Posts Tagged ‘Heaven’

Pump

We’re barely a month into 2016, and we’ve already seen the addition of a smorgasbord of amazing new parties at Dalston Superstore! Undoubtedly one of the most exciting newcomers is PUMP, the three-way lovechild of Neil Prince (R & She), Johnny Kalifornia (This is Electric) and David Oh (R & She). We caught up with the guys to chat 2015 faves, plans for the party, and what to expect at the next PUMP!


You three have quite a history together! Can you tell us about how you all came together?

NEIL: Well David and I have known each other since like 2001 when I first started DJing the pop room at Popstarz. He used to ask me for Kon Kan. So we’ve been mates ever since and when Songs Of Praise was in the planning stages he’d recently started DJing himself so I brought him on board. Me and Johnny, I can’t actually remember how we first met but it was certainly on a dancefloor somewhere!

JOHNNY: I don’t remember how it all started! Certainly for me, we became friends first: I remember myself & Neil bonded over a love of pop & Rastamouse, whilst I was introduced to David in the back of a cab and he was hugely entertaining. Then we found ourselves playing many of the same venues – either together or individually – such as Dalston Superstore, East Bloc and even Heaven now. Whilst Neil & David have collaborated together before, this is the first joint venture from the 3 of us!

We hear that PUMP was born out of infamous party Songs of Praise. For those who never made it, can you tell us a bit about what it was all about?

DAVID: Songs of Praise was a pop party with an edge at East Bloc. It went on for almost four years and was generally known for the carnage on the dancefloor, and for the mix of the crowd. For the final set of the night, between 4-6, Neil and I would ditch the pop and start banging out the house tunes… But still with a light sprinkle of pop over them. We’d start every back to back set with a ‘Let’s pump it gurl!’, and those last two hours quickly took on a bit of an identity of their own, separate to the rest of the night. Some people would come down just for those two hours!

NEIL: It’s that section which has led to the creation of PUMP!

If you had to sum up the pop/pump sound of the night in one artist, who would it be?

DAVID: First person who pops into my head is MK… Deffo his remixes I played most at Songs Of Praise and he’s a legend.

NEIL:  I agree with David, MK has a good pop-house crossover thing going on.  I’m quite partial to a DJ S.K.T. too. He’s updated some classics very nicely don’t you know.

JOHNNY: For me it would be Years & Years, as they’ve triumphantly straddled the world of pop & dance over the last 12 months – and who doesn’t love a good straddle?

How have you watched the London LGBT party scene change over the last five years?

NEIL: The constant closures of venues is really sad to see. And the licensing issues are just becoming completely ridiculous. People want to dance! And not stop at 2am. That’s when we start! But on the positive side, there is still a lot of creativity out there and there are some great mixed parties going on. Chapter 10 is on it and there’s some great parties going on down south right now too.

DAVID: I think the gay scene has become less about a distinctive London electronic sound. There’s nowhere near as many quality gay dance nights as there used to be. With a few exceptions that I love of course, like Chapter 10 and Discosodoma. But it seems that the best nights at the moment are more about a more lighthearted, fun, pop kind of vibe. There’s still some great alternative nights out there too like Debbie, Douchebag and Unskinny Bop.

JOHNNY: One positive aspect has been a return to having FUN as opposed to being dancefloor snobs.

Most exciting dancefloor you’ve ever played to?

DAVID: R & She!

NEIL: Yeah it has to be R & She. Such a reactive audience, singing every word and cheering every record. That’s the response every DJ lives for.

JOHNNY: The Gutterslut parties – Summer Rites, Halloween and the 6th Birthday that I guested at really stick in my mind as super sweaty fun – also, they were where I popped my East London cherry, so they hold a special place in my heart.

And now, for the question we simply have to ask all of our guests… If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/anywhen, where would you go?

JOHNNY: I would go back to the mid eighties to experience the advent of House music first hand. As a kid, I only witnessed its evolution in the charts and I would have loved to have experienced it first hand in the clubs back then…so…drop me in Chicago, please, thanks!

DAVID: For me… I’d be on the Trade dance floor at Turnmills in 1996 for a Tony De Vit moment please. I didn’t move to London until two years later, and fell in love with Trade. Still the most insane club I’ve ever been too. But sadly never got to hear Tony do his thing!

NEIL: Paradise Garage, easily. No contest. 1979. My favourite year for disco.

The Pump launch at the start of January was a huge success, with upstairs guests Michael Turnbull & Munroe Bergdorff… Can you tell us a bit about your guests for the next party, and what they will be bringing to the table?

NEIL: We’ve got Rod Thomas AKA Bright Light Bright Light coming over from Brooklyn! He does Romy & Michele’s Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance over there, which is brilliant, and loves everything nineties. So expect a lot of that in his set. Then there’s Farah DJ, currently mixing things up at the Glory and Magic Roundabout. He loves weaving in and out of disco and R&B, so together with Rod we think we’ve got a pretty good package for the poppers upstairs. Us residents will be keeping things pumping in the basement. While upstairs pops, downstairs pumps!

Most pumping house track of 2015?

DAVID: Tazer vs Tink – ‘Wet Dollars’… I’m a total sucker for a bit of pumping hip-house, and this one is BANGIN’!

NEIL: For me I guess it’s a close run battle between MK’s mix of Raleigh Ritchie’s ‘Bloodsport’ or the Todd Terry mix of Robyn & La Bagatelle Musique’s ‘Love Is Free’, featuring Maluca. Bang ’em out, babe.

JOHNNY: Peking Duk featuring Nicole Millar – ‘High’ (Terace Remix) – I remember the first time this grabbed me, driving about town and this came on my ipod. I had to stop the car, whack it up and bounce about in my seat for 5 minutes :-)

NEIL: Haha, amazing

In five words, can you tell us what to expect from the debut of PUMP?

NEIL & DAVID: Sweaty       

JOHNNY: bouncy, joyous       

DAVID: throbbing               

ALL: fun!

Catch Neil Prince, David Oh & Johnny Kalifornia at PUMP! at Dalston Superstore on Saturday, 20 February from 9pm-4am.

Blu Peter

After their last smash party with Miss Lina Bradford, Pecker is back! And they’ve coaxed ’90s legend Blu Peter(!!!) out east for an old-school laser basemet DJ set! He’ll be joined by Dirtbox duo the Duchess Of Pork and Gibson whilst upstairs John Sizzle and A Man To Pet aka Grizzle bring their unique blend of cabaret, insults and banging music to the top deck disco. Ahead of the party the residents posed a few questions to their special guest and of course all the sensible questions come from Gibson whereas the more… questionable… questions stem from Grizzle…

Gibson: You had some pretty legendary residencies in club history at both Heaven and Turnmills. What are your memories of those days?    

Blu Peter: I think my memories are pretty cool. Imagine going to DJ at your favourite club. Unbelievable. And then to make a contribution to people’s memories is such an honour. When I first started at FF (the really cool Sunday nighter) the DJ booth was not enclosed and completely open and sitting overlooking the legendary dance floor. John Newman the owner used to come and do the lights for my set. He really loved the music and the light show was spectacular. 

Playing Heaven’s main floor was like flying a massive jet. Another place with amazing light shows. It was so good talking to so many different people about the thing you had in common… the music. It’s this that drives you. I took my job seriously and my idea was and still is, to engage the whole and not the few, to take people on the journey and get to a safe and soft landing. 

Sizzle: I lost a stillie at Trade in ’93… can I have it back now please?

No. Thought I’d got away with that. Funny how the past catches up!!

Gibson: One of the first times I remember seeing you DJ was right in front of 50,000 people at a rave, what does that energy feel like?

It feels otherworldly. But you know what, smaller and more intimate places suits me best. I like to see people’s faces and expressions. Get a connection with individuals and make it personal. 

A Man To Pet: What is your favourite bird is it a BluTit or a Pea Cock? 

A BluTit definitely!

Gibson: You were one of the first DJs to start using the Pioneer CDJ’s to mix with instead of Technics turntables. Would you say technology has revolutionised the way we mix now and did it start with that first CDJ?

CDs did open the door to change but at the end of the day, a CD is just a small record! What has made a real difference is the software solutions, which allow a DJ to be more creative in so many ways. It really is great. However, I will be mixing vinyl and CDs myself. Not sure if I’ll bring the laptop this time. Vinyl sounds great. You still can’t beat the sound of a needle on a record. 

Gibson: How does all the new computer software/hardware options today compare to the old turntable days?

It’s just different. You can either use a program to do what you would do on decks or… you can get full on creative and make a whole new soundscape in a completely unique way. 

Gibson: Digital or Vinyl?

Vinyl for sound and MP3 for doing something new. CDs for emergency! 

Pet:  There is a rumour that Hannah Holland is the lovechild of you and Mrs Wood. Is this true? 

Come on! Really? Of course she is! Beauty brains and twice in rehab… it’s a no brainer!!  Seriously though, she’s not, sadly. I can see how you thought that… I could adopt her though?

Gibson: You are also famed for pioneering the Nu-NRG sound in the ’90s, how has your music taste evolved and what/who are you interested in today?

It has evolved. Even the music of Melt back in 97/8 was different to FF, which preceded it. The music I played in 2001 was again different. Always changing to where I am now. But at Pecker it will be an old school vibe and I’m loving what I’ve selected so far!

Sizzle: Pet and I have incredibly unique singing voices… fancy producing an album of ballads for us?

(This I’d like to hear) Yeah, sure. 

Gibson: You were signed to the amazing REACT records and remixed countless artists, what project has been your favourite and why? 

The Reactivate series was great and contributing to that was such an honour. Elevator was a project that ended too soon. It should’ve kept going but there were some negative influences at the time. It would’ve been massive otherwise. Pictures In Your Mind was good. I may revisit that this year…

Sizzle: You want to buy some pills? They’re pucker mate…

I’ve heard that one before!!

Join Blu Peter at Pecker next Friday 7th March at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.

Five Minutes With Dave Kendrick

Dave Kendrick returns to Superstore this Saturday with a Macho City dream team in tow, consisting of himself, Severino and Charlie Porter. The three of them takeover the top bar for our second Classic Records party, whilst the laser basement plays host to Classic boss Luke Solomon, Chris Duckenfield and Dan Beaumont!

We spoke to Dave ahead of tomorrow’s party to find out all the latest updates in Macho…

What is currently on repeat on your stereo?

I’ve dug out Daft Punk’s – Homework again for obvs reasons. It’s still as berserk as ever.

I’m also listening to a radio recording of the Paradise Garage 2nd Birthday Party with Larry Levan in the mix.

Tell us the Man Of Macho for 2013!

Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation! He’s the ultimate Man of Macho. He loves Meat! And Hunting! He’s Hot!

Ron Swanson Man Of Macho 2013 

What are your favourite defunct nights of London- what would you resurrect given the chance?

Garage at Heaven, Queer Nation at the Gardening Club and The Cock!

Best DJ set you’ve seen or heard recently?

Tama Sumo at Dance Tunnel was by far was the most inspiring set I’ve heard in ages. She was like an artist, playing B side vinyl jams, weird drum tracks, Chicago and Detroit oddities. The place went crazy.

Who is your ultimate Macho City icon?

Giorgio Moroder by a mile.

Giorgio Moroder Macho City Icon

Why should everyone support same sex marriage?

Because they’re fabulous. Gay weddings should be enforced by law, for everyone.

With Dalston having been bathed in sunshine this week- what is your go-to summer music to play out?

House Music!

Join Dave for the Macho City top bar takeover at Classic X Superstore #2 this Saturday 27th April from 9pm – 4am

Stereon

The very next B(e)ast is a Berlin Vs London affair with the top bar seeing Borja joined by our very own Mikki Most for a hazy recreation of their b2b set at that den of iniquity that is Trailer Trash’s New Years Day party. Meanwhile downstairs Tom Peters is joined by fellow Berlin resident Stereon for a recreation of party vibes direct from the city where anything goes!

Viennese Stereon has been DJing both in his hometown since 1991 and now in his current chosen city of Berlin playing in places such as Cookies, Berghain, Tresor and more. We caught up with him to find out what’s in store for the lazer basement, how he got into DJing and what dancefloors around the world have his heart…

What’s the biggest difference in playing in your previous home of Vienna to your current home of Berlin?

Well, there are so many differences that it’s hard to describe. I had some great years DJing in Vienna, but Berlin just has so much more nightlife, and in general a much better informed and international crowd than probably any other city in the world. People come to Berlin to party and not just to go out a bit.

Where is your favourite dancefloor outside of Berlin?

I will always remember the club-room of the (not so legendary anymore) U4 in Vienna. I was resident there for eight years on the weekly Heaven gay night. I had a lot of crazy and very pumping nights djing there. And then there’s the now forgotten P1 Vienna. The first big club I went to when I was 14 years old and where I had a great time djing 10 years later as resident of a very successful weekly party called Liquid, in late ‘99 until around 2002.

What DJ inspired you to follow in their footsteps?

That’s hard to say as I’ve played a lot of different styles over the years and each branch of the electronic music tree has its own heroes. Christopher Just from Vienna was definitely always one of my main heroes before I started DJing myself. But I never really wanted to get into anybody’s footsteps. I think there are too many djs trying to get into someone else’s footsteps. I always tried to go my own way and I try to stay true to my vision of nightlife and party music without covering too much of the current trends and hypes.

What do you get up to when you’re not playing records?

I just enjoy my very relaxed Berlin Friedrichshain life. I’ve never regretted moving to this city and I still can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live. It has the perfect mix of low cost and urban adventure to enjoy life in a way that other cities can’t really offer at the moment.

What’s the craziest party you’ve ever played at?

There has been some of course, but probably the Lady Gaga after show party at Berghain’s Laboratory was one of the craziest.

How do you detox after a heavy weekend of DJing and partying?

I normally feel quite fine after weekends. But there is nothing better for your body than a good herbal tea with a good amount of ginger, some fresh orange juice and honey.

What’s the most important aspect of the night for you- your tune selection, the crowd, the club, the atmosphere? Obviously all plays a big part but what do you find personally affects you the most?

For me it is the tune selection. As a DJ I always try to make the people feel good with themselves and sexy. I want them to dance and have some fun for their effort of coming to the club. And I think with the right tracks at the right moment, all other aspects can be influenced and tuned to the desired atmosphere.

What projects are you currently working on?

At the moment I am working on a remix for a friend’s band project. aMinus is a very friendly bloke from France who’s stranded in Berlin as well. I actually should have delivered already but I still don’t know if it’s finished or not. The single will be called Don’t Mind Me Now and will be released within the next two months or so.

Describe what your set will be like at B(e)ast in 3 words…

Sexy! Pumping! Vogue!

Join Stereon for B(e)ast with Tom Peters, Borja Peña and Mikki Most on Saturday 2nd February from 9pm – 3am.

A Little Summer Of Love

These amazing pictures come courtesy of our friend Dave Swindells who’ll be presenting a sample of his fascinating photography this weekend at visual art exhibition A Little Summer Of Love. Celebrating the early years of acid house, the exhibition will also feature the graphic art of Dave Little, a private screening of Gordon Mason’s acclaimed documentary film ‘They Call It Acid’, a live performance of the first British acid house tune, ‘Voodoo Ray’ by A Guy Called Gerald feat. Diane Charlemagne and DJs including Paris’ Acid Ball residents Hannah Holland and Dan Beaumont.

Being the kind sir he is, Mr Swindells has sent us a selection of his snaps from London and Ibiza in their acid house heydays with pictures of Danny Rampling at Shoom, Feral Is Kinky in Ibiza, crazy Boys Own parties and more plus explanations of each one in his own words…

TOP IMAGEAmnesia, 1989

To me this photo seems like it could almost have been taken last week at a party in Dalston. The fashions have changed somewhat, but not by much! This was 7am on the main dance floor at Amnesia on the opening night of the season in June 1989, when Boy George was invited to celebrate his birthday and host the club. Although it was taken in 1989 I’m putting it first it as was clubs like Amnesia which inspired Balearic beats and helped kick-start the Summer of Love in 1988. 

The Duchess of Norwood and friends in Ibiza, 1989

The Duchess of Norwood and friends in Ibiza, 1989

The Duchess of Norwood wasn’t her real name (natch) but she did make good friends with the local boyz. Ibiza had a properly polysexual scene long before London, and it was already a major gay holiday destination in the ’80s.

Danny Rampling at Shoom, 1988

Danny Rampling at Shoom, 1988

At Shoom Danny and Jenni Rampling created a small, friendly, New Age-y and intense underground club where Danny mixed Balearic beats and acid house and everyone went a little bonkers. Anton Le Pirate (top right) and Frankie Foncett (blue top) are in this photo, which was taken in the tiny Fitness Centre in Southwark. There were grumbles about the tight door policy, but Shoom was very significant because it was the underground club that DJs, club promoters and the media knew about (even if most of the media couldn’t get in). Just around the corner was RIP in Clink Street, but that’s a whole other story* – and they didn’t allow any photos to be taken. 

* The story is told in the liner notes to a new CD, ‘Richard Sen presents This Ain’t Chicago, the underground sound of UK house and acid 1987-1991’, which is released by Strut Records on June 25.  

The Future, 1988

The Future, 1988

This was taken at Paul Oakenfold’s night, The Future, for a feature on acid house and Balearic beats in i-D magazine. The clubbers there, including DJs Lisa Loud and Nancy Noise, had all been to Ibiza the previous summer, so we photographed the way they dressed and danced, because moves like the ‘shelf stacker’ were strange to people who’d grown up dancing with their feet rather than their arms.

A typical group of London clubbers in Ibiza…

A typical group of London clubbers in Ibiza…

Yeah, right. MC Kinky (aka FeralisKinky), Boy George, Fat Tony and Louise Prey photographed in Ku (now Privilege). It’s a night that we remember for the massive electrical storm (lots of the British chose to dance in the rain) and because the orgasmic ‘French Kiss’ by Lil Louis was played three times. When we left the open-topped jeeps in the car park looked like baths: full of water.     

Spectrum at Heaven, 1988

Spectrum at Heaven, 1988

Spectrum was a Monday night phenomenon at Heaven in 1988-89 where Paul Oakenfold was the main DJ. After a very quiet start it snowballed and used to draw clubbers from across the country – club folklore suggests that Spectrum inspired the name of the band Happy Mondays. This was taken one night in July 1988 when the air conditioning failed. No wonder the dancers were sweating. 

Gyroscope, acid house party in Deptford, 1988

Gyroscope, acid house party in Deptford, 1988

In 1989 and 1990 every rave had to have lasers and a bouncy castle (and they’d definitely get a shout out on the flyers too), but in 1988 the novelty was a gyroscope. Logic didn’t come into it: Hey, I’m feeling high/drunk/wasted, why don’t I throw my body everywhichway possible on a gyroscope while the strobe light blinds and disorientates me! Yay! 

Time Out meets Spectrum in Jubilee Gardens

Time Out meets Spectrum in Jubilee Gardens

Time Out was offered the chance to help programme a festival in a big top in Jubilee Gardens. Spectrum was at Heaven on Monday nights, so we teamed up with them and on June 6th 1988 acid house (and Balearic beats) were blaring out across the Thames towards Big Ben. 

Trip at the Astoria, 1988

Trip at the Astoria, 1988

It’s hilarious that the first club to bring acid house to the West End weekend was called Trip. Nicky Holloway’s Trip, with Pete Tong as a resident DJ, opened in June 1988 and was mobbed. Darren Rock (of Rocky & Diesel) is wearing the blue top while most of the dancers are wearing Trip t-shorts because the promoter saw me taking the shot from the DJ box and made me wait five minutes while he handed them out. 

Café Del Mar, Ibiza 1989

Café Del Mar, Ibiza 1989

‘Peril of Drug Isle Kids!’ warned The Sun. They weren’t wrong. Those kids are still in peril but these days it’s more likely to be the drinks and admission prices on The White Isle that will give them a heart attack.  I was out in Ibiza with journalist Alix Sharkey for 20/20 Magazine, so the fact that The Sun made Ibiza front-page news while we were there was lucky for us.

Boys Own Party, 1989

Boys Own Party, 1989 

1989 was the summer of orbital parties (parties at locations off the M25, hence orbital and hence Orbital, the band) but the Boy’s Own event, in a beautiful valley overlooking a reservoir near East Grinstead, was not a mega-rave to scare the tabloid writers, but a brilliant night of top tunes and larks. Why were these two climbing a ladder to nowhere? I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time…

The launch party of A Little Summer Of Love will be held this Saturday 30th June from 7pm – 2:30am at Westbourne Studios, W10 5JJ, with A Guy Called Gerald, Noel Watson, Kid Batchelor, Richard Sen and our very own Paris’ Acid Ball residents Dan Beaumont and Hannah Holland.