No – the Aberystwyth Town Football Club isn’t DJing in Hong Kong anytime soon. Nor is the American-Turkish Friendship Council. Aydin the Funky Chile, however, is.
“I have to keep explaining what [ATFC] stands for,” says Aydin Hasirci, aka ATFC. And he’s heard everything. “I’ve been called Aydin the funky chicken, and even Aydin the fat C#@*”.
Despite this unsavoury name calling, the early noughties was a good time for the man that is ATFC (yes, he is just one dude), achieving Top 40 fame with his vocal house hits In And Out Of My Life, Bad Habit and Sleep Talk,featuring Lisa Millett. But for a period after this, his career started to lose momentum. “I think when you’ve had some success at first, you get into a treadmill of doing stuff in the same way, but grander, with strings, horn sections, that kind of thing,” reflects Hasirci.
ATFC found the cure for his musical slump in the sun, surf and sangria, swapping the dreary English climate for the golden Spanish coast just over 18 months ago. “They say a change is as good as a holiday, and… I guess I just started making music the way I did when started off. Everything I made was something I really wanted to play, and it turned out that other people wanted to play it too.”
This change led to his 2008 re-emergence as a leader in house music. At the forefront were a trio of tracks – his remix of Dubfire’s Roadkill, Funkerman’sSpeed Up and his own Ya Killing Me – which were widely praised for filling the gap in the dance music market between vocal, soulful house and gritty electro. All of a sudden, he was re-signed by house giants Defected and, at year’s end, was named Beatportal’s House Artist of the Year. Not a bad 12 months, hey? However, he remains philosophical. “Everyone’s career goes in peaks and troughs, and I’ll have another trough again no doubt.”
At the same time, Hasirci believes in making hay while the Spanish sun shines, getting busy in the next few months with a spate of singles, remixes and collaborations in the works. “It’s funny how everyone wants to do collaborations now that I live in Spain,” he says.
If you want to hear one of 2008’s biggest house acts, get along and see first-hand what the fuss is all about. “Don’t expect two hours of Bad Habit stuff, but equally I’m not going to be throwing down two hours of minimal techno,” says Hasirci. Let’s just hope a Welsh football team hasn’t been booked by mistake.