Timestretchers is the current alias of British house producer Bertie since January 2020, formerly a member of The Boneshakers with his brother DJ Stumpi they had two dance hits in the early 90s Don’t go away and One step ahead. His productions extensively use samples blending House with the sounds of classic funk, soul, disco, Jazz and elements of hip-hop.
Brought up on and inspired by the greats of soul music such as Leroy Burgess, Luther Vandross, The Jones Girls, Ronnie Laws, Earth Wind & Fire and Patrice Rushen. Bertie began in the late 1980s DJing in clubs and bars around Hertfordshire and London playing hip-hop then later, house music. He joined his brothers sound system Positive force a year later. Bertie got his first residency paying Hip hop and RnB at a bar called the Gamebird in Watford with guest DJs such as Robbie Vincent, Greg Edwards, David Rodigan and Tim Westwood. It was the love of hip hop and scratching that led him to enter his first Technics DMC UK mixing competition in 1989 earning 2nd place in the regional final, one point behind the winner DJ Pogo. At this time, he would also host a mix show on then pirate radio station Jive FM, various mix shows on other stations followed over the coming years including guest spots on Kiss FM. Bertie entered the Technics DMC Wales two years later achieving a 4th place finish.
In the early 90’s a chance meeting through his brother’s friends Chris Forbes from Kiss FM and the first world Technics DMC world champion Roger Johnson resulted in Bertie being introduced to production and studio work. Bertie was often hired to scratch on a variety of dance tracks and had the pleasure of working with Basketball legends the Harlem Globetrotters providing cuts for their world tour track ‘to the top’. By this time, a real love for house music developed and the Boneshakers were born, releasing two tracks on Reachin records. A Boneshakers UK tour was followed by a third release ‘Feel the melody’ on Scat records featuring Roni Blue and the Neat MC who a few years later would be half of the legendary UK Garage duo DJ Luck & MC Neat. Bertie returned to the decks and had a residency for over 5 years at Legends night club in Luton. The studio work continued, and Bertie released two hip hop battle DJ breaks albums Gold City volumes 1 & 2, the sample from one of the tracks on volume 1 Tubby’s groove was used throughout the by The Genius Crew for their UK Garage top 10 hit Course Bruv in May 2001. A year later Bertie produced ‘who’s in da mood’ by The Golden Child which received national airplay.
A trip to America in 2000 and spending a day at the ‘New York mecca’ Fat City records gave Bertie his first taste of Soulful house music. After missing meeting the rapper Common by ten minutes his dejection turned to elation when Dj Spinna turned up and started mixing on the decks, after a blend of hip hop turntablism Spinna started playing soulful and gospel parts of disco house music with its soaring vocals, intricate melodies, and jazzy instrumentals, capturing Bertie’s ears. He had found his sound, dance music that still contained all his soulful influences.
Bertie continued to Dj in bars and in 2014 entered and won the United Soul DJ mixing competition with part of the first prize being a one year residency at their events. In between he still had that desire to return to radio and became a presenter on Floradio UK
Bertie had always wanted to make jacking and soulful house and an opportunity came in 2020, influenced by some of his soulful heroes he created the Timestretchers and produced the track ‘good love’ which was voted as the record of the week on Centreforce fm, another track ‘Sugar and honey’ was produced shortly after and has received airplay both in the UK and abroad. An EP is due to follow. 2021 will be a busy and exciting year for the Timestretchers so watch out for them.