Down-tempo don get his best out there

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IT’S the kind of music you might hear while having a massage in a posh spa resort or maybe as you sip a sunset cocktail on your holidays.

Now, six years into becoming a full-time musician based at his home in the Sheffield suburb of Woodhouse, mild-mannered Michael E is arguably the north of England’s chill-out king.

Nine albums in and his vibes have featured on a staggering 200 compilations, so the time seemed right for a ‘best of’ from this don of down tempo and poolside grooves.

“I’ve given it my all and I’ve had a measure of success,” says Michael.

“My enthusiasm for music remains strong and positive.

“It’s been tough at times dealing with people who expressed the opinion that I should get ‘a proper job’, but to me this is a proper job.

“It’s something I should have done many years ago.

“Life gets in the way and the time slips by and before you know it... it’s too late.

“But just in the nick of time I gave myself a good slap and came to my senses.”

Michael learned his playing skills in various bands, playing from an early age across Europe before settling into a standard career and family life.

He finally pursued his ambition for producing chill-out music in 2006, constructing his own studio and swiftly becoming a prolific artist with a steady output of often exotic sounds which have found an international audience.

He says the double album – featuring 14 tracks available on iTunes – is a kind of celebration and overview of his work so far.

“I should have really called it ‘a collection’ as for contractual reasons I couldn’t include all of my ‘best’ tracks.

“Nevertheless I’m proud of the tracks that are there.

“As I look back I can see real progress, but at the same time a certain charm and innocence to the early stuff as I got to grips with the technology and art of arranging and composing worthwhile music.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of the creative process.

“I get real fulfilment and satisfaction doing something that’s from the heart and sincere.”

One of Michael’s musical heroes, DJ/producer Ansgar Uffink, of Hamburg duo Vargo and a key producer on the legendary cafe Del Mar albums, has mixed the tracks to create two mixes for the album.

“Here’s to the next six years and beyond as I now know this journey is for life and indeed is my life,” adds Michael.