Posts Tagged ‘Paradise Garage’

Deepchild

The Homostash crew have garnered quite the reputation for introducing us to special guests that have quickly become members of the Superstore extended family, and we have a feeling that their upcoming guest Deepchild will be no different! A regular for many years at iconic queer parties ranging from Sydney’s Club Kooky to Berghain and Panorama Bar, the newly arrived Dalston resident can’t wait to unleash his signature brand of sassy, jackin’ queer AF house and techno on our lazerhole! AND… Not satisfied with simply playing at Homostash, he has recording a VERY special track especially for us, available as a free download to all of you! We caught up with him to senses of place, dancefloor debauchery and plans for Friday’s Fetish edition of Homostash

 


Deepchild! We can’t wait to welcome you soon for your Superstore debut! What have you been up to so far in 2018?

Thank you SO much – I have to admit, I’m VERY new to London. I’ve moved from being a long-term resident of Berlin by way of an 18 month stop-over in Sydney, and the pace of London is still entirely new to me! I’ve basically spent the better part of the last 6 months finding my feet here, working on new new material (as both Deepchild and Acharné), bouncing between here and Berlin, New York and Amsterdam, and trying to build a tribe amidst it all. Dalston Supertore has been on my radar for years as a pretty special place, community hub and spiritual homeland for more than a few of us on the fringe, and it’s an honour to be playing there. I’ve taken myself there for a few quiet drinks over recent months, and this upcoming show feels like it might be part of cementing my new place in this little corner of London.

You have played some incredible venues and festivals, ranging from Berghain and Tresor in Berlin to Exit and Pyramid Rock festivals, what has been the highlight of your career so far?

This is always a difficult question for to answer, as I’ve found that the most rewarding moments for me as a DJ / performer have frequently been the least obvious ones. There’s certainly been a great honour to play incredible parties like Berghain / Panorama Bar, but I’ve felt most deeply blessed by opportunities to tour internationally to far less-known communities for whom the role of music and dance is truly vital and central to spiritual survival! My roots in the mid nineties in Australia were really centred around the sense of belonging I found through queer and alt parties like Club Kooky and Frigid in Sydney, and I’ve maintained enduring friendships (and more!) through these gatherings to this day.

I certainly don’t subscribe to the notion of an ‘underground / overground’ polarity, but I’ve really felt deeply grateful for both ends of the spectrum. Anywhere the divide between performer / audience dissolves is sacred ground for me. Recently I’ve been doing more community work and mentoring for young artists, and this kind of work feels as nourishing for me as any large club show I might have performed. It’s ALL about intention and remembering what music and dance can genuinely do to help heal and liberate. Speaking of which, I’d love to be a regular part of something (like Homostash, for example) again after so many years of touring solo – I think its on my London bucket list. To be part of a tribe of sorts again. This feels like a good place to start, no?

What is your earliest musical memory?

Most likely either Neil Diamond or Willy Nelson, played on an old cassette in the stereo in my father’s old Chevy Blazer, driving across the desert in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

We love your edit of Alicia Keys’ Fallin’! Do you take a lot of your inspiration from popular music?

I am hugely inspired by contemporary pop and RnB – I feel as much as dance-music conventions from the ‘underground’ filter up into the pop charts, the opposite might be seen to be true. The influence of artist vocals from Brandy or Aaliyah on the UK Bass scene, for example, is massive. I’m fascinated by the economy and production chops of the pop form, and I have so much to learn from the mainstream at large. Drake, Rihanna, Beyonce, Alica… to me they are wonderful partners to Blawan, Basic Channel, Kowton, Hessle Audio….


What does your production process look like?

It’s very much constant and organic. I’m constantly taking notes, downloading reference sounds, tracks, reference material. I tend to sculpt sounds from the ground up, often using a lot of field recordings of found sound, and writing compulsively, generating thousands of loops, hooks, beats etc – all in Ableton Live, which i use as an audio sketchpad as well as for creating arrangements.

These days I’m almost 100% in the digital domain (no fancy studio) and I’ll use whatever tools are at my disposal. I’m not precious about hardware or special plugins. The writing process (for me) is generally quick, dirty and rarely begins with a blank canvas. The challenge is to capture a vibe as quickly as possible, and finesse later. In general, less is more, so I try to adhere to a lot of limitations… eight or less tracks, few effects etc etc… Vibe, vibe, vibe!

What is the craziest thing that has ever happening during one of your sets?

I’m quite sure someone has taken a dump on the dancefloor, but memories are too hazy at this stage. I’ve certainly had the plethora of cliché (and often uncomfortable) enthusiastic fan moments, but (in the past) that was certainly my own biggest liability. I’m pretty clean-living these days, but in a previous incarnation I might have placed myself and my arsenal of live equipment in harms way through ill-advised use of certain substances. Funnily enough, my first concern in situations like this was always for the equipment I may have been inadvertently knocking off tables, rather than for my own sanity. I’m an old grandpa by relative standards these days 😉

Your home city Sydney is one of the queer capitals of the world – what are your favourite things about the city?

The coffee, the joyous physicality of the culture, the small but precious and defiant light of the aforementioned queer / club community. Again, if you are Australian, there really is no illusion that you are at the centre of the world – it’s just not true. Australians are bastard children, stranded in paradise. Whilst often I feel there’s an odd sense of entitlement from certain quarters of the upper-middle class, the sheer affluence of Australia (financially and naturally) imbues a sense of possibility, of potential, of robust self-confidence. I am ashamed of the reactionary conservatism of our government, but in equal measure so humbled by those who chose defiant positivity. It’s clichéd but films like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert do speak so much to what I love about Australian culture, and the mix of heartache, terror and surreal beauty which the land facilitates.

As well as Sydney, you spent a while living in Berlin – how do you think your adopted home has influenced you as an artist?

Berlin was beyond glorious to me but it felt time to start a new chapter in London. As far as Australia is concerned – its a confounding and wonderful place. Deeply conservative, but also an amazing hybrid of cultural identity without a clearly defined ‘cultural identity’. I think this has produced some fascinating artistic output, and a genuine robustness amongst Australians who, as we say, tend to just ‘get on with it’. I’m grateful for the Australian ability to laugh at oneself, to work hard, travel far, and be willing to reinvent. White Australia really was the ‘cast off’ of Britain, and this breeds a certain larrikin sensibility I appreciate. People like myself are criminal descendants, thrust into Indigenous land – and this poses an interesting challenge – how do we, as outcasts, compassionately respond to a (beautiful) environment whose people we have essentially dispossessed? For me, this narrative goes deep.

Berlin has influenced me deeply as an artist, and as a person. I feel like it’s a culture which fundamentally values and protects notions of fairness, kindness, equity and justice  – values its has to cultivate proactively in the light of WW2 and beyond. It really was a city that took me under its wing, and has profoundly changed me forever. In many ways it IS an artistic paradise, but Berlin for me was always more about a set of ideas for living, than a physical space. At the end of the day, it left me with the quiet reassurance that we have ALL done terrible things, and yet we are also all seeking the basic hope that we are enough. There’s a vulnerability which the city breeds if you choose to embrace these lessons – but ultimately it was a city which offered me a courage I didn’t think I had.

If you could collaborate with one artist, living or dead, who would it be?

Donnie Hathaway. But god, how could I add anything to what he had?

You have recorded an exclusive track for our Superstore and Homostash family, can you tell us a bit about it?

I have indeed, and it’s a pleasure. I feel like it’s important (personally) to mark moments which feel a bit special with small gestures of gratitude… and this is mine. Whilst I’m continuing to produce as both Deepchild and Acharné, I’ve wanted to start experimenting with more raw, tool-based approach as DJ Boyfriend – and this track is my first experiment under this moniker. Its a sort of homage to a bunch of the old Dance Mania stuff which has really got under my skin in recent years. Raw, basic, jackin’ music!

If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere or when, where would you go?

Paradise Garage, 1987…

If you had to sum up what you will be bringing to our lazerhole for Homostash in five words or less, what would they be?

Love, hope, fierceness, friendship, techno. 


Catch Deepchild at Homostash: The Fetish edition on Friday 9 March from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!

Studio 89

Our latest Dalston Superstore debut comes from Bristolian sweethearts Studio 89. They are well known for throwing down parties that are practically dripping in disco sleaze, so they were naturally a perfect match for our big gay mothership! We sat down with promoters Ben Price and David Bull to chat popping their Superstore cherries, that amazing artwork and what to expect from their special guests!

Hi Studio 89! We’re so excited to have you at Dalston Superstore this Friday! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

Well we are Bristol boys who collect a lot of music and put on nights mainly in Bristol and London. We’re known for playing all kinds of disco, but tend to mix it up much more these days.

How did you two first come together to start putting on amazing parties?

The good old university days… we both met in Cardiff and at the time there were no disco nights in Cardiff, we managed to find a great little basement underneath a noodle takeaway and started throwing parties in there with all of our mates.

Who have been some of your favourite guests over the years?

Hunee in Cardiff early on with Studio 89 was incredible and remains one of the most memorable nights for us, also our first party in London with Daniel Wang in 2014 was also an incredibly fun night. But our absolute favourite is Michael Serafini – really we wish he could play at every party we do.

Mark Seven is your special guest this Friday, what do you love about him?

The man has never done a bad podcast, his production is slick and he is the king of the sleaze.

You guys have very recently started a record label and released your own record! How has that process been for you?

It’s been great and a long time coming… the reason for doing the label in the way we have (keeping each of the various artists anonymous) means people can focus less on the hype of the artists involved and enjoy the other aspects of the release – including the artwork which is always an important focal point in everything that we do.

We love all of your artwork! Can you tell us a bit about the artist behind it?

Glad you like it, we are also massive fans. Coke Oak is the mysterious man behind it – an old friend of ours who went to art school with us in Cardiff. He is a wicked artist and translates all of our ideas so naturally. We really have a passion for it and want to put the art in the forefront as much as the parties themselves. Last year we held an exhibition called Love Supreme as an homage to some of our favourite disco icons which was also tied in with our 2016 event posters. It was put on as part of Simple Things festival in Bristol with all the artwork displayed on lightboxes and the exhibition space was injected with a bit of a sleazy discotheque/club atmosphere.

What can London learn from the Bristol party scene?

London councils can learn a lot from Bristol but also from most other cities… the punters of London are no different to Bristol yet they seem to be faced with a lot of limitations in what can be offered with nightlife because of what seems like more controlling local authorities. Being a much smaller city, Bristol has more of a community feel with music and nightlife, with everyone basically knowing each other, particularly in the more intimate parties – it’s always a great recipe for an amazing night… and at the end of the day a really good crowd is the most important part of a successful night. The fact that stand out events happen less frequently also makes each of them feel more special.

If you had a time machine and could go dancing anywhere/when, where would you go?

Larry Levan playing at the final Paradise Garage party. Or one of the early Body & Soul parties.

Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage

Can you give a hint of what you have in store for us this Friday?

Well Mark is playing all night downstairs so that will be a masterclass in music from start to finish. Upstairs Nick who has been playing for us for years will be playing a mixture of classic disco/funk and underground pop.


Catch Studio 89 this Friday 30 September from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore!

Kosme

French producer and DJ Kosme has developed a cult following over the last few years, having played some of Europe’s most cutting-edge underground clubs as well as huge festival dates. Between gigs, he has established the famed Cosmic Adventure club night at Le Sucre, which has seen guests ranging from Theo Parish and Mr G to Konstantin Sibold & Move D. Ahead of his Dalston Superstore debut for Homodrop, promoter Florian Dovillez caught up with him to chat Boiler Room favourites, dream parties and plans for 2016!

 

HOMODROP is so glad to have you on board for your first gig in London. Tell us which track you really want to play during the night?

For sure some terrible disco classics like this :)

Who is your currently favourite English producer ?

Matthew Herbert, eternal source of inspiration

You’ve played two times already for Boiler Room. The first time before TALE of US, and the second one in 2015 before Laurent Garnier. Now you are playing in Dalston where Boiler Room was been created… Can you give us two tracks you played from those two sets? 

Donnie Mark – Stand Up For The Soul Grand Club Mix

Konstantin Sibold – Mutter

For New Year’s Eve, you played to the temple of techno, Berghain/Panorama Bar. Tell us the most intense memory from your set.

A friend that I have not seen for ten years cried with pleasure at seeing me playing & happy with other people. Friendship is very important for me.

What is the most precious record in your vinyl collection?

All of my records are precious for me, each one is a part of my life. 

If you have a time machine and could visit any dance floor / anywhere, where would you like to dance?

Paradise Garage

Can we expect new Kosme tracks on a new label soon ?

I will soon release on Concrete music, the label arm of famed Paris club Concrete.


Catch Kosme at Homodrop on Saturday 5 March at Dalston Superstore from 9pm-5am. 

 

Marvin & Guy

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 AdultsElektra 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.

 

Haruka Salt

This Thursday we’re super pleased to be welcoming the Japanese born now Brooklyn based Haruka Salt back to Clam Jam! Along with Musa and Juliana Huxtable, Haruka is one of the ace international guests who join Bica & Cathal to make Clam Jam the weekly extravaganza you’ve come to know and love. 

Ahead of the party we caught up with Miss Haruka Salt to find out a bit more about her and what brings her back to Dalston Superstore…

Hi Haruka, you’re no stranger to Clam Jam! What makes it worth the return trip?

THANK YOU!!!!!!! Clam Jam is becoming one of my favorite parties in London!! I love the vibes and feel freedom in the air. The crowd is very open minded to a variety of sound which makes me so happy and free and creative. I enjoy communicating with the crowd through music when I play for Clam Jam! 

What is your ultimate clam JAM?

There are so many ultimate JAMs!!!! I can’t decide…..

Talk us through your scene in Brooklyn… who are the key players and nights? Where would one go to have a  good time?

My dearest friends Tigga Calore, Contessa AKA CUNT MAFIA and Joey LaBeija are very talented and interesting individuals, and artists that I’m always excited to work with at parties in Brooklyn. CUNTMAFIA presents the Cherry Bomb party in Brooklyn, and used to throw the Whore House party with Promise. Joey LaBeija presents Legendary in Brooklyn as well. Those parties have creative and fun crowds. I always have an amazing time. The music they play is very different, futuristic. 

Brooklyn seems to undergoing the same type of gentrification as London that sees venues turned into luxury flats… what in your opinion has been the worst loss and what is local nightlife doing to overcome this?

Yes, it’s very sad. Williamsburg in Brooklyn used to be the area for young up-and-coming artists and so many kool independent shops, restaurants, and bars. But now sadly I see a crazy amount of luxury condos that  young artists can’t afford but rich people can. Many of those kool spots have had to be closed down because they can’t afford the rent. Williamsburg was becoming kool because of those artists. They created it. Not the rich people who can afford those condos and act kool. To me, the worst loss is the loss of culture they created and the opportunity for Brooklyn to be more kool.

There are still amazing venues that exist even though the area is changing. But those venues have strict policies for the DJs they book so that venues and the area attract the right people.

Clam Jam celebrates girls killin’ it at music and Djing… who for you is killin’ it right now?

Nidia Minaj!!!!

If your life was a music video which one would it be?

Kelis – Bossy

Why is marriage equality for the U.S. so important?

Because it’s the U.S. We are all about the equality for everything. The U.S. is a young country where so many opportunities are. Women can speak up and make things happen. The U.S. gives us rights to do the right things. 

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

Paradise Garage!

Join Haruka for Clam Jam this Thursday 21st May from 9pm – 2.30am.

Giles Smith

Giles Smith, co-founder of the esteemed secretsundaze has steered the brand from its inception in 2002 as weekly Sunday party to becoming a global phenomenon at festivals and clubs like Output, Rex, and Trouw, to branching out into both a record label and a booking agency. Ahead of his set here at Superstore we sat down with Giles for an in-depth chat about how house in London has changed, his relationship with Martin Dawson as part of the Two Armadillos and just why he loves records so much…

You’ve been doing secretsundaze for over a decade and DJing for longer- what’s the biggest change you’ve observed in how Londoners approach clubbing?

I don’t know. The scene has changed, but I don’t know how Londoners approach has changed.

Okay, well in what ways has the scene changed?

Well it’s changed hugely. Particularly in the way that house and techno have become hugely popular. When we started the party, most people weren’t really into deep house. It wasn’t fashionable, people were more into drum n bass, breaks or something else. In terms of booking DJs and artists we wanted to book, it was a lot more fun – we could be much more reactionary to new things that we heard. We could book artists one, or two, or three months maximum in advance. Now you have to plan so much more ahead as there are many more people doing the same thing. It’s taken some of the fun out of it to be honest, as you can’t be so reactionary or flexible anymore. If a new artist emerged that you liked, you wouldn’t be able to book them for six months because you’re already booked up to that point at the very least. 

In terms of the party and the people  when I first went out in around 1992, it was still very much a subculture.. Most of the 15-17 year olds in my school hadn’t been to a rave, they hadn’t taken ecstasy, and they didn’t really know what house music was. So that just meant that those who ended up at the parties were really into it. That creates a certain atmosphere. Now, it’s become overgrown and a huge business, you can hear house music at bars, cafes, hairdressers. Average Joe will go out to listen to house music now. In some ways it’s great but I think that’s why you find lots of clubs with people just going through the motions, because that’s the popular music du jour. Those people don’t always help create the best atmosphere in a club. They’re not always as open-minded and educated. You just have to accept that though. Things change. 

So with the secretsundaze compilations, how do you personally go about curating them- what’s your starting point?

I always approach them in the same way really, and that’s to straddle the balance between something that is representative of my style as a DJ, stuff you could hear at secretsundaze, combined with more atmospheric, introspective stuff. I think it’s important to have an introduction and it for it to be something you could listen to at home, as well as if you were in a party. I don’t want to use that clichéd word “journey”… but to have a bit of a journey – a good flow on the mix. There are so many mixes these days which are pretty tracky and samey all the way through. I think it’s really important to show a range of emotions and feelings. That’s what I like to hear if I go out and hear a DJ play. It needs to tell a story.

When we released secretsundaze Volume 1  in 2007  the reviews were really positive and a lot of this positivity was centred around the fact that there were quite a a few older tracks on both James and my mixes nestling next to new music.  I remember a journalist comparing it to a Jamie Jones mix that came out around a similar time. There weren’t many people playing older stuff on mixes at the time. As someone that owns a label I’d always receive emails from A&R people at labels who were helping a DJ gather tracks for a mix compilation and they’d request promos, it was all about “Have you got new unreleased stuff?” It was always “unreleased music” and that became very important. Unreleased doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. It is, of course, to make the product exclusive and puts the artists in a good light that they have this unreleased stuff, but I think that’s nonsense really. I’d rather put things I’ve tried and tested myself, that hopefully aren’t known by most people and that I really believe in. So we approached it a bit differently at the time to many others. I guess the overriding important factor for both James and myself was to make something timeless that would age well.  

You’ve said previously that you like to make a statement when DJing and bookmark the start and end of a set with key records. Can you give us a recent or standout example of this?

I wouldn’t want to give specific examples, as it really depends on the time and environment. I do like to try and take things down, dependant on where I’m playing. If I’m playing at a club, between 2-4am, and the guy’s banging it out before you, it usually doesn’t work that well if you drop things down too much, you have to respect the dancefloor, as it has a certain energy already. But there are certain clubs, like Panorama Bar where people are there for a long time, and they come at different times, and I specifically remember playing there after someone who was thumping it out and I was just like “I can’t come on like this, I can’t start like this, I’m not gonna do this” so I just let the record run out and started over again. I specifically remember that time playing the 2020 remix of Blaze – Lovely Dae  and losing a lot of people on the floor initially, but over time winning people back on my own terms. It’s more rewarding this way. It’s also to bookmark the fact I’m coming on and the other person is finishing. It highlights their set so people can show appreciation for them and it doesn’t put pressure on me to continue [the way] they were playing.

 

It’s interesting you’re talking about this particular incident at Panorama Bar, because it does feel like there used to be a lot more freedom to have moments of silence within clubbing. If you do that now, it affects people so much more, they might come off the dancefloor just as you’re saying, because it’s dropped down so much. But you’re right, it does bookmark the end of the set… People just used to be so much more accepting of moments silence.

Absolutely. I mean everyone knows about Larry Levan and the Paradise Garage- he was known to just walk out of the booth- sometimes because he was high- letting a record run out or because he wanted to get up on a ladder and polish the disco ball. He’d regularly drop the sound out to create drama or tension in a set, or play sound effects of thunder and lightening, or rain. Not enough DJs create drama these days. 

Do you think this sea change in house and techno’s popularity has made people more accepting of queerness in dance music… or less because it’s more dissociated from it?

Yes and no. There are definitely clubs where I’ve seen rude boys rubbing shoulders with gay people and everyone getting down together and being in harmony with no negative energy so at times it seems like progress is being made but I’d also say that the scene has become way more white and heterosexual, the fact that there are a large proportion of the dance floor in many clubs that don’t know the roots of the music and that has emanated from black, gay culture is a real shame. 

If you could go back in time machine to any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would you want to go dancing?

Oh for sure it would be Paradise Garage. I really like to discover about the history of our music, whether it’s through a documentary, or YouTube video or book. Time and time again, that name, The Paradise Garage / Larry Levan, gets brought up. It was, of course, existing at the same time as Studio 54, which some people thought was a very cool club but for me it seems that was just a club full of privileged rich people or celebrities. The Paradise Garage conversely was predominantly marginalised people – often black, hispanic, gay, and many were experimenting with drugs. This was all at a time when America was very racist, very homophobic, and very anti-drugs. It provided a sanctuary for those people to have fun and be themselves. You only have to look into the eyes of some of the people that were there that get interviewed in these documentaries, such as on the History Of House, and see the effect being at the club had on them and their lives. It was a social movement and it totally changed their lives. All of this coupled with the club and its incredible sound system- very powerful- driven by an amazing DJ who took risks in music, embraced new stuff, old stuff, just all those different elements make it a must go-to place.

 

Can we talk about Two Armadillos? What’s your defining memory from working with Martin Dawson?

I have many special memories. We had a lot of fun together. We knew each other vaguely before we started working together. He worked at Phonica and I was a customer. A very good customer haha. So we became friendly that way. Actually at first, I blew him out a few times. I wasn’t sure how it would work, I wasn’t confident in my own [production] abilities, but he was very warm and open and put me at ease to work with him. I always used to laugh as he wuold wear a cheesy T-Shirt that was written in the style of Nokia with their slogan ‘Connecting People’ but the word Vodka replaced Nokia! This was Martin to a T. He liked a drink and he loved people. I was just really into my music and DJing and he used to come and see me play so we connected that way. He was super easy to get on with. We wrote a lot of music together over a six year period and almost developed our own language in the studio. Things became second nature and we knew exactly what the other was thinking… Yeah, I miss him a lot.

We started a live set in the last months of his life and although we just performed two or three shows, that was really important to me. I wanted to share something outside the studio with him after years of working together, and a live set was the way we could do that. Our DJing styles were very different so that would not have worked.  I had to learn how to use Ableton and we ran that and had a drum machine and live keys on top. We performed it at Watergate, Zoo Project in Ibiza and secretsundaze and were due to perform it at Panorama Bar the week after he passed. I guess I felt quite robbed at the time that we couldn’t share that moment together, but putting things in perspective now I am just very grateful that we managed to perform together a few times and share those moments. 

What is it you like about buying and playing records?

In terms of buying- it’s both a tactile and social thing. I like going to places and meeting people and exchanging ideas and information. Okay, you can meet people playing an mp3, but you don’t usually meet people when you’re sat at your computer downloading and buying an mp3. Going to shops, getting on your hands and knees and digging through dusty bins in different parts of the world is fun. There is always that air of excitement that something really interesting might end up in your hand. In terms of playing, well I just think I am so used to handling vinyl that of the idea of playing predominantly another format is very strange. I have a USB stick with a few things on but I’m playing 90% vinyl in all my sets and that even goes for when I’m on tour in The States or Japan. 

Join Giles on Saturday 27th December for Bender’s Christmas Comedown at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am. 

Marvin & Guy

This Friday we are treated to the UK debut of underground disco-edit heroes Marvin & Guy. Having previously only played in their native Italy, The US and in Japan, the boys now join us in the laser basement for a journey through their own personal brand of cosmic and chugging disco and techno. Ahead of Abattoir we caught up with them to find out more about the enigmatic duo…

What’s one record that brings Marvin & Guy together?

Definitely Alides Hidding – Hollywood Seven.

How do your re-edits come into being? Are they borne out of love for a particular track or does inspiration hit you as you’re listening to one?

We started running a party called Apartment Party, which is when we decided to spend our disco energies in the studio. During the first session we were listening to Minako Yashida – Town from 1981 so we thought “this must be the first M&G edit !”
 
What is your current disco diet? What records are you obsessively consuming?
 
It depends cause our sound is very eclectic, from classic disco to indie dance to various techno styles. We would say that we play kinda techno in a disco mood. We don’t really have “must play” records that’s why we said that we are eclectic and not for saying something cool.

When and why did you decide to set up Marvin & Guy Records?

M&G Records was born as an necessary step for the work we were doing at that time.

Tell us about your own personal introductions into the world of disco…

We met five years ago on the same line about the NYC Disco Scene of Paradise Garage and Music Box in Chicago. We live in a small city here that’s why it seems that nobody knew what we were talking about except for both of us.

What’s one track that would be sacrilege to re-edit?

For Marvin Dan it’s Chaka Khan – I Know You I Live You and for Lee Guy it’s T.C. Curtis – You Should Have Known Better.

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

There is one particular night from the past we would like to join. The night in 1982 where Gwen McCrae performed live at Paradise Garage in NY, nothing more.

Why, with your one divergence from disco, did you choose to rework Patti Smith?

Every track can be “discotized”, even a Patti Smith classic.

What are your fave queer/mixed parties around the world for dancing and DJing?

The best parties in the world would be Soul Skate in Detroit run by Moodymann and Mister Saturday Night in Brooklyn. But we’ve never played at either (so far).
 
If you could have ANY living producer re-edit your own original work who would it be? 
 
Pachanga Boys for sure, and Theo Parrish.
 
Join Marvin & Guy at Abattoir here at Dalston Superstore this Friday 27th June from 9pm – 3am and tune into NTS Radio at noon on Thursday 26th June to catch the Marvin & Guy/Abattoir takeover.

Kid Batchelor

By Hannah Holland

A pioneer of the musical explosion on ‘80s London who DJ’ed at many of the revolutionary clubs of the time, as well as making legendary records… We are honoured to have Kid Batchelor spin in the laser pit at Paris’ Acid Ball this week, and learn a little history along the way…. 

Hi Lawrence aka Kid Batchelor. You were born and bred in Hackney. Must have changed a bit?? What was the music scene like when you first wet your toes?

When I started playing records in the ‘80s the music scene was simply electric. London was a maelstrom of creative activity. I could dazzle you with sparkling anecdotes aplenty from acid house-era London and beyond – if I could remember. A gentleman has no memory. 

I was born in Hackney, my family and I lived in Clissold Park, and I remember growing up near Hoxton. Just some of the changes I have witnessed over the last 20 years… It went from NDC to ultra-trendy enclave, with real estate developers tripping over each other to get a slice of the action.

What happened in ‘Shoho’ circa 1986, it was akin to East Berlin post ’89, meaning a foray into uncharted territory. Artists attracted by large open plan spaces and low rents moved in. It used to be cheap. Now though, property prices are much higher. The greasy spoons have given way to bijou restaurants. We have witnessed this happen to Soho and Shoho, Dalston has been trendier than Chelsea’s heyday for the last few years, but now Hackney has posted the ‘full-up’ sign there too. London venues and its electronic arts are in danger of being priced out of the city. It’s the Manhattanisation of London. 

Today according to a recent report London is officially the most expensive city in the world. From the price of a beer to bus fare to the shoe boxes that people call home. And, of course, rents continue to rise but salaries are staying the same; so what’s a gal/guy, to do?

Overheard as I passed a young couple standing outside an estate agents window in Shadwell this week: Him: “No that’s a garage.” Her: “Oh!”

What turned you onto DJing and where did you start?

My Adventures On The Wheels of Steel, so to speak, corresponds with the dawn of hip hop, which has just turned 40. I heard a set by DJ Cash Money, just from seeing him on the decks scratching to the funk; he’s had me as his love slave since. Forty years on from the first inklings of hip-hop filtered out of DJ Kool Herc’s decks: allowing one song to segue into another, at a Bronx house party in 1973.

Together with Jazzie B, Tony Humphries’ KISS FM MASTERMIX SHOW, and Tom Moulton’s High Fidelity, concepts that single-handedly created a new industry of remixing-producing records with greater dance impact. His super-sonic frequency design went much further than Motown ever did. Tom brought out the “blood and guts”, the things that really count in a song. These relationships played a huge role in my own development as DJ of 30 years standing. 

 Kid Batchelor

I was also hugely interested in disco, which became so ubiquitous it choked on its own backlash, and clouded the minds of suburban fans who forgot that the music had already been a big part of black, Latino, and gay culture for a half-decade. Disco died in 1979, or so they say. In truth, its influence metastasised throughout dance music. House music was disco in the raw. Frankie Knuckles and the other gay African Americans who invented house music began the process of rescuing disco from its own excesses by stripping away the clichés and reconnecting it with its subversive counter-cultural roots. When house music became the dominant popular style in the early 1980’s, first in Chicago then in NYC, San Francisco, LA, and all the other major US cities, before spreading across the country and the world.

Your work has been heavily influenced by New York ‘80s underground music scene, what was your first experiences of the music and the city? Must have been so fresh…

As in London, so New York was a hotbed of energy and ideas i.e. Keith Haring’s immersion in New York’s downtown cultural life; he quickly became a fixture on the New York artistic scene, befriending other artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, as well as many of the most innovative cultural figures of that period e.g. Fab Five Freddy. The role these relationships played in Haring’s development as a public artist and facilitator of group exhibitions and performances was very important, and I just thank god for my late friend Keith Haring who introduced me to Larry Levan at his ‘Party Of Life’ at the Paradise Garage.

Party Of Life flyer by Keith Haring

He knew what the latest records and the dances were; and artists like him went out at night and listened to music and danced a lot, they painted in the daytime that was the whole idea – it was all seen as one. Jean Michel Basquiat too, was an artist whose work symbolised a Cultural Movement, which had at its centre break-dancing, graffiti art and rap music. Through his work, he came to prominence in New York.

The late Dennis Hopper was also a connoisseur, he spoke about Afro-American Pop-Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in the following terms: “He has it all. Basquiat used to walk these streets with hundreds of thousands of dollars in shopping bags from his art sales. He enjoyed contradictions, art critics found him confusing. I don’t have any cynicism about him, however, he never said very much in interviews, yet there was a big idea to his art. He stands for a inquest post-modern type of beauty. He does something a lot of painters today want to do, but with theirs it comes out too controlled or twee, with Basquiat it’s alive. He had an incredible natural faculty…”

New York’s late ‘80s and ‘90s Sound Factory, Paradise Garage, Ballroom Culture and acid of Music Box is some of our biggest inspiration for Paris’ Acid Ball. You went to some of these clubs, what was the impact it had on you?

Believe me when I say this, I think it changed my perceptions of what was possible. 

I have always loved radio, especially from the US. Ever since I was a teenager collecting music – I fell in love, from then on the obsession grew and now I’ve been catapulted back, reflecting this knowledge and appreciation of the popular music of my youth. 

How did London and New York compliment each other back then? 

An important factor in making London a global Mecca for electronic arts is its cultural and social diversity (at least as great as New York).

In such a hotbed of energy and ideas, the process of reinvention never sits idle. For gangs of individuals driving such change, this city of 7.8 million people can support niche clubs and intensely-focussed musical style and act as a perfect playground in which to sculpt and grown our reputation as, yes, the artistic capital of the world. It’s like a nappy, the contents has to be changed regularly.

But if you looked at London in the mid ’80s, with its 3am license in the West End only, and compared it to New York (the city that gave us disco and hip hop with clubs like Area, Danceteria, Paradise Garage, The Palladium, CBGB) you might have laughed at the notion that London could supercede New York by the mid ’90s. 

It is easy to locate the parallels and synergies between British and American Pop Art of the 1960’s and ’70s. Clive Baker’s work can feel, despite it’s ‘Britishness’, like a celebration of the popular that we have come to associate with the USA. Such is the power and profile of Warhol, Lichtenstein, Wesselmann et al, that it is easy to forget that the genesis of Pop Art lies not in New York but in London. 

You were DJing at the legendary Soul II Soul party at the Africa Centre. It seemed like a perfect slice of London’s music scene, creating something totally unique. What was your experience of it? What were the big tunes you would play there?

Thirty years ago, Thatcherism was a boom/bust economy; racism was a street reality as well as a nightclub door policy. A tough pressured time, it led to the emergence of one of the most radical club scenes in the world. Thank heavens for the Funki Dreds aka Soul II Soul (SIIS )– a legendary sound system that became a Grammy award winning soul act. Headman Jazzie B took me in as just a Kid (hence my handle) who could rock turntables’ and together we tore club culture apart.

The Funki Dreds

Our music policy was Afro/soul. We hooked up with crews like Wicked Pulse (Soul Kitchen), Family Funktion, Norman Jay and Nellie Hooper’s Bristol Massive (The Wild Bunch/Massive Attack). Jazzie’s music became steeped in seventies James Brown beats and classic revival tunes, whereas I moved forward towards electronica, new sounds, garage and house etc. Although I am still down with the Funki Dreds we never overcame that crucial fissure, me to the future, they to the past. 

The late ’70s and the early ’80s reggae imagery – of painted medallions, fists, sensi plant or leaf, images of the Ethiopian Emperor who died in 1960s and was considered divine by Rastafarians, Zion – a referencing to Jerusalem and the Emperor Haile Salassie is believed to have been Christ incarnate, and so on gave way to ’80s African imagery, long canvases decorated these dance halls like Africa Centre in Covent Garden; so we got musical forms with its own imagery e.g. Soul II Soul, Funki Dred.

I’ve been commissioned to make a radio programme about Soul II Soul, a musical ideology which has remained at the avant-garde of what many describe as an oxymoron, British soul music. Yet in the eighties one man and a group of friends took on that transatlantic cynicism and nullified it in the most revolutionary style imaginable. That man was Jazzie B, and his friends, a bunch of talented singers and performers who had all until then been denied any major form of success. But with Soul II Soul these singers’ names became familiar with millions of lips, as SIIS became the neologism of London and then the world. 

What do you think it was about the UK that embraced the explosion of acid house in1988?!

London has been a hugely successful Mecca for the electronic arts enthusiasts over the last couple of decades, for a variety of reasons… among them: its cultural and social diversity. The development of the one-nighter club format from the early ‘80s, Warehouse parties. Pirate radio. Home-grown UK producers (in the 80s) and pioneering musical genres (Jungle, UK garage, D&B, dubstep). Sound system culture. Gay and polysexual scenes. Its size. And its party people, who made the parties matter in spite of 2am licenses and other restrictions.

In the ’80s, a new sound emerged across London’s dancefloors – a plethora of musical communities and sub communities – house, new beat, garage, techno and balearic beats. This sound exploded right across London and beyond, under the Acid House banner (smiley faces), which conveys the heady days of the Balearic spirit for those who can only dream of having been there.

Give us an insight into your record box gems of the time.

Too many favourites, hundreds in fact, but Will Downing – In My Dreams is one that popped to the head of the queue when I read your question. In half an hour it could be a pet Bas Noir, or a Fast Eddie’s Let’s Go, or some new, young artist from Croydon or Italy. Tough and electronic sounds.

I played all the best tunes during the rise of each genre – electro, rap, funk, house. During the late 1980’s acid house era, I shifted towards a more radical model of uniting art and music technology. 

Your Bang The Party records were some of the first proper UK house cuts to emerge on the scene, how did Bang The Party come about ? 

Dance act Bang The Party (founded 1986), originally a trio including Keith (KCC) Franklin, KCL Project. But then were downed to two, Lesley ‘Bullet’ Lawrence and I. 

Release Your Body, with Derrick May, an acid house fave, was followed by Bang Bang You’re Mine, a garage classic. We also released an album, Back To Prison.

Since those golden times you’ve gone on to be a creative director for London’s best super club Fabric, a regular record player in Europe (particularly Italian Rivera), worked on various TV projects + host a weekly radio show Mi-Soul. What advice would you give to a young Londoner stepping out to play music?!

The single ingredient you’ll need in spades is PASSION. And a lot of LUCK.

Nobody does dedication like James Brown, the minister of super heavy weight funk and social commentator. Here’s his charming point of view …

“Put your hand on the box and feel this,
Lay your hand up there and feel it,
If you got any kind of soul you got to feel it.”
 (James Brown, I Got To Move)

GET the message? This is not for the feckless or faint hearted. What you hold here is a funk bomb, primed to vaporise lethargy. A compound of full-length, full-strength masterfunk. An hour or so of GET UP and go. The jungle groove.

Sadly, in the industry as in life, being the best you can be isn’t necessarily a winning formula. All ironically, in the words of The Last Poets “We started on the corner and ended up in the square”.

Join Kid Batchelor this Saturday for Paris’ Acid Ball at Dalston Superstore 9pm – 3am.

Voices Agency

ReviveHer welcomes the brains behind the Voices DJ Agency into the Superstore this Friday night. The agency is a collaboration between London DJs Alex Pewin (who also curates the Voices parties) and Lazermagnetic’s Johnny Hillier, the pair look after a stable of internationally renowned DJs with some serious pedigrees behind them including past-Superstore guest DJ Nature and former Paradise Garage resident Victor Rosado. We caught up to dig deeper into the Voices sound…

You have some real legends on your roster – how did you come to meet Victor Rosado and DJ Nature? 

Alex: I had been aware of both of Miles (Nature) and Victor, their important contributions to music and club culture for many years prior to friendships being forged, which coincidentally is something we have first. Then we are naturally real fans of that artist, their music and their vision in terms of DJing and production. Victor always stood out for me as someone who had this amazing musical sensibility in his DJing. He would program music that would make sense musically for the dancer, but also convey a message lyrically through his selections, which is no easy feature at all… he can really connect with you on the floor through songs but also through instrumental music on its own or via a combination of both. It is something that he has mastered. It’s made a real deep impact on me, as I’m someone who always looks for more in music and how to convey it to people on the dance floor. Victor has also always been known for playing something a little different too, there are many records that were played at both the Garage and Loft that Victor had discovered and shared with both David Mancuso and Larry Levan. These records became staples of their club’s playlist, this is something a lot of people don’t realise. His ear can be very left of centre, which is good with me as well haha…

So getting back to your original question…sorry haha… I met Victor first through David Mancuso after a trip to the New York Loft party a good few years ago… Victor was cooking his favourite lasagna dish as part of his contribution to the party. We struck a good friendship, which has continued to this day and has led to us representing him through the agency.

Voice Agency play at Dalston Superstore

I met Miles (Nature) a good few years back, but had been aware of his involvement with the Wild Bunch Soundsystem (who later became Massive Attack) since my school days. I had a friend whose brother used to run with Soul To Soul when they were a Soundsystem and I always remember seeing this great flyer on his wall…Soul To Soul Vs Wild Bunch…this would have been 87-88. I had also worked for Stussy UK for a long period and Michael K, my boss at the time, introduced me to Miles whom he had been friends with for many years.  We approached Miles much later in terms of work; he is also someone with a great ear for old as well as new music and has not aged at all like some DJ’s sometimes eventually do. He is also extremely current, very underground and creative as a DJ, and that has continued and can be heard in his productions as DJ Nature. We also both love a good Soundsystem, so we have a few things in common!

Voice Agency play at Dalston Superstore

What is the Voices Agency philosophy and is there a common thread that identifies your artists?

JH: Each of our bespoke artists has a unique VOICE – a sound, creative vision and entertainment quality gained through many years of dedication and experience playing at some of the best clubs around the world. Individually, our DJ’s and producers have developed their own trademark sound, and are not driven by trends, but inspired by musicianship and art. Bobby Viteritti, Victor Rosado, DJ Nature, Rahaan, Lee Douglas, Lord of the Isles, Perseus Trax and Gatto Fritto, plus more exiting ones to come! Many have influenced or shaped a certain subculture. At the same time, our artists are looking into the future and by applying their rooted knowledge and interpret it with the inspiration current electronic music and technology has to offer, hopefully will inspire tomorrows VOICES. We, the Voices Agency would like to assist our artists to grow professionally by exposing them to new situations and nurturing their careers via relationships with other like-minded people. Could that like-minded person be you?

‘A common thread?’… Yes most of our artists are very knowledgeable… Bobby is a master of the sleaze sound otherwise known as morning music, Rahaan is globally known for being a world-class boogie expert, Nature can throw down an obscure New Wave set and Perseus Trax has created many retro Chicago house future classics and LOTI has had a tons of release out in the past 10 months. There is a cross-over point with many of our artists, even if they don’t know so yet, we do…haha! Seriously each of these artists has easily played a trademark track of one of their peers at some point in their sets – probably without knowing so. What unifies them is a leftfield ear for music and the ability to stay far away from the hype or trends and do their own thing. They are all extremely all open-minded artists and this is the one quality we’ve been looking for in our search for talent. Individually, they embrace many different forms of quality dance music, but are aware of different situations and can adapt to play for a particular audience, whether it’s an eclectic set or contemporary electronic one. Essentially they are party DJ’s with plenty of secret weapons of heat, as much as they are world-class collectors.  We hope that we can push boundaries in the future by joining the best elements, shake ’em all up and enjoy the fruits of new collaborative outcomes.

Voices have their own sound system… Is the understanding of sound a lost art among DJs?

Alex: I don’t think the understanding of sound is lost among DJ’s as such, a lot of DJ’s are aware of sound and the formats they use to play music to their audience, their tolerance for good sound has been lowered though as we live in more disposable, downloadable times – the introduction of MP3’s, something I’m not adverse to either, just a sign of the times. I think club/venue owners are also responsible though in terms of their focus on good sound at their venues. Over the years in this city, apart from room one at Fabric or Plastic People whose owner want to settle for nothing less than amazing sound. Plus some sound guys I know such as Mickey Boyle who helped us with the Voices Soundsystem. Lucky Cloud (London loft party based on David Mancuso’s legendary NYC party) Beauty & Beat who are an extended part of our crew, there are not many others…I think that many people have not experienced really good club sound in their clubbing lives yet and I advise them to indulge themselves at any of the parties listed above for a few reasons. The better the sound the better the experience and better the memory, music is special so try and hear it the best way we can.

JH: Once you have experienced good sound culture, there is no way back! The set-ups at some of the best clubs during the heydays of NYC’s and SF clubs in the ‘70s is well documented, and engineers like Richard Long, the Greabar Soundsystem, Alex Rosner were responsible for developing quality set-ups in large clubs. First generation DJ’s like David Mancuso are known for taking the audiophile approach at his Loft parties to a wider audience, using Klipschorn Speakers in combination with high spec turntables and phono pre-amps only to enhance the experience for the listener and dancer. On a good system you will be able to hear and discover parts of a recording that you previously hadn’t noticed, another feature of a good system is that whilst it is playing music out clear and at a healthy volume, you will still be able to chat to the person next to you. No ringing ears or fatigue at all!

Voice Agency play at Dalston Superstore

But what was also cultivated in those days was the perfect DJ booth for the resident DJ’s, a place or haven where they could go to work and play long sets, develop and master the art of programming and manipulating the crowd with the effects that were give to you at the time. One of our DJ’s on the roster, Bobby Vitteritti, resident at SF’s Trocadero Transfer from 77-81 would play on the Greabar System and his beloved Bozak mixer to take crowds up and down, whilst working closely with his lighting man to create dramatic effects during his 10 hr sets. His technique of mid-range blending is stuff of legends and his specific playing style was also being advocated at iconic NYC clubs like The Saint. You can say that the development of a specific sound, genre and subculture (in his case: high-NRG disco, morning/sleaze music, dance floor drama, physical expression and visual definition of gay culture) was the direct result of the vision of the owner and the DJ’s. All this was made possible by creative use of good sound, in fact so much that it still lives and is celebrated on today via certain club nights around the globe (Horse Meat Disco/Honey Soundsytem etc).

Voice Agency play at Dalston Superstore

Moreover, these specific platforms, or ‘way of life’, allowed the DJ’s/residents to play a certain way to the audience, allowing their music to breathe. The sonic qualities of rotary mixers for example is superior to most mixers on the market today, you get the punch and warmth at the same time and another important point is that once you are given these tools you’ll opt to play certain records, because you know that they come to life at a club with the right sound. But this insight is not restricted to the past – In my opinion, DJ Nature’s deep, yet raw sounding sets require a good system (as much as Theo Parrish does) to accentuate his sound and showcase his talent to maximum effect! In this respect an understanding of sound is still prevalent by those who have experienced and fully believe in it. But every piece of the puzzle has to come together, so you, the crowd gets to feel the desired effect.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of DJ’s that think really loud equals really good. I’ve come to learn that a lot of quality DJ’s do insist on a sound check before their gig, it gives them idea how far they can go or what the dynamic of their gig could turn out to be. Now I’m not saying that there aren’t great DJ’s out there that can’t pull things off by being spontaneous, but it really helps taking these cues in!

Also, today’s production techniques allow easy access to any producer to use tools such as vintage warmers and compressors to help breath life into production and you can hear this quality in extra punch and kick. Contemporary NYC DJ/producer Lee Douglas who is on our roster is one such example. He embraces certain production aesthetics from the ‘70s, but has developed a forward thinking sound that is not easy to pin down (it kind of keeps developing and mutating every year), but he has high standards and he doesn’t choose the easy route of playing the latest re-edits to rock a party. Rather, he uses current production techniques to get the best sound out of both worlds!

There are still plenty of clubs around that have great set-ups. I’ve had the pleasure of playing at Japanese clubs like Air, Module or with Kamome Soundsystem in the past, all of which were built on the former NYC models, but combining that with the best of today’s technology at the same time. Alex already mentioned Fabric’s Room1 and Plastic People… clubs like Robert Johnson in Frankfurt and Cookies in Berlin all have amazing DJ booths and a range of quality mixers to choose from and it literally is a joy to ‘go to work’ – great vinyl set up with 3 decks… all the trimmings, isolators, effectors! A good sound set up!

So what we have today is a landscape of many music lovers (producers, DJ’s promoters etc) understanding and applying individual aspects of the sound stage from production to set-up, but not always with all the elements come together. We all know that the priority of most club owners is given to other aspects of the club business, other than prioritising good sound as part of their vision. Now some might say that we are idealists that care about sound but don’t chase the dollar. In most cases the businessman doesn’t always care about sound first, but money. And here is the crux of the matter. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO COST MUCH TO ACHIEVE GOOD SOUND, just do your research before you spend your money, develop an understanding of the fundamentals, rather than settle with buying or renting set-up’s off the shelf, or because you are led to believe that certain brands are in vogue! Good sound should be final piece of all pieces to the puzzle and the messenger. Everyone in the production chain has put efforts into the end product, so why compromise at any one stage?

Here’s a quick formula on how things could be improved in an idealistic world: club owners and promoters need to honor a few fundamental principles and start thinking about it all BEFORE money is spent. Without getting too technical, if you take into account the specific room acoustics and apply optimised speaker positioning at the venue, this amounts to 25% already. The next 25% can be achieved through applying the various (inexpensive) treatment and sound insulation options (25%) to get a good acoustic room behaviour. The installation of an adequate sound system for that room adds another 25% to the sonic picture, and finally if you allow room to fine tune the system to suit the DJ’s sound (25%) then you are there. Now an average sound system will sound much better in an acoustically treated room, more so then the best sound system money can buy will do in an acoustically non-treated room. A good sound system will sound excellent when all elements are in place and will bring perfect happiness to all exposed to it, as long as the DJ can play well, haha.

Finally, to make all this happen what is needed is a sense of belief, commitment and longevity in sound from club owners to give a meaningful platform for artists to develop timeless art.

Describe your perfect evening in a discotheque – where is it? Who’s playing? Who’s on the dancefloor? 

I’d take a spaceship back in time to see Roy Thode (The Saint), Bobby Viteritti (Trocadero Transfer) and Ann Margaret spin at the Billboard Disco Convention in 1978 in LA….

One night at the Music Box in Chicago circa 1985 with Ron spinning with Rahaan when he was starting out as a dancer!

Voice Agency play at Dalston Superstore

Trocadero Dancers

Voice Agency play at Dalston Superstore

Visit the Mudd Club in circa 1980 in NYC: Michael Holman, Klaus Nomi, Henri Chalfant , Chris Stein, James Chance on the dancefloor.

Voice Agency play at Dalston Superstore

You can listen to artists on the Voices roster via their Soundcloud and keep up to date with all their latest news through their Facebook group.

 Catch both Alex and Johnny of Voices Agency playing at ReviveHER takes place this Friday 25th May from 9pm – 5am with Lord Of The Isles, Gatto Fritto, Men & Machines and the ReviveHER residents.