Manchester shines on as a centre of UK dance music culture. Its latest offering comes in the form of an energetic debut release from Joe Roche, founder of Do As You Please, taking a new twist on classic Acid House sounds from the 90’s. This first outing for Do As You Please as a record label, ‘White Umbrella EP’, is a vinyl-only release packed with rawness and energy, showing the legendary Acid House rave era in 1990’s Manchester still holds a place in the city's thriving music scene.
We sat down with Joe to have a chat about Do As You Please and its debut release. Label owner Joe Roche, originally from Harrogate, moved to Manchester 5 years ago. From a young age Joe could already navigate his way around a pair of decks at the age of 17, and he started producing on and off around the same time. Joe’s move to Manchester saw him study DJ'ing & Production at University. Taking his passion outside of the lecture theatre, in Joe’s second year of university, he set up Do As You Please as an online Discogs record store, using his student loan to buy an initial stock of records for the online store. Do As You Please has since then started a mix series, a record label, and is looking to break into hosting Do As You Please events post COVID-19.
Joe is already heavily acquainted with the Manchester rave scene, having played critically acclaimed sets at iconic venues such as South, Gorilla, Antwerp Mansion, and Victoria Warehouse. Taking his sound outside of the city limits, 2018 saw Joe play at the Singapore Grand Prix, and a festival debut at V Festival. On Joe’s travels, he has supported the likes of Camelphat, Kydus, David Glass and Le Fleur.
This electrifying first release pays homage to the Acid House sounds of the 90’s, but this doesn’t reflect the entire music policy for the label. Do As You Please is defined as a steppingstone and open accessible platform for musicians. Joe refers to this as an ‘eclectic music policy’, commenting “If somebody sends me a Neo-Soul EP and it’s absolutely class, and they’ve put a lot of time into the music, then I’m all for it.”
Joe’s love for Acid House music wasn’t just developed on the streets, it runs through his veins. With his parents owning a nightclub in the 90’s driven by the Acid House craze, Joe’s home in Harrogate was no stranger to the sounds of the rave. Hands on, his initial production set up made use of Logic Pro stock plug-ins, pre-sets, and a lot of MIDI. Combining his new-found love of 90’s vocal samples, with a Roland TB-3 Touch Bassline Synthesizer received as a birthday present from his girlfriend, the natural fruition of the debut EP’s rolling basslines and euphoric melodies had begun. Joe believes a lot of music coming out is clean and well produced – and with this strong debut outing, Joe is making a statement. For him, a lot fo the music he was coming across was missing that grit, and he is bringing it back.
After discovering the label and the new EP on YouTube legend Maslow Unknown’s premiere of the title track, White Umbrella, the impression the track left on us is why we got in touch with Joe to find out more about Do As You Please. The idea of the track came about through Joe wanting to produce a garage-acid hybrid track. He asked one of his good friends, a renowned garage producer, what he thinks about the idea, to which Joe was told ‘it’s not really a thing’. Keen to give it a go, smashing some genres together and seeing what happens, White Umbrella was born. The hybrid of genres is most prominent in the beat of the track, which is more of a break beat than a garage beat, minus the two-steppy elements.
The title track boasts a newly released music video accompaniment. Created by Will Burton, one of Joe’s friends from primary school, the music video is a collection of promotional material used for the EP, and the artwork done by Trevor Johnson and John Walsh. Will Burton, the creator of the video, is now working as ‘Move Visual’, after having done videography for celebrated venues such as ‘The Warehouse Project’ in Manchester. The music video is now available to view on YouTube.
The EP boasts a unique sleeve artwork design, created by previously mentioned Trevor and John, legendary designers behind the Factory Records promotions and Hacienda posters in the 80’s and 90’s. John Walsh is also a lecturer in Art at Manchester School of Art. The artwork was designed to be timeless and sexless, not of any era, and not male or female – “and it’s just cool as fuck”.