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House head who brings the two-step swing
Who Tesfa Williams, 29-year-old DJ/producer based in West London
Sounds like bass-heavy house undercut with UK garage swagger
Tesfa Williams is feeling optimistic. “I’m so happy at the moment,” he says. “The vibes are all good!” He’s talking about dance music in the UK and how it’s sounding a lot like his first love, UK garage. “People like Disclosure are pushing boundaries, doing it in the right way,” he continues. “It’s like back in the day when a big underground garage tune would end up on Top Of The Pops.”
2012 has been all about that two-step swing, a little pop sensibility and oodles of bass. You can hear it in his monstrously good ‘Pain & Love’ EP or in the work of peers like Huxley, Eats Everything, Breach and Dusky.
Before finding his feet with 4/4, Tesfa was obsessed with jungle and garage. Then grime came around and he found a new calling, but as that scene faded he looked for a new kick. “I never thought I’d be into house,” he admits. But after discovering an afterparty in Vauxhall called Big, he was hooked.
Then, three years ago, he got fired from his IT job and fell head-first into music. He co-founded cult label Deep Teknologi, then cut huge 2010 tune ‘Heartbeat’ with Terri Walker. Now he’s signed to PMR, home of Jessie Ware, Julio Bashmore and Disclosure, and has mixed the latest Rinse compilation. “I just called a bunch of mates and asked them for music,” he says. “It’s a timeline of the UK house flavour.” It’s also a snapshot of how vital the sound is, thanks to people like Tesfa.