showcase below). 

Hi Fingerman, thanks for speaking to us. We're in the middle of the summer, have you got any plans for Ibiza or festivals you want to let us in on?

Ibiza? I wish! Not quite there yet but maybe next year eh? 

I am however taking part in Friday's line up on the Stone Boat stage at Festival Number 6 in Wales this September alongside Paper Recordings and Midnight Riot which promises to be a whole lot of fun. Can't get enough of festivals. The vibe is fantastic.

July sees you heading to MOS for the Larry Levan birthday bash as part of a huge line up for the legend. Who are you most looking forward to playing alongside / seeing on the night?

Francois K definitely but to be honest I'm looking forward to catching up with some friends and putting names to faces over a cider more than anything. It's a massive honour to be playing at this event let me tell you. Levan was the king.

It's a bit of a cliche to talk about Larry Levan being an influence within your music realm, but understandably one filled with truth due to his iconic status. How much has his work in shaping disco been an integral part of your musical education?

The diversity and the vibe of his good times style has definitely been an influence. The music has to make you smile above all.

Growing up on techno was funny because whenever I went clubbing in my more youthful days I wouldn't take drugs, I'd maybe have one pint or two but I would be smiling from ear to ear all night because of the music. Disco has the same effect. Its brilliant.

Would he make your dream dead or alive DJ line up? Who else would be on there?

Levan for sure. Derrick May, DJ Mehdi (had the privilege of seeing him a few times before he tragically passed on), Derrick Carter, Greg Wilson and for nostalgias sake Carl Cox doing a 1995-2000 techno and house set.

On the topic of paying respect, who do you think has been the most undervalued figures in dance music you think deserve greater acclaim?

Apparat should be bigger. Love his work. I always thought Bent were very underrated back in the day. I still listen to them a lot at home.

What production work have you got forthcoming in the future?

Plenty of gear on Hot Digits to come. I'm just finishing off my first EP for the label. The initial tracks I've been playing from it have had a great response.

I also have remixes for Glass Sines, Olivier Boogie and a few more to get cracking on with. Expect some Hot Digits vinyl in the near future too.

And what producers have you been digging recently?

Peza is on fire at the moment (listen to his 'Shake Well' below). Great chap and committed member of the Unity roster. Dr Packer continues to do some excellent work. Brame & Hamo, Todd Terje, Andy Hart, Monkey Boots, James Rod. There's a long list! 

Finally, your rerub of Sister Sledge 'Thinking Of You' is hands down one of our favourite edits of all time. What would be your three top edits form other people, and why do you love them so much?

Greg Wilson's version of Chris Yarley & Tabro T's 'The Crown'. It's one hell of a builder.

DJ Butcher 'The Future Is Ours'. Great use of same material.

Moplen's edit of 'I'm Coming Out' is another. Every time I've played it this year they can't help but sing along.

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