The summer has officially arrived, and so has the 2nd instalment of Handbag House Summerlounge. Perfect for barbecues, house parties, long journeys and sweaty workouts, this one is much housier than the usual Handbag House mixes, and you may not recognise a lot of the songs on the tracklist - but trust me, you'll recognise some absolute classics when you hear them! This has been a lot of fun to work on, and this glorious weather has certainly helped it along!
Please share, invite your mates and most importantly, let me know what you think #HHsummerlounge2
01 INTRO: Captain Cuts - Love Like We Used To [Lenno Remix]
02 Halsey feat. Stefflon Don - Alone [Calvin Harris Remix]
03 Avicii - Levels [Slim Tim Remix]
04 Bakermat - Baby
05 SDJM & Conor Maynard - That Way [VIP Mix]
06 Bizarre Inc - I'm Gonna Get You [Est1987 Remix]
07 Freejak & Safety First feat. BB Diamond - Closer Than Close
08 George Kwali & Kidedo - All On Me
09 Franky Rizardo - Same Man
10 Soulsearcher - Can't Get Enough [Felix & Gianx Remix]
11 Joe Stone & Cr3on - Is It Really Love
12 White N3rd - Freaky With You
13 Riton & MNEK - Deeper
14 John Gibbons - Pretty Young Thing
15 Ryan Blyth feat. BB Diamond - Raise A Glass
16 Supermode vs. Roger Sanchez - Turn On The Why [Ascariss Mashup]
17 Perfecto Allstarz & Freejak - Reach Out
18 Cedric Gervais - Do It Tonight
19 Freejak - Sway
20 Destiny's Child - Say My Name [Le Boeuf Remix]
21 Mella Dee - Techno Disco Tool
22 Sammy Porter feat. Jessica Agombar - What We Started (A Bit Patchy)
23 Kideko - Dum Dum
24 Marshmello feat. Khalid - Silence [Blonde Remix]
25 Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa - One Kiss [Handbag House Remix]
26 Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson - The Way I Are [Jack Laboz Remix]
27 Ku De Ta - Just Me Good To Me [Rare Candy Remix]
28 David Guetta & Sia - Flames [Leandro Da Silva Remix]
29 Ed Sheeran feat. Beyoncé - Perfect Duet [Carlos Mojica Remix]
30 High Contrast feat. Boy Matthews - Questions
1. Handbag House isn't a group - it's just me.
As heartwarming as it is for me to get messages of support, more than often they say, "keep up the good work, guys!" I'm also reminded of the time I turned up to DJ in a club in Bradford, and the manager greeted me and asked, "Oh, so have they only just sent one of you?" - under the impression that Handbag House was a large entourage of DJs and producers. Nope. Just me, Iain. Branch Manager in a building society by day, DJ & music producer by, well, the rest of the time!
2. It was originally going to be called "The Switch Mix".
I used to work for Boots the Chemist (on the photographic counter if you must know), and I got to know some great people there (even if the company was absolute crap to work for) - I'm still in touch with most of them today. It was a time where we all worked part-time as we were students, but still somehow managed to go out drinking 3, 4 .. 5 times a week. Our nights always finished up in Switch bar in Newcastle before we decided if we were coherent enough, or had enough money to go clubbing. The music in there was always brilliant - remixed pop which really put Newcastle on the map back then.
I remember dancing on the stage to the Dave Audé Remix of t.A.T.u's "All About Us" and the DJ Prom mix of Sugababes' "Push The Button"(!) The bar is still open today and still plays some of the best music in Newcastle.
3. There were only supposed to be four mixes!
You may have already read in my bio that the original Handbag House mixes were actually put onto cassette tapes for my mates to listen to in their cars. This is why the mixes are called "sides" - the idea was to do two at a time to fit on either side of a tape. The first two came along together and were just 45 minutes each - that was easy. But then my mates wanted more and having enough material for another two mixes at once seemed a lot more challenging.
By time time I'd had enough new songs to complete Sides 3 and 4, I thought that was it, they'd served their purpose. But as new songs came out and the original mixes got passed between more friends, the demand for me to continue was strong - and here we are, 11 years later!
4. I HATE the name "Handbag House"!
Believe it or not, the name 'Handbag House' was a complete accident. Deciding against "The Switch Mix" in case anyone thought I was directly affiliated with the bar (although I did DJ there just once), a common image in bars came to mind, where a group of women put their handbags in a pile on the floor and danced around them - and most of the remixes I was using at the time of pop songs were quite housey. It made sense, and who doesn't love a bit of alliteration?! Unfortunately. I had no idea there was already a "sub-genre" of uplifting, anthemic house music from the late 80s/early 90s that became mostly popular in gay clubs. This often causes a lot of confusion as my mixes tend to be a lot more focussed on the tougher side of pop, having little in common with the actual name.
This is why my second brand appeared JNR which was largely focussed on dance anthems and more harder house, like electro. The "Handbag House" name can sometimes limit opportunities in bars and clubs, although saying that, I've always been well-received in the gay community! I've always wanted to re-brand but have had concerns that due to the following I've built, it would cause confusion - and let's face it, not many people like change! I sometimes use the JNR branding in bars and clubs instead of Handbag House.
5. A DJ that hates being centre of attention?!
I am a total introvert. I don't like being centre of attention - this might sound a bit odd considering I've DJed in some of the biggest clubs around the UK. Annoyingly, this is also why there are next to no photos of me DJing! However, I'm not a personality as such, I really like the idea that the music should do the talking - so you won't ever hear me doing a shout out for Chantelle's 21st, or announcing how much the Jagerbombs are at the bar. I'm primarily a music producer that somehow fell into DJing.
Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love DJing. There's nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a crowd having a great night and really getting into music (especially my own remixes!) - I like the element of surprise too so have a raft of weird mash-ups to catch people off-guard.
6. I've been remixing since I was 14
My Dad first got me software called "Dance eJay" when I was 13 with preset percussion, bass, synth samples etc that you'd place onto a grid and make your own arrangements. But I quickly became bored of that and started using those terrible PC mics pointed at the speaker of my keyboard to play my own arrangements (not great, guys!). As I improved, I eventually started posted online and getting some great feedback which again helped me improve. I was mostly producing original trance tracks and remixes, and even managed to win a couple of competitions. I became obsessed with the Clubland CDs and started producing music in that style, and even briefly worked alongside N-Trance (the guys behind massive dance classic, Set You Free).
Once I moved out of my parents' home, all my my music productions were sadly lost. I started doing some mash-ups which gained me some exposure, but it was too difficult to suppress my creativity and my very first "new era" remix came along, in the form of Beyoncé's "Formation" - as I was quick off the mark to do a very basic remix of it on the same day it premiered, it became featured on Capital FM's "Best Remixes" list for the month - not bad for a first crack with very limit production!
7. I once turned down DJing Gran Canaria Pride main stage
I'd been to Gran Canaria with a DJ mate once before. He was DJing on the main stage during Pride and wanted me to go with him, encouraging me to take my music with me - which was fortunate as I did end up briefly DJing in a side bar around the Yumbo centre (which actually turned out to be a disaster!). Through some other contacts a few years later I was asked to DJ on the main stage, which of course made me feel very anxious - I'd already thought about all the things that could have gone wrong before I'd even started: What if my laptop crashes? What if I'm so nervous I mess up the mixing? What if I trip up as I'm getting on the stage?
I've DJed in front of a large audience before and it's the most awkward thing ever - what do you do with yourself when thousands of people are just there, looking at you? I was never one for the whole David Guetta fist pumps and shouting, "are you fucking ready?!" before the drop. I still look back and wonder if I should have just done it to raise my profile, but it turns out that the flights that week were going to cost a lot more to get me there and back than what I'd be getting paid so that made the decision to decline a little easier.
8. Somehow my old remix of Wind Beneath My Wings surfaced online
As a favour to a friend who was obsessed with Bette Midler, I did a tongue-in-cheek remix of Wind Beneath My Wings under a different guise, around 2004 where dance music started doing that chopping-up vocals thing. How on earth this low-quality version surfaced on Youtube in 2016 under the Handbag House name, I'll never know!
Looking for a shake up to your venue? Get in touch to talk to me about DJing in your bar or club!
Obviously one of the biggest hits of 2018 and actually perfectly acceptable in its current form, I just wanted to give this a Handbag House makeover. I had started work on this and it was heading in a similar direction to the Ariana Grande remix I did - but I just wasn't happy with the main drop. So after a fantastic night out in Leeds, the music in the bars inspired me and I was dying to get home to give this a classic house piano hook. Enjoy!
Download / Instrumental
It dawned on me, since I've been working alongside record labels more recently, I hadn't worked on a "pop" remix since 'Look What You Made Me Do' - and that was a year ago. So here you go, my take on Ariana's huge hit 'No Tears Left To Cry' - I wanted this to be a little different from the current remixes of this floating about, so this is an uptempo club effort with an interesting twist in the drop.. Enjoy!
Download / Instrumental
So here it is.. Handbag House 56! Available for the first time in 320kbps. Keeping to the standard blueprint of my other mixes, this is a fast-paced, edgy, catchy and summery mix with some cracking songs and great remixes! Sorry for the delay, but I've been busy in the studio working on some exciting remixes and it took a little while for some good songs to emerge... you know I don't put anything out unless I'm 100% satisfied with it! Good things come to those who wait.. Please share, invite your mates and most importantly, let me know what you think! <3 #HH56
STREAM / MOBILES
01 Keala Settle - This Is Me [Alan Walker/Dave Audé Remixes]
02 Bruno Mars - Finesse [Country Club Martini Crew Remix]
03 Sigala & Paloma Faith - Lullaby
04 M-22 feat. Medina - First Time
05 Craig David & Bastille - I Know You [Nathan C Remix]
06 Sigrid - Strangers [Jonas Blue Remix]
07 Charlie Puth feat. Kehlani - Done For Me [Charlie Lane Remix]
08 Sean Paul & David Guetta feat. Becky G - Mad Love
09 Mabel - Fine Line [Jason Reilly & TRP Remix]
10 Liam Payne & J Balvin - Familiar [TRP Remix]
11 David Guetta & Sia - Flames [David Guetta Remix]
12 Louisa Johnson - Yes [Zac Samuel Remix]
13 Anne-Marie - 2002 [TRP Remix]
14 Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still [Ofenbach Remix]
15 Little Mix - Is Your Love Enough [Rocket Fun & Leo Johns Remix]
16 Years & Years - Sanctify [Adam Turner Club Mix]
17 Camila Cabello - Never Be The Same [Gozzi Remix]
18 Ariana Grande - No Tears Left To Cry [Jacked Remix]
19 Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa - One Kiss [Fubu Remix]
20 Marshmello & Anne-Marie - Friends [Borgeous Remix]
21 Ben Davidson - Fallin' In [Handbag House Club Mix]
22 Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey - The Middle [Akey Remix]
23 Dua Lipa - IDGAF [Country Club Martini Crew Remix]
24 P!nk - Beautiful Trauma [Moto Remix]
25 Jason Derulo - Tip Toe [Wideboys Remix]
26 Liam Payne & Rita Ora - For You [Cosmic Dawn Remix]
27 NF - Let You Down [Tumanji Remix]
(28 - Avicii - Levels)
The second single from any new artist is a difficult tightrope act to balance. Too much like the debut single that thrust them into the spotlight and people wonder if they are a one trick pony; too far away from the sound that bought in their burgeoning fan base and they risk alienating folk who bought into their initial vision. Luckily, new Energise recording artist, Ben Davidson, manages this transition beautifully on his lush, second single "Fallin' In". For more information, visit www.energiserecords.com
My remix of this great song is an uplifting yet slightly dirty club affair. You can check it out, as well as my remix of Ben's debut single, "The Chain" which also features on the remix package available to listen to or buy here.
Taking their name from the famed Parisienne cabaret, Chat Noir is the cosmic intersection of two dance music auteurs, Australia’s Erik Veland (aka GenErik) and Mitch Medcalf (aka Galleon) who together prove once again that the sum is greater than the parts. The result is a nu-disco explosion with a decidedly underground Euro essence.
Complimenting the original mix are five unique interpretations including a classic UK Handbag House remix by Iain Macleod’s Handbag House which really pumps up the energy. For more information, visit www.swishcraftmusic.com
My mix is a little different this time around; a sleazy late-night groove with a surprising twist in the second half! You can hear and buy it from a variety of sources, here.
San Francisco-based house DJ Russ Rich was born and raised in Minnesota and has been a life-long Prince fan. Once Rich decided on “A Love Bizarre,” he knew immediately which vocalist he wanted to work with on the track. Rich approached Debby Holiday about the project. Holiday, also a huge Prince fan, performed the song perfectly, delivering not only the lead “Sheila” vocal, but also turning in a stunning “Prince” vocal line. For more information, visit SwishcraftMusic.com
My mix is an uplifting Latin-tinged circuit anthem which you can hear and buy from a variety of sources here.
HANDBAGHOUSE 55 has arrived! A massive amount of time has passed since the last mix, so this is an extended set weighing in at 1 hour and 30 minutes for your listening pleasure! Another challenging mix, this is quite a housey mix, but as usual I've tried to shake things up a little.
Hopefully it's been worth the wait.. Your continued support is invaluable to me :) Please share, invite your mates and most importantly, let me know what you think! <3
STREAM / MOBILES
01 Dua Lipa - New Rules [Initial Talk/Alphalove Remixes]
02 Niall Horan - Too Much To Ask [Dannic Remix]
03 Stefflon Don - Hurtin' Me [Anton Powers Remix]
04 Matt Terry - Sucker For You [John Gibbons Remix]
05 Marshmello feat. Khalid - Silence [Tiesto Remix]
06 Paloma Faith - Cry Baby [Blonde Remix]
07 Sam Smith - Too Good At Goodbyes [Romi Lux Remix]
08 Charlie Puth - How Long [Throttle Remix]
09 ALMA - Chasing Highs [Mark Jay Remix]
10 Anne-Marie - Heavy [John Gibbons Remix]
11 Kesha - Woman [Dave Audé Remix]
12 MK - 17 [Liam Keegan Remix]
13 P!nk - What About Us [Madison Mars Remix]
14 Liam Payne - Bedroom Floor [TRP Remix]
15 James Hype feat. Kelli Leigh - More Than Friends
16 Clean Bandit feat. Julia Michaels - I Miss You [Cahill Remix]
17 RAYE - Decline [Wideboys Remix]
18 Camila Cabello - Havana [Alphalove Remix]
19 Jonas Blue feat. Moelogo - We Could Go Back [Syn Cole Remix]
20 David Guetta, Afrojack & Charli XCX - Dirty Sexy Money
21 French Montana - Unforgetable [Dean-E-G Remix]
22 Jax Jones feat Ina Wrolesden - Breathe [Fubu Remix]
23 J Balvin - Mi Gente [F4st, Velza & Loudness/Alesso Remixes]
24 One Bit & Noah Cyrus - My Way
25 Rita Ora - Anywhere [Charlie Lane Remix]
26 Zayn & Sia - Dusk Til Dawn [Country Club Martini Crew Remix]
27 Selena Gomez - Wolves [Nathan Jain Remix]
28 Ed Sheeran - Perfect [Mike Perry Remix]
29 Kygo feat. Justin Jesso - Stargazing
Taylor Swift scores her first UK number one with her latest hit, Look What You Made Me Do. Here's a cheeky little club mix to beef it up a bit!