This Saturday, notorious gay rave institution Discosodoma joins forces with kindred spirits and masters of all things mind-altering, Multi Culti at Discosodoma <3 Multi Culti! We caught up with record label head honchos Thomas Von Party and Dreems, and asked them to add to our collection of top tips for successful raving… Needless to say, we were not disappointed!
1. TEMPERATURE CONTROL
Never let temperature ruin your party. Bring a hand-fan. It’s 2017, climate change is real. Thin insulated fabrics are great to keep you warm without having to schlep weight. Go tech, or go silk. And don’t be afraid to get nude.
2. PARTY BAG
To have sufficient options for temperature control items, paraphernalia, snacks.
3. HANDYMAN ESSENTIALS
Can you even say handyman anymore or is it sexist? I’m sure there are handywomen out there I’m just not sure what they’re called… Anyways, back to the program… Being equipped means having something to share. Openers, flashlights, zip-ties, king-sized rolling papers… anything that can MacGyver the vibe out of harm’s way.
4. DON’T TRAVEL IN A PACK
Parties are good for making friends and losing friends. Group decision-making dynamics can ruin a trip, and we’ll be fucking damned if we’d let that happen.
It’s not a shower, but it’s the next best thing. For 24+ hour parties it’s essential, but we shouldn’t need to tell you that, unless maybe if you’re British.
6. SMELL GOOD
Dab some essential oils on your hand-fan, advertise your shamanic side with a palo santo stick, but please don’t overdo it with the perfume or cologne, it’s offensive.
Snacks are always a good idea. Up-market vegan chia/nut/cacao bars will let everyone know you value your own physical performance as much as you value your ecosystem, but most of these bars are disgusting. Preparing a GORP like nut-mix is great, it shows you’re willing to go the extra-mile as a hippie.
8. SUNGLASSES & BATHING SUIT
Because you never fucking know where you will end up. That offer to fly to Ibiza might just roll in on the floor at 5am – and being ready to take on the sun and sea in perfect apparel can help with that decision. Or you could just go wild and go nude.
Ear plugs, condoms and a helmet.
Catch Thomas Von Party and Dreems at Discosodoma this Saturday 12 August from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!
1. Always bring mints or chewing gums or if you wanna be that special one, bananas.
2. If you are a guy, bring tampons. If you are a girl, bring lube. It brings different people together.
3. Buy drugs that you don’t take, so you have something to share with others. It will always bring you stuff back.
4. Don’t take too much acid. But do take acid.
5. It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
6. Don’t destroy the toilets.
7. No matter what party you are at, if you are with the right people, it’s always going to be fun.
8. There’s never enough Prosecco.
9. Scarce or at least friendly/almost invisible security.
10. And most important a “can do attitude.” If you party as if nothing is impossible, you are surely going to have the most fun!
Rave with Paramida at Discosodoma this Saturday 10 June from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!
By DISCOSODOMA Dalston Superstore’s longest running party institution DISCOSODOMA returns this Saturday with another lineup of forward-thinking selectors ready to unleash their powers on your body and mind! For the latest instalment their special guest is London-based DJ, producer and promoter of cult party institution World Unknown, Andy Blake. Andy is particularly known for his challenging, eclectic and expansive sets that build powerfully and instinctively from start to finish. With a special 5am license for this party, we can’t wait to see what he has planned for us! The DISCOSODOMA crew caught up with him to chat about ancient Egypt, the state of clubbing in 2017, and the secret to a good party.
Hello Andy! What have you been up to lately?
The main thing is moving house for the first time in nearly eight years. At times like this I can see why most people have traded their record collections in for usb sticks!
Fabric has now been saved, but what about the actual culture? Is the sense of community still here or can we see this as an opportunity to instil the basics back into the scene, such as acceptance of diversity and an open-arms approach to those who want to experience again a sense of belonging?
There’s definitely a great sense of community to be found still. It’s always there if you look hard enough. Acceptance, diversity and independence are the key ingredients, along with great music and an excellent sound system of course.
With the previous question in mind, how can one be informed about the workings of the underground scene if one arrives right now in the city?
The Internet has been great for giving access to the various party scenes but there’s an extra level of engagement from actual word of mouth. I played at a party on Saturday where literally no promotion was done and as far as social media was concerned the party didn’t even exist. Around 500 people turned up, most were around 18-23 years old and from South London, but there were also people from all over Europe who somehow found out about it.
There’s an ingrained nostalgia about the clubs of yesterday. Do you think we have lost our capacity to envision the future?
It’s time for the nostalgia for the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s to move on into a recognition that this tradition goes back way further than that and will always be here as long as humanity is. It’s important that we don’t lose the ability to look forward with this culture, but perhaps now is a good time to make sure to include elements that can often get swept away by the illusion of progress. For want of a better term i think it’s really important that the dance never loses its soul.
At the end of the day, what are the ingredients for a good party?
Many and varied – but fun people, great music, interesting potions and an inclusive attitude in inspiring spaces are probably the key ingredients.
If you could travel in any time in history, where and when would you land?
I’d love to take a peek at all the classical civilisations, especially the ones where women were in charge – I’ve a feeling they made a far better job of it than the men have done for the last couple of millennia, and I’d definitely like to see how they got those pyramids up in Egypt. But in the main, I’ll be quite happy if I get to live long enough to get to the other side of this period of insane turmoil that’s really kicking into gear with trump and brexit but which has never really stopped since the romans decided that ramming Christianity down people’s throats on pain of death was a good idea. Like many people I’d like to think that this is the dying gasp of a broken patriarchal system that refuses to go without kicking and screaming and smashing things up like the tartrazine-crazed toddler it’s shown itself to be and I’m very curious to see what lies beyond.
With Joe Hart moving on, what’s in store for the World Unknown family in 2017?
The WU family is continuing to grow, both on the dancefloor and behind the scenes. We’ve had some very organised friends join the crew so Amy and I can concentrate on the creative side of things and this year looks like half a dozen bigger parties that will still retain the World Unknown atmosphere. I think its really important to show that a great atmosphere and vibe isn’t only possible at a smaller affair. we had well over 1,000 people desperate to get in on new year’s eve which one hand showed us how popular wu has become and where we can go with it and on the other that we need to get a lot more organised to do that. we’re really looking forward to progressing with a bigger better boat and enough crew to sail it properly
What shall we expect from your set at DISCOSODOMA?
Recently I’ve mainly been playing a heavy, raw and primal but still warm and inclusive sound, mainly pitched-down house and techno with a few disco and left-field moments so quite likely something along those lines.
And finally, what is disco?
That’s the million dollar question, and it seems to change with the wind. Maybe someone should write a book about it.
Catch Andy Blake at Discosodoma this Saturday 11 February from 9pm-5am at Dalston Superstore.
For the final instalment of transcendental gay rave DISCOSODOMA, the crew have recruited Japanese DJ and producer Powder as their special guest! Little is known about this enigmatic rising star, whose Internet presence is limited simply to Soundcloud, allowing her music to speak for itself. She has recently been catching the attention of parties across Europe, after her set at Berlin’s Cocktail D’Amore cemented her as a serious force to be reckoned with. We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming her to Dalston SUperstore for her lazer basment debut. She caught up with DISCOSODOMA to chat Japan’s party scene, travel and plans for the future!
Hello Powder! We are really excited to have you at DISCOSODOMA this December, which is also one of the dates of your second European tour. Which city has caught your heart so far during your travels overseas?
… I’m feeling a sprinkle of love in every city!
Through your travelling, we assume you have seen different interpretations of Japanese culture. What are the biggest mistakes people make in representing your country’s culture? For example in food and music?
Thanks to the Internet, people make less mistakes in the representation of Japanese culture, but of course I feel a bit sad every time I come across something being misrepresented.
After the repeal of the dancing ban in Japan, how has the dance scene in the country changed? Are there any notable new club spaces and parties?
I have never taken an active part in Japan’s and more specifically in Tokyo’s officially regulated scene. I have always preferred warehouse parties, both before and after the repeal of the dancing ban.
What about clubbing for the LGBTQ+ community? What makes it more different compared to your experiences in Europe, with Cocktail d’Amore for example?
It’s quite different. As far as I know, it is no exaggeration to say that there is no other party like Cocktail d’Amore and other parties in Europe. In Japan, the community is evolving in their own unique way in a different field such as bar, show, karaoke!
Where would you take us out if we were visiting Tokyo?
The DISCOSODOMA crew have had quite the prolific summer, flitting from their Dalston Superstore hotspot to Grecian boat parties and back again! For their next party, they welcome Italian DJ Luigi di Venere who has recently been making serious waves in Berlin. From gigs at Cocktail D’Amore to the hallowed Berghain garden, he has seen a meterioric rise this summer, and we can’t wait to welcome him for his Superstore debut! He caught up with the DISCOSODOMA crew to chat the anthropology of clubbing, Berlin’s virtues and what to expect from his first set in our lazer basement!
Hello Luigi, we are really excited to have you with us for our next party. Can you tell us a bit about you for those who aren’t familiar with your DJ career?
Hello guys! I am from Bari in Italy. I started DJing during my Stockholm university years where I was hosting a radio show and throwing monthly parties. I am currently living in Berlin.
I always wanted to move here because I was so fascinated by the club scene, and… Here I am, three years now and quite satisfied with it! I play regularly at Cocktail d’Amore and I have my own parties – Maximum Joy, and Overdrive. I also played at Berghain Garden this past summer and… Yeah, that was insane!
On your Resident Advisor profile, it writes that you are “an anthropologist who decided to have clubbing as his object of study and DJing his form of expression”. How did this transition happen?
During my university career I focused on studying the club scene, the fundamentals that make it happen and the styles/fashions that come out of it. The DJ is a key figure in this environment – he/she absorbs the energy of the crowd and transforms it into a lively vinyl narrative composed of moods and rhythms. The result is a unique story that can’t be replicated. I like to express my thoughts through music, it gives me direct satisfaction because the feedback from the crowd is immediate and quite palpable.
Do you think Berlin is still a city where young creatives can afford to explore and experiment on their art?
Berlin is still a creative city – young people can still afford to express themselves, but it is changing a lot. Rents are rising, clubs are disappearing and the energy of people that move here is different than before. We get a lot of very normal people that work for big corporations and start-ups; people with a 9 to 5 job and a family, totally unaware of the historical importance of the club scene and of all the movements that have made Berlin what it is today.
Would you consider moving to a different city to pursue your artistic endeavours?
If I would choose, now I would rather move to Athens, learn Greek, have great food and beautiful islands around me. That city has an amazing energy and wow, it’s so beautifully decadent! Tip!
If you could travel to any point in time, when and where would you go?
I would first go visit Neanderthal man, then I would check out Ancient Egypt, then I would go hang out with Leonardo Da Vinci in Renaissance time and I would go to New York between the 70s and the 80s. The list is long… Shall I go on? These places in time and space I listed are so fascinating for me!
Have you ever thought what would be the ideal party for you?
Arthur Russell live and a Ron Hardy after concert DJ set. A great crispy soundsystem, a wooden dancefloor, beautiful women with fluffy hair and great dance moves, sweaty hairy men shaking their bodies…nothing else matters!
What are the top five records you always go to at your personal times to lift your mood?
Not your usual DJ hailing from Berlin’s underground, Paramida has been rising to fame and credibility with her rich sets and amazing work through her much lauded label, Love On The Rocks. With her infectious, ready-to-rave attitude and eclectic taste, we couldn’t be happier to have her headlining the next edition of Discosodoma this Saturday.
Love On The Rocks has been one of our favourite labels since we started DISCOSODOMA, and Paramida’s sets found online have set the tone in so many afterparty affairs. In this feature, we talk about love and inspiration.
What records and sounds have informed your direction for Love On The Rocks?
1. Lama – Love On The Rocks.
My label is named after this record.
2. Lauer – Macsat Ring Down (Lee Douglas Remix)
I wouldn’t say that this has really something to do with LOTR, but I do remember that this track had a big impact on me when it came out.. and it was exactly the time I was thinking about a name and asking around for music for LOTR..
It is definitely one of the best jams in the world and I still never get tired of it. It’s so epic, I just love it. Lee Douglas at his best!
3. Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia – Obsidian (Deconstructure)
This is a milestone in my musical development. It sounds like something between Proto, Prins Thomas and a transcendental journey. It’s just super sick.. Listen to it and don’t skip!
This BIS show from 2011 had a huge impact on my taste in music. It showed me another perspective of groove and turned my perception of dance music upside down. It became an instant classic at afterpartys in my house and we called it The DJ Steve experience.
What are the five things that work for you as a constant source of inspiration?
Of course music, it’s what drives us all here. If it wasn’t about music, you wouldn’t throw parties, I wouldn’t be djing and we wouldn’t come together to party
At the end of the day, no matter how much people talk shit about you or slag you off, always remember the ones who show you love and support you for what you are doing.
I think you should never take yourself too seriously. There is nothing better than a good laugh, especially about nonsense or things you shouldn’t laugh about.
Yes, we all know that travelling opens our minds and bla bla.. but I really have to admit that there is nothing worse than staying all your life in one place and thinking that this is the centre of the world (like most people do in Berlin for example), whereas there are so many beautiful and amazing places in the world with unbelievable and sick parties happening! Get out of your comfort zone and discover the world!
There is nothing better than staring into the sea, if you really want to clear your mind, let things go and come up with new ideas.
Out of curiosity, what were you seeing while answering the above?
Catch Paramida at Discosodoma on Saturday 13 August from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore!
Having kept his identity top secret for the first two years of his career, Man Power is a true master of intrigue. His sets famously reflect this sensibility – he never fail to surprise and delight dancers from Mexico to Tel Aviv to London and back again! We are absolutely thrilled to welcome the international man of mystery to Dalston Superstore for DISCOSÓDOMA. Ahead of his appearance, he caught up with Ilias of DISCOSÓDOMA to chat world travels, enigmatic identity politics and finding love…
Hello Man Power! How’s the jet lag treating you?
It sucks to be honest. Hits me every time I return from Mexico. I can’t really complain though, as complaining about travelling around the globe is surely the pinnacle of a “first world problem!”
Have you managed to find a proper cure for it yet?
When you’re coming from the other direction and you gain time, it’s easy to beat. You just make sure you go to bed at the usual time you would back home, and avoid taking any naps.
In this direction there’s nothing to be done other than embrace it. I’ve now repositioned my thinking so that I get excited about the extra work I achieve in the 2 weeks of 4am or 5am wake up times that I can’t avoid.
Mexico has been your base for a while now. How did your collaboration with TOPAZdeluxe start?
I played there the first time I visited, and I fell in love so I wanted to keep going back. There are certain people you hit it off with the first time you meet them. Champis the owner of the club is one of those people for me. I’m always conscious of what kind of relationship with music people have when I meet them with regards to clubbing and electronic music. Champis has a very similar musical outlook as I do. He’s genuinely just enthusiastic and excited about music and dancing, and is fairly dismissive of any of the other attendant bullshit that’s prevalent in this scene. I can’t help but respond to that. I was booking to go back there so often that eventually it just made sense for me to increase my relationship with them and become a resident. The really nice thing is that it means I frequently get to have friends come and join me there. That list will include Jennifer Cardini, Felix Dickinson, Red Axes, Marvin and Guy, Manfredas, Malka Tuti, Dauwd, Paramida, Zombies in Miami, Inigo Vontier, Hammer, Ian Blevins, Bird of Paradise and a whole bunch more before the year is out, so I can’t help but feel in a very luxurious position.
Are there any memorable moments you can share with us from your residency there?
Meeting the woman I’m going to marry. Which in fairness is the most significant moment of my life.
From Newcastle to Berlin to Mexico and back, do you miss the days of anonymity, when people would try to figure you out through your music?
I don’t miss the guessing games, but I do miss the anonymity. I really liked the fact that my own personality (and how people react to that) had no bearing on the music.
It was originally a platform to just let the music do the talking. Inevitably if people attach a real persona to your sound then that will colour their perception of what they hear based on what they think of you. I have a fairly forthright personality, which is definitely not going to be everybody’s taste, so a little part of me is saddened at the thought that now people know that I’m a common Geordie. Some of them may not connect to my music as much as they might have when they were still imagining I was some shadowy and mysterious central European warlock.
Although, this isn’t something that keeps me up at night.
Before you revealed your face, any search would lead us to a series of Tom of Finland-esque images. What’s your inspiration behind them? Have they helped you to attract a more open and diverse audience?
The whole idea was for everything to be as open for interpretation as possible. The images I used were received in so many different ways, depending on the personal prejudices or preference of the observer. Some found them erotic, others found them repulsive. Some people found them suggestive, and others found them innocent. I’m very interested by Roland Barthes Reader Response Theory and I wanted to apply this to the project. There was never anything built in to the images from my side, so anything that the viewer felt was something they had brought with them.
I guess it may have pushed me to a more LGBT+ crowd in some ways, but to be honest I’ve never really paid attention to the gender or sexual preferences of the people I play music to.
My first ever real residency playing electronic music was at a Gay Bar called Camp David (geddit?), and I’ve been playing to diverse crowds from the beginning.
If you had the opportunity to create your ideal party, how would it be?
I don’t actually know, but we’re working that out at the moment.
As I mentioned before, I’m getting married in October. My bride-to-be and I seem to be spending 10% of our time thinking about the ceremony, and the other 90% seems to be focussed on the afterparty we have planned, so ask me again in a few months.
You recently released your ‘Planet Cock’ EP on Correspondant and there’s a new EP coming up on another of our favourite labels, ESP Institute. Is the second album on its way?
Yes it is. Thats all I’m at liberty to say at the moment. Sorry. hahahahahah!
What shall we expect from your DISCOSÓDOMA set?
I’m happiest when I can go everywhere musically, so all things being well you should expect the sound of me trying to put things together that don’t usually connect, and the varying levels of success I have with that.
Jokes aside, I tend to think in terms of energy rather than genre or BPM, and that’s what guides the selection process when I play, so when I’m feeling comfortable then it’s very difficult to predict what I’ll actually play.
And finally, disco is?
Never having to say you’re sorry?
Catch Man Power at DISCOSÓDOMA this Saturday 18 June from 9pm-4am 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.
Ahead of their 2016 premiere, DISCOSÓDOMA sat down with their first guest of 2016, the Glasgow-based Huntleys + Palmers of the highly esteemed namesake label and excellently curated event series. They caught up to chat about the future, music and of course love!
Can you explain where the Huntleys + Palmers name comes from? When I was looking into starting parties back in 2007, a name was the last thing I thought about. As the first one was getting closer, I read about the 50th anniversary of the Wolfenden Report, which famously decriminalised homosexuality. It explained that during the trial the court used the code names ‘Huntleys’ and ‘Palmers’ for homosexuals and prostitutes – to spare the blushes of the prim and proper administrators who were working on the case. So at the time, I liked the slightly sleazy connotations and went with that. What I didn’t realise until much later, is the code names came from the name of a popular biscuit brand at the time – they still exist now and I think many just assume I like biscuits!
You have built your reputation on a strong editorial focus on new sounds and emerging artists. How do you cut through the noise to discover new talent? I’ve been obsessed with discovering new music for as long as I can remember, right back to taping radio shows in high school. I guess over time I’ve managed to refine what excites me in an artist / track and I know what I don’t like almost straight away. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple way to cut through the noise, I still have to check everything to discover the nuggets.
What are the processes separating Huntleys + Palmers and Highlife? How do you select what goes where? Good question! This requires a bit of backstory – the Highlife parties were started as a side project to H+P, which would specialise in music from around the world. A year into running Highlife parties, we started the H+P label and then subsequently needed to start a sub-label to focus on edits, which is where the Highlife label was born. So both labels are intertwined, but there’s some nuances in there – Highlife has an international, dancefloor friendly sound / feel, whereas H+P is a bit more all encompassing. An easy way to categorise is between who would play at a Highlife party and who would play at a H+P one.
Have you already started seeing the emerging sounds for 2016? This isn’t something I pay too much attention to nowadays, although I have a feeling it will be a good year for a bunch of artists connected to the label.. In the meantime, I’ve got a full schedule of music to release that’s getting me really excited, so enough to focus on.
Glasgow, London, Berlin. Your current operations see you working in all three cities, with Glasgow being now your main residence. When did you decide to make the move and how this change has affected your work? I’ve been back in Glasgow for about 18 months now. Despite living in other places over the years, I always had something or other going on in the city, so from that point of view, not much has changed. It’s great to be back though and nice to be involved in a community where people are looking out for each other. Last year we saw the closure of the Arches in Glasgow gaining a great momentum in the news. How did the city react to this? In London lately, we see parties happening again in offbeat locations, from detached warehouses to temporary disco basements. Is there something similar happening up north? There was a big outcry at the time of The Arches closing, but I’m not sure what effect it’s had on the city as a whole – there’s still a bunch of great venues of all sizes in the city and the recent expansion of SWG3 pretty much fills the void of The Arches. Likewise with offbeat party scene, it’s not something that’s really existed in the same way it does in London, probably connected to licensing / council. If you could snap a moment from your ideal party, what would this portray? Highlife just played at Optimo’s legendary NYE party in Glasgow which was a pretty big deal for me personally and a bunch of close friends came out. The further I’ve been involved in music, the less I see of them in that sort of environment, so that was really special and I was buzzing for ages afterwards. So I guess a mix of old and new friends would be a big factor.
Are there any exciting future projects for Huntleys + Palmers you could share with us? Yeah, always! There’s a lot of great music on the way from Lena Willikens, CAIN, Auntie Flo, Wrong Steps and a bunch of new faces to introduce.
What shall we expect from your set at DISCOSODOMA? It should be all over the place – in the best possible way. Brand new music alongside some older stuff I’ve dug out from the back of my brain. I’m really excited to play at Superstore! It was one of the first places I hung out in when I first moved to London, so looking forward to being back.
Can you tell us a bit about your mix? I think we can all agree that Valentines Day is a lot of shite. It can’t be denied that there is a great deal of music made about love, heartbreak and the rest. Consider this a selection of my favourite songs from around the world, which happen to feature or relate to love. So you can play it all year round – no matter your relationship status!
Cowboys from Paradise, Marvin & Guy, return to Dalston Superstore for the last edition of DISCOSODOMA for 2015. Between gigging around Europe and beyond and releasing their own material on Hivern Discs and Young Adults, Elektra Complex caught up with the Italian duo as they fly from gig to gig on both sides of the Atlantic.
Hello guys, where do we find you right now?
We are actually in two different airports, one in London and the other one in Lanzarote.
You’ve been touring relentlessly for the past few months. What’s been your most intense memory so far?
Can we say the best memory so far was in Mexico City when we played at MN Roy? We’ve never seen a club like that before; talking about the architecture, and also the crowd was really special. There were just good looking boys and girls. We can say that in Helsinki at Kaiku was quite incredible as well, especially the last hour was totally insane; we received one of the best reactions about the music we played.
Do you enjoy this nomadic life and how is it affecting your creative process?
Obviously we don’t have the same time as before to make music but it’s better, because this nomadic life can totally influence your style, in a good way. You can put the influences of the people you meet and the places you have visited to create something different.
In the debate of pure vinyl versus other formats, where do you stand?
We don’t really like this kind of debate; actually we really hate it. The people, especially the producers and musicians, should think more about the music than this bullshit. We are in a period where you can play everything in a perfect quality without the vinyl. Obviously the shape of the records is quite different than everything else, but we both came from the vinyl era (especially Marcello) and except for the shape you don’t have so many differences. By the way, as most of the people in the DJ business, we play with some records and USB sticks. And this is so comfortable to be honest, especially when you have a lot of flights to take.
Guys, the important thing is playing a good set and see the people dancing. We’re all paid for this, not for using vinyl, CDs, USB and other shit like this
What would be your ideal setting for a party?
A few years ago, we created the ideal setting for a party in our hometown, eheh. It was called Apartment, and was in Parma, where we were both born (go and check that on the internet) 😉
Is there a point in dance music history that you would have enjoyed experiencing?
As we have said a few times in the past, we are totally inspired by Paradise Garage and Larry Levan. Actually it’s more than an inspiration. Can we say that is something like church for the Catholic people? You know what we mean? Also we would have loved to meet Ron Hardy as well.
Is love the answer to everything?
So can we start to reply just the word “love” to all the questions you ask us? Ahah.
Just joking, yeah we think love has the most relevant part in everyone’s life, so everything could be so easy if we put some love before doing something.
Are there any future projects you could share with us?
There are some cool things but yeah it’s a bit early for sharing some parts of them, sorry
What shall we expect from your set at DISCOSODOMA?
There are no surprises anymore if we’re gonna say it right now. We would love to bring some flamingos obviously, but this is not about the set and the music we’ll play eheh.
By the way, we’ll try to combine those styles we have grown up with, like Disco and Techno stuff, as y’all know well already you can expect a lot of guitars that’s for sure.
And finally, disco is?
Disco was/is/will be love. Always. Even if we stopped playing just Disco since a few years back 😉
Catch Marvin & Guy at Discosodoma on Saturday 14 October from 9pm-4am at Dalston Superstore.
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.
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?
Catch Mehmet Aslan on Saturday 12 September at Discosodoma at Dalston Superstore from 9pm-4am.
This Saturday, we welcome the wonderful Discosodoma party back to Dalston Superstore. As it’s their first birthday they’ve invited their very first guests Amateurboyz back from Athens, and they’ve invited NYC based DJ and producer Justin Van Der Volgen to play… AND they’ve invited one half of Chateau Flight, Gilb’R to also play! Plus a whole hosts of regular guests including Sanjay Sur, Diet Clinic and Terry Childs. Ahead of the party we caught up with two members of the Elektra Complex collective, Stathis (aka Sex Video Tapes) and Ilias to find out more about what has made Discosodoma such a special party…
Tell us how the idea for the night came about. What’s Discosodoma’s origin story?
Ilias: It all started over nibbles of Greek spinach pie in Stathis’ kitchen talking about how the music we enjoy was misrepresented in London’s queer nightlife. I think I lost a small part of my receding hairline when he dropped the name on the table. I still remember our first meeting with Dan Beaumont, who told us straight away that he loved the name and the concept.
What influence do your Greek roots have on the way you approach throwing parties?
Elektra Complex: Ha! Our last minute approach most probably!
Which guest out of all of your amazing previous guests was the biggest surprise for whatever reason?
Ilias: That’s a tricky one! I would say Timothy J Fairplay. I left the Superstore that night reeling from the experience.
Stathis: I’m gonna say Reza Athar. He played the most ‘DISCOSODOMA’ set.
You guys are crazy ambitious and the parties are getting wilder! What does Year Two have in store?
Elektra Complex: Bigger, better, bolder! Just kidding. Well, we now have a new member in our team, DJ and radio producer, Maria Politi, who will be helping us to grow not only DISCOSODOMA but also launch our new night at Dance Tunnel in August. Stay tuned for more!
What’s one thing you love about queer nightlife in London and one thing you think we could all work on?
Ilias: You can’t beat the diversity and vibrancy of London’s queer nightlife, despite the recent developments of many venues closing down. We will always find ways to persevere, and that’s also a more general comment to the treatment of nightlife economy by the authorities. On the other hand, I would like to see more alternative nights that deviate from the pop, disco, house narrative.
What’s one song that exemplifies the Discosodoma dance floor?
Elektra Complex: That record would be a long edit of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. A timeless track that unites all dancers.
You always book dreamboat DJs… who else is on the wishlist?
Stathis: Hashtag DreamWishList: DJ Harvey and Daniele Baldelli.
Ilias: Keep dreaming Stathis! But I will have to agree.
What dance floors of the past inspire what you’re trying to achieve with Discosodoma?
Ilias: Not a dance floor per se, but a dance floor moment I like to keep as inspiration is Larry Levan dropping Sylvester’s iconic Over & Over at Paradise Garage.
Stathis: As I have the memory of a goldfish, my inspiration lies in imagining the dance floors of the future.
You have loads of superlative DJs playing at your birthday party. Can you talk us through the programming and why you decided to have three headline worthy Djs on the same bill?
Stathis: As a Gemini, I couldn’t really make up my mind and to save Ilias from a stroke, we decided to book them all. Besides, these guests represent exactly the sound that we wanted to offer for our first birthday.
What’s been your own personal best moment of dance floor ecstasy?
Ilias: Actually a relatively recent one, when nd_baumecker played Sandra’s In The Heat Of The Night at Panorama Bar on a Monday morning. I genuinely lost the plot with that one.
Stathis: Dancing to Talking Heads – Psycho Killer at the last ALFOS party at Corsica Studios. It was such a pleasant WTF moment!
The new artwork is a slight departure from previous posters- who designed it and what was the thinking behind it?
Elektra Complex: The idea came to us one night during a dinner when a friend of ours read the tarot cards for fun on the table. The judgment card stood out and we took its design and gave it a DISCOSODOMA approach with some Greek mythologies references, from the Minotaur to the ecstatic crowd dancing on the top of the column. We are very lucky to have John Philip Sage as a good friend who understood straight away what we wanted to do and designed this amazing artwork for us.
You’ve also had some spectacularly sexy promo videos- which is your favourite each and why?
Ilias: That would be the last one for me. We asked our friend, Munir Malik, to direct it and he did a great job despite using an iPhone to shoot it in the end.
Stathis: Same for me, even though I had to replace the model that was supposed to be in the video, and ended up being covered in chalk powder for more than three hours. I’m still vacuuming my room!
The resident DJs and regular guests are a big part of what makes the party so special. The individual parts are all amazing DJs but together the family is really something a bit unique- why do you think this is?
Elektra Complex: As true Greeks, family is important as it allows within its ranks to nurture not only our individual aspirations but also to grow and present a common idea. In our family, we all share a similar aesthetic towards the arts and more specifically dance music. We wouldn’t have been able to be here without them.
And HOT GUYS are also a big part of the party’s success! Describe the ideal crowd…
Ilias: The crowd that checks its preconceptions about what makes a good party at the door and embraces the sound we offer every time. Bonus points are given to those losing their shirts in the folly of the dance floor.
Stathis: Come on, Ilias! It’s always a sea of leather daddies dancing to acid disco!
Sum up the ethos of Discosodoma in one sentence…
Elektra Complex: There is no ethos in sodomy. Hahahaha!
Join Ilias and Stathis of Elektra Complex for the Discosodoma One party this Saturday 9th May from 9pm – 5am.