We can’t wait for notorious rave institution DISCOSODOMA to return to the mothership with an almighty bang this February, as they welcome Iranian-born San Franciscan party maestro Mozhgan to the lazer basement! As the DJ and promoter behind We Are Monsters, she has seen a meteoric rise to success, with sets at Honey Soundsystem and Sunset Sound System catapulting her to play at Berlin’s Panorama Bar, NYC’s Output, Burning Man’s Disco Knights and beyond. The Discosodoma crew caught up to quiz her on her top tips for successful raving ahead of Saturday’s Discosodoma Loves We Are Monsters.
1. Drink water! Hydration is key.
2. Wear comfortable shoes.
3. Pace yourself. Slow and steady wins the race…
4. Deodorant, chap-stick, mints or toothbrush and toothpaste can rejuvenate you when you’re feeling not so fresh.
6. No parking on the dance floor
7. Put your phone away
8. Sharing is caring
9. Sunglasses – you never know what time you’re going to leave the party, these can be essential when facing the outside world.
10. Have a good rave buddy – someone that will have your back in case things get a little bit too wild…
Catch Mozhgan at Discosodoma this Saturday 10 February from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!
The Tusk boys are well known for bringing prolific heavyweight house legends to the Superstore laser basement, and the latest instalment is certainly no exception! Timothy J Fairplay and Scott Fraser are the masterminds behind Crimes of the Future Records, the imprint behind banging releases from Mystic Bill, Twins, Perseus Traxx and many more dusty, jacking underground house gems that you’ll want to get your hands on! Having come together at the studio of previous headliner Andrew Weatherall, we know these guys are going to bring some serious heat at this Saturday’s Tusk! We caught up to chat new releases, the Glasgow scene and plans for the future!
Hi guys! We can’t wait to have you guys join us at TUSK! How has 2017 been for you so far?
T:Has been good so far yeah, the Mystic Bill release was out a few months back on the label, which is one of my favourites so far. I released an album called Where Is The Champion? on Charlois in February. Have had some good times in Holland, Madrid, Berlin to name a few.
S:Looking forwards too! As Tim said about Mystic Bill being his favourite, he’s also a bit of a hero to me. Next up we have DMTR DSTNT & LVRIN with the Blasphemy EP then Paradise Box from Australia. It’s been a great year so far on the DJ front, just back from the US where I did the Beats in Space show with Richard Fearless which was great fun as we were both randomly in New York at the same time, then The Good Room in Greenpoint and Miami at the Electric Pickle with Joe. Production-wise I’m still waiting on my album dropping and I’m about to release a new record with Richard Sen as Hackney Vandal Patrol.
Where did the name Crimes of the Future come from?
T:It’s the second film by David Cronenberg, in which a makeup company has caused a plague with its cosmetics products.
What are some of your favourite memories from your eponymous Glasgow-based party series?
T:The first one when nobody came at all…?! Though generally a residents’ night, we had a few great guests, Traxx and EDMX being particular highlights.
S: I’m going to add Lord Of The Isles and Plaid live, as I’ve got a huge amount of respect and admiration for what Neil does and Plaid and The Black Dog were a constant feature on my nineties soundtrack. Lovely guys too!
How did you two first meet and how did you come to be working together?
T:I was already working down at (Andrew Weatherall’s) Scrutton Street studios and Scott started renting the studio down the other end of the basement. We got asked to do the night together, and it was only a night for a while before we started the label.
S:When I got to London, Andrew kindly offered me a space at RGC to set up my studio, so I guess it was inevitable we’d end up working together based on how things worked down there. It was very much a bunker of ideas and camaraderie down there.
What is the weirdest / best gig you’ve ever played?
T:There’s been lots of good ones, I kinda always remember that one in France where somebody crowd surfed and we were actually in the weird situation of trying to play stuff to make the audience kinda dance less and calm down. Live at Carcassonne was a great one partly just because of the setting.
S:Agreed on the Live an Carcassonne.
We had one gig where there was a power cut for 40 minutes, literally as we were about to go on which turned out to be a dodgy extension cable and we had to start completely from scratch… A big gig too, ouch!
I’m going to say Drugstore in Belgrade as those guys are probably up there with the best residents I’ve ever played with, they then went on to release a record with us as Tapan and I can count them as great friends now and have had the pleasure of playing with them over there several times since. Nebojsa has just started grappling with the joys of fatherhood but still finds time to bang out wicked music and DJ over there most weekends.
Having split your time between the Glasgow and London clubbing scenes, what do we have to learn from our Northern neighbours?
T:In Glasgow, it’s kinda different because all the clubs shut at 3am, so really everyone turns up midnight to 1am and you have two or three hours to bang it, totally the opposite of that going-on-for-days Berlin DJ journey thing. There’s a good afters party scene up there now though.
S:The Glasgow dance floor suffers no fools and you need to be able to move it quickly due to the licensing restrictions. Honestly I kinda love that about it and I love warming a club up and one of the reasons for that is because I was schooled by the very best in the late eighties and early nineties as a punter listening to Harri at the Sub Club.
What recent releases have got you excited at the moment?
S:I’ve been buying a lot of nice house stuff again recently…
John Swing on Relative, DJ Sports‘ album on Firecracker, digging that new Cadans 12″ on Clone Basement too. New Don’t DJ and ever good Brokntoys on the electro tip. Plus, lots of old weapons from the archive and still mining the second-hand shops for £2 bangers.
If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/when, where would you go?
T:Ancient Greece, obviously.
S:Weatherall, Saturday night at Club 69 in Paisley 1996.
Have you got any exciting plans in the pipeline that you could let us in on?
T:I have a new EP called Mindfighter out on Höga Nord at the end of June, and I’m off to play in China for the first time in July.
S:Two nice remixes due soon, HVP with Richard (Sen), my album dropping on Berceuse Heroique, I’ve also got a proper song coming out very soon under my own name on a label I’ve released on before with a fantastic Scottish vocalist with a special remix on there too. Getting another label off the ground with Joe soon and I’ve been writing some US style house stuff under the AOD moniker. Some nice gigs bubbling along too.
And finally, in five words or less, what are you planning to unleash on the lazer basement at TUSK?
T: U KNOW U JACK.
S:The house sound of Chicago.
Catch Scott Fraser and Timothy J. Fairplay at Tusk this Saturday 24 June from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!
Homosuperparty Discosodoma is about to ring in her second year of exisitence, and for this very special occasion they welcome one of their musical heroes – Melbourne’s Tornado Wallace (ESP Institute, Beats In Space) – who has quite literally been taking the world by storm. One of the masterminds behind iconic party series Animals Dancing, Tornado Wallace has been whipping dancers into a frenzy with his eclectic melange of house, techno and leftfield disco from Melbourne to London and back again. The Discosodoma crew caught up with him to chat Melbourne party scene, world travels and Pret A Manger… How did you come up with the inspiration for your name for those who are not familiar with it?
I thought it was a cool name so I ran with it. That’s the long and the short of it.
Throughout your career you have experimented with disco, nu-disco, house and some might say trance elements. How would you define your sound? Are there any specific genres you would like to explore in the future?
I get inspired by good music and it doesn’t really matter what genre it’s described as, but at various times I get stuck into a sound more than others so that can generally come across with my productions as well. I grew up listening to trance and house music so that will probably be at the foundation of anything I make in some capacity.
First London then Berlin seems to be the route for many artists and musicians from overseas. What prompted your move? Is there something you would always remember from London?
I moved to London for a bit in 2011 because it was the only city my girlfriend at the time and I would be able to both simultaneously make ourselves useful in. I wanted to stay in Melbourne and she wanted to live in New York, so we chose London as an unhappy middle-ground. We both scraped by and learnt various things about ourselves but ultimately decided that it wasn’t for us. So we went back to our lives of me being based in Melbourne, touring Europe/US occasionally, and her moving about US/Europe with work visiting Melbourne every now and then before we both decided it wasn’t working. And that’s how my girlfriend and I broke up… Wait what was the question?
I miss the pubs in London. They were my favourite thing while living there. And Pret-a-manger.
You’ve been part of the Animals Dancing collective since the very beginning. What was your drive behind the parties and how do you remain true to your music policy and aesthetic?
There was a bit of a trend in Melbourne at one stage, that overseas producers would get booked for Australian tours without really being that much of a ‘DJ’. That is, not knowing how to play good records, well, and for extended periods. So we thought we would try our luck on some DJs that we knew were awesome, but that maybe weren’t getting good shows in Melbourne due to a lack of not being a hot-shit producer – necessarily. This remains true six/seven years later, except that a lot of DJs we book also happen to have hot shit productions too, though it’s never the original focus.
How does the nightlife in Melbourne compare to the cities you’ve lived so far in Europe? Are there things you would like to see changed?
Melbourne is lucky to have late licenses – and even 24 hour licenses are quite commonplace. This is something that you take for granted when you grow up there, but once you start traveling around you see that it’s actually quite rare. Because of this, Melbourne has always fostered DJs and musicians coming through, as there’s more time available for people to have a go. It’s still competitive, but it makes for fertile ground for people to take the music out of the garage/bedroom. I wouldn’t imagine anything needs to be changed in terms of nightlife. There’s a perfect balance of liberty and law which allows people to be able to do whatever they want within and without reason. Though it wouldn’t hurt if the local government loosened their collars a little more.
We see a lot of venues in London closing their doors for good, while local authorities make it more difficult to open up new ones. Is this something you have also experienced when putting up parties in Melbourne?
Not really. It’s common for clubs the world over to have a relatively short innings in the scheme of things. People eventually want to move on, but that’s ok because then a building or a space becomes associated with a time in people’s lives. Just like the music that gets played there. With a place as dense as London it’s no wonder people find it tricky finding new spots. In Melbourne there’s a bit more room to make new things work.
Are there any projects in the upcoming months you could share with us?
I have an LP which I’m wrapping up now and should be out some time in 2016. And also hopefully squeeze out another EP somewhere while I’m at it.
What shall we expect from your set on the night?
I’m not sure myself. I’ll pack a bag of my favourite records and try play as many of them as time allows.
And finally, what is disco?
A theque, a genre, a fever, a ball, an inferno, a nap, a stick and a biscuit.
Glasgow based house producer and DJ Ooft! aka Ali Herron hits up London town next weekend to join us in Dalston for Ubermax. In addition to making his own deep house, Ali also runs the small UK label Foto Recording that’s previously released acts such as Cole Medina and former Ubermax guest Medlar.
Known in part for his work with fellow Glaswegian, The Revenge, Ooft! has been steadily gaining more of our attention, and even recently appeared on one of our favourite NY radio shows, Beats In Space. We caught up with the man himself to find out what we can expect from his laser basement set, his feelings on his hometown and more…
What’s in your record bag for Ubermax?
I always pack a mixture of house, disco, soul, and some slower stuff so that I’m prepared for most situations. At the moment I’m particularly feeling tracks from Deetron, Lauer, Daniel Solar, Nick Nikolov and more. There are loads of great tracks kicking around at the moment.
Why did you decide to set up your own label, Foto Recordings and what’s the label’s defining feature?
The main reason I set the label up was simply as a vehicle for releasing my own music. As time has passed I’ve ended up putting out music from other people but mainly close friends of mine. As such there is no defining feature… unless you count ropey artwork!
What are your favourite UK labels (other than your own!)?
UK wise here are a few super-consistent favourites: Wolf, Delusions of Grandeur, Use of Weapons, Firecracker, House of Disco, Seven Music, Extended Play, and Disco Deviance. Pretty much every release always has at least one track I really like and end up playing loads.
Anything exciting due on Foto for 2013?
Absolutely nothing! My main aim was to get four releases out over 2012, which should hopefully happen when the next OOFT! EP comes out at the beginning of December. After that I haven’t made any plans for the next phase. We’ll see which way the wind blows!
You were recently on renowned NYC radio show Beats In Space- how did that go and are you happy with the show you did?
It was great fun, really easy too considering it’s a long time since I’ve done any live radio. Tim Sweeney is a consummate host. I thought I was only on for an hour before we started but it was 90 minutes so I managed to get plenty of my favourite tracks played and am pretty happy with the results.
I could reel off the usual suspects like Lil Louis, Romanthony, The Nightwriters etc but my biggest influence has definitely been two DJs from Glasgow – Harri & Domenic. They have played together every Saturday night at the Sub Club since 1994 and have been my inspiration and education in all things house. I think most artists from Glasgow would be hard pushed to say anything different.
Describe your relationship with The Revenge…
We’re really good mates with a shared love of music. He was my main production mentor and helped me to learn the basics of music production as I was a DJ with no clue how to do anything! We worked together as OOFT! initially a few years ago before he got too busy with his other projects, but luckily by that point I’d kinda learned enough to continue working on my own We’ve recently started DJing together a lot more again after a long time time flying solo with our monthly Instruments Of Rapture parties back in Glasgow (with Craig Smith from 6th Borough project too).
Where do you go out in your home of Glasgow? What venues and nights are really doing it for you at the moment?
I’ve said this in other interviews before but we’re really spoiled for nightlife in Glasgow considering its small population. There are five or six solid underground nightclubs, of which the Sub Club is my favourite (because it’s the best!). You can basically take your pick most weekends as there will be three or four decent nights on every Friday and Saturday.
Why do you think Glasgow has got such a good dance music scene?
It’s a hard one to pin down but I think the city has traditionally had the weekend socialising scene for many generations where young people would go out to drink and dance the night away and forget about their jobs looming on a Monday morning. This tradition allied to disco, house and techno (and all the newer offshoots) makes for a very potent combination. When it goes off in Glasgow, you know all about it!
What made you want to start making music?
It started off the back of DJing really. I had some favourite older records which I found very hard to mix as they didn’t fit in with the rest of my music. So I started experimenting with basic cut and paste editing of a song so I could get it into my set. Fast forward eight years or so and it has all just grown organically from there!
And what one song brings you instant nostalgia for your childhood?
Any track off Tina Turners greatest hits, Chris Rea’s New Light Through Old Windows or Survivor’s Eye of The Tiger off a compilation called American Heartbeat. These were the main cassette tapes in my folk’s car stereos! Heady days.
Ooft! joins us for Ubermax on Friday 23rd November from 9pm – 3am with Sigmund K and Eugene & Mortimer.
With Lovebox galloping ever closer, we thought it high time to catch up with the people behind the area housing our friends Horse Meat Disco at the festival, the NYC Downlow. Gideon Berger and Steve Gallagher, with their joint background in art direction and set building, are also the brains behind Glastonbury’s hedonistic after-hours playground, Block9. This year their efforts are solely focused on Victoria Park as Pilton lays low for 2012, meaning we can expect bigger and better and more flamboyant goings on with Glasgow’s notorious Optimo, Tim Sweeney of celebrated New York radio show Beats In Space and the legendary Andrew Weatherall joining the HMD boys in everyone’s favourite decaying New York tenement block transported to Hackney…
You both run Block9 at Glastonbury Festival, how did it come about and what was the motivation behind it?
Gideon: Block9 is the name of the set design partnership founded by Steve and me in 2007. We specialize in radical set and environment design. We’re based in East London and we design and produce artworks, installations and live events as well as television, film and stage sets. Before inheriting our own field at Glastonbury we had been doing a lot of festival work around the globe both as Block9 and solo in Japan (Fuji Rock), US (Burning Man) and Europe.
Steve:We created The NYC Downlow for Glastonbury 2007 as an answer to a gaping hole in the British festival scene. It’s a film-set replica of a ruined NYC tenement where the murky homo fantasies of The Downlow crew fuse to resurrect New York’s golden age. The exposed first floor apartment is an outdoor music and performance stage, playing host to the UK’s finest alternative cabaret stars. Having purchased a false moustache from the ‘Porn Kiosk’ (with proceeds going to charity) you make your way down a seedy back alley into a vintage New York gay club.
Did you both think it would become such a talking point and that you’d create this super-popular gay club in the middle of a field in the West Country?
Gideon and Steve: When the NYC Downlow first started it was kinda cobbled together… there were over 50 of us who were there in the mud. We had an inkling that it would really kick off, though we weren’t expecting that on the opening night we would have an instant queue of 300 people waiting to get in! In retrospect looking at the star-studded list of Downlow crew, performers and DJ’s present that first year, it is hardly surprising that it was so popular. Jonny Woo, Jon Sizzle, 9bob Rob, Jim Stanton, Le Gateaux Chocolat, Placid, Luke Howard, James Hillard, Suppository Spelling, Dr Noki, Severino, Foolish Felix… an amazing line up.
How did you guys become involved with Lovebox and what is it about the Sunday that makes it so special?
Gideon and Steve: Jim and James from Horse Meat had done a disco venue at Lovebox in 2006, which was the year before we built the NYC Downlow for Glastonbury. We all had a fucking ball that first year and the boys were keen to bring NYC Downlow to Lovebox as the spiritual home of Horse Meat Disco. They hooked us up with Tim, Jules and Rob from Lovebox and the rest is history. In answer to the “What makes Sunday so special?” question…. well it’s the fact that Sunday is all about the HOMO. And the NYC Downlow is built entirely around the HOMO… from the music, to the set and lighting design…come check it out and you will see.
Tell us a bit about what people can expect from NYC Downlow this year and what kind of effort goes in to building the area…
Gideon: The NYC Downlow takes a huge amount of effort to put together really. Shipping containers, cranes, telehandlers, scaffolders, thousands of self-adhesive moustaches, a New York taxicabs, trannies, booze, flashy lights, vintage gay porn, you know…that kinda thing! Stir it all together in Victoria Park, add the finest vintage disco and house and a little sunshine and hey presto – you’ve got yourself The NYC Downlow.
Steve: The Downlow this year features HORSE MEAT DISCO, ANDREW WEATHERALL, OPTIMO, TIM SWEENEY and some killer drag. This year we also have some seriously hot go-go boys too…watch out!
Was the www.thedownlowradio.com born out of a love of DJIng or just a natural progression from the festival work?
Gideon: www.thedownlowradio.com came about really because of two things. The first was that the NYC Downlow became so successful that people really wanted access to our DJ’s and music throughout the year. Through the NYC Dowlow festival venue we had built a network of underground homo DJ’s from all around the globe who were super keen to get involved. Our regular contributors include some giants like Horse Meat Disco, Greg Wilson, Danielli Baldelli, Hannah Holland, Digs and Whoosh, Joshua Iz and a huge amount of other DJ’s specializing in funk, soul, disco vintage house and reggae! I was regularly making mix tapes and CD’s for friends and I kinda thought that maybe hosting them online somewhere might be a good idea too. The success of Block9’s NYC Downlow plus my relatively large output of mixes kinda just added up to the radio. We had no idea it would become a HUGE thing. Thousands of people around the world listen to us every month. It’s the sound of the homo-funk-soul underground!
Steve: We help fund the radio by selling NYC Downlow merchandise from our online shop.
The NYC Downlow will be at Lovebox Festival in Victoria Park on Sunday 17th June with Horse Meat Disco, Andrew Weatherall, Tim Sweeney and Optimo. For tickets and further info visit: lovebox.net