Interview: Fordal Talks Forensic Records, His Latest Release, Beatport Number 1s & More

Interview: Fordal Talks Forensic Records, His Latest Release, Beatport Number 1s & More

After one of Forensic Records’ biggest tracks of the summer, label boss Fordal is back with another sublime vocal heater with his latest release, ‘The Calling’, along with a stunning remix from Austrian talent The Wash. You can grab your copy from Beatport HERE.

Fordal (Les Dales) is a music producer who has been passionate about music since childhood, thanks to his saxophonist father, who played at Jazz clubs with legends like Jimmy Hendrix. He was born in the North East, an area with a rich history in dance music. His love for counterculture music began when he watched Andrew Weatherall play techno at the legendary London club Turnmills.

In 1998, Fordal opened the famous Binary Records shop, a paradise for music collectors. However, it closed down in 2001 due to the digital piracy era. Nevertheless, this experience allowed Fordal to gain exposure and play at some of the most prestigious venues worldwide, such as The Arena, Purple Onion, The Cornerhouse, and the globally-renowned institution of London’s Ministry of Sound.

Since 2022, Fordal has doubled down on his passion for electronic music, releasing a spate of increasingly impressive productions on Forensic Records, which he co-owns with renowned Progressive House stalwart Lexicon Avenue.

To celebrate his latest release, we got up close and personal with Fordal for an immersive chat about all things music: 

Can you tell us about your journey in the music industry and how you got into producing and DJing?

Wow, how long have you got !! I first started DJ’ing in the mid-nineties – learning to mix on two belt drive turntables and a very basic two-channel mixer. I was putting on parties in the early noughties, and I owned and ran a record store in Middlesbrough near my home town in the North East. I then raised my family for the next 15 years and built a career in fashion and retailing – whilst never neglecting my musical roots.

I have always wanted to write and produce music – it runs in my family (my Farther is a Jazz musician). I started learning to produce seven years ago at Point Blank Music School in London, plus over more recent years, I honed my skills taught by electronic music producer/teacher Russ Yallop.

I’m now co-owner of one of my favourite records labels – FORENSIC RECORDS, writing and producing in my studio, working alongside some industry greats, such as Chris Scott (Lexicon Avenue), which is a privilege.

Your latest release, ‘The Calling,’ has received positive feedback. Can you share with us the inspiration and creative process behind the release?

Yes! So far, I’ve had awesome feedback with high-profile support from Hernan Cattaneo and Nick Warren. It’s a great time to release on our label; it’s the 20th release since we rebooted digitally, and it’s our 25th Anniversary year too. Our last release from Sean Harvey and remixed by our very own Lexicon Avenue, has been our highest charting, most successful release since we rebooted.

I really enjoyed working around a vocal hook on my first release ‘Retrospective’ last year. So it was something I wanted to revisit. I had this vocal and wanted to make it more of a centrepiece. The lyrics are quite deep, but I wanted to make them more haunting. Music-wise, I’ve kept the original quite stripped back and with a hypnotic/pulsing vibe to create tension around the vocal.

What was it like having The Wash remix your work, and what do you most like about his take on it?

Obviously thrilled to have someone as talented and successful in the industry as Clemens (The Wash). He is a top guy, plus I love what he’s been doing lately with another awesome label I love – Mango Ally. It also turns out he’s a huge fan of our label, and that’s ok with us!

I was speaking with Clemens the other day; he’s such a great guy. I thanked him for coming on board with Forensic Records to remix my track – he said, “This remix was big fun for me to make. THANK YOU! All the amazing parts from the original came together supernaturally, and within two days, the project was in the box!” 

He went on to tell me that his fun fact was, “While I was taking my dog for a walk, I had this idea of an additional chord change – so I literally ran home quickly to add this idea before I forgot!” Such a nice guy.

Your previous release with Lexicon Avenue went to #1 on Beatport’s Progressive House chart. How did you feel about that achievement, and did it change your approach to producing music? 

It’s been a fantastic journey since first meeting Chris (Scott), founder of Forensic Records. To write and produce with Lexicon Avenue is a real thrill – learning lots along the way – I still am.

As I mentioned, the label has great momentum, so I feel privileged to have the 20th release for us at such an exciting time. Our fans seem to love the quality of music we’re putting out, and if my tune “The Calling” is good enough to hit those standards, I’m happy with that!

How do you stay motivated and inspired to create new music? 

I can’t stop !! I absolutely love it, and I feel like I’m just starting !! I guess you could describe my current situation as a ‘Purple Patch’ with lots of tracks finished and more in the pipeline. I just need to find the right homes for them now! 

Are there any other artists or producers who have influenced your sound over the years? 

Without a doubt, the artist who’s influenced me the most would be Sasha – I’ve followed and been inspired by what he’s done for almost all of his career. A true innovator.

As well as Sasha, there’s John Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo, Henri Saiz, Thom York/Radiohead, Davis Bowie, and Bjork – To name but a few!

What can fans expect from your upcoming releases and projects? 

Everything from the progressive to the melodic, house to techno – moving around these styles whilst putting my style/direction on the sound. Watch this space.

Fordal – The Calling (incl. The Wash Remix) is now available to buy/stream via Forensic Records.

FordalFacebook – Instagram – Spotify – Soundcloud – Beatport

Forensic RecordsFacebook – Instagram – Website – Soundcloud – Beatport