Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’

Jacob Meehan

This Friday our favourite loose cannon PATSY invites you to her Third Birthday! Headlining this glitzy affair is the absolutely fabulous Jacob Meehan! 

A thoughtful DJ and passionate organiser of functions, Jacob Meehan has played everywhere from Smart Bar (Chicago) to Panorama Bar (Berlin), worked behind the counter at Chicago’s legendary Gramophone Records, and now roams about:://blank for 48+ hours straight each month when Buttons, the party where he’s both resident and program director, delights all of queer Berlin.  

Ahead of his hotly anticipated set at PATSY, resident DJ and booker Whitney Weiss caught up with Jacob to talk about summer songs, anti-fascist protests, and floating music festivals.  

 

 

Hey Jacob! You’re a resident DJ and program director at Buttons, a great monthly party that combines creative artist bookings and queer debauchery in Berlin. What is a song that embodies the energy of Buttons for you?? 

 Hyper Go Go’s High Cloud 9 Mix

 

Before Berlin, you lived in New York and in Chicago, where you did the Men’s Room parties and were a resident at Smart Bar. What record makes you think of your time in Chicago?

RIS – Love-n-Music.

 I’ve heard you play everything from house to freestyle to ambient sunrise music to techno. What would you say is the most surprising or unexpected record in your collection?? 

This track from Mr. Bungle’s California album has been stuck in my head, which harkens back to my teenage days as a closeted, stoned, angsty Midwestern nu-metalhead. 

This is your second time at Superstore (thanks for your set at Les Poppeurs a few years ago!) What is a song you’re looking forward to playing late night in the laser basement?? 

I’ve got lots of fresh stuff from friends and colleagues from all over the globe, which I love being able to share. My former co-worker at Gramaphone Records, Ike Release, just gave me some lush unreleased material, and Will and Nita from The Carry Nation inboxed me a great new vocal house track. Plus new cuts from Buttons residents Shingo Suwa & Stanley Schmidt.  

Berlin has been blessed with a lot of sunlight this April and May. What record is your favorite to listen to at home when the windows are open, a breeze is wafting in, and you’re relaxing?? 

Alice Coltrane Featuring Pharoah Sanders – Journey In Satchidananda.

What’s a song you wish you had written?  

Have you heard the latest track by John Roberts? I deeply admire everything that he does.

 Do you write music ever, and if so, what’s it like?? 

I just uploaded a few house tracks to my Soundcloud, which I made with Garrett David ( Smart Bar/Lobster Theremin).

Recently you participated in what looked like a beautiful and successful protest against the far right AfD (Alternativ für Deutschland) in Berlin where the music community outnumbered the fascists. I saw that you were DJing at one point. What sort of songs did you play, and what was the day like?  

Clubbing is one of Berlin’s biggest industries, so to see the scene self-actualise and come together to politically organise against the far right was beyond powerful and necessary. 70,000+ people showed up in the streets to stand up to the AfD, and show them that they are not the majority. The day was a beautifully colourful, peaceful, multi-generational protest soundtracked by a number of trucks rigged with sound systems. Buttons collaborated on the QUEER BLOCK with RiotPornceptualHerrensaunaGegen, Cocktail d’Amore, MembersGDay, and Room4Resistance. It was honestly one of the most important things I’ve ever been a part of, and it was such an honour to be able to play for an hour. My personal highlight was getting to drop Robert Owen’s 1987 classic Bring Down the Walls just a stone’s throw from where the Berlin Wall used to be. 

download

 You’re one of the organisers of Whole Festival, which is bringing together Buttons, Discwoman, Unter, Horse Meat, Cocktail d’Amore, and more on a peninsula at Greimminer See. What’s a record you know you’ll want to play there, surrounded by friends and community?? 

I think I’m slated to play before Eris Drew on Saturday night before the sun sets. Our stage will be floating in a lake, which is a former quarry, now flooded. I anticipate soundtracking the transition from light into dark, probably through Bezier – B2 Teleconférence. 

What was the first record you ever bought? Where did you buy it?

Babe, we’re gonna love tonight by Lime from Gramaphone and Try Again by Aaliyah off Ebay.

 

What song have you always wanted to hear someone else play out so you could dance to it?

All Night Passion by Alisha!


Catch Jacob Meehan at PATSY, Friday 15th June from 9pm – 3am at Dalston Superstore!

SPENCER REED

The March edition of Homostash sees an extra special guest joining us all the way from the US via Berlin. Producer and DJ Spencer Reed has seen incredible success since making the move to Berlin in 2012, and we are absolutely thrilled for him to be making his Dalston Superstore debut! We caught up to chat favourite venues to play to, Berlin nightlife, and dream tracks.

Hi Spencer! We are super excited to have you play at Dalston Superstore for Homostash! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am originally from the USA and my hometown is Washington, DC. I am 33 years old. Music gives me life. I love grungy street art of all kinds. My favourite colour is green and I’m a Sagittarius.

You have played at some of Berlin’s hugest clubs, from Cassiopeia & Weekend Club to Kit Kat & Brunnen70. Which has been your favourite dancefloor to play to?

It’s a hard choice but I think Riter Butzke has been my favourite club to play so far in Berlin. The sound, lighting and atmosphere is amazing. The DJ booth is super and has a really nice monitor system.

de-ritter-butzke-berlin


Having moved to Berlin from the US, how has your new home influenced your sound as a DJ?

Absolutely I would say Berlin has been one of the largest influences in my sound. Most of my favorites artist are based in Berlin. But also the vibe of the city has a deep effect on my musical taste.

If you had a time machine and could visit any dance floor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?

I would have to say Crobar in NYC back in the early 2000s. That was some of best clubbing experiences of my life. The club was massive in every proportion. They just don’t make clubs like that anymore.

At our sister venue Voodoo Rays we have pizzas named after Giorgio Moroder and Hot Mix 5…. What base and toppings would a Spencer Reed pizza have on it?

It would have to be deep, spicy, meaty and funky. So I would say a deep dish crust pizza with spicy salami and meatballs, mushrooms and extra cheese.  

If you were taking us on a date in Berlin where would be going to eat, drink and dance?

The choices are easy for me. First we would go eat at Kimchi Princess, a delicious Korean BBQ in Görlitzer Platz. Then we could go for a drink at Haus am See in Rosenthalerplatz for its super delicious cocktails and chill, hip atmosphere. And of course when it’s time to dance we would go to Berghain because that’s a life experience not to be missed. 

If you could collaborate with any producer past or present, who would it be?

I would love to have the chance to get in the studio with Len Faki. I am in love with almost all his productions and he is where I get a lot of my inspirations. I also think he has cool vibe and style.

You’re a big lover of percussion. What’s your favourite drumline in a house track?

 Definitely Are You There by Josh Wink. This is such a cool track with really analogue feeling drums. Every drumline in this whole track just gets me pumped.

Track you wish you’d produced?

 Music is the Answer by Caleda and Danny Tennaglia. More so I would have loved to remix it but it’s been done so many times now.

In five words or less, what do you have in store for Homostash?

 Dirty House and Techno


Catch Spencer Reed at Homostash at Dalston Superstore on Friday 11 March from 9pm-3am.

 

Mehmet Aslan

Having discovered his musical niche relatively late in life, Mehmet Aslan has shot to great success over the course of just a few years. The Berlin-based DJ and producer is now very busy indeed, carving a new path on the cusp of House and traditional Turkish folk music. He has seen original releases and edits on labels such as For Disco Only, Huntleys & Palmers and HIGHLIFE and has recently launched his co-owned label Fleeting Wax. We caught up with him to chat childhood inspiration, latest projects and life in Berlin!

For those who will get to know you for the first time, how did you start in music?

There is a story that when I was five years old and I saw a toy in a shopping mall, I started to cry and shout “I want a ton-a-ton.” My parents didn’t get what I was crying for until I pointed to a toy tape-recorder with a mic (exactly this kind of a thing). Anyway, after a long abscence I somehow got into spinning records and started playing with music.

Was it always your intention to blend your Turkish roots in your sound?

No. It happened by accident when I had a Turkish sample with me in the studio with Dario from Alma Negra. I thought, why not use that sample? That specific track got picked up by Ata from Robert Johnson and after that I realised something must be right. And finally there was something I could really relate to. So I started to dig more into Turkish music, and a whole new world opened to me..

Recently DJ Broadcast named you as one of the main actors in the disco revolution of the Middle East, alongside Baris K and Red Axes. How would you like to see this evolve? 

I think there is kind of a trend going in this direction but it’s important that we bring something new to this, taking it away from the cliché of oriental sounds and creating new hybrids. It’s a tough comparison, but sometimes I see parallels to how Funk/Disco evolved into House in Chicago in the eighties. It should be a transformation process.

What would be your dream collaborations?

Andrew Thomson, the big man of Huntleys & Palmers when he finally wants to make music and Tigran Hamasyan.

If you had the chance to time travel in any point in history, where would you go and why?

Back to the day when my parents bought me that toy to record music: I would stick to making music earlier.

We’ve read you had an adventurous start in Berlin.  How’s the city warmed up to you? 

Oh yeah I made big way from my humble beginnings and have a warm and cozy flat now –  gentrificated neighbourhood included! Anyway, it wouldn’t have been as easy if the Renate family were not here, love them!

Would you ever consider moving to Turkey to further your sound? 

I’ve actually been thinking about that for a while, since the link to Turkey gets stronger and stronger. But besides the sound I’m interested to learn more about Turkey in general. I just hope the political situation gets better soon, I’m just thinking about that right now…

Do you have any future projects you could share with us?

There are few remixes coming up: for the Romanian Band Steaua De Mare, a collaborative remix with Baris K for Khidja and more edits on different labels. But the most exciting news for me right now is my label Fleeting Wax which I start with Miajica, my friend from Basel who is one third of the Alma Negra crew. 
The first release is coming out in a few weeks and we have a German, Italian and Turkish edit on the first one.  We will also dedicate our future releases to exploring new talents and bands.

What shall we expect from your set at Discosodoma?

Hopefully I can make some people discover music they never heard before.

Looking forward to it! And finally, disco is?

Diskomanco:

Catch Mehmet Aslan on Saturday 12 September at Discosodoma at Dalston Superstore from 9pm-4am.

Roi Perez

Roi Perez is a DJ with one seriously impressive rap sheet. In addition to playing legendary ten-hour sets at Berghain’s Panorama Bar, the Israeli electronic music producer & DJ has spent the last couple of years jetting around Europe playing some of the biggest clubs and proving himself to be at the top of the house and techno game. Ahead of his Superstore laser basement debut this Saturday for Homodrop, we caught up to chat favourite records, marathon sets and new releases. 

Hi Roi! Can you tell us about yourself in a few sentences?

Hey ! I’ve been living in Berlin for the past two years, as a DJ, record collector, and a clubber. I’m also running the London’s Phonica Records section at The Store in Berlin. Before that I was a Tel-Aviv resident where it all started. 

What is something that would surprise us about the Tel Aviv party scene?

The scene is pretty much focused on big names worldwide rather than local DJs. I think the freedom of creativity to book whoever is more suited is important, but it’s becoming more of a fetish to glorify artists from abroad. I wish it was more supportive for local DJs/producers scene. I do think it will get there in few years. 

You are known for some seriously epic sets at Panorama Bar – what is it like playing a 10 hour set?! How do you go about it? 

I’m lucky to have Panorama Bar to allow this possibility. I prepare for the set very properly. But once it starts I get in a very specific mood and I run with it. For a set that goes for 10 hours without any breaks I’m aways surprise how it feels like 1 hour in the end. It’s fun! 

If you had access to a time machine and could visit any dance floor anywhere/anywhen, where would want to go dancing?

I’d have loved to go to an early David Mancozu’s Loft Party. When I was in NYC two years ago I went  to one to check it out. I loved it! It felt like everyone there was on mushrooms. 

What is the first record that got you into house and techno?

I really don’t remember, probably it was a Larry Heard album.

What is one record you like to throw in as a curveball to keep people on their toes and why?

Matrixxman – 808 state of mind. 
It might sounds like just a decent good track but I’ve tried it many times, it’s a dance floor slow killer!

What is your favourite release of 2015 so far?

 It just been out this month and it’s kinda hit material but Heaven’s Vape by STL (Smallville records)

Join Roi Perez this Saturday 1 August for Homodrop at Dalston Superstore from 9pm-3am

Chance & Dark

This Saturday Lazertitz present a mega lineup as the girls from hotly tipped band Evvol join Lauren Flax, The Carry Nation and Hannah Holland for this Glastonbury warm-up party. Julie Chance and Jon Dark, as well as being dark-synth-pop musicians, also run the label and party My Haus in their adopted home of Berlin. Ahead of Saturday’s fun, we caught up with Chance & Dark to find out more…

You guys founded My Haus and are part of amazing band Evvol… seriously, how do you find the time?? How do you balance the more analoguey side of things with the more dance music side of things or do you just find it all dovetails?

Jon Dark: So far we have had no problem managing them, we find that when we have time to write for one we tend to be gigging with the other – for example when we were writing the Evvol album we were doing lots of DJ gigs, and now we are touring the Evvol live show, we will have more time to write a new track for My Haus, and then we will move on to the second Evvol album.

The different approach is something that is fun for us actually. Keeps us fresh.

Describe My Haus for the uninitiated…

Julie Chance: My Haus is a collective of friends who DJ and a label. We have put out a white label 12″ release with remixes by Massimilliano Pagliara and a new track not yet released which features vocals from Katie Stelmanis of Austra. We also put on monthly parties in Berlin.

What for you was the moment where you felt like you’d made it? Or at least reached a level of success you hadn’t anticipated?

Jon Dark: The concept of “making it” is really fluid, because when ever you reach a milestone, you then re-set your goals on the next one! But having K7 put out our record feels pretty great.

If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/anywhen, where would we be setting the time machine dials to?

Jon Dark: I’d be in Chicago and Detroit in the late ’80s.

You guys met in Paris! Can you talk us through that clearly fortuitous meet-cute?

Jon Dark: Julie was DJing in a bar and I was living in Paris at the time, I just happened to go to this party, we started talking at the bar, and then hung out all night, realised we had a shared passion for music and pretty quickly decided to do something together, next thing I know my bags are packed and i’m on a plane to Berlin. Never looked back!

What was the last piece of art of any medium or format that moved you?

Julie Chance: We are both really into cinema, I think that we would both agree that Under the Skin – got under our skin. Particularly the amazing soundtrack from Mica Levi.

”Under The Skin” Soundtrack Album by Mica Levi from delaVega on Vimeo.

What’s your lights up/hands in the air track to end the night on?

Jon Dark: Chez Damier – Can You Feel It, an oldie but a goodie.

Considering one of you is Irish and the other Australian, we’re guessing the recent Irish referendum and the knock on effect it’s had on the probability of marriage equality in Australia must have been  particularly poignant for you both… what did you do to celebrate?

Julie: It was a great day for Ireland and actually both of us have Irish passports! We were very emotional. When the results came in we were DJing at Bucharest Pride on top of a float so we felt this was no better way to celebrate, Bucharest is still a bit conservative and has a long way to go in terms of LGBT rights.

If you had actual lazertitz, would you use your powers for good or evil?

Julie: We would probably use our lazertits to break into bank vaults at night and empty them out!
Lazer tits are also good in self defence, walking the streets at night etc…

Join Chance & Dark this Saturday 20th June at Dalston Superstore for Lazertitz from 9pm – 4am.

Evvol play The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington tomorrow night from 7.30pm with support from Black Gold Buffalo. Grab a ticket here.

Marro

The mysterious Marro joins us this Friday for another road-block edition of Dirty Diana. No stranger to Dalston Superstore, the enigmatic DJ has recently made the move from Berlin to our very own London and is celebrating his new home in style by treating us to a set packed full of tech bumpers and pumpers. Ahead of Dirty Diana he sat down to answer a few of our burning questions and treat us to a Spring-time warm-up mix….!

You recently made the move from Berlin to London at a time when many Londoners are moving to Berlin. What brought you across the continent?

The very reason that Londoners are moving to Berlin leaves London even more in need of a shake of the night life. I find it curious that instead of trying to create some noise in London, we head for Berlin. London historically has been a place where new sounds were born but for the past few years it seems that this has stopped. I felt it is a good time that we create something in London and keep Londoners here for the weekends. Also, I have been playing in Berlin for over 15 years now and it was a good time for a little change for me. Meeting all these Londoners in the clubs I have been playing, telling me that they have to fly over there to hear my music made me think that it’s a good time for me to head to London.

What has been your dirtiest Berlin clubbing experience and who was there to witness it? Behind the decks and on the floor?

One of the things that makes Berlin exciting is the ability to experience many of life’s pleasures on a night out without feeling that your are doing something dirty. Hedonism in all its different forms is a normalised reality on the Berlin club scene and you do not even need to hide behind the decks or in some dark corner. Everyone is a witness to everyone and everything flows freely and disinhibited. So I do not need to be graphic or drop any names… Whatever happens behind the decks and on the floor stays there…

Berlin is known for its hedonism and ridiculously fit men. How does London measure up in terms of either?                                                                                                                  

This is not necessarily true. Maybe this image has been created out of the gym conscious visitors who come to enjoy themselves in Berlin. Berliners are not hung up on looks or clothes (unless we are talking about fetish type of clothes) and the gym look is not really a Berlin thing, which is a breath of fresh air. It may also be that they look more naturally fit because they dance a lot (sometimes for days non stop) as opposed to spending too much time at the gym.                                                                                               

You have a residency at the legendary Chantal’s House Of Shame. Describe her in three words.

Crazy, rebellious and fun.

Berghain… Tresor… KitKat… Where is your preferred Berlin techno situation and why?

These big names were a lot more fun 10 years ago. For the past few years, I enjoyed myself in a lot more in smaller underground venues like Golden Gate, where I had a residency for over 6 years. In these smaller venues you can be a lot more intimate with the crowd and be part of the fun.

If you had a time machine and could visit any dance floor anywhere / any time, where would you want to go dancing and why?

I would definitely go back to the old Panorama bar at OstGut at the beginning of the new millennium. This was Berlin at its peak and the best parties you could have found yourself in. The music was unique and non-commercial, which you could only listen to at Panorama. I remember how the guests kept asking during this time at Panorama “what kind of music is this?” It was also a venue where you completely felt at ease with yourself and everyone around you.

What advice would you give to your younger self as a dj?

It’s not so much an advice. It’s more of a reminder that you have to be genuinely passionate about music as opposed to be doing it with the hope of becoming a famous DJ.

What is your favourite track to end the night on?

After an amazing party you need to end the night on a nice, mellow, happy and peaceful way. One of my all time favourite tracks that I would play would be Mummy Wants Some Eggs by Robert Calvin.

Join Marro this Friday 29th May for Dirty Diana at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 4.30am.

Debbie Upper

By Whitney Weiss

Debbie Upper (civilian name: Jared Abbott) was born in Michigan and scampered away to New York, where he leapt into nightlife and never looked backed. A former Razzmatazz resident, he traded Barcelona for Berlin and now delights dancers at an impressively diverse array of parties and throws ICKY, a delightfully sleazy Sunday party at Ficken3000. Ahead of his Dalston Superstore debut at Les Poppeurs, we chatted about Berlin nightlife, being inappropriate around famous people, and preferred brands of poppers.

Oh hello! Please introduce yourself/tell the world who DEBBIE UPPER is.

Hi! Debbie is one of Berlin’s more versatile DJs and can be spotted out playing all kinds of cute shit. Her speciality is more on the lost funk and disco and ’80s maxi-cunt vibe, but she definitely keeps up on the all latest rap/r&b and house and techno records. She also hosts the show Single Black Female on Berlin Community Radio.

You throw ICKY, a Sunday night party at the Berlin sexclub Ficken3000. What is the most scandalous thing you’ve witnessed from your not-particularly-secluded perch at the DJ booth?

I’ll never tell! What happens at Ficken, stays at Ficken.

What is the story behind your rather clever DJ name?  

It’s really just a joke that went too far. When I worked for the late, great, and dearly missed Brian Tennessee Claflin at PORK, we’d make up jokey new DJ names all the time. That one just kind of stuck around.

Please take us out for a glorious night of debauchery in Berlin. Where are we having dinner and drinks? What clubs/parties will we visit? What time will we eventually stagger home?  

Dinner would most likely be a shitty curry for 5 euros. I’d definitely take you to my friend Mauro’s sexy ass party BeiTola. And I also love Members, Cocktail D’Amore and Panty Splatters. I’m an old lady, so I am usually home by 7am. I can’t really do the “three days with no sleep” thing anymore.

You did a super-cute show of music you grew up listening to for Hot Pony and many of the songs were from ’80s and ’90s movie soundtracks. So our very important question: what is your favorite erotic thriller? 

Poison Ivy with Drew Barrymore and Sara Gilbert. So much atmosphere! And Love Crimes with Sean Young. It has some fucked up sexual politics, but I love it. Oooh, and Color of Night with Bruce Willis, but that’s really more of a comedy.

I was surprised to learn that you are pro Gwyneth Paltrow. Please explain your stance on this very pressing matter.

She’s just trying to impart some wealthy white woman wisdom and we should all be open to it. And her mother is Blythe fucking Danner. Show some respect.  

You also sometimes throw a karaoke party called Sisters With Voices. In your expert opinion, who is the most underrated female songstress of all time and why?

Lindsay Lohan!!

Now that it is spring, what are the warm-weather jams you cannot stop listening to? 

I’ve been listening to Monie Love a lot lately. And Janet’s first album, the one before Control.  And Millie Jackson’s Caught Up. Also, a lot of Patrice Rushen, but that’s not really a seasonal thing. 

As you are a wonderfully eclectic DJ, what can the dance floor at the next Les Poppeurs expect? Do you have surprises in store? Will you divulge one?

Aw, thanks. I’ll give you a hint: it’s in the Sylvester Stallone movie Cobra.

Also, what is your preferred brand of poppers?

I’m a BlueBoy 4ever <3

Since you were in NY for a fruitful era for clubbing, you must have many excellent stories. Please share a particularly juicy one. 

I caught the tail-end of Roxy, Tunnel, Limelight, etc, but they were all pretty tame by 1999. I’d have to say Madonna “DJing” my friend’s tiny 100-person party was the most memorable evening. A few of my fun stories involve being inappropriate around famous people, like drunkenly telling Susan Sarandon that White Palace is her best movie.

And now, the classic Superstore question: if you had a time machine to travel to any dance floor ever, past present or future, which would you choose and why? 

It’d have to make a few stops. I guess something like CLUB USA or Limelight in like 1994, then the clubs in Basic Instinct/Scarface for a little while, then some sort of Paradise Garage situation, and then ending it all with a shady quaaluudey morning music moment at The Saint. 

Join Debbie Upper this Friday 24th April for Les Poppeurs at Dalston Superstore from 9m – 4am.

Photo credit: Gerard Estadella

Andy Butler’s Record Box

This Saturday Andy Butler of Hercules and Love Affair returns to Superstore for another showcase from his celebrated record label mr intl. Joining him in the laser basement will be Sasa of In Flagranti, whilst upstairs it’s a Hot Boy Dancing Spot situational takeover! Ahead of the party Dan Beaumont took a peek through Andy’s record box…

A record that reminds you of when you first started travelling the world with Hercules and Love Affair…

Paradise’s Deep Groove – I Love How You Make Me Feel – I had already been revisiting eerie house land, as the last tracks made before my first album came out were Classique and Roar, so that was the frame of mind I was in- “big deep eerie murky trance house”.

A Hercules and Love Affair record that gives you the most feelings…

The one that pops to mind is 5:43 To Freedom from the last album because I always give some kind of a (hopefully) rousing speech about individuality, gender, belonging, love or something to the audience. I dont think they can really ever truly hear what I am saying but I know it works when I get all crazy emotional, and the others on stage do too.

A record that inspired you to start a band…

Massive Attack – Blue Lines

It was the project I was most inspired by in terms of what a band would look like. It had a collective thing about it, which made it feel bigger than a band. It was heavy on the sadness and the boogie. 

A song whose lyrics could be about your life…

Blind by Hercules and Love Affair

I don’t know for some reason it really speaks to me.

Ha no really, maybe something from the Magnetic Fields, like Papa Was a Rodeo.  That whole “love me but don’t” kind of thing Stephen Merrit has going on is highly relatable to me. 

A record you wish you had made…

ABBA – Dancing Queen

I just want to be dancing in the studio and watching them sing it. 

A record that reminds you of coming out…

Ministry – Stigmata  

I had a pretty angry coming out.  I loved the “fuck everyone” rant at the end of the live version from In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up Live.

A London record…

The Orb – Little Fluffy Clouds

I first went to London in 1992 as a 15 year old, and trancey ambient house as well as that early”progressive” house ala Deconstruction records played a lot at the time in Soho.  I latched onto to this groovy mellow dance track though, and it has inspired me since. 

A song you can’t listen to because it makes you too sad…

None.

Bring it on!

A record that tales you back to the best NYC dancefloors…

The Word Is Love by Silk Hurley

Body and Soul anthem through and through, and it was relentlessly played for months, maybe a year even each week. And I danced every time.

A Secret DJ weapon…

Doris D and The Pins – Shine Up

Camp as fuck and it gets the nerdiest of heads into it. Kind of like a Dutch druggier ABBA.

Your favourite power ballad…

Take My Breath Away by Berlin

I was so overly sensitive as a child, before Ministry entered into my life, that I would cry when I would hear this. Wow.

A song that reminds you of growing up…

Uh that has not happened yet.

Join Andy this Saturday 7th March for mr intl at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Photo credit: Alexander Nussbaume

Mama

This Saturday we welcome the utterly fabulous Mama to Dalston Superstore for Lazertitz! A south London girl, now based in Berlin, Mama will be performing live in the laser basement! Ahead of the party we caught up with her to find out more about releasing on BPitch Control with her close collaborator Argy, her times as a key figure in Hannah Holland’s Batty Bass parties and the weird ways the music press likes to describe her…

You’ve hosted the insane Batty Bass parties, including the infamous NYD sessions… what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever witnessed or partook in at one of these?

Apart from witnessing the occasional nudity and people swinging from the ceiling there was nothing really as explicit as some of my lyrics about abortions, leaving your soul at the door, slags, tits and dicks. People would sing and chant along. I don’t know how they remembered all the words because it wasn’t online and we didn’t have soundcloud around that time but yeah, we had such a fun and open minded crowd.

How did you come to work with your close collaborator Argy?

We met in a dive bar in Berlin, both nursing a stiff drink after splitting up with our partners and thought it’ll be funny to write an album about it together. Two months later the ‘Dominonation’ album was born but wasn’t so much about the exes, we forgot about them quite quickly.

Mama, if you were house mother, what would you house be called and who would be the children of your house?

It’ll be called ‘MAMA’s Play House’. It’ll be full of New York club kids, lip-syncing drag queens, doo wop street singers, a lollypop lady to help the club kids cross the street, Haçienda ravers, top quality stand up comedians and Voguers. 24hr entertainment.

You’re originally from South London… what made you want to leave the wonders of the south for the techno decadence of Berlin?

I only planned to live in Berlin for a summer to record my album but some how after a summer of open airs, meeting creative people and Bar25 every weekend, I just never made it back home. That year I ended up recording with over 20 house and techno DJ/Producers such as Catz n Dogz, Tiefschwarz, MUNK, Bloody Mary, got remixed by Life + Death, Solomon, Paul Kalkbrenner, Jay Haze… the list goes on and on. Living in Berlin has been creatively fulfilling for me because I worked with some great names and I finally got round to writing and producing my solo album Dreams of Liberty. I also recorded an album with MUNK under the name of Mona Lazette (my sassy Brazilian alto ego) and collaborated on the Argy + Mama album project for BPitch Control. I must say though, I was on the tube the other day on the Victoria line and I suddenly felt like I woke up out of a dream wondering why I had left London for ze Germans in the first place, I could’ve written albums in the UK. It was like a surreal stoner moment.

What’s been the most pivotal moment of your career so far do you think?

Being the opening act on the Kele (Bloc Party frontman) tour. I was on such a high being on big stages every evening with excellent sound and lighting and a roaring crowd. We toured cities I would never even think of visiting such as Luxembourg and I loved getting rocked to sleep by the moving tour bus every night. It fit my life like a glove but sadly when it came to the end of the European tour I locked myself in the bathroom and cried because I didn’t want to go back to reality. I would happily live on the road like a gypsy singer traveling from coast to coast, maybe with a senile parrot on my shoulder and a cheeky Monkey in hand if you catch my drift.

If you had a time machine and could visit any dance floor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?

The Folies Bergère in Paris where Josephine Baker, the first Black Superstar performed her famous banana dance in 1927. I idolise that era where artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Hemingway, Coco Chanel, T.S Eliot rubbed shoulders in late night bars.

What are your backseat car jams that you used to belt out in your childhood?

’90s r’n’b and acid house. I watched a lot of r’n’b on The Box Channel on cable TV and heard a lot of house music around the house because my older Brother was a club DJ. Think of a vibe that sounds like a mix of Voodoo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald and No One Else by TOTAL and that was my childhood jam.

If you had actual lazer tits, would you use your powers for good or for evil?

For good during the day offering lazer repair eye surgery for the blind and for evil by night to zap thunderbolt lightening up psychopaths anuses and force them to feel compassion and empathy for others.

What’s the best or even the most weirdly incorrect description you’ve ever read about yourself in the music press? “An intriguingly sophisticated diva-in-waiting” is pretty good…!

One prudish or undersexed journalist described my shows as close to a sex show “First off due reference must be made to the support act, MAMA. I’ve never been to, nor do I ever intend to go to, a live sex show but if I think I can rest assured that the eroticism of MAMA’s live show isn’t far off. From her semi-transparent leotard to her suggestive dancing and not forgetting her explicit lyrics, this was a performance dripping with sensuality…. Cyprus Avenue is not an easy place for support acts to come and win crowds over but by the end of her set at least half of the congregation was shouting and clapping, the other half were too busy trying to hide the stalk in their pants”

What does 2015 hold for Mama?

I just want to be on the road touring my solo album. It’s just me on vox and Riccardo Paffetti on live drum machine and keyboards. A little two man circus. I’m also working on album #2 from my laptop where ever I travel.

Mama joins us this Saturday 28th February for Lazertitz at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 4am.

Photo credit: Saty and Pratha

Dilo

This Friday we welcome extra special Argentinian guest DJ Dilo, via his adopted home of Berlin, to the Superstore basement for another edition of Fhloston Paradise! Following on from their last party when the fabulous Honey Dijon turned it out, Greg and Greg are back for more camp sci-fi techno fun. Ahead of the party they sat down for a quick chat with Dilo to find out more….!

By Greg & Greg

Welcome to London Dilo! You produce, sing, DJ, and perform live sets across a range of genres. Has it been difficult to be so versatile in a world that likes to easily categorise us by music, genre, etc?

Hi! I’m thrilled about my visit to London!

It has been a challenge to try making so many different styles; it is my personal search, and I really can’t help but keep experimenting. I feel like my music as an extension of myself. I really think I would be bored if today I would be making the same music I was 10 years ago. I know that for a small number of people, this is difficult to understand, why I don’t stick to a formula, but I need to feel free and keep having fun when I’m creating new music. It keeps me motivated if I have new challenges. 

You’ve lived between Berlin and Buenos Aries. How would you compare the two cities?

I think both cities love nightlife, so they have tons of clubs, bars and events. What I personally prefer about Berlin is that there is much more nature, tons of parks and lakes and also it’s a big city that feels pretty chill to me. No traffic jams and not so many people on the streets. I’m always riding my bike instead of a car, which is nice and relaxing. 

Several famous London clubs have been under threat recently. What do you think of London? Is our music scene still one of the best?

I used to hang out a lot in London around 2007-2009. In my own personal experience one finds amazing parties and after-hours at people’s flats, but the clubbing scene, except for Fabric, where I spent really good nights, I don’t know very well so I can’t really judge.  

We hope we can show a new side of London!

You’re known for your live sets and this will be the first live set at Fhloston! What should everyone expect to hear when you play at Fhloston Paradise?

I will be doing a DJ/live hybrid set. Last year with the release of my album Ethereal, I played mostly live, so this year I’m taking a little break from that, and it’s also a lot of fun to play other people’s music, not just mine. 

With such a rich world of textures and sounds in your music, how do you approach the production process?

I’ve gotten more obsessive with the way I arrange and the post production process. I tend to create during the weekends, when I might be inspired by something and will quickly create the idea/draft. Some days later I start to edit and sequence, which is the more tedious part. I noticed that I always make better songs when I have a little idea already in my head of what I want to do, so I’m usually waiting on this moment and ready to flow. I’m also always writing songs on my guitar, which is an old school way, but those songs are mainly for my Elephant Pixel moniker. 

Any new releases or projects we should be excited about?

I’m very excited for my label Igloo this year, we are turning 10 years old, and I have big plans. New artists are joining the label and two are from London: Suso Flores and James Le Roux; and Jeannot from Buenos Aires. Pablo Denegri will release a new EP, and I’m working on compilations as well. I’m also currently working on a Dilo compilation that will include a selection of tracks from my album trilogy (Waheira, Ethereal #1 and Ethereal #2), which will be on CD. Remixes of Ethereal are in the works as well. I’m working on new songs that I’m writing on my guitar and of course new dance floor tracks so and I’m excited and curious to see where my next albums and EP’s will be headed. 

The gay scene was once seen to be at the forefront of dance music, but that perception has changed. In Berlin clubs seem to be defined by music rather than sexuality. Do you see a big difference between the gay and straight scene music wise?

I don’t see much difference and I personally don’t think about those things. I’m very open and I assume there are always both straight and gay people in the places I frequent. Music is about bringing people together.

Fhloston Paradise is a reference to one of our favourite camp sci-fi films, The Fifth Element. Do you have any guilty cinematic pleasures?

Films are my second passion, after music. I always have obsessions-of-the-moment. I pick a certain theme and I go deep on it. The latest has been Scandinavian movies and TV series. I really enjoy their darkness and quirkiness. Borgen and The Legacy are really good Danish TV shows, and The Fall and The Missing are both superb shows from UK. But this year’s award goes to The Knick. It has a superb soundtrack by Cliff Martinez. Nowadays Hollywood is making very bad and predictable movies, based on old formulas and ideas, but TV series are in great shape. They take more risks and they have better scripts. 

Finally, a legendary Dalston Superstore question. If we had a time machine ready to take you to any dance floor, past present or future, where would you like to go and why?

I’d like to go back to 1962 at The Cavern in Liverpool to see The Beatles. I would dance my ass off. Plan B would be The Hacienda Club in Manchester in 1982, the year it opened. That would be wicked too…. Oh, I have so many ideas! 

Join Dilo for Fhloston Paradise at Dalston Superstore this Friday 9th January from 9pm – 3am.

Jeffrey Sfire

Detroit DJ Jeffrey Sfire joins us here at Superstore for an extra special European date in between playing at Panorama Bar and at Lab.oratory in Berlin. With a love of all things hi-NRG, Italo, ’80s, Chicago house; Jeffrey’s sets span genres and gets gay men dancing across the world’s discotheques. He’ll be flexing his disco muscles next Saturday for Little Gay Brother’s Locker Room down in the laser pit with Vauxhall babes Maze & Masters.

Having discovered Detroit’s underground warehouse scene at 15, moved to Chicago at 18 and having lived in Berlin, Jeffrey has finely tuned both his music taste and DJing style to suit banging clubs, sleazy afterhours and gay discos, and that’s all in addition to releasing productions under the Sfire name with Samuel Long on Discodromo’s celebrated Cocktail D’Amore label. Ahead of the Little Gay Locker Room we chatted to Jeffrey about his secret past as a restauranteur, going on dates and why everyone loves hi-NRG again…

The theme of the party here at Superstore is Locker Rooms. What’s the naughtiest thing you’ve ever got up to in a locker room?

A boring old BJ.

That’s not boring! That’s naughty!

But it’s not as exciting as it could be.

Tell us what happened.

Oh no wait; I have a good locker room story. It’s not naughty though. My biggest crush in high school, one year in fitness class, had his locker next to mine and it was kinda unbelievable haha. Nothing naughty ever happened but… no I’ve never really gotten up to too much in a locker room.

You’re super influenced by the ’80s- what did you look like then and what kind of music were you listening to… tell us about 80s Jeffrey!

Well I think a lot of my musical influence comes from riding around in my mom’s car listening to pop music.

Mum Jams.

Yeah totally. And I had a little afro because I had really curly hair. She used to make me have this little golden-brown afro which was cute. Oh and my mom used to make me model in department store runway shows! Which is pretty adorable!

I always go back to my mom’s, listening to pop music in her car…. like Madonna, and Wham, just early ‘80s pop. Just radio hits, but back then it was all synthesisers and drum machines, and it was all dancey stuff so it really appealed to me.

If you’d been in your early 20s in the ‘80s, what music do you think you’d have been into of your own accord though?

I don’t know, I always wonder that. You never know… you could have found something else totally interesting. I always wonder what people then thought about the ‘80s music I listen to now. Some people say Italo disco was like trance in the ‘80s. Certainly when dance music from the ‘70s to the ‘80s became more electronic, there were so many musicians that totally disregarded it because they thought it was soulless. Um, I don’t know. I hope I would have been into the same dance music! The Chicago taste, and the Detroit taste really appealed to me, which was mixing everything together- from disco to house to pop to freestyle- all that stuff, just mixing it all together and dancing. I think the New York sound was a little more Afro for me… but then I also think ‘would I have been really New Wave?’ like the Liquid Sky soundtrack kinda music. But I think being in the Midwest especially; it’s humble and more about having fun than being fashion.

Back to baby Jeffrey… you were going to warehouse parties in Detroit from the age of 15. What are your formative rave memories?

It’s funny because I just moved back to Detroit and I’ll pass some burnt out warehouse and be like “didn’t we party there?!” I just remember when I was coming up I was so interested in DJing and so many of my older friends were DJs and I was all about just soaking it in, learning by watching and going to see as much music and different styles as I could. I was so excited. I grew up in a suburb that’s very Old Money, kinda posh and conservative, so getting to escape on the weekends and go to these crazy parties, with tonnes of queer people and all these older people too, so there was all these freedom. It was everything.

But mostly for me it was about watching DJs. There’s so many good DJs here, and so many good styles.

Who are some of the first DJs you saw around that time?

One of my favourites is this guy called D. Wynn. He’s an older Detroit guy, along the same time period as Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson. But he like didn’t become mega famous. I think he’s one of the best DJs from Detroit ever though. He had a really cool style. Also Mike Huckaby was a huge influence, just in his DJ style. And some of my friends that I hung out with all the time, like this guy Derek Plaslaiko who lives in Berlin now. Him, and some other people, I would watch them all the time, and pick up on their styles. I think they had a huge influence on my taste. I think Detroit has a really specific taste. I mean even between Detroit, New York and Chicago, even other cities, I feel like each has a very specific taste. I’m really grateful to be from here, and picked up that, y’know. 


D-Wynn Boiler Room Detroit DJ Set by brtvofficial

Why do you think hi-NRG making such a resurrgence this year?

Because everyone who is like 20 wasn’t sick of it eight years ago! Because they were 14 haha! Honestly, I was at a house party the other day, and this girl that had to have been like 21, she put Spacer Woman on. She was like “Oh.My.God. you guys, listen to this song! It was made in like ’81!!” and she put it on and I was like “You have got to be kidding me. You’re not like totally sick of this song??” She said “I’VE NEVER LIKE HEARD THIS BEFORE!!”

It was just resissued by Dark Entries…

Oh well that’s probably why. I was in San Francisco too. Well that makes sense. Hahaha! It is funny though, because things like that pop up and you’re like Ohhh that’s why.

It has felt since at least the beginning of the year that the genre is reaching a zeitgeisty point and people have started to get a bit bandwagony…

Well I feel like it keeps going through waves.

Everything is cyclic, certainly… but hi-NRG is like the “thing” this year.

Well that’s good to hear, because I like to play it. I mean I guess people just got sick of house music.

If you had a time machine and could visit any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?

I think I would wanna go to the Muzic Box in Chicago. And hear Ron Hardy DJ. I would wanna hear him do his thing live.

Or even, there was a club in Detroit called Heaven with this guy Ken Collier.

Tell us about how you met Samuel Long and how Sfire came about?

He and I met on a dancefloor, in Berlin. His band was playing at an art gallery. We had some mutual friends so we were introduced. Then I saw them play and I was really into it, and I could hear the genius in his music. I suggested they make a dance version of a song they did, and he was like “well, why don’t you come and help me make it.” He had heard me DJ a few times, and he just invited me over. He’s very friendly and like ‘lets just have fun making music’ kinda guy. So we worked on it, and then we made a new song and then we were like “lets make a new song”, “lets make a new song”, “lets make a new song” and after a while we had a handful of songs, and we became really good friends. It was really fun just to go hang out and be really casual about it, but still have fun.

Any plans for more Sfire records?

Um yeah, we have maybe five songs that haven’t been released that we could work on. I think the project will turn into us working with lots of different people for each record. It’ll be really fun. Some new producers, and new friends, people from all over really.

You’ve lived in Detroit, Chicago, Berlin… where is your spiritual home?

Oh that’s a tough question. That’s my existential crisis right now. I left Berlin about a year ago and that was my spiritual home for a long time. So I’m really wondering this right now. But I’m starting to think it’s California. It’s a really magical place, and people are really happy there.

Where in California?

San Francisco.

Whilst in Berlin you were also a restauranteur, how did that develop from your supper clubs?

Well my ex boyfriend who I moved to Berlin with, he is an extremely talented chef, so for money we did a supper club that got a ton of press for it. We just ran with it, and it just seemed like an easy thing to do, to open the business in Berlin. There was a great demand for it, so we knew it would be successful. And so we went for it! American style!

There’s a video interview online with you both in the restaurant and the décor is amazing, especially all the lights… owl lights, and deer lights… it just seemed like you’d obviously put a lot of thought into that.

Yeah. We did. We completely renovated that place. It was this disgusting filthy restaurant before, so we tore out everything, and built the bar, and the shelves and everything. The flea markets in Germany are so great because they have so many of these animal figurines; actually most of them are on my desk right now! The owl lights and all the bunnies. Flea markets in Berlin on Sundays. You just have to go. And the best thing we would do was take loads of road trips, and if you drive down the country roads, every town you get to has a second hand shop where you can fill up a trunk for €10. It’s incredible.

RADIUS.TV | Little Otik | Jeffrey Sfire & Kevin Avery from RADIUS. magazine on Vimeo.

You’re taking us on a date in a city of your choice. Where are we going, what are we eating and where are we dancing?

I could do this for all the fun cities right now. But lets say San Francisco. We’re gonna eat Burmese food, and we’re having tea salad (lahpet thoke). My favourite restaurant there is called Burmese Kitchen.

Isn’t it closing down?

Oh yes it is. We’re going before it closes. Anyway, this is a fantasy so it’s still open. So we’d eat there and then we’d go get a doughnut at Bob’s Doughnuts. Then we’d go to a Honey Soundsystem party. It would be amazing.

What are we drinking though?

What are we drinking? Well honestly we’re probably drinking tea, because me and Josh [Cheon] and Robot Hustle always have tea when we’re together because we’re old ladies. We’ll drink tea and then go for a dance.

What’s the first record you ever bought?

A Jeff Mills record. Purpose Maker record. When I first started DJing I was really into a lot of hard techno. So I think my first records was like Jeff Mills records and Joey Beltram records.

The last record you bought?

A Mantra record on Bunker from The Netherlands.

And what’s the record that never leaves your bag?

It’s this freestyle record that I love to play. It’s by Shana and it’s called I Want You. It really never leaves my bag. I played it once in Berlin and my best friend was like “oh, such a Jeff record.”

What’s the reaction it gets from people, other than those that already know you?

I think it’s normally a great reaction. But the best reaction I get is when I play in New York or Chicago and someone runs up and you can tell it was a childhood track of theirs and they’re like “I FUCKING LOVE THIS SONG!!! THIS IS MY SONG!!” A lot of times that happens and it’s the best. When you see someone with that genuine look on their face and it’s not a club hit. Especially in Chicago, I get that a lot. Almost everything I DJ was on the radio in the ‘80s there. People just get so happy to hear that stuff so you get these genuine reactions that are priceless. I love that. Going back to Chicago and DJing is really fun for me.     

Join Jeffrey at Little Gay Locker Room at Dalston Superstore on Saturday 15th November from 9pm – 3am.

Daniel Wang Talks

By Dan Beaumont

Daniel Wang is a unique presence in club culture. Having produced seminal dance records on his celebrated Balihu imprint he’s become an in demand DJ across the globe, known for bringing a particular warmth and energy to his sets which take in disco in all its forms and good old fashioned house music. 

What song is in your head right now?

Song in my head happens to be this sort of cheesy groovy string section from Neil Cloud Orchestra on TK disco 1979 Time For The Season.

How important is it to have homosexuals on the dacefloor?

It’s important for me to have homos enjoying it only because I’m homo myself. I was in Belfast last week, had a great time playing for a 99% hetero crowd, but there was this one boy with soulful eyes who came and gave me a kiss at the end. Suddenly I didnt feel like just an entertainer, it became much more personal…

When making dance music what is your most used piece of equipment (apart from a computer!)?

I don’t use a computer actually! It’s similar, but I use a Korg D32, an all-in-one HD multi-track recorder. And I use my Yamaha cs1x a lot as the main input keyboard. 

If you could cut a brand new soundtrack to a movie what film would you choose and what would you do to it?

Clever question. Hmmm. I dont know. I love the 50-60s soundtracks by Henry Mancini, love Blade Runner by Vangelis. It should be a good movie with bad music… so I would try to improve the soundtrack. Maybe one of those cheesy sci fi films like Logan’s Run?!

Logan's Run

I find a DJs often consider themselves citizens of the world! Outside of Berlin or the US where do you feel most at home? Where would you like to live next? 

I am not moving from Berlin, but I feel very at home in Japan and Finland. Highly civilised, polite, orderly, intelligent societies. And Greece – the sense of history and the openness of people there.

I would feel ill at ease living long term in Italy I think. Fundamentally very provincial and even clan-ish. And I have mixed feelings about USA. You understand…

New York in the ’90s or Berlin in the ’00s?

Berlin NOW. New York was fun but I had extremely few gay friends there.  I was always annoyed by the superficiality and the short attention span of many Americans.  And non-whites and the lower and working classes there are downtrodden in a way which one doesn’t see in Germany here…

What’s your go-to meal to cook if you have company? 

If I cook for company: rice. Plus some Asian veg and a fish or seasoned meat dish probably… Fulfilling Asian stereotypes haha!

What pisses you off?

What pisses me off… people who talk a lot about oppression, social justice, environment, or art and music in overly theoretical or impersonal ways. On Facebook and outside of that.  People who talk too much on the dancefloor too.

I like people who take action. Who live inside and make art or music instead of analyzing its market or academic value. People who live without apologies for the inevitable trespasses we all commit living in this crazy global system.  

Of course I despise Monsanto, Salafists, NeoNazis and all that too… that goes without saying.

Is there a song that sums up your life, that made you think they were singing about you? 

Whoa big fat question!! That one song might be… it seemed like it was Culture Club – Karma Chameleon or various Pet ShopBoys tunes when I was 15-17. Now those lyrics still all ring true but I keep hearing the quiet pensive melody of Maurice Ravel “piano concerto adagio assai” … maybe because I’m 45 now. I mean, it really sounds to me like “my life”. Oh!! And SADE – Keep Looking from her third album. The tropical one.

Do you ever see yourself moving back to America? What do you miss about the US?

I miss my brother and his two kids. They live in San Francisco.  But I don’t see myself moving back. Although in California or New York you can feel a certain motivation and energy, which have much to do with lust for money, the deep-seated racism, the inequality, the general level of superficiality and stupidity fed 24/7 via the mass media is highly disturbing to me. Under that surface is a paralyzed government and fossilized legal infrastructure.

 In year 2000 , what I used to miss about the USA was the diversity of foods in cities like NY, LA or San Fran; Vietnamese, Japanese, Mexican etc. But Berlin now offers all that and more.

The horror of public toilets in American airports says a lot about the nation. The units are so poorly designed it’s astounding. Far too low for adults, with stalls which one can peek into, as if passengers were criminals in a prison. Paranoia and discomfort. Once you’re used to modern German toilets which flush so well, and German thermal windows which keep out noise and cold, it’s hard to go back to living standards in USA. Do I sound like Tyler Brule of Monocle magazine? Oh no…

 What do you think motivates a person to play records in public for a living?

It really depends on the DJ. When younger, it might be a certain egotism and ambition.  As I get older, I really feel it’s about creating the right backdrop for community, for sharing, for humans to get together and dance in a free, egalitarian way, close to a Garden of Eden if one can do one’s best. 

Join Daniel Wang at Battered Sausage alongside special guest Ruf Dug this Saturday 8th November from 9pm – 3am.