Posts Tagged ‘Aphex Twin’


Can you believe its been a whole year since SofterTouch made their cosmic crash-landing at the mothership? This Thursday sees an intergalactic celebration of the rowdy, abrasive, noise intensive experiencé that has become a cult-hit! With three successful club nights AfterTouch, SofterTouch and MEGALAST as well as playing at festivals such as Secret Garden Party, LeeFest and Glastonbury, J.Aria (Jacob Aria) and Ni-ku (Nik Rawlings) are renowned across East London for their eclectic and bratty DJ stylings. We caught up with Jacob and Nik to chat about how their friendship blossomed, why we’ve heard Barry Manilow play at SofterTouch, and what we can expect from Thursday!

Hiya Jacob and Nik! For our readers who aren’t that well acquainted with you two, can you tell us a bit about yourselves ? 

J: I’ve been working as a musician in some form or another since I was about 15. Loads of different bands and gigs, festivals and all that. My main focus is a vocalist and experimental producer. I started to find my feet as a DJ about eighteen months ago.

N: I come from a choral background, had a noise band when I was a teenager and ended up studying Sound Art in Brighton, and DJing and promoting went hand in hand with that. For a long time I was obsessed with voguing and that informed a lot of my earlier DJ sets, and I organised a series of voguing events in Nottingham. I’ve always been drawn to more textural, intense, manic music. I think some highlights for me so far have been playing for Boo Hoo at Südblock in Berlin, at Tropical Waste with a hero of mine, KABLAM, and at Intruder Alert in Warsaw. Travelling and making new connections is one of the best things about DJing.

jacob aria

You’ve been collaborating with one another for quite some time now. Let’s rewind… How did you two meet? 

 J: We met at a Lotic gig in Brighton and hit it off. We’re both quite unbearable so we compliment each other pretty well.

N: Jacob and I hit it off pretty much immediately (ie. we both ranted a lot). Our interests and taste clicked so when I moved up to London it was an obvious move to work together. We’re a good balance as a duo and Jacob’s happy to tell me to shut up which is important when you work with me.

Your first club night, Aftertouch, seemed to have a real underground and experimental vibe to it. Tell us a little bit about the premise behind it?.

 J: We wanted to bring together experimental queer performance art with experimental queer club DJing in a way that we hadn’t experienced before in London – it was usually one or the other.

N: We had spoken a lot about how at the time (2015/16) there was a lack of queer nights that focussed on the more experimental club music we were both into whilst also making a good space for performance art and radical drag. We wanted to present a night that was darker, more confrontational, disco-free, without being too overtly serious or prescriptive.

Aftertouch provided an amazing platform for queer artists. There seems to be an abundance of amazing LGBTQ+ performance talent but a lack of spaces for them. How can London become a better city for performers? 

J: There are loads of amazing things happening now. But it’s always a nightmare trying to get a venue to support you with your stuff. There’s usually always a catch, and doing something that isn’t super conventional is always a gamble. I think London would benefit from having more interesting and accessible spaces to party in. The licensing laws here are too tight, it stifles a lot of freedom when you’re regulated in that way. It needs to loosen up, and we need more funding to be put into creative outlets. It’s kind of a rich kids playground, and rich kids are boring c**ts.

N: There’s some fundamental issues being in London that need to improve that would positively impact all creative scenes and especially queer performers. Space tends to be in short supply, but so is time; without lower rent and better wages it’s impossible to take time to make work!  We all need more time and space than we often have in London if we want to be able to make ambitious, honest and original work. I’m sick of seeing new build flats sold on the credibility of the ‘creative quarter’ that they knocked down. Dedicated spaces are in short supply, so hats off to the LGBTQ+ Community Centre project. Projects like that are going to be wildly important in supporting performers.

nik 2

Why did you decide to move away from performance to a music-centred night with SofterTouch?

 J: I just wanted to bring something really different to the Dalston Superstore programming, and to have a regular night to work on my DJ skills I guess. It had always been that I was the one that sorted the performance aspect of afterTouch and I wanted to cross over into DJing. Plus Superstore have always been so supportive of us as both friends and mentors that we wanted to do something there, something ‘at home’.

N: We’d both worked at Superstore – and for me it was a formative club when I first started coming to queer clubs, so obviously we wanted to ‘come home’. But we were also really excited to disrupt what people might expect from Dalston Superstore, and bring something a bit more confrontational and manic. It’s been a really great learning experience for both of us; we play B2B all night, and play a really frenetic and sometimes jarring combination of tracks, so the music can be a real journey. It’s kind of like an argument on the decks, but somehow it works. Oh, and generally I’ll close out with a basic bitch trance or donk remix of something so there’s that.

In terms of your DJ styles, who or what have been your inspirations?

 J: My influences are all over the place. Sometimes I’m pretending I’m Black Madonna or Honey Dijon, other times it’s Aphex Twin or JLin. I dunno, I’m super messy. I get most of my inspiration from my DJ friends or by being on the other side of the desk on the dance floor and kinda peeking over to see how the DJ is working. I’m always trying to study whoever I see.

N: Big question. I think the whole of our particular scene looks to TOTAL FREEDOM as an originator. KABLAM, originally of Janus in Berlin is still my current favourites, we have a lot of choral influences in common too. Then also I always look back to the Bubblebyte party, maybe seven years ago in Peckham where AIDS-3D & TCF (then known as Craxxxmurf) played loads of insane bubbling and hardstyle – it still stands out years later, and I’ll weave in some tracks from that period throughout most sets. When I’m playing a solo mix I’ll plan a trajectory and think about the textural and emotional story I want to tell, and when I play SofterTouch with Jacob it’s much more about wild trax that’ll just about fit with whatever they’ve been playing and keep bodies moving without being too stuck to genre or tempo.

Its safe to say that you both are quite contrasting in what you play, but we’ve never experienced a dull moment when you’re both going b2b at SofterTouch! Why do you think you both work so well together?

J: It just keeps the night evolving, because the mood is constantly shifting. We have totally different tastes but there’s a middle ground, we are both trying to experiment in similar ways – just with different tracks. If I think Nik is being too bratty I’ll play Barry Manilow just to piss him off.

N: We kind of battle each other a bit and sometimes there’ll be 30 minutes of us playing tracks that mix smoothly and then you’ll have a whole load of material that shouldn’t work together but somehow does. There’s a huge range of genres we’ll play from…. and every now and again I’ll drop a lipsync track in and get on the bar. We play a lot of quite intense music but it’s all with a sense of humour.

More recently, you both brought your experimental flare to our Friday night line-up with MEGALAST! Whats in store for the next one?

 J: MegaLast is our new Friday night party. It’s kind of a natural progression from softerTouch. We are bringing in challenging and experimental DJs from across the country and the continent. I guess we are really trying to shake up the kind of programming you would expect on Kingsland Road on a Friday night. We are back on August 31st for round two, it’s gonna be even bigger and rowdier than our first. I’m super excited about who we are looking to get down to the lazerpit this time around.

N: MegaLast brings both SofterTouch and AfterTouch’s music policies together; there’s artists downstairs playing more abrasive, experimental and intense music downstairs in the basement and diverse party tracks upstairs. The next one will be headlined by Object Blue whose recent release on Tobago Tracks is one of the standout records of the year for us; they’re also a regular Superstore-goer and so we’re really excited to have her at DSS for the first time

Who would be your dream booking?

J: Flying Lotus or J Lin would be nuts.

N: TCF, Holly Herndon, Ase Manual, Lotic, W3C.

In five words, can you describe what we can expect Thursday?

J: Bratty, erratic, explorations, heaviness and audacity.

N: Cute bounce, much booty, kick.

Catch J.Aria and Ni-Ku at SofterTouch: One Year this Thursday 7th June 9pm-2:30am at Dalston Superstore!



By Whitney Weiss

For October’s edition of PATSY, Superstore welcomes SocksLove, a Scorpio from Milan who is one-half of the pan-European collective Eurocrash (alongside total babe and PATSY favorite Protopapa.) A ferociously talented DJ and actual sweetheart—one of his side projects is called Baby DJ Lab, a workshop for small children to try mixing with vinyl—SocksLove has played all around Italy and Germany, but this is his first time ever in London! To celebrate, we asked him a bunch of questions about himself and music. Read on for his clever answers <3 

Ciao Gab! You’re a Scorpio. It’s about to be Scorpio season (PATSY‘s into astrology). So, what’s a song that immediately makes you think of sex?

Oh I can be pretty horny, but just from time to time. But I’d say Aphex Twin – Windowlicker.

You and Protopapa have a collective together called Eurocrash, which throws parties and has radio shows and promotes DJs and does a lot in Italian nightlife all over the country. What is a song that brought you two together/that you enjoy playing when you DJ with him/that sums up the feeling of Eurocrash?

Hah! He made me discover the song Bipolar Duality (Sare Havlicek feat. MC Winksy) when we were both turning 30 and pretty much blue. Also, we DJed together in Puglia last year and found ourselves ferociously yelling at once with Soulwax’s NY Excuse.

What’s the song that made you realise that you wanted to DJ? Where did you hear it (at home, at a particular party, on the radio, etc)?

Radio has played a main role in this: The Wiseguys – Ooh La La!

Part of why your DJ sets are so fun is because you are such a passionate and emotional DJ. What is the one song that always makes you cry?

I love to perspire, yes. Any kind of liquid stuff. Lou Reed – Perfect Day. Oh, it brings lots of pain to the surface.

Whether it’s playing here in London for the first time or in Bologna or at a New Year’s Party in Salento, what is one song that never leaves your USB/record bag?

You got me. Pretty harsh to tell, but Box Codax – Rat Boy (Mock & Toof Remix) takes the energy from my toes to my hair’s loose ends.

Eurocrash is getting into production stuff, does this mean you will be producing? Until we get to hear your stuff, what is one song you wish you’d written (and why do you wish you’d written it?)

I wish I was produced by a proud productive prodigious pride bride, and my dreams are into In Flagranti‘s entire work. Or Alkan‘s. It’s rock, and it’s for clubbing, either at a festival or with your earphones.

You are making your London debut at Superstore and closing out the laser basement. What is one of your favourite end-of-the-night songs? (You don’t have to give away what yours will be at Superstore <3)

I can be very ignorant, but I’ll skip Shaggy this time. I’d rather say Exodus – Together Forever.

You’re really involved in the Italian queer underground. What is one record that’s come out of your scene lately that you wish more people knew about?

It’s certainly Palazzo – Sabotaggio, the song Eurocrash produced the videoclip and the remixes. Ch-ch-ch-check it out.

If you could travel back in time to any dance floor during any era anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? And what is a song you would hope to hear there?

I’m terrifically into early rave, can’t help it. It takes me back to a place and time I’ve nearly been into, but not actually. It’s the electric feeling of love I’ve hardly touched, and that I can translate this with Digital Boy – Direct To Rave.

PATSY is all about queer joy, coming together, and a lack of pretension (which kind of sounds pretentious when you say it out loud, but is actually quite sincere). Is there a song that you think sums up that vibe?

Perfume Genius – Queen. 

Catch SocksLove at Patsy on Friday 20 October from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!



London based Volte-Face joins us at Superstore this Saturday for an extra-special face-melting edition of Papercut. As the man behind BleeD, London’s go-to club night for experimental electronic music and resident at Fabric’s Divided Love, with regular spots at Berghain, it is guaranteed that you’re in for the ultimate techno treat. Plus this month sees the release of his new EP as Rote, a collaboration with Daniel Avery!

He’ll be joining residents Miltos B and Wandson Maxx in the laser basement, and ahead of the party the boys posed their record themed questions to him to ascertain just how scary his taste in techno really is…

The scariest techno record you own?

I have a fair few, but let’s go with a classic – The Horrorist – One Night In NYC.

A record you wished you made?

Coil – Time Machines. I’ve just invested in a Minimoog Voyager, and have been fiddling around making all manner of drones, but I fear I’m 20 years too late!

A record that reminds you of your first London clubbing experiences?

The day I moved to London, in 2006, I saw Altern-8 playing at Bugged Out/The End, so let’s go with Infiltrate 202. My first London clubbing experience was Sasha & Digweed several years before, but I think those memories are best left alone.

A BleeD classic?

How about Prurient – Cocaine Death. Oh wait, maybe that’s the scariest record I own.

A record that sounds bonkers down Berghain?

The first time I played there, I was lucky enough to do an ambient set at CTM Festival. I can assure you, Shinichi Atobe’s Waste Land 2 sounded absolutely bonkers in there.

A secret weapon?

My arsenal of unreleased productions. The Power Of Christ Compels You comes to mind, it’s served me well all year! Sounds like a good name for a scary techno record, no?

A guilty pleasure? 

There’s no such thing!

A dream collaborator?

I’d love to make a techno record with John Elliott from Emeralds/Outer Space. If he’d only give me a hard-drive full of his beautiful synth work, I’d be more than happy to put a donk on it.

Your favourite record from this year?

A record which I’ve had for pretty much exactly a year, and which I couldn’t stop playing, would be Function/Inland – Odeon. The pad (originally a Photek instrumental) just hits the perfect emotional note for me, and I like to play records like this on the home straight at the end of the night.

A last song?

And now for something completely different… Hard Corps – Je Suis Passe perhaps? Or Aphex Twin – Analogue Bubblebath. Something to leave people with a rictus grin on the way home.

Join Volte-Face this Saturday 24th October at Dalston Superstore for Papercut from 9pm – 3am.


This Friday Disco Bloodbath welcomes Raudive aka Oliver Ho to the laser basement, playing under his more house orientated alias. Kicking off the bank holiday in style, Raudive, along with Bloodbath residents Damon Martin and Ben Pistor will be treating the basement to all kinds of aural delights. Ahead of the party we caught up with the man himself to find out more…

What separates Oliver Ho from Raudive?

Well, Raudive is my production alias that I use when I produce my hyrbid of “techno/house/no wave/industrial”. It’s a kind of dance music, but on my terms.

Oliver Ho is me, that encompasses everything from the Raudive stuff to my band The Eyes In The Heat, and my next project coming soon, Zov Zov, an experimental noise/post rock project with my friend, Tommy Gillard. That’s coming out at the end of the year on vinyl.

How did you come up with your moniker Raudive?

Well, I wanted signify a point in my artistic development, a kind of signal of independence and statement of being an individual. I have always been interested in the idea of EVP, which is “electric voice phenomenon”. It’s the process of recording the voices of spirits and ghosts through filtering the noise in our enviroment. Tape recorders would be used to document these strange voices of the dead. I love the idea the human soul speaking to us through electronic equipment, it’s a beautiful metaphor for music in general. One of the pioneers of this movement was Konstantin Raudive, so I named myself after him.

You’re based here in London- what musically is really exciting you in the capital?

London is fantastic, I have always loved the diversity of music here. Recently I went to Cafe Oto to see Leafcutter John, he was performing using bike lights to control the sounds in his music; it was very inspiring. Soon I will be going to see a Stockhausen piece being performed at the Royal Festival Hall.

What prompted your taste transition from being super into acts like Napalm Death and Godflesh to getting into dance music?

Well I still love those old heavy bands like that, but I think it was stuff like Aphex Twin and Autechre that got me into electronic stuff. And then after that it was Psychic TV, Psychic Warriors Of Gaia and Exquisite Corpse too. I really didn’t get techno properly until I started going to the Lost parties though, that club changed the wiring in my brain. Hearing the music on a huge soundsystem and feeling that pressure, something simple and relentless… I love the combination of simple and relentless.

You’ve released on loads of labels- which feels most like home?

I started out on Blueprint Records, that was my home for a long time. More recently, I have felt really good working with Stefan and Finn at Macro Records in Berlin. I have just finished my next album for them and I am so pleased with how it’s come out. They are super open minded, and always want their artists to have the freedom to really express an individual take on things.

If you had a time machine and could go back to any dancefloor any when and any where- where would you be going?

I would love to go back to the Music Box, and hear Ron Hardy play. I think that must have been quite incredible to hear all that stuff, The attitude he had, and the energy. I would also love to hear the noise band, Whitehouse, play early in their career, in the ’80s. Although that’s not dancefloor music, thats more torture chamber music, but in a good way.

If your house was burning down and you only had time to save one record, which would it be?

Bloody hell, only one record… probably my Napalm Death Peel Sessions record. It sounds amazing, like nothing else, but also listening to it is like looking at old pics in a family album.

What motto do you live your life by?

“Dream Your Life.”

Your mixtape for How The Other Half Live was very eclectic, covering all kinds of bases from Captain Beefheart to Gang Of Four and even Sasha Grey. What’s the weirdest curveball you think you can get away at Disco Bloodbath this Friday?

It wouldn’t be a surpise curveball if I told you now, would it!  Wait and see!


Oliver Ho 21/03/2013 by Zntn&How The Other Half Lives on Mixcloud

Join Raudive this Friday for Disco Bloodbath at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 4am.