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What Makes: Pirate Copy

Pirate Copy

Next to feature in our growing ‘What Makes:‘ series is none other than prolific UK Tech artist and Kaluki Music head honcho, Pirate Copy. An undeniably pivotal character in the UK scene, Pirate Copy (real name Lee Spence) has been infecting the ears of the masses for several years – as he has established an impressive reputation over the ever-changing landscape of modern dance music. With releases on the likes of Sola, Lost Records, elrow Music, Relief and of course his own Kaluki imprint, it’s fair to say he is at the forefront of the global House music community.

If this is your first time tuning in to this feature series, it won’t take you too long to familiarise yourself with the concept. Essentially, we invite influential artists to share with us music and memories that have contributed towards refining the artist that they are today.

This is what makes one of Manchester’s highest-regarded House music heroes; the man behind a brand considered an absolute benchmark for artists around the globe:

Stardust – Music Sounds Better

“This was the record that turned me into a raver from an indie kid at 17.  I remember hearing it on holiday with all the lads, it was the tune of our summer and I remember coming back from that trip so hungry to fully immerse myself in the club culture I had just discovered.”

Armand Van Helden – You Don’t Even Know Me

“Another record from that era – a masterpiece from Van Helden that crossed over into the mainstream and became a commercial success after being a solid club anthem.”

DJ Sneak – U Cant Hide From Your Bud

“Once I had started to collect records and become a resident at the legendary Sankeys, this was my go-to record when playing if I’d been playing deep and holding it back for the first two hours but felt it was time to get the dancefloor moving for the special guest that was about to take over. It never failed and nearly fifteen years later I’m still dropping it. I actually played it at Amnesia last summer on the terrace at 5am and it sounded as good as it ever did.”

Jon Cutler – Treat Me Right

“A soulful house cut from the days I used to spend in a small basement called Club V – the night was called angel delight, and it played all the best US garage which was my love at the time and still is deep down. This record still makes me feel very happy and emotional, and when I hear it it brings all the memories flooding back. Thats the power of music.”

Oxia – Domino

“When I first heard this record I had just started a club night called Kaluki and I would close the party every week. I heard this record and was like ‘wow… this is gonna’ crush it’. I started playing it every event – it wasn’t a big record at this point might I add, and no one really played… it it was like my secret weapon. We booked Oxia to headline as it was ‘our record’ and we wanted to bring the genius who made it to come play with us.. he always smashed it. It went on to become a modern classic and that record for me will always define the early Kaluki parties we did at Sankeys in Manchester.”

Dennis Fererr – Son Of Raw

“Still one of my favourite records. You can drop this in any club, at time, anywhere… and it always gets a great reaction. It has stood the test of time and is still a gem of a house record.”

Johnny D – Orbitalife

“Jonny D for me was one of the most talented and exciting house producers in the ‘noughties’. He had a string of releases on labels like Cecile and we wanted to be able to give him his UK debut at Kaluki but couldn’t due to visa restrictions which stopped him coming to the UK during what was a huge purple patch of releases around 2008.”

Moodyman – Shades of Jae

“This was the record that got me into Moodyman – one of the best ever. I went on to discover all of his music after hearing Krysko dropping this, and following Sam Kandel playing his albums in the car when we were riding round on Sankeys promo missions. A total classic from a real OG.”

Akabu – Searchin’ (Motor City Drum Ensemble Mix)

“I’ve also been a huge fan of Dan (MCDE) and this remix is important for me as when I really started to take my production seriously I had decided this was the kind of music I wanted to make. I was producing under the name Ellesse at the time and was both inspired and energised by the sounds of Motor City Drum Ensemble.”

Metro Area – Caught Up

“This record hasn’t left my box since it arrived. Not many words required here. Just have a listen.”


There you have it; the makings of one of the UK’s most prolific and impactive industry players. As evident within his cultured choices and the reasoning behind them, Pirate Copy has not only been an artist but an appreciator of electronic music for a long time. I honestly do believe that the more time artists have spent finding and appreciating the work of others, the better their own personal yield tends to be and the bigger the role they tend to play in the grand scheme of things.

Pirate Copy’s latest release ‘This Time’ has not long landed on Michael Bibi‘s seminal Solid Grooves imprint. Check out a preview and grab a copy below:

Follow Pirate Copy:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/PirateCopyMusic/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/piratecopy/
Beatport – https://www.beatport.com/artist/pirate-copy/310253
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/pirate-copy

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Tony Allen

Owner/Editor of One Foot In The Rave. Tony is a London-based Freelance Writer and Electronic music enthusiast - with over half a decade of industry experience in several fields.

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