This Saturday Paris’ Acid Ball welcome two glittering jewels in Glasgow’s impressive House crown- Dan Monox and Kenny ‘The Wasp’ Grieve, aka the ineffable Dixon Avenue Basement Jams. Noted aficionados of the raw sweat and grit sounds that make for earth-shattering club experiences, we picked their brains on Independence, emotional scenes, guilty pleasures and dancefloor filth.
If Glasgow could teach London three things what would it be?
Dan: Hmmmm…. hard question… I guess Glasgow has a reputation for being a wilder party place than London, but that probably has something to do with the fact our licensing laws are tighter, so people tend to get “on it” a bit earlier. Having said all that, it’s not really relevant because the last few times we have played London the crowds have always been well up for it. So that’s 1 irrelevant thing, 2. be smaller, 3. be a bit colder.
Kenny: Yup, London seems to be catching up on the party vibe stakes, so….. 1. Boris is a stroker 2. Boris is a stroker 3. Boris is a stroker
If you had a time machine and could go back to any dancefloor anywhere/anywhen, where would you set the dials to?
Dan:For me it would have to be the Muzic Box…
Kenny:If Dan’s going for Muzic Box, I’ll go for the Warehouse.
Your sound has a raw energy reminiscent of the early Chicago, New York and Detroit house sounds- the kind of music that reportedly moved people to near-spiritual experiences- tears of joy on the dancefloor vibe. Ever lost your shit to a record in a club this way?
Dan: Yup, we played Your Love at Panorama Bar a few months back, and the shutters came up, and we were both having to hide our faces from the dance-floor while it played, I think there was a few of the dancers in the same boat. One of the highlights of our sets over the past few months has been the forthcoming Denis Sulta – A.A.S [Nite & Day Mix], it always destroys, and gets the place going wild. Last weekend we played with Denis together for the first time in La Cheetah, Glasgow, and seeing his face when he caught the reaction of the crowd whilst playing that track was pretty emotional too!
Kenny:Totally agree with Dan for the above, we must be getting old and fragile. There’s also a low growling acid track with a haunting vocal From Tom Demac and Will Samson called It Grows Again. On the right dancefloor it tugs at the old heart strings a belter.
If the ‘Yes’ vote in Scotland had been successful and you were in charge of the new independent country- what’s the first thing you’d change?
Dan: The daft party animal side of us would say 24 hour club licenses (or at least 5am/6am close)…
Kenny:Yeah and Mondays would be a public holiday.
Tell us about the club you made in the basement of the flat on Dixon Avenue…
Dan: It was a flat with 2 floors, my bedroom was in the basement and then there was another unused room, with black painted walls, tiled floor, DJ booth, PA system, lights, smoke machine etc, which basically turned into THE after party venue in the southside of Glasgow. We had some pretty messy nights / weekends down there, and needless to say it “smelled” like a club come Monday too. Another guy moved in, and that turned into his bedroom, it had to be the grimmest bedroom in Glasgow!
Like a lot of small labels there’s a strong family vibe to DABJ’s whole output- which of yous is the mum and who’s the dad?
Dan: Kenny’s the mum AND dad and I’m the daft kid…. or Kenny’s the dad and I’m the mum (suck mummies cock).
Who would be a dream DABJ signing?
The Horrorist & Frankie Knuckles supergroup.
What’s your guiltiest (musical) pleasure?
Dan: Dire Straits (love em, not even guilty about it).
‘Rawness’ and ‘freaky’ are a couple of words that’s have been associated with the DABJ sound- whats the rawest or freakiest thing you’ve seen in a club while you were playing?
Hmmmm… hard question! too many to mention… we have both been to Berghain many times, but the last time we were there we were both stone cold sober (for the first 30 mins anyway…), so we noticed a LOT more than we would have done usually.
Which record never leaves your bag?
Kenny: Floorplan – Sanctify His Name / Rachel Wallace – Tell Me Why
Dan: Butch – No Worries / loads of Lory D shit (one extreme to the other!)
Join Dixon Avenue Basement Jams at Paris’ Acid Ball this Saturday 1st November at Dalston Superstore from 9pm – 3am.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Paris’ Acid Ball queen and Batty Bass head honcho Hannah Holland lays this hot mix on us to brighten your Friday! Featuring tracks from some of our favourite people including Cormac, The Carry Nation, Shaun J Wright, Ashworth and recent laser basement guest Brodanse, it’s sure to have you slipping on your dancing shoes. Get hyped for tonight courtesy of Miss Holland.
Ashworth – Changry [Native City] Auntie Susan – Triangle [Forthcoming on Batty Bass] Cormac – Tone Alone [WetYourself! Records] Ashworth – Cash Soup (Aggborough Remix) [Native City] Shaun J Wright & Alinka- Love Inspired [Classic Music Company] The Carry Nation & The Cucarachas – Oracle (Dub) [Tribal Records] Josh Caffe & David Newtron – Let Love Ruin (The Carry Nation Remix) [Batty Bass] Christy Love – I’m Goin’ Under (Hannah Holland Dub) [Get Up Recordings] Brodanse – Activate ft Cari Golden [Danse Club]
Just ahead of this weekend’s next Classic Music Company party, they’ve had a dig about the office and filled another Classic tote bag with goodies (including signed vinyl) for us to give away.
They’re teaming up with local heroes Paris’ Acid Ball for a whole night of two-floor bumpers and pumpers and all-round acid mischief. Classic boss Luke Solomon is joined by Hannah Holland and DJ Squeaky in the basement whilst upstairs Horse Meat Discoer Luke Howard and Superstore head honcho Dan Beaumont takeover.
For your chance to get your mitts on a Classic goodybag plus free entry for you and a pal to Saturday’s party email the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12pm (noon) Friday 6th September.
*only the winner will be contacted
Which other Luke will be joining Luke Solomon this Saturday?
Ahead of their impending move to that far-flung Chinese metropolis, Hong Kong, we asked long-time Superstore regulars and promoters Shay Malt and Paul Dragoni to pick their ultimate DSS moments from the last few years. They had a rummage through their hazy memories and embarrassing photo albums and gave us a countdown of their fave ever Superstore LOLZ just in time for their goodbye party tonight…
5. GRIZZLE (Snake Charmers)
Grizzle is always our favourite. Anything with A Man Da Pet and John Sizzle is guaranteed LOLZ. Pet was a slutty snake charmer whilst Sizzle came out of a £1 laundry bag as an inflatable snake. On the bar… with poppers!
4. LOVEBOX AFTERPARTIES
Every year! There are too many good memories to list here. Each year is more hilarious. How someone hasn’t fallen off the bar and broken their neck is beyond us.
3 PARIS’ ACID BALL (we think)
Shay: Me and Josh Caffe both wearing Nic Fisher’s stilletos and armed with water guns trying to master pussy dramatics in the basement whilst Hannah was playing. I hurt my back and could hardly walk for a week after that.
2 WET N WILD NEW YEARS DAY 2013
The after Shed-after Dolphin-after everything-afterparty. Carnage! The cleaners hadn’t turned up to clear away the mess from New Years Eve so everyone was cleaning whilst Shay played Tina Turner and Madonna records.
1 TRANNY TRASH EASTER 2011
Everyone was a tranny! Per QX looked like Kim from Eastenders, Mikki Most looked like a cross between Farah Fawcett and the dog from The Never Ending Story! And Josh was a young hoochy Whitney Houston.
Come and say goodbye to Shay and Paul TONIGHT Friday 30th August from 9pm – 3am at Dalston Superstore.
Tomorrow night we are pleased to welcome our good friends The Carry Nation to the Dalston Superstore laser basement for Paris’ Acid Ball!!! Comprised of Nita Aviance and Will Automagic, these New York wunderchildren are in the process of finishing up their current European mini-tour that took in Batty Bass, Horse Meat Disco, Glastonbury and more! And there’s just time for one last hurrah/Glastonbury Love-in Reunion with Hannah Holland, Dan Beaumont, DJ Squeaky and Cathal. We caught up with one half of The Carry Nation, Miss Nita Aviance herself to find out how their magical team-up came to be, their hot NYC tips and so much more…
What lead to you guys naming yourselves after Carrie Nation?
Nita: One day we were working in the studio and took a break, Russ Meyer’s Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls happened to be on the TV, and y’know, for a couple of us who happen to “carry on” all the time, it seemed really appropriate haha.
How did you both meet?
We’ve known each other for years actually. We’ve been DJing a lot of similar parties, known a lot of the same people, worked at each other’s parties a lot- have each other guest DJ. But the production team started when Will had all these great out-takes from his Escandalo project with Viva Ruiz and Desi Santiago and he said to me “I’m gonna give these to all of our friends!” and I said “Oh no you’re not! Let’s make a track! This is a record.” And that’s where This Bitch Is Alive came from. We really just clicked quite well in the studio, it was so easy, and it came out so well, so, it was on!
Describe The Carry Nation’s perfect summer NYC night out?
Ohhh, the perfect night out? I don’t know… it would probably have to be one of our parties! We’ve been doing a lot of loft and warehouse stuff right now, mostly at The Spectrum. But I think my favourite one we did recently was just us for nine hours, track for track. It was kind of a big night in Brooklyn, there was a lot of different parties… we go late! But yeah, it was really just nice and easy and effortless to play together for that long. And you really get to explore so many musical places that way. That’s really what we like to do. I’m from the school of LONG long sets. That’s how we were raised. Raised on the dance floor.
You’ve just played the Batty Bass warehouse, Horse Meat Disco at the Eagle, Block 9 at Glastonbury, then back to London to play here at Dalston Superstore. What kind of venue style suits The Carry Nation best?
I think the thing about The Carry Nation that works really anywhere is the fact that Will and I have had so many years playing records in a lot of different places in New York, as New York has changed over time- from big clubs to small bars to now, Brooklyn warehouse stuff. We’ve had the sound evolve and we’ve evolved with the sound. It’s always basically house music with a strong influence from everything that’s going on around the world. So I think it allows us to go anywhere and play in any kinda space…. Also, y’know, trying to bring all the music with you that you might possibly need can be a bit of an exciting chore haha… god love USB sticks now!
Which queer DJs across the world have influenced your style the most?
Coming and playing here in London has been really wonderful. Especially all the different people that we end up playing with. Because it really is a variety. From Junior Vasquez from when we were first coming up, to Severino right now- one of the most positive, joyous, energetic DJs that I know. But y’know, travelling all the way over to Australia even, you really get a sense now that it’s a global underground culture. And we really are all pushing the same thing. I always say it’s just about a beat, if it gets you on the dance floor, if it gets your asses shaking, then that’s all that’s necessary! It’s the same everywhere.
You recently released on Batty Bass Records. Why did you decide to release on a UK label?
I don’t even remember how we discovered Batty Bass but it came up somewhere and we really liked the stuff they were putting out. When I enquired from friends in London about Batty Bass and about Hannah Holland, they immediately said “Yep. That’s where you need to go. This is the kinda girl doing the exact same thing as you’re doing in New York right now.” And we wanted something to help expand the sound out of New York. It can be really insular there and, like anywhere, you can just put out stuff for you and yours. But we wanted to make it more global. It was our first choice and when she signed the record I couldn’t have been happier.
You mentioned working with Viva Ruiz for This Bitch Is Alive… what other vocalists, past or present, are on your wish list?
Oh my god, well, we’re actually working on a new record right now with Tigga Calore that we’re very excited about, and we just remixed N’Dea Davenport’s incredible voice on the upcoming Automagic release. And we’re producing Escandalo’s next record too. It’s so exciting to have people come to us and be interested in working with us. For us, it’s never really so much about working with a full vocal as it is cut ups and stuff so it’s exciting to be getting into that. There’s so many really great rappers coming out of New York City right now and that’s where the sound is…
Le1f, House Of Ladosha, Zebra Katz, Cakes Da Killa… they’re all our friends and they perform at our parties in New York, so it’s really a great house-hip hop mix, which is really the roots of all this anyways.
Who are the best New York hidden gems we should be listening out for?
Other than us?! Goodness… well, House Of Ladosha really is incredible. Juliana Huxtable really is just a muse to the whole scene right now and has just started DJing. We found out she was gonna play one night so we went to see her and really had our minds blown. The track selection, from someone so young, it was amazing how far back she could reach, not to mention she’s just like a beautiful alien and we love her.
Fatherhood is really an amazing group, made up of Physical Therapy and Michael Magnan. They’re our brothers in arms over there. They did a remix of the track, Warriors, that we did with The Cucarachas. Their stuff is brilliant and they play HARD. They get you to the dance floor.
How long did it take to wash all the glitter off from your amazing photoshoot you did with Leo Herrera?
Hahaha, oh god, probably not as long as it took to touch us up afterwards! The thing that’s wonderful about working with somebody like Leo is that he’s so fast and he has a vision. And we really only needed to give him a few words… it’s wonderful working with your friends that way. The crew that we have in New York is so close, we all cross over with each other… it really benefits the process. You get to move quick and you get exactly what you’re looking for, even if it’s not what you know you’re looking for yet! But yeah. Glitter. Glitter was everywhere. And we didn’t even use all the glitter! We ended up saving it for our next party which I didn’t have to clean up haha!
Tell us about your amazing artwork…
It’s all done by Troy Clark, who’s an amazing visual artist from New York. I’ve been working with him for a very long time on my personal stuff and it was the right move going with him for The Carry Nation. It was another one of those things where we just toss out a few key words and we just let him go with it. He knows us well and comes to all of our parties, knows exactly where we’re going musically. So he’s able to drive the artistic and visual vision. Which is fantastic because we can take what he does on the posters and incorporate it back into the parties… in terms of design in the space.
One song that is currently soundtracking your summer…
That is a tough one… I’m gonna have to say it’s the new track we made with The Cucarachas, we literally just can not stop playing it, even for ourselves at home. Not to brag and boast, but, it’s just the song we’ve all been having in our heads for a long time. It came out so quickly and so easily; it’s wonderful working with Tom Stephan and Borja Peña. It just clicks. And after playing it out so much here in the UK- apparently it works! We’re very excited to get that out to everybody’s ears.
Join The Carry Nation here at Dalston Superstore for Paris’ Acid Ball on Saturday 6th July from 9pm – 3am.
Then let the legends that are Farley & Heller take care of the next two hours for you with this recording of them in the laser basement earlier this month at Paris’ Acid Ball’s 2nd Birthday. Presenting… Big Room Drama In Little Dalston!
It was really only a matter of time before the dual juggernaut of Farley & Heller made an appearance at Paris’ Acid Ball. Individually and separately they have both been hugely influential and integral parts of the British dance music scene for many years. We caught up with one half of the duo, Terry Farley, a man who’s definitely no stranger to Dalston Superstore to ask him all about his early Boys Own raves, classic stories from the acid house heyday, Ibiza then and now, and more…
As a born Londoner, what/where is your favourite London hotspot?
I love markets – up the lane (Portobello), Roman Road in the ‘80s was, as they used to say, “ream”, Columbia Road and of course nowadays Broadway market.
What’s the best party you’ve been to so far this year?
Harvey I reckon, closely followed by some nights at East Bloc (especially our Boys Own party).
Why do you think people have been so passionate for so long about house music?
The intense link between the music and the best days (nights) of your life. The chemical reaction as well stays in the subconscious, so as soon as you (well me haha) hears a 4×4 Chicago beat a small rush starts around your toes… likely story.
What is your favourite record that you own?
It changes by the week but today it’s…
Big London club record when kids actually danced together ‘hustle’ style. Tomorrow it will be some reggae record – I’m fickle.
There’s a great story about being inspired to take your first ever E after seeing Danny Rampling for the first time and he dancing to George Kranz Din Daa Daa. How much impact do you think that moment had on your life?
That was at the Rockley Sands weekender run by Nicky Holloway – it was on the cusp of change when the crowd split between the black music purists and the kids who had been to Ibiza and took gear. Danny was doing his Amnesia style dance and Chris Butler and Johnny Walker had sat inside the huge bass bins. Sitting inside speakers was a early Acid House thing. Pics of said Weekender can be laughed at here at faithfanzine.com
Speaking of ways you met people… how did you meet Pete Heller?
He warmed up for Danny at Shoom, played guitar over Danny’s set as well.
If you could climb in a time-machine and go back to any dance floor any era any location, where and when would be setting the dial to?
1975: a true golden age of London clubbing. Punk was starting but without a name, American black dance music was at its innovative and raw best and the standard of dancing in west end clubs was amazing. It was also a time when shop culture was important, you found out what/where and whom at places like ACME, Sex, Johnson and Johnson, Swanky Modes…
What one thing will you always love about Ibiza and what one thing do you wish had never changed?
Putting the roofs on totally fucked things, what was unique and magical turned into normality – a crazy normality but the specialness was lost.
What do I still love…? The fact I’m struggling here tells me something.
If acid house geese and jackin’ cows sum up the Boys Own outdoor parties of the past, what might sum up Boys Own 2013?
Barbour coats and ketamine haha!
You and Pete Heller will be playing the Shoom 25th Anniversary… will you be playing old favourites or new bangers?
Both, but that’s how we play anyway. So much new music by new producers harks back to the early ‘90s so music no longer sounds old or new just good or bad.
You’re no stranger to the Superstore basement! What do you like about playing here?
It reminds me of our clubs used to be in the ‘70s and mid ‘80s, mixture of people, intense atmosphere that is not reliant on drug consumption and I dig the way the staff at the club seem part of a community, part of the night and not a opposing enemy like at bigger venues.
You have a long-standing association with London’s gay scene. Why do you think this is?
When I was a kid THE best west end clubs were either gay or black so if you wanted to be part of that elite side of the soul scene you had to leave any preconceptions at home. I just love a good party and a great crowd, and London’s gay scene has produced so many of my faves over the decades.
What’s your favourite current house night?
I’m working most Saturdays but the ones I’ve enjoyed playing at this year was Guy Williams’ party at East Bloc, Society at DSS on a Thursday with Robert Owens. I also love playing the basement at East Village. If I can hang out, I’m a long-term fan of the secretsundaze crew and I really love the Loft over west down Scrubs Lane.
What do you think has given your career the longevity you’ve enjoyed?
I’m rubbish at anything else.
And finally, who’s been the most interesting or difficult person you’ve ever interviewed for your own site Faith Fanzine?
Miles got told off by Frankie Knuckles after I had hooked up a Skype interview for Faith haha. The best ones are the older DJs who have stuff to say who have lived the life so to speak: Derrick Carter, Lil Louis, Frankie (eventually)… young European deep house DJs want to talk about plug-ins.
Miss Hannah Holland has kindly shared with us her brand new single, Candy Darling, for her label Batty Bass…. AND in the spirit of Halloween generosity is also giving away for free a copy of her recent Mykki Blanco bootleg! We got the lowdown on both tracks from the lady herself…
What is it about Mykki Blanco’s sound that attracted you to make the bootleg?
He’s one of the most exciting emerging artists around, when Sinden sent me through the beats I was blown away with the downright filthy bass hiphop snarl and had to create it into a 4/4 situation so I could work his attitude into my sets.
What’s the inspiration behind your latest track Candy Darling?
Candy Darling was one of Andy Warhol’s factory superstars, she’s had records made about her, by both Lou Reed and Blondie! An utterly fabulous character; I found some snippets of her speaking and decided to work a sleazy number around it.
And who are Clouded Vision, the remixers?
Clouded Vision are Matt Walsh (Turbo / Bugged Out) and Steve Cook. I’m a huge fan of their music and was honored they made this incredible remix, I LOVE it, it blows the dancefloor apart.
Can we expect to hear either track at Paris’ Acid Ball next weekend?
And any other gems upcoming on your label Batty Bass that we should know about?
Next year we’ll be doing a special New York series from some amazing artists making ferocious beats that are rocking the floors of New York’s underbelly… plus a brand new Ride Commitee ft. Roxy track, which we are completely gagging about! Myself and Dan Beaumont are working on a remix, as well as Batty Bass and PAB favs The Carry Nation.
Catch Hannah Holland at Paris’ Acid Ball next Saturday 3rd November with special guests Farley & Heller and residents Dan Beaumont and DJ Squeaky from 9pm – 3am.
Spencer Parker is one of Europe’s finest DJs and producers – a technically brilliant selector with an absolutely impeccable taste in music. Spencer has released records on hugely respected imprints like Rekids, Buzzin’ Fly, Liebe Detail and Tsuba. London (well… Croydon) born and bred Spencer has been based in Berlin for the last few years with regular plays at the iconic Panorama Bar. He’s headlining this weekend’s Paris’ Acid Ball at Dalston Superstore so we asked him some burning questions…
Which DJ inspired you the most as you were starting out?
I don’t think there was one in particular to be honest; I was more just interested in going to clubs that I’d heard a lot about and listening to whoever was playing. My only reference point was the half hour of drum ‘n’ bass and house they’d play at The Blue Orchid in Croydon each week, so it’s fair to say my frame of reference was, initially, quite limited.
For those readers not from London – The Blue Orchid, along with Jaz Discotheque in Purley, were kind of like the forerunners of The Loft and the Paradise Garage…. Just…… In Croydon…*
(*this may/may not be entirely true)
As I got more into buying records I became a bit of a trainspotter and would specifically go to a club because of a certain DJ. I remember going to the Ministry of Sound a lot (for their Rulin’ night, or to see Harvey on the Friday night, where he was resident) and I was really into hearing the big American DJs like Tony Humphries, Masters At Work or Terry Hunter when they’d come over and play places like Garage City or Cafe De Paris.
I was going to all different places though, like SW1, The End, The Leisure Lounge, The Gardening Club, Lazerdrome, Club UK, Bar Rhumba, Pushca, Malibu Stacey, The Loft (for Paul “Trouble” Anderson’s night), RAW and Velvet Underground (where I eventually held a residency) and The Cross (where I held another residency). So, to start with, I was just “going clubbing” to hear music, whoever may be playing it.
I do have to say that I was a big fan of Roger Sanchez and Eric Morillo though, as, at the time, they were playing some great music and technically, were phenomenal. I think when you start going out and DJing, to see someone who is technically really great, always hold you in some kind of awe, as you are still so eager to learn all the “tricks” and learn as much as possible / be as good as you can be (as a DJ).
I still have a compilation with Morillo playing tracks like Jeanette Thomas – Body and Video Crash, which he’d often play between other tracks I didn’t know while sometimes laying accapellas over them (something I’d not really heard done very often by UK DJs. Sanchez was probably my favourite though and I became a big fan after seeing him at Fabric, shortly after it opened, and he was playing tracks like Dubtribe Sound System’s Equitorial and 3 copies of Simon’s Free At Last (still one of my all time favourite records) going from the dub, into the speech, into the sound effect. The music Morillo and Sanchez play now is quite different, to say the least, but I was a huge fan of theirs at the time.
Which record do you wish you had made?
Props for possibly the most difficult question ever!!!
HOUSE: Donna Summer ” I Feel Love”
NOT HOUSE: Massive Attack “Unfinished Sympathy”
Yes, I know they are both hugely obvious!!!
EDM… Is it a good thing or a threat to the very fabric of house culture?
Hmmmmm, I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s a good thing really, as hopefully it will be an entry point for a hell of a lot of people to go on and discover quality house and techno.
I think most people, myself included, initially discover dance music in a way that would probably not be deemed “cool” but it piques your interest, and, as you get more into it, you search out new music that is often more underground that what you first started listening to. That would be my hope at least…. If someone goes to a huge rave to hear Deadmau5 and accidentally stumbles across a different stage where Carl Craig is playing live as 69, and they like what they hear and start becoming a follower of Carl Craig, Planet E et al, then this can only be a good thing, right….?
Maybe I have a very naïve view on it all, but I would like to think the preceding scenario is at least possible.
Also, the music that comes under the “EDM” banner is, honestly, so far removed from the music I like, make, play and enjoy as to be almost irrelevant, so, I think time will tell.
What do you think Berlin has taught you about house music?
Well, I have to preface my answer by saying that I came here due to a particularly brutal break up with an ex girlfriend, not because I so desperately wanted to “go to Berlin” or because I thought it would be “good for bookings”, like so many do. I wanted to get out of London and my friend, who lived here, offered me his couch to sleep on while I sorted my own flat. Had this same friend been in Barcelona, Paris or Amsterdam, I may well have ended up in one of those cities instead. But he wasn’t.
With regards to music, I don’t think it’s “taught me” so much, as it has reinforced what I already believed before I got here. When I first arrived, around three years ago and ventured to clubs like Panorama Bar or Club Der Visionaire, I’d hear people like Prosumer playing old Johnick records on Henry Street Music or Steffi playing Marcus Mixxx tracks and I’d think, “Aaaah, OK, I AM on the right track”. I already owned/played/loved these records so, to hear DJs I respected and admired, playing them to a rapturous reception in, what was one of the best clubs I’d ever been to – simply told me to keep on doing what I was already doing.
It was pretty rare, towards the end of my time in London, that I’d hear a DJ that inspired me or impressed me, everyone seemed to play it safe, linear and just so fucking BORING! I’ve always loved to play sets that can include, house, techno, disco, new records, old records, unreleased tracks etc and that seemed to be a lot more accepted/encouraged in Berlin. So I wouldn’t say it taught me anything, but it has surely inspired me a hell of a lot, I can’t deny that.
Why do you think vinyl is more important than ever?
I think it’s important because it does a very simple thing, and that’s it immediately let’s you know whether a DJ takes his/her “job”/performance seriously or not.
The simple fact is, if you are a fan of house/techno at the moment, there is undoubtedly a slew of great records available to you that will be vinyl only releases. If these records are vinyl only releases, then to not miss out on them, to have the best possible choice of music at your fingertips when you play – then you have to go record shopping!
Whether it’s via mail order or visiting a real store, you have to go record shopping OR you simply won’t be able to compete with the DJs who DO go record shopping. I don’t care if you buy the vinyl and play it or if you record it as a WAV and throw it in your laptop or on your USB stick…. But if you want to play the best music possible… you have to go record shopping.
This is a fact.
Yes, there are phenomenal digital only releases too, yes, there are some great sites for downloading quality house and techno as well, I shop on all of them, but the fact remains – if you don’t go record shopping, you are missing out on amazing music to play to your audience.
And here’s the funny part…. So many “DJs” don’t go record shopping. And boy, oh boy, does it fucking show!
I’ve lost count of the number of times the DJ before/after me has asked me about a particular track that just got a great reaction, and where they could possibly find this hidden gem they’ve never heard before, only for me to think, “It’s on vinyl, it came out two months ago, there were 500 of them!!! If you ever set foot in a record shop, you could have bought one and been playing it for the last two months too!!!” There is an entire scene of DJs who are content to simply play what they find on Beatport, what they have coming on their label or what they swap with their friends via Skype/iChat (don’t get me started on that…)
So, the reasons vinyl is still so important are myriad. But, for me personally, vinyl’s survival is so great because it is such an easy signifier of whether a DJ is insanely passionate about what they do and how they perform or whether they are content to simply play the big tracks/whatever they’ve been sent this week and collect an envelope of cash.
If you are a DJ you should WANT to have the greatest music possible at your fingertips, it should be an all consuming passion, there are great tracks available only as download – so I download them and play them, there are great records available only on vinyl – so I go record shopping and play the vinyl or record it as a WAV. I want to cover all bases, as I simply want to play the best music I can get my grubby little hands on. If you’re not buying records, you’re not getting the full picture and neither are the people who paid good money to hear you play!
Yes it’s heavy, yes it can be a little inconvenient to spend a whole day digitizing records if you prefer to play with CDs or USB sticks, but so what – all that should pale in comparison to being able to play the best music possible… Shouldn’t it…..? I still do it and so do a lot of DJs I know… But a hell of a lot don’t.
The good thing is, and to go back to my original point, you only have to listen to 30 minutes of their set to know who’s who…
How do you think the art of DJing is changing?
Well, technology would be the main way that it’s changing I guess, but apart from that I guess “the art” is still the same as it ever was -after all, it’s all about making people dance, isn’t it…..?I think now, “DJing” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Most of all to the DJs themselves.
For some DJs, it’s setting up Traktor and playing your whole set with the vinyl control discs so it looks authentic, yet not realising that a lot of us have noticed you haven’t touched the pitch control all night. Yes, we saw, and yes, it’s pretty easy to flawlessly mix on Technics if it’s already synched for you, still – it looks really “real” I guess…. For others, DJing means playing 4 different loops of 4 different tracks at the same moment, again, all conveniently placed in time for you. Personally I can’t stand this style of “DJing” but…. each to their own. For me, when I go to a club to hear music, I just want to hear a great fucking record on a great soundsystem, followed by another great fucking record and put together in some kind of cohesive pattern for the most devastating reaction possible. And thankfully, there are still enough DJs doing that to keep me happy.
Will you ever move back to London?
No. If there’s any way I can avoid it, no.
Who are your favourite producers, DJs and labels right now?
Where do I start…
Ok, long list… Seems easiest… And I love a list…
Bearweasel Boris Marc Schneider Smallville Fritz zander Nyra Eduardo de la Calle Behzad Skudge Tobias Gerd Jansson Phlash Joy Orbison Discodromo Rio Padice Melon Cassy Djulz Deadbeat Tsuba Boola Omar S Never Learnt Justin Drake Andres Rekids Molly (Rex Club) Albert Stone Shed Rekids Ian Pooley Steve Rachmand Non Plus Norman Nodge Sven VT Steffi DJ Skull Work Them Records Non Series Beaner Radio Slave Patrice Lereis Vanguard Sound Ryan Elliot Giegling Never Learnt Jus Ed Stablo Dana Ruh Marcel Dettman It’s Not Over Sinob Satosi
What do you like about playing Superstore?
First of all, before I mention anything, I have to mention the burger. I love the burger. There’s nothing I don’t love about the burger. They are bloody great! And I will be eating at least one before my set (and possibly another during).
Now that’s all dealt with, I can discuss the amazing cocktails, the crowd, the space, the staff, the music policy and much more. I love “La Store”, as I call it, because it’s just that rarest of breed: a great club that you can go to on any given night and know you’ll have fun. It reminds me of the sort of place you might have stumbled across in ‘90s New York and thought – I wish we had one of these in London. It’s simply a great neighbourhood club, run by great people with impeccable taste, be it in decor, food, drinks, or music policy.
I like it, I like it a lot*
*Jim Carey “Dumb And Dumber” voice
If you had a Superstore of your own what would it sell?
Lanvin, Raf Simons, and Commes Des Garcons, only in my size and all at low low prices!!!!
These amazing pictures come courtesy of our friend Dave Swindells who’ll be presenting a sample of his fascinating photography this weekend at visual art exhibition A Little Summer Of Love. Celebrating the early years of acid house, the exhibition will also feature the graphic art of Dave Little, a private screening of Gordon Mason’s acclaimed documentary film ‘They Call It Acid’, a live performance of the first British acid house tune, ‘Voodoo Ray’ by A Guy Called Gerald feat. Diane Charlemagne and DJs including Paris’ Acid Ball residents Hannah Holland and Dan Beaumont.
Being the kind sir he is, Mr Swindells has sent us a selection of his snaps from London and Ibiza in their acid house heydays with pictures of Danny Rampling at Shoom, Feral Is Kinky in Ibiza, crazy Boys Own parties and more plus explanations of each one in his own words…
TOP IMAGE: Amnesia, 1989
To me this photo seems like it could almost have been taken last week at a party in Dalston. The fashions have changed somewhat, but not by much! This was 7am on the main dance floor at Amnesia on the opening night of the season in June 1989, when Boy George was invited to celebrate his birthday and host the club. Although it was taken in 1989 I’m putting it first it as was clubs like Amnesia which inspired Balearic beats and helped kick-start the Summer of Love in 1988.
The Duchess of Norwood and friends in Ibiza, 1989
The Duchess of Norwood wasn’t her real name (natch) but she did make good friends with the local boyz. Ibiza had a properly polysexual scene long before London, and it was already a major gay holiday destination in the ’80s.
Danny Rampling at Shoom, 1988
At Shoom Danny and Jenni Rampling created a small, friendly, New Age-y and intense underground club where Danny mixed Balearic beats and acid house and everyone went a little bonkers. Anton Le Pirate (top right) and Frankie Foncett (blue top) are in this photo, which was taken in the tiny Fitness Centre in Southwark. There were grumbles about the tight door policy, but Shoom was very significant because it was the underground club that DJs, club promoters and the media knew about (even if most of the media couldn’t get in). Just around the corner was RIP in Clink Street, but that’s a whole other story* – and they didn’t allow any photos to be taken.
* The story is told in the liner notes to a new CD, ‘Richard Sen presents This Ain’t Chicago, the underground sound of UK house and acid 1987-1991’, which is released by Strut Records on June 25.
The Future, 1988
This was taken at Paul Oakenfold’s night, The Future, for a feature on acid house and Balearic beats in i-D magazine. The clubbers there, including DJs Lisa Loud and Nancy Noise, had all been to Ibiza the previous summer, so we photographed the way they dressed and danced, because moves like the ‘shelf stacker’ were strange to people who’d grown up dancing with their feet rather than their arms.
A typical group of London clubbers in Ibiza…
Yeah, right. MC Kinky (aka FeralisKinky), Boy George, Fat Tony and Louise Prey photographed in Ku (now Privilege). It’s a night that we remember for the massive electrical storm (lots of the British chose to dance in the rain) and because the orgasmic ‘French Kiss’ by Lil Louis was played three times. When we left the open-topped jeeps in the car park looked like baths: full of water.
Spectrum at Heaven, 1988
Spectrum was a Monday night phenomenon at Heaven in 1988-89 where Paul Oakenfold was the main DJ. After a very quiet start it snowballed and used to draw clubbers from across the country – club folklore suggests that Spectrum inspired the name of the band Happy Mondays. This was taken one night in July 1988 when the air conditioning failed. No wonder the dancers were sweating.
Gyroscope, acid house party in Deptford, 1988
In 1989 and 1990 every rave had to have lasers and a bouncy castle (and they’d definitely get a shout out on the flyers too), but in 1988 the novelty was a gyroscope. Logic didn’t come into it: Hey, I’m feeling high/drunk/wasted, why don’t I throw my body everywhichway possible on a gyroscope while the strobe light blinds and disorientates me! Yay!
Time Out meets Spectrum in Jubilee Gardens
Time Out was offered the chance to help programme a festival in a big top in Jubilee Gardens. Spectrum was at Heaven on Monday nights, so we teamed up with them and on June 6th 1988 acid house (and Balearic beats) were blaring out across the Thames towards Big Ben.
Trip at the Astoria, 1988
It’s hilarious that the first club to bring acid house to the West End weekend was called Trip. Nicky Holloway’s Trip, with Pete Tong as a resident DJ, opened in June 1988 and was mobbed. Darren Rock (of Rocky & Diesel) is wearing the blue top while most of the dancers are wearing Trip t-shorts because the promoter saw me taking the shot from the DJ box and made me wait five minutes while he handed them out.
Café Del Mar, Ibiza 1989
‘Peril of Drug Isle Kids!’ warned The Sun. They weren’t wrong. Those kids are still in peril but these days it’s more likely to be the drinks and admission prices on The White Isle that will give them a heart attack. I was out in Ibiza with journalist Alix Sharkey for 20/20 Magazine, so the fact that The Sun made Ibiza front-page news while we were there was lucky for us.
Boys Own Party, 1989
1989 was the summer of orbital parties (parties at locations off the M25, hence orbital and hence Orbital, the band) but the Boy’s Own event, in a beautiful valley overlooking a reservoir near East Grinstead, was not a mega-rave to scare the tabloid writers, but a brilliant night of top tunes and larks. Why were these two climbing a ladder to nowhere? I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time…
The launch party of A Little Summer Of Love will be held this Saturday 30th June from 7pm – 2:30am at Westbourne Studios, W10 5JJ, with A Guy Called Gerald, Noel Watson, Kid Batchelor, Richard Sen and our very own Paris’ Acid Ball residents Dan Beaumont and Hannah Holland.
Our favourite acid drenched haus werkout PARIS’ ACID BALL is throwing a party up the road at Bar A Bar on Saturday June 2nd and New York’s Carry Nation will join Superstore favourites Severino and Luke Howard along with Acid Ballers Hannah Holland, Dan Beaumont & Squeaky… Now that’s a lineup!
Known to their mums as DJs Will Automagic (Spank) and Nita Aviance; The Carry Nation have been wowing New York dance floors for the best part of a decade.
Here is an exclusive mix they made for us ahead of their upcoming show!