For the latest edition of Pump, our special guest is non other than lauded Swedish music producer, songwriter and DJ, Johan Blende! Signed to the Belgian disco label Eskimo and famed for such cuts as Rikki and Fake Love, Blende has remixed for the likes of Lana Del Rey and Azari & III. With worldwide bookings from Space in Ibiza to Ministry of Sound here in London, we’re super excited to welcome Blende to the basement of Superstore! Fresh of the release of his banging new summer anthem single Back to Summertime, we caught up with him to chat new releases, Michael Jackson and plans for Pump!
Hi Blende! We are so excited to have you join us for Pump! How has your 2017 been so far?
Hi there! Excellent, so am I! It’s been good so far, released a single just before summer and am currently making plans for the next one.
How do you think growing up in Sweden influenced your sound?
Hmm, don’t know if it did much really. I mean most Swedish producers I know and know of have quite a different sound to mine I feel, but there are exceptions so maybe there is something in the water after all.
If you could change anything about the pop music industry, what would it be?
Ugh, let’s not go there, I’ll be playing suicidal music on Saturday if so.
What is your earliest musical memory?
Listening to MJ’s Thriller on my walkman, in the back of my dad’s car. Not sure if I made the walkman, dad and car bit up but I definitely had the album on cassette.
You took a couple of years’ hiatus from DJing during 2015-16, what has it been like coming back to it after such a significant break?
It’s nice being back, though I’m still not quite up to speed just yet. We’ll see what else 2017 brings, definitely hoping more people will have me come play at their nights!
Can you talk us through your songwriting process?
Lately I’ve been mainly putting down ideas while working on something else; if things pop into my head I strip down whatever I’m currently working on to just drums or something basic and put it down on top and then revisit it at some point once I’ve finished what I was already doing. But I have something like 10-15 track ideas going on rotation at any time so it’s a natural process I think.
Who have been some of your favourite collaborators over the years?
There are some people I’ve worked with these past couple of years that I’d love to do some more stuff with, but they’ve all been part of tracks that don’t have a home yet so I probably shouldn’t say too much at this point. It’s nice working together with friends on location though, so I’m trying to find time to do that again as it’s been a little while.
Favourite release of the year?
Pretty much every Deewee release this year has been great.
If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/when, where would you go?
It would be Manhattan, in the 70s, CBGBs & Studio 54. I don’t think they’d let me in though, one saying I look too pissed and the other not pissed enough.
In five words or less, what are you planning to unleash at Pump?
Luscious & pumping electronic music.
Catch Blende at Pump this Saturday 19 August from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!
For latest edition of heaving homo house party Pump, promoters Neil Prince and Johnny Kalifornia have recruited New York party icons The Carry Nation to unleash their trademark brand of uplifting diva-heavy house on the lazer basement! Fresh off the back of some seriously thumping releases and brilliantly hedonistic accompanying music videos, we caught up with DJ Nita Aviance and Will Automagic to chat New York’s thriving queer scene, Glastonbury’s Block 9 and plans for Pump!
Hi Carry Nation! We can’t wait to have you guys join us at Pump! How has 2017 been for you so far?
2017 has been a brilliant year getting back to work with our mother-label, UK based Batty Bass, run by Hannah Holland. Two of the tracks we released on that label come with videos from two very talented artists we’ve always wanted to work with, Tyler Jensen and Cathal O’Brien.
You guys are involved quite heavily with the incredible Battle Hymn parties in NYC – can you tell us a bit about it? They always look insane!
Ladyfag is a genius and always knows how to throw an amazing party. The roster of guest DJs always blows our mind and it’s a real return to proper partying in Manhattan
You guys have been playing at the NYC Downlow at Glastonbury for a good few years now – do you agree with Mixmag calling it the UK’s best club?
100% yes. Block 9 always delivers some of the highlights of our year.
What is it about the NYC Downlow that makes it so magical?
Sick programming, enticing visuals and enough d—s to choke a horse!
We love the teaser video for your new single, The Queens! Where did the inspiration for that come from?
Our love for London and our many experiences there led us to give our director Cathal free-reign to interpret our NY-based song. Keeping the trans-Atlantic theme we also wanted to feature Sussi, a recent transplant to London from New York.
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
Catch Neil Prince, David Oh & Johnny Kalifornia at PUMP! at Dalston Superstore on Saturday, 20 February from 9pm-4am.
Ahead of Voyage Voyage’s Summer Special tomorrow night, we asked A Man To Pet, Johnny Kalifornia and Bob Chicalors to tell us about their dream summer holidays…
A MAN TO PET:
RIO DE JANEIRO, of cause! Cause the boys girls trans everybody and the clima are hot!!!!! Men there they are beyond belive – you never go back home alone and you’re always more than just 2!!!! Happy dance all night flipping and all that samba samba samba.
I don’t know the spelling but drinks are Mojitos or Capriccioso – full of sugar they make you sweat and give you energy!!! – and lots of ICE!
Tracks I will listen to are:
Kaoma – Lambada
and, of course, Dalida – Rio de Brasil
SPAIN! – touring THE WHOLE COUNTRY, hitting the beaches, pretending I’m in an Almodovar film and stalking Fangoria…
We’ll be drinking Pina Coladas, obviously:
or Rum and Coca Cola:
Music-wise: beachside, it’s Vamos A La Playa (oh oh ohohoh)
And there’s a back alley pun somewhere, with Azis, Tarkan, Omer Adams…*swoon*
SAINT TROPEZ – C’est bon!
If it’s good enough for Brigitte Bardot, it’s good enough for me. I’d be yacht-hopping with a selection of European studs I’d pick up along the way (one from each European country should do it).
Unfortunately, I’m too old to be a rich man’s toyboy and too poor to be a rich man! But I’ll find a way to make to happen. If I was Elton John, that’s where I’d be, right now…
Drinks-wise – Sex On The Beach, obviously:
or maybe a Mai Tai??
…with the odd glass of Chablis in-between, to maintain the ‘illusion’ of ‘glamour’.
Music-wise, start off super-elegant with Genevieve Grad
With our regular Friday night top deck disco Nancy’s bringing you our favourite DJs week in and week out for a while now, we thought it was high time to get to know the Nancy’s residents a little better. And what better way to understand someone, to look into their soul, than to find out who their first embarrassing teenage crush was! Without further ado, may we present a slightly cringey trip down memory lane…
“My teenage crush was Clare Grogan from Altered Images. BUT at around the age of 16/17 I was at a house party in Glasgow with mates in bands , you know that kinda thing standing quite innocently in the hallway chatting and the toilet door burst open and Clare pops her head out and asks some girls quite loudly, “Anyone got a spare tampon ?” I Could Be Happy never ever sounded the same since that day.”
“I think I was in love with John Travolta for a bit… I had a life-sized poster of him on my bedroom door in that shorts and t-shirt look from Grease… it was a very innocent affair. But once puberty hit I WANTED a Magnum’d Tom Selleck so bad. I wanted him inside me…. you know what I’m saying. I wanted to stuff all of him, deep inside me. Fuck love. This was serious man-lust. If I married him I’d deffo take his name. John Selleck is such a hot porno name, no?”
“One that has stuck is Chris Packham when he presented The Really Wild Show on TV with a bleached blond flick (my favourite rent boy look). I used to go all gooey. The thing is that crush is still going as I still fancy him, plus his knowledge of nature makes him even more sexy to me. Do you think anyone can introduce me??? Probably ruin it if I actually meet him…”
“My earliest crushes definitely came from soapland – particularly the US soaps like Dallas and Dynasty. My most intense soap crush was Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) in Dallas. He was a TOTAL HUNK in my eyes – that chest, those arms, those eyes… My mum would always record the soaps on VHS, but it was usually me that would re-watch again and again. I wore down the VHS tape on a few occasions, including his big comeback in THAT shower scene – I’d always imagine him inviting me in…”
“My next memorable teenage crush (post-George Michael) was Jason Donovan – for some reason, the sleeve of his single Every Day still sticks in my head. At that time, my bedroom walls were monopolised by Madonna posters and nothing else, but when I was alone in the house, I would sometimes cover them up with posters of Jason and others, and enjoy my room the way I wished it could be all the time.”
THE LOVELY JONJO
“Christian Slater in Heathers and yes I may have had posters from Big mag on my wall and yes I may have sent him a love letter……….
AND yes the sight of Christian Slater in Name Of The Rose VHS got a bit worn out in a certain scene……
So along with all my Big magazines and huge sticker collection was Rob Lowe’s jock strapped ass in Ice Hockey movie, which made me feel very odd watching with my Granddad. My crush of crushes though was Corey Haim in License To Drive… SWOON.”
“Robin Campbell from UB40. I went to see them at Sheffield City Hall in 1981 and I think he was wearing Farah slacks and a Gabicci shirt. Someone from the support band snogged my sister so it was more than my early adolescent hormones could take!”
“Nathan Moore from Brother Beyond. When The Harder I Try came out I realised I was a massive mo, no arguing. I even styled myself on his look in the video for the summer of ’88. (Cringe.) I almost booked him for Carpet Burn years ago. He was super sweet but I cancelled as thought the set would be on the thin side… and I found out he was married.”
Join us in the top bar every Friday for Nancy’s, with Martyn Fitzgerald and Discosmack on duty tomorrow night Friay 27th June from 9pm – 3am with Abattoir in the laser basement.
Shake Yer Dix was born mostly from Michael Kelly primal urge to dance to electronica, specifically the likes of The Knife and Digitalism, somewhere other than his own bedroom…
The night started life on the coldest day of 2011 and minced around a few Dalston basements before upgrading itself to The Star of Bethnal Green, where superstars such as Charli XCX and Ronika guested. With a laid-back vibe and loyal crowd of electroclash junkies, it’s now in its fourth year and is reloading its weaponry with the move to Dalston Superstore with a heap of killer new trax from the likes of Cut Copy, Simian Mobile Disco and Hercules & Love Affair.
Totally gay for synth.
Michael’s Shake Yer Dix Top 5!
Cut Copy – Meet Me In A House Of Love
I didn’t think Cut Copy could ever make something better than Lights and Music… I thought wrong.
Vitalic – Poison Lips
If Louis Vuitton made pounding, pounding French electronic music, it would probably sound like this. Genius.
Beth Ditto – I Wrote The Book
Never fails to spark a dancefloor meltdown at Dix. Especially the extended Mark Picchiotti version… twice as much meltdown. Sticky.
Hercules & Love Affair – I Try To Talk To You
If you’ve seen the hot, beardy dancers prancing about in the video, you’ll understand. Awesome track.
Fischerspooner – Emerge
Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Amen.
Johnny Kalifornia’s Shake Yer Dix Top 5!
The Swiss – In The City
Featuring ‘party all night, sleep all day’ lyrics, with vocals by Lavina De Santoli, this strange hybrid of The Juan Maclean vs. 2 Unlimited actually werks! An irresistible call to the dancefloor.
The Cure – Just Like Heaven (Penelopes Remix)
I always approach a remix with caution but, thankfully, this update of The Cure classic is a triumph. The Penelopes drown the guitars and up the synths, creating a refreshingly kaleidoscopic take on this indie-pop gem! [click on the Soundcloud icon to download for free!]
Robyn & Röyksopp – Do It Again
The return of Sweden and Norway’s ‘heads of state’ is a thrilling journey through ‘the build-the break-the build’ which can be applied to anything from dance anthems to nights out to falling in love.
Any track that rhymes ‘Trouble’ with ‘Barney Rubble’ is a winner in my book.
Ronika – Shell Shocked
Absolute ’80s throwback. Take the sound of early Madonna, combine with lyrics from the Robyn school of love & heartbreak, and you get Ronika. Also loving the new album Selectadisc, which has just been released.
Join Michael and Johnny this Friday 13th June at Dalston Superstore for Shake Yer Dix from 9pm – 3am.
This Friday we welcome a brand new art exhibition, MACHO, to the walls of Dalston Superstore. Straight from the mind of the fabulously talented Ego Rodriguez, the show features his amazing illustrations of handsome men. Following on from the private view, we roll straight into a two-floor Mega Nancy’s, the night which Ego also designs the posters for! Taking to the decks will be Nancy’s residents Hifi Sean, Jeffrey Hinton, The Lovely Jonjo, Johnny Kalifornia, Pep Sanchez and Will Viper with the usual blend of pop, disco, house, soul and more.
Ahead of the private view and party, we caught up with Ego to find out more about the inspiration behind MACHO…
Do you use real models for life drawing for your pieces?
I use sometimes pictures for sketches or get ideas, as a reference and to practice of course.
In this particular case with MACHO, they are all inspired and penciled from images in Playgirl from the late ‘70s to ‘80s. I have made changes to them, because faces were hard to see in the old scans and in order to play around as well with the negative space and composition overall.
And what do you look for in a model?
I feel attracted to people that look like I could have drawn them myself, exaggerated features, like a comic character, I like strong personalities, big eyes, eyebrows! Noses!
Where in the world do you find the most macho men?
Sadly I think in the current times, in far too many places. We need the alpha male to turn the knob down a bit, and move on from old, ignorant, dated mentalities.
Which artists who depict the male form do you find inspiring?
Stefano Canulli is my greatest crush when it comes to illustration, so it’s his male figure. Henry Scott Tuke, Egon Schiele, Von Stuck also… And I love contemporary cartoony artist like J.Bone and Glen Hanson.
If you had a time-machine and could go back to any dancefloor or party of any era (recent or event ancient) to hang out with the manliest men where and when would we be setting the timemachine dials to?
On my darkest hour it would be to some tribal, wild sacrifice in a top of a volcano or something similar, with drummers and people going crazy in trance.
In an lighter mood maybe some cool ballroom in the ‘20s, all dressed up to the nines, doing Charleston, decadence and spirits.
Do you prefer drawing men over everything else?
Actually I don’t. I’ve always had a weakness for drawing women; men were, for the most part, just a handbag for the characters I’ve drawn. But in the last few years I’ve turned towards drawing men.
Tell us about your background and training…
My parents were pretty arty themselves so my brother and I grew up in that environment, with lots of support, tools and education, so we both ended up on the field, he does comics I am more into illustration.
I never really studied in an art school for it, but I do practice a lot and continuously. I like to work with new ideas or projects that challenge me.
What can we expect from MACHO?
Hmmm, MACHO is my way to approach a broader audience, easily. The idea was to appeal to lots of people for different reasons. They are sexy, they are corny, they are bright and colourful, you shouldn’t expect too much, just enjoy them.
What influence does your Spanish roots have on your work?
That’s a hard one, because I moved away from there over 18 years now… I guess temperament? Energy somehow, I know it’s a bit cliché, but with the distance I can tell as a country everybody is quite nervous, shaky and intense.
And I do carry that with me and it goes into what I do.
The Nancy’s posters have a different feel from the MACHO work… what informs their style?
As much as I like to evolve or create based on previous work, when something is a project per se, like MACHO I don’t like to replicate it in other forms. With Nancy’s the idea was to build an identity for a club night too, the roots and inspiration are similar, the retro soul, the hair, the ambiguity of sex, but the Nancy’s posters should speak of a club. Which is why the colours and lines are brighter, the figures for Macho mean to be coated, plastic whereas Nancy’s seem to be having a disco light inside. They are playful, and animated. They tell us a story.
It’s Mega Nancy’s as well as MACHO. If you were taking to the decks as well, what would be your last song to play?
I would start with Meteor Man by Dee D Jackson and I will have to finish it with Donna Summer’s Last Dance.
Join Ego this Friday for the MACHO private view followed by Mega Nancy’s from 8pm – 3am at Dalston Superstore.
EGO RODRIGUEZ DALSTON SUPERSTORE 117 KINGSLAND HIGH STREET E8 2PB PRIVATE VIEW – FRIDAY 16TH MAY 7PM – LATE EXHIBITION RUN – SATURDAY 17TH MAY – SUNDAY 10TH AUGUST 2014 CURATED BY – SASKIA WICKINS ASSISTANT CURATOR – EMILY BRYSON
From the artist behind the spectacular Friday club night Nancy’s comes an exhibition that takes an ingenious illustrative spin on the characters featured on the centre pages of the 1970’s Playgirl magazine.
The MACHO series evolved from an idea of representing sexual elements within pop culture and commercials will hang from the rather appropriate walls of Dalston Superstore.
Bright colours, candy like gloss, simple lines and negative spaces. This body of work plays on the sense of masculinity portrayed in this era. The luminosity and playful cropping builds icons made of hair and a pansexual spirit.
Al, Hank, Ken, Lee, Dan, Frank, Ben and Matt will leave you wishing you could turn back time.
Ego Rodriguez, Spanish Illustrator, fascinated with the macabre, the uncommon and anything slightly left-of-centre was born in windswept Asturias, but has been living and working in London for the most part of the last 18 years. This will be Ego’s fifth exhibition, but the first time you will see this masculine collective in all their glory.
The opening night will coincide with an all singing all dancing classic Dalston Superstore Friday club night, Mega Nancy’s, with an extraordinary line up including Hifi Sean, The Lovely Jonjo, Jeffrey Hinton and Johnny Kalifonia.
Nancy’s, a new Friday night of disco, pop, house and party bumps at Dalston Superstore featuring our new rotating cast of familiar fabulous residents!
Yes, it’s time to bring back the residents, those trusted DJs that can deliver the goods every week and know every inch of the club and the crowd like their own underpants. So we’re shaking things up at Superstore on Friday nights with new top deck disco Nancy’s, and welcoming back our favourite DJs to play week in, week out in the top deck disco. It’s going to be family vibes all the way as trusted DJs like The Lovely Jonjo, Jeffery Hinton, Martyn Fitzgerald, Grizzle (John Sizzle and A Man To Pet), HiFi Sean, Luke Howard, Johnny Kalifornia and Mikki Most play on rotation along with different hosts every week.
Nancy’s launches on Friday 31st January with an extra special line-up consisting of the legendary HiFi Sean, Johnny Kalifornia and Trailer Trash’s very own Mikki Most!
Start as you mean to go on we say. Coming up this month we have…
Friday 7th Feb: Grizzle crash-land into Nancy’s top deck disco. Friday 14th Feb: The Lovely Jonjo and Kim Jakobsen To do a double-ender. Friday 21st Feb: Dream-team Luke Howard and Jeffrey Hinton takeover (with special guest host DARKWAH!) Friday 28th February: HiFi Sean and Martyn Fitzgerald show those queens how it’s done.
It starts every week at 9pm and is FREE before 11pm / £5 after
Join the Nancy’s Facebook group here for regular updates and join the Facebook event for the launch party here.