Something of a child prodigy from a famous father, Boston's homegrown talent Steve Porter made his break through in the music industry about six years ago when he sent some music to Chris Fortier. Support quickly followed from so many of Steve's DJ heroes. Steve has now made a huge mark with his techno edged house productions. His studio work was only one facet of Steve's two prong attack. His DJing is where he really rocks the funky beats. 2003 was another banner year for the boy wonder with his big time single "Definite Form" and his now classic remix of Amber's "Anyway". Adding to that his underground side projects Agent 001, HDF & Bons and his looming artist album, his music sees huge support across the spectrum of DJs from Sasha & John Digweed to Carl Cox to Mark Farina and Derek Carter.
BeatFactor: Getting noticed by Chris Fortier 6 years ago must've been the big step in your career. Have you expected that to happen?
Steve Porter: I really didn't. It was a time when I was just bobbing for apples, giving my music to just about everybody I could possibly find. I think I was definitely catering to a certain type of dj but at the same time had no idea how my music would be received. I met Chris on New Years 99' in Springfield Mass which is close to Amherst where my moms house is, that's where it all began.
BF: The "Definite Form" is the single that brought you in the public eye in the first place. What's the story that stands behind that track?
The goal was to make a bright, funky, clubby tune. Something that had a "Definite" edge to it, especially in an era when most dance tracks labeled in the "progressive" genre seemed to lack a punch or funk. That's basically the story, it's currently living a good life in the record boxes of 2004.
BF: Your sound is known to the masses as 'Porterhouse' and it's recognized by the diverse range of funked-up house beats that describes your productions. How it was developed though the years? Which are its foremost influences?
It's a love for house music that has no discrimination for trance, breaks, and other forms of music. It's about having fun and making people dance, usually a combination of cerebral and physical vibes. I know from my experience, developing a sound as a DJ takes time. It's more like developing a trust with people and I like having a wide spectrum of trust. An open minded crowd is the preferred crowd.
BF: At the start of 2005 was released your debut artist album called "Homegrown" on FDS Recordings. That decision was based on your recent success with your original productions and remixes or you planned that long ago and you just waited for the right time to do it?
Yeah basically, I wanted to start getting larger pieces of myself out there. I feel that it's better communication thru music if you release a larger portion of yourself. Releasing nothing but singles all the time feels like trying to talk in incomplete sentences.
BF: In what way does the album reflect your career as a musician?
Homegrown is my first really big painting. Something I hope to come back to in 20 years and use as a reference point from where I've come. It's always nice to know where you come from as a musician.
BF: What's the next step for your musical life, now that "Homegrown" is out?
To expand and grow from what I've learned. I've got the challenge ahead of me of continuously trying to mesh my djing and production together. To me that's enough challenge to keep me busy for a while. The next album hopefully will reflect my efforts.
BF: Can you put in the picture your other projects, Agent 001 and HDF & Bons?
Alias projects are purely so I can step out of my own shoes for a second and maybe sleep on somebody else's couch for a few nights. It expands the mind to involve yourself with other artists influences. The HDF projects (hidden disco fetish) are usually directed to my love of pure funk, and the result is usually slap happy, dirty funk. Agent 001 projects have a fun and housey edge but also retain certain goofiness to them, Eli and I never take ourselves seriously.
BF: What can you tell us about the current state of dance music in the US?
It's growing. Producers are really coming into their own here and just about everywhere I go in this country I see a growing and maturing fan base. Seems to be doing well if you ask me.
BF: When producing a track what elements do you seek for to make it sound fresh and unique? And what are you trying to avoid?
Working with sounds that move people, mixing electronic and organic sounds usually does the trick. I'm always about using less but more potent elements, I think there are producers that spend too much time on little intricacies rather than the over all potency of a tune. Some tunes sound like they're produced with a pile of sticks, versus the ones that sound like they're built on reinforced concrete.
BF: Do you have any plans for mixing compilation too in the future or do you think that does not suite you?
My first officially compilation will probably still remain a mix of my own original music, it's just the direction that feels right for me considering the length of time I've been producing. There's a plan for a compilation that leads us into the next Porterhouse party next year at the WMC, can't wait already!
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May 23, 2005 at 8:11 AM CEST