Daley Padley, better known under his chuckle-worthy alias Hot Since 82, is a master of warm, emotion-driven house music. His sound, marked by big builds, bigger bass, and smooth-as-hell drops, sound like taking a long bath in a pool full of rich milk chocolate. It comes as no surprise that the 30-year-old has been playing in sun-drenched Ibiza for almost half his life.
Padley credits the UK's fertile dance music scene with providing his musical education. During the late-80s acid house explosion, his father funneled the best of it into his tender young ears while his friends were still building blanket forts. That early dance music education serves Hot Since 82 well even now, as he dishes up acid and deep house-tinged tracks, playing sets everywhere from the U.S. to Dubai, and earning props from fellow Big Dance DJs like Guy Gerber and Richie Hawtin.
Padley's latest release, Little Black Book, out now on Moda Black, is a compilation of originals and collaborations with other producers, including crucial remixes of Green Velvet's "Bigger Than Prince" and Rudimental's "Right Here" that would make house heads foam at the mouth with delight. When I called him up, he was powering through the last leg of his North American tour while battling a cold, and convinced that he sounded like "Darth Vader on acid." Regardless, he soldiered up and chatted about how the album came together and how the closing track, "The End," is becoming his perfect set closer.
THUMP: What were your earliest influences?
Hot Since 82: When I was a child, my mom and dad were separated, and I used to visit my dad during the week. He always had all of the latest compilation CDs. I used to take them home and record them on a cassette. There were groups and artists like The Prodigy, The Shamans, KLF, and others. I'm forgetting to mention a bunch of them right now. I really just used to make mixtapes out of my dad's CDs.
That's an interesting biographical note. It's rare for electronic music artists to talk about putting together mixtapes when they were just kids.
Oh, yeah, totally. Every Sunday we had the Top 40 at 4PM,, and I would get my mom to buy me blank cassette tapes. I would add to my mixtape whenever a song I liked came on the radio. All of the rave stuff was in the Top 40, so that's really where it started.
The fact that rave and acid house was in the Top 40 in the UK is astonishing from an American perspective. That just didn't happen here, although Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy got some play in the mid-90s.
Right, it's just creeping over there now with the dance music explosion, whereas we've had it here in the UK forever. It's in the blood.
What was the idea behind Little Black Book?
First of all, it's half-mix compilation and half-album, with a combination of remixes and original tracks. It's also part of a series from the Moda Black label in the UK, which is run by my friends Jaymo and Andy George. They asked me to do the first book, which was very nice.
So many mixes and podcasts are only released digitally now. I don't want to call that an easy or lazy type of distribution, but Little Black Book is available in both digital and physical form, which is great.
With this release, you have a choice: if you buy the physical copy, you get the mix, a lovely, signed and limited-edition book, a bonus disc with loads of unreleased remixes, and some of my tracks that no one's heard. I got some of my favorite artists and friends to come on board and do remixes.
Do you exercise different regions of your brain when DJing versus writing and producing, or are these processes rather seamless?
It's kind of a seamless thing. I never prepare tracks before I go into a club to do a set, whether I'm playing for an hour or ten hours. I don't ever like to prepare because I like to work spontaneously. And I don't like to plan because I know my music anyway. I actually physically buy the music. I shop, I spend a lot of money, and I spend a lot of time on the records. I get a lot of promos sent in the post, but I don't actually check them out so much because I really love the art of record shopping.
When you transition from one track to another, and you see a track that you want to play, are you trying to satisfy yourself first, or are you taking care to gauge the audience's mood?
Ultimately, you want to educate people with the music that is coming from your heart, so to speak. At the same time, you have to please the crowd. That makes a great DJ, right? It's not just about compiling a mix that flows. It's about describing that right balance between playing music you love and the music you know will move the dancefloor.
The track "The End" is a great slice of deep house. The little details—the percussion, the melodies, and textures—take their time to develop. It reminded me of some of the best deep, progressive house of the '90s.
I'm contradicting the answer to your last question, but I made "The End" purposefully just for me, because I love the pipes and the strings in it. I just instantly thought it would make a great end for the comp.
What was your thought process when putting that track together?
In mixing it, I just wanted to keep it simple. There is no bassline, it's just drums. It's very simple—less is more. In that way, when the pipes do kick in, the song kicks into full effect. That is probably my favorite track on the album, and I'm finishing my sets with it now. It just works perfectly.
Are audiences really digging the track live?
Yes, and they know it now. I have a wicked group of followers who come and see me play live, so when I do drop "The End" they're kind of expecting it now. They recognize it straight away, and they know when it's going to kick back in. It's the perfect, perfect way to finish my sets at the moment. I feel like it's timeless and I'm going to be playing it in five years' time as well.