full intention logo an interview
latest news
dj dates
an interview
dj chart
mailing list

Full Intention are UK Producers and
Remixers Michael Gray and Jon Pearn

Full Intention (an interview by Mark Moore )

Remix producers Michael Gray and Jon Pearn, collectively known as Full Intention, are respected by leading DJs like Pete Tong, Danny Rampling, Roger Sanchez, David Morales and Erick Morillo.
Some of their remixes and productions include Full Intention - I believe in you, Supafly - Let's get down, Bon Garcon - Freak U, Shena - I'll be waiting, Dajae' - What do you want?, Dina Vass - The love I have for you, Mood 2 Swing - Can't get away, Powerhouse - I got what you need, Ultra Nate - Free , Jennifer Lopez - Love don't cost a thing, Duke - So in love with you, Frankie Knuckles - Tears & George Michael - Amazing, for which they received a Grammy nomination. There's no doubt that Full Intention have maintained their status as one of the foremost house producer & remix teams in the world.

Their purpose-built, soundproofed studio is within Michael's house, situated in a beautiful quiet country village just off the M25. He bought the house In 1993 - by which time he had already been working with Jon for four years, having crafted a number of disco cut-ups long before it was trendy - and converted the snooker room into a studio to save the daily trek to London. The huge window overlooking the countryside also serves as inspiration.
Full lntention have to work smart in order to meet demand for their remixes.

"It started working for us when we organized ourselves even down to roughly where we sit - talk about routine! It helps us be objective and doesn't stem the flow of ideas. We both engineer, but we have different roles in the Studio,"
How has their approach to remixes changed over the years?
"We don't think it has," Michael playfully retorts. "We always start out to do soulful vocal house records, incorporating the various trends in production that come and go. Remixes can take Full Intention upto a week. If, however, as on most projects, they use live string and horn sections, it can be anything up to two weeks, These guys never compromise quality.
If a song needs live strings, they go to RG Jones in Wimbledon to record. Horn sections are occasionally recorded elsewhere, but all the mixdowns are done in their own Studio.

Full Intention's first remix was Duke's 'So In Love with You', which achieved a Top 20 chart placing. They have just finished remixing Bob Sincar's "love generation". But do they turn many remixes down? Michael's reply is something of an eye-opener: "We turn down probably nine out of ten remixes," he claims. "We will only accept a mix if it has a strong vocal hook to work around, Some of the tracks we are offered don't need remixing or they're too close to our style to warrant the treatment:' That said, remixing accounts for up 30% of Full Intention's time.

What tips therefore, can they offer remixers?

"You don't have to ditch all the original parts and just keep the vocal says Michael. "If there are some good guitars, strings, horns or keyboard parts then try and use them as well. Either enhance a track to make it stronger or completely start again. Don't think because you have booked an expensive studio with a big sound system your remix is going to sound pumping eIsewhere. Most of our monitoring is done on NS1Os!" "And make sure the studio you use is acoustically correct," chips in Jon. "Michael will always check the finished mix in his car. That is the second studio!"
As far as the competition is concerned, favorite respected remixers include Kid Crème, Junior Jack & Jazz 'n' Groove.
So how do Full Intention approach a remix?
"We usually start with Jon putting the vocals and any music parts we wish to keep into the Mac," begins Michael. Jon continues: "Then Michael works out ideas that have been whirring around in his head the night before and starts looking through his old record collection! If the vocals are too slow or fast then we will time-stretch them in the Mac to around 126 bpm." At that stage in the remix, Full Intention use the kick drum from their trusty 909 to sync up the vocals and any other parts that they are going to use. Once all the parts are in time, they work on the drums: "We keep a vast collection of kicks, snares, claps and other drum sounds on a hard drive in the sampler, and these will all be auditioned, one by one, until the drums sound right, - and the groove is the same as the other parts in the mix, " reveals Jon. Michael then plays or hums his ideas to the classically-trained Jon, who then works on the chords. I play in aII the keyboard riffs and chord patterns, Jon confirms. "Michael makes the objective decisions - which riff and sounds to use. I concentrate on playing. We both decide what works best in the groove to fine-tune it:' Mike then works the desk, EQ'ing everything into one solid musical groove. They both share percussion and programming duties, though Jon operates the samplers: "Although we can, the worst thing we can do is try to do each other's jobs. " he says. "We know our limitations, so we get David Snell to do the mixdown of vocals and live strings as neither of us is so hot on compression." Mike grins, "I'm a fussy git; I have to be on my own when I'm arranging, because it would probably make a musician like Jon cringe!" Mike will try every possible combination, as he's so fussy, agrees Jon. I don't have the patience for that. Then again, when I come in the next day, he'll have tried everything and it'll be spot-on

Music lovers wouldn't expect anything less from Full Intention.

Mark Moore

Click here to see our links page.

[dtension] [latest news] [productions] [remixes] [dj dates]
[an interview] [dj chart] [mailing list] [links]

website design by DesignDock