You know those so-called DJ’s DJs? Expert selectors able to to pick records that music heads want to hear and thread them together so as to keep dancefloors bumping. Toby Tobias is one of those guys and before his set at Plastic People, a Q+A. Read on! 

When and where did you first attend or hear about CDR? What do you recall?

I’ve long been involved with assisting in CDR related projects – since meeting Tony at Bestival while I was DJing and playing this Craig Peyton tune. It was enough to entice him over for a trainspotting chat which led to a good friendship and working together on many different ventures.

How have London music scenes notably changed during your time contributing to the city’s nightlife? 

I will say this. It all depends where you look – I think if you dig deeper, off the beaten track – you will find a party that ticks all the right boxes – that have made parties great in London for years and will do I m sure for years to come – people wise – and music wise – but if you don’t dig deep – you will more often than not be disappointed by the general vibe of things these days.

Please describe your work life/creative life tussle. Tips or tricks for managing to keep making music?

It’s tough, there’s no question, it’s tougher than it’s ever been. I think most successful music bods I know have another string to their bow or potential finger in pie to help out in tough times – the best tip I can offer is learn to be good at finishing stuff, don’t stock pile too many unfinished pieces – but at the same time always try to evolve as an artist – develop new skills find new tricks .

Who/What has also been on heavy rotation on your audio player of late?

Frankie Knuckles – obviously been rediscovering all his productions.

Plus contemporary peoples – Telephones, Sotofett, Daphni, Legowelt , Bookworms, Lord of the Isles, GB, kassem Mosse, Theo, Andras Fox, Tim Fairplay, Funkineven, Fx Mchn… To name a few people who have made notable productions. And this is one of my most played records of late:

Please talk us through the track you last you saved.

It’s a good ‘un and very fitting — its a little jam me and Tony [Wach!] had in my studio. Me on the Yamaha dx21 being controlled by a sequencer and Tony running the drum machines. Recorded live on tape then recorded into the computer and edited into a manageable time and arrangement – it sounds super warm, has got the funk and I will test it out on Sunday.

Finally, any advice or words of warning for producers/musicians developing musical works in progress to play at CDR?

Keep it spacious, keep it warm and don’t forget a hook!

Read on: A feature from a few years back. Toby on a hero of his: Juan Atkins.