Interview with Shur-I-Kan!

We all love a bit of Disney nostalgia. Even if his films are a bit like your ageing Grandma. Honestly, she means well when she points out that President Obama is "well spoken". It's just that she is from a time when people were characterised by their ethnicity.

Our following artist has NOTHING to do with the above, especially not your grandma, but when I heard the name Shur-i-kan, I couldn't help but be reminded of Walt and one of his timeless classics, The Aladdin.

We spoke to Shur-i-kan ahead of his last UK show of 2009 with Rob Alldritt's Get Diverted, to see what he's up to, been up to, and where on earth his alias originates...

Get Diverted has been on the go for the last 3 years, with its roots firmly cemented in South London. Describing their sound as "good old fashioned, straight up house", Diverted definitely delivers, creating a fresh, fun & effectual night with the dark and groovy sounds found through the plethora of house music.

"We don't like to pigeonhole ourselves into one sub genre," says Rob, Diverted's big boss man. "During our parties you'll hear some deep sounds, some warmer funkier grooves mixed with techy beats. This is reflected in the DJ's we have booked from deeper house DJ's like Shur-i-kan to more techy DJ's like Matt Tolfrey and Smokin Jo. Our residents are versatile so can play a sound that compliments the headline DJ. We also have a new Room 2 playing Disco and as I'm a big disco record collector and fan (for me it's where the whole dance scene started) it's a sound that's very close to my heart."

Diverted have been banging out one of the best summer parties like a Saigon hooker on heat, with their ever amazing roof terrace parties over at Dex club, each equipped with Function 1 sound systems, BBQ, and hot tub to boot. With resident DJ's Lofty and Mark Storie, each guest is warmed up and down to a tee, creating one of the best London party atmospheres.

We had a little chinwag with Tom, their headline act this weekend, to see what he had to say for himself.

Hi Shur (Can we call you Shur?)
Tom: Errr... no thanks - you can call me Tom though if you like!

Shur-thing ;) Geddit? Yeah we're good...
You probably get this asked all the time, but we've not been able to find anything online, so just for our readers, do tell... where does this name come from? How did you go from Tom Szirtes to Shur-i-kan? Somebody told is it could be a ninja death star?!

Tom: Indeed the name comes from the ninja weapon shuriken, yep, nothing to do with any cartoon tigers whatsoever. I used to work for Sega making video games so I got the inspiration from playing too many games. I tried to be clever and spell it so it sounds like "sure I can" - unfortunately it can be a bit confusing for some people - so poster designers and journalists around the world please resist the temptation to add an h to kan!!! teach me to be a smart arse.

You seem to have released more remixes this year than you have original tracks (notably a fantastic recent remix of Robert Babicz track 'Astor'). Do you prefer doing remixes, or is this just something that has happened without thought?
Tom: Yes, that wasn't intentional at all. Actually I far prefer in general to write original tracks than remixes, but I get a lot of requests and find it hard to say no. The other reason is that this year I set aside time to write another album, plus on top I have quite a lot of other original material almost ready to go, so expect a deluge of shur-i-kan originals in 2010.

What sort of equipment helps you make some of your melodic beauties? Anything you wouldn't live without?
Tom: I work all in the computer - have done for the last five years, its a very simple set-up. I'm a Logic boy, and I'm also a pretty big UAD user (they do DSP based plug-ins for the uninitiated). Its not what you got, its what you do with it missus!

Any projects coming soon we should be watching out for?
Tom: As mentioned earlier, I got the album at some point next year, and also new EPs for Freerange and my own label Dark Energy Recordings that I run with Milton Jackson.

Where do you like to go get Dain Bramaged, and what are your remedies for a quick and speedy recovery the day after?
Tom: Well most weekends I'm DJing in one country or another so thats my partying pretty much sorted right there. But if I'm in town I like to go down to smaller venues like Plastic People, Horse & Groom etc.. however Dex looks very cool so really looking forward to checking it out when I'm down there on the 19th! There is no quick and speedy recovery to drinking - you do the crime you gotta do the time! Anyway isn't that half the fun - spending the next day guilt free in bed? (well it is for workaholics like me)

Cheers Tom! :)

You can catch Shur-i-kan @ Dex club, this Saturday night :)

(I AM) Dain Bramaged

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