Mike Speed Interview

The 30 second intro – Who are you?

I’m Mike Speed from Huddersfield. I’ve been dj’ing, mixing and collecting dance music since 1986. I started off in a youth club playing all kinds of stuff, but early acid house, hip house and classic British hip hop kept appearing in the mix, this is when I started collecting electronic music on 12″ vinyl. In 1990 I got a show on the local Pirate radio station Wacky FM, where I played 9 until midnight every Friday night for years, transforming the station in to an all dance music output. Nothing like this was being played in the area and pirate radio was the only way to listen to this type of music. 

DJ Mike Speed Interview

My love of radio began here, and lead to playing on many other pirate stations playing Oldskool, House Hardcore, Rave, Early Techno and some Commercial Dance. I was mixing on all different types of belt driven decks until I bought a pair of Technics in 1993 which I still have to this day. My music tastes were changing around this time too, delving in to more uplifting house and the harder piano tunes I was hearing after starting to go to the ARK nights in Leeds and events around the UK. (Editor – Respect to the Ark crew, always)

In 1996 I got a slot in a club called Eruptions, playing alongside some great DJ’s including Steve Luigi, the Leeds Gallery veteran. My music tastes were getting harder, playing the very early hard and uplifting house, developing in to a funky hard house sound with the odd bit of edgier harder trance. I pretty much kept this style until around 2003 playing club gigs and loads of house party’s. In 2003 I decided to start go back and collecting oldskool, house, hardcore, acid, rave and hip house tunes in digital format, and filling in the spaces in my vinyl collection, which to this day is still being added too!

I am known for my underground, alternative mixes and B-side approach to music and vast knowledge of the oldskool scene. I am into all kinds of music technology and software including Traktor and Rekordbox, making the switch to also mixing digitally in clubs in 2013. 

Since around 2008 I have also been on internet radio, including Renegade Radio, Rejuve Radio, Groove Flow Radio and back on pirate Phatt 100FM in Huddersfield for 2 years. I have been back playing out again at oldskool Events over the last 14 years, mostly on vinyl and mastered the CDJ’s in 2013. I have played on my dream line-ups with DJ’s and acts including Seb Fontaine (Radio 1), Paul Bleasdale (Cream), Alex P, Rob Tissera, Vertigo, DJ Sy, Andy Farley, Altern8, K-Klass, Dream Frequency to name a few.

I have played for Rejuvenation, Quench and Joy Leeds, and was resident for Free2Dance in Preston and FRESH! on a regular basis. 

Mike is also the main driving force behind successful internet station React Radio UK. I have also hosted a show on legal FM and DAB station in Leeds, LDC Radio 97.8FM for the last 2 years on Sunday nights 9-11pm (Editor – this show is a great example of really thinking about what makes you stand out)

(Editor – this is definitely longer than 30 seconds! But it’s important to have your credentials available for promoters to find out more about you and your story)

How would most people know you? (What are you most well known for?) 

Oldskool DJ and Oldskool Radio Presenter

Please list your relevant links (Social accounts, Mixcloud, gigs etc and a link to a mix)

Soundcloud

Mixcloud

Facebook

Listen to Mike Speed

Please let us know your next gig dates, and release schedule if you have anything coming out soon 

VVLHP Presents HOUSE PARTY – 6th Birthday 

Rejuvenation 12th Birthday – Saturday 9th March 2024 – 9PM til 5AM – Beaver Works, Leeds 

What is your home DJ tech set up currently?

x2 Pairs of Technics 1210’s, Vestax 580 Pro Mixer, Pioneer DJ DJM-450 Mixer, x2 Pioneer CDJ 900 Nexus

What do you most often play out these days?

Oldskool House and Breakbeat (And many other Oldskool genres)

What DJ tech did you use in your early days? (We’d love to see some photos!)

x2 Pairs of Technics 1210’s, Vestax PMC 170a Mixer

What’s on the tech shopping list? 

Pioneer CDJ 3000’s

What’s been your favourite ever gig?

Rejuvenation in Leeds – Got to meet and play with my idols DJ’s from the 90’s, dream come true :) (Editor – This line up is right up our street)

Mike Speed Interview 4

Throughout your career is there a piece of equipment that you have just never got on with? 

Any other decks apart from Technics

From a DJing point of view what three things do you always take to a gig apart from USB and headphones obviously!

Originality, a smile, tooth brush and a spare pair of socks (I hate sweaty feet lol) (Editor – That’s a first for this question!)

Can you talk us through your productions? (If any)

Never got in to production but would love to if I had the time

If you still have vinyl at home, how much? 

Estimate I have around 3000 and still growing :)

Outside of DJing and production, what tech do you use at home? 

Always us Apple for my computer equipment (I work on Apple on a daily basis – Graphic Designer by trade.) Stream cameras and equipment. Tascam DR-40X Handheld Stereo Recorder and USB Interface. I love all gadgets.

Can you let us know three apps that are essential to you?

Discogs, Jingle Box (For my radio show), SoundCloud

What app would you like to spread the word about? 

Too Good To Go

What non-music related product can’t you live without? 

Yorkshire Tea (I love a brew)!

Any DJs or producers that we should watch out for? 

Matty Robinson (DJ and Promoter) a great young guy in the scene, who does things right!

Been to any great clubs or events recently?

Electric Circus in Burnley, quirky club

Football team?

Huddersfield Town (Local Club & Season Ticket Holder) #htafc

Book recommendations? 

Rob Tissera – The Smiler (Agreed this is a great book from a top DJ)

Thanks to Mike for doing the DJWORX Mike Speed interview. Mike shows that fully immersing yourself in a scene will lead to that foot in the door. By getting involved in events, radio and gigs you give yourself the greatest exposure, which is then enhanced by having a strong social media presence. Not many people run their own radio station though, so big credit to Mike.

The DJWORX newsletter rounds up all the latest DJ tech news, features classic stories from or archive and is the best way to keep up to date with DJWORX. Subscribe here https://djworx.com/djworx-newsletter/