Posts Tagged ‘Tom Stephan’

The Cucarachas

 Dalston Superstore regulars Borja Peña and Tom Stephan have been working on their joint project The Cucarachas for some time now, and with remixes for The Pet Shop Boys and tracks featuring none other than Kevin Aviance already under the belt, we know these up-and-coming superstars are set for big things! We caught up with the duo to find out more about releasing records on Tribal and Nurvous and working with their heroes… 

How, when and where were The Cucarachas formed?

Borja: Well we started a club night together called DISH about two years ago, and from that we decided to get together and do some music that would sound like our night. At every party we would try a new track and see how people received it, and after a few we created the band.

We both love John Waters movies so we thought of “roaches”, and as we wanted to sound even dirtier… “the Cucarachas” came along. Like mexican cockroaches, you can’t get filthier than that!! 

You both live in London but both work as international DJs… if you could live anywhere else (for its music or LGBT scene or whatever), where would it be and why?

Borja: I really cannot imagine living anywhere else. I think London is the most amazing place on earth as it’s so easy to fly anywhere from here, we have a great scene and there is so much happening all the time, but if I had to choose, it would be Berlin or New York… I have great friends in both cities. Maybe I would choose New York actually, I think Berlin would kill me! It’s too much fun, I like to keep it as a holiday destination… I need time to replenish my braincells after a visit. Actually, braincells don’t get replenished do they? Oh shit!

Tom: I can’t imagine living anywhere else either! I came here 22 years ago and never left. I do love NYC, but fortunately I get there fairly often to DJ and see my friends. 

What was it like working with the legendary Kevin Aviance for your track Sushi Darling?

Borja: That was all Tom’s magic, people don’t seem to know he is talking about Tokyo in the track, it’s genius.

Tom: I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kevin several times in the past and he’s amazing. He’s an incredible performer. Some people just have that ‘something’ – when they walk into the room, you know it. Kevin is one of those people. However, Kevin’s vocal on this track came from an interview he did in Japan. I have no idea how I ended up with a copy of it, but I’ve been playing this recording of him for years in my DJ sets. Borja and I had this great groove going in the studio and I suddenly thought of this acapella and it fit perfectly. 

Quite an array of producers have remixed you so far. Sushi Darling alone features Mike Q, Honey Dijon and The Carry Nation among others. Are there any producers that have been an influence that you’d like to remix your work?

Borja: Well as we are closer to Xmas I will start asking Santa now… Dear Santa Claus, this year I’ve been a very good boy, can I please have Tapesh, Kim Ann Foxman, Tank Edwards, Ejeca, Hard Ton, Danny Tennaglia, Waze & Oddisey, Green Velvet, Agoria, Dixon, Daniel Maloso, MK and Mathias Aguayo to remix Cucarachas? I would add Snuff Crew but they did remix our last track!! 

Tom: They did a great mix too. I was just playing it last night! 

What were your first thoughts about releasing on Nurvous, the future music off-shoot of seminal NYC label Nervous Records?

Borja: We did this track called “U” and right after the first listen we where dancing around the studio and thought, we should send this to a really good one. So we sent it and they came back to us within hours saying they wanted it. To this date I’m still pinching myself.

Tom: Yeah, it just fell into place really quickly. Borja mentioned Nurvous as his first choice for U, and I’ve worked with their other side, Nervous, for years. A few emails later and we were set. 

Let’s talk about your remix of The Pet Shop Boys. How did that come to be? Talk us through it..

Borja: Tom you should explain this one… 

Tom: This follows on well from the last question because it was “U” that got us the PSB remix. Neil and Chris are close friends of mine, and Neil and I always play each other what we’re working on.

I was playing Neil a few of the Cucarachas tracks and he loved U. Later that week we were contacted by their management asking if we’d remix Vocal. I hate the expression ‘no-brainer’, especially when Kevin Bacon says it, but this was one of those. 

Borja: In terms of the remix, we loved the vocals of the track and we built the beats around it like a little journey. The moment the hair on the back of my neck went all stiff and I had goosebumps I knew we were on to a winner.

What’s the support been like from them and from other artists?

Borja: Well it turns out the remix package was sold out and Number One in the American Billboard Dance Tracks, so that was another magic moment for me, lots of my friends were sending me voice messages twatted at crazy hours (thanks boys) telling me they heard it in Ibiza or In Berlin or in Miami… even if they woke me up I was so proud when I got those messages.

Tom: PSB and their management really liked the mix, so we were happy. And I’ve had the experience of playing it as the last track of the night- everyone with their hands in the air- just as I had imagined, so it’s been a success in my book.

Would you say The Pet Shop Boys were an early influence on either of you? Who are your personal musical icons (of any genre or era)?

Borja: Erm… Yeah!! I’ve got all their music, they are electronic music pioneers exploring it in any way imaginable and still killing it and being very innovative. There are not many people like them around. 

For me there are so many to mention and I keep adding to the list constantly, from David Byrne to Grace Jones, Janet Jackson to Pete Herbert , Giorgio Moroder to Missy Elliott …. those just came to my mind.

Tom: Absolutely. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. Other musical influences- DEVO, Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode, Ministry. 

So, not only have you released on Nurvous, but also the extremely influential Tribal Records. Are there any other seminal labels left on the wishlist for you guys?

Borja: Again so many, there are really amazing young ones like Batty Bass or Local Talk, Love Not Money, The Jackathon… and really established ones like BPitch Control, Kompakt, Trax… again, there are too many to mention!! Bringing back Tribal to life after so many years with The Carry Nation is definitely one of the highlights of this music project for me… who would have thought.

There obviously a strong ’90s house influence going on here… what are you personal gems of the genre?

Borja: Mmm…. Celeda – Be Yourself,  Funky Green Dogs – Fired Up, Hollis P. Monroe – I’m Lonely, Liberty City Murk – Some Lovin, Armando – Single Minded

Tom: Definitely early MK, like Chez Damier- Can You Feel It (MK Dub), Farley & Heller tracks like their remix of DSK- What Would We Do? and even back to acid house like Bam Bam- Give it to Me.

I think house music and electronic music in general has been technology driven. The appeal of the old school house sound is that it’s analogue, warm and dynamic, whereas so much music made on people’s laptops sounds quite cold, digital and squashed . We’re trying to bring some of that warmth back. 

Are there any clubs you’re keen to test The Cucarachas sound in (apart from Dalston Superstore of course) or that you wish you’d had the opportunity to have?

Borja: Well we aren’t really playing as “The Cucarachas” that much because Tom and I have crazy flying schedules. We find it really difficult to be in the same place at the same time, so we cannot do that many tracks together. We are keeping this very special. Our first outing was at a warehouse party in Brooklyn with The Carry Nation, and now Dalston Superstore. Dream places to play… although if I ever play in any of these places I will probably have to take an antianxiety to calm down because of the pressure…. would be: The Warehouse Project in Manchester, Berghain, Lovebox, Sonar, and I’ve heard great things about Dance Tunnel too…

Tom: There’s a very cool new club in Brooklyn called Output that I’d love to play. But ultimately I’m happy to play wherever there’s people dancing!

What drives you both to DJ and make music?

Borja: We live in a world where so much negativity is bombarding us on a daily basis, from the news, to bullshit in the workplace. Music has always been therapy for me, a way to change a grey day or a bad mood into a smile and good vibes. I try to channel that when I DJ or make music and think of what I would like to listen to on the dancefloor, what sounds will give me goosebumps make me shake my ass like crazy or put my hands up in the air. Being a DJ is so amazing and so rewarding, you get to play your favourite music very loud and make people smile… dance… you touch them and take them on a mental vacation for a few hours. There’s nothing better than when someone comes to the DJ booth to ask you, “What is the name of this track??” with a big smile, or when you wake up and check Facebook and have all this messages from people telling you how much fun they had thanks to you… not many jobs give you that motivation! Or maybe porn does?

Tom: I agree, it’s about escape. I always thought the story of Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever was a good example of how I see clubbing. You’re in a dead end job during the week, but on Saturday night you can totally reinvent yourself. I had that experience of stepping into another world when I first went to the Sound Factory in NYC and heard Junior Vasquez. It was such a moving experience. I was hooked and I haven’t been able to stop since. If there’s a cure for this I don’t want it!

Listen to The Cucarachas via their Soundcloud:

And you can buy their tracks via Beatport:

The Carry Nation at Paris’ Acid Ball

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…

Like who?

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.

Juliana Huxtable 

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! 

 The Carry Nation by Leo Herrera

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. 

The Carry Nation poster by Troy Clark 

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.

Borja Vs Jonjo

By Borja Peña

I have been following Hot Boy Dancing Spot’s The Lovely Jonjo since he used to play at Trash on Mondays at the sadly now gone club The End. I remember it like it was yesterday, his sets were always so unexpected, from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Kraftwerk; you couldn’t help but turn your head to the booth and wonder who was this DJ with blonde curls…. 

Well, almost ten years later I have finally booked him to play at B(e)ast and I couldn’t be more excited, but before the party on Saturday 1st of June, let’s find out more about Mr. Jonjo while we enjoy some sangrias in sunny Barcelona just in time for Primavera Sound…

Hey Jonjo, Primavera always has the reputation to book these bands that are largely unknown to the general public and then a year later everybody is talking about them… who are you looking forward to seeing the most at this festival, who do you think is the underdog?

Two bands that have really dividing people at the mo are The Knife and Savages, I have seen both but can’t wait to see them again. Saw Veronica Falls last night, proper British band; the drummer is amazing. Other bands I’m looking forward to, apart from Blur and Phoenix (swooon), are Tame Impala and Death Grips.

Amazing I really hope you make them part of your set!

I remember hearing you playing with Erol Alkan at Trash in the now disappeared The End. What are the clubs you miss the most in London and why?

God there are so many clubs that are no longer around that formed my teenage ears. Smashing at The Eve Club, Turnmills for Heavenly Social and of course Trade, Bagleys, and I used to love The Leisure Lounge when Popstars was there.

Your club Hot Boy Dancing Spot is now an institution, but if we talk about actual hot boys… who is your ultimate hottie?

Movie stars or pop stars don’t really do it for me. Lots of cute boys walking around here in Barcelona but the boy I’m seeing really is the hottest in my eyes hehe.

I’ve seen you play at some crazy nights… and days… but what is the weirdest thing that has happened to you while playing?

God so many weird things, a man got a bit gropey in Tel Aviv, a little bit forward. Apart from that just odd requests, Geri Haliwell asking for “black music” springs to mind, silly cow, Prince was playing.

You play so many styles but if you had to do a back to back and you could choose any DJ who would that be and what would be the track would you start your set with?

Apart from you Borja you mean hahaha! I’m a huge fan of KiNK and would love to be on same bill as him let alone back2back. I would probs open with anything by Daniel Maloso, all of his releases drive me crazy.

It was so great working in the studio with you and Tom Stephan and I love playing the track we made together! Are you working on other tracks at the moment?

I know right! So much fun working with you and Tom, our track The Birds goes mental on dancefloor. I just finished a edit for Moonlight Matters as well.

And totally random I know but… If you were a B(e)ast… which one would you be and why?

I know it’s a little Miss World but I would have to say a dolphin. Sunny sunny and smiley.

Join Borja and Jonjo in the basement at B(e)ast on Saturday 1st June from 9pm – 3am at Dalston Superstore.

Borja’s Banjee Mix

Next weekend sees the lovely Borja Peña join us at Superstore once more as a special guest at Banjee Boy Realness Vs PS. With Josh Caffe and Joe Robots in the basement and Bisoux and Cathal in the top bar it’s sure to be a banging night! Ahead of the night we decided to quiz Borja on all things banjee…

Which track from your mix will be your (not so) secret weapon to ensure things get really filthy in the laser basement?

Mmmm. It will not be one but probably two of my productions under the name “Cucarachas” or Cockroaches for non Spanish speakers. It’s my music project with Tom Stephan, there’s a remix of a track called Sheez from a New York based hip hop artist called Travis Lamar and another remix we did of a classic Foxy Brown tune from the ’90s called Hot Spot… Everytime I play it people go wild.

Who is your favourite EVER banjee boy?

That’s a very tuff one, at the moment there is five of them that I think need to be mentioned, as I think they are very influential from politics to fashion…

1. Obama…. I mean who runs the world?
2. Frankie Sharp. He’s one of my favourite promoters, he runs the coolest party in New York, Westgay, you should check it out.
3. Jazzy Jeff. I was born and bred in Spain and my first contact with a banjee boy was by watching The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air… BOOM BOOM SHAKE SHAKE the room was always on my walkman. Oh dear I’m showing my age…
4. Josh Caffe. I really think we were separated at birth and I keep asking him for names of tracks.
5. Shayne Oliver. I love a bit of Hood By Air.

How do you intend to make your set extra banjee to stand apart from what you play at B(e)ast?

At B(e)ast I don’t really stick to any music genre so it sounds very eclectic, I never know what am I going to play next. I think for Banjee I’m really going to prepare my set to make it extra New York style and play tracks that really remind me of banjee boys… like stuff from The Carry Nation or MK.

Who’s hotter out of the BBR co-pilots- Josh Caffe or Joe Robots?

Well I have to say Josh Caffe now, ’cause I haven’t been partying with Joe Robots… but I’m sure after the event it will be difficult to decide as I’ve heard great things and his podcasts are part of my “get the fuck out of the house” playlist.

Will you be venturing up to the top bar to take a dance with PS.?

Will I? I have been fantasising about a threesome with those two since I played with them the first time. They know how to lay down those sexy beats… aint no party like a PS. party.

Join Borja Peña at Banjee Boy Realness Vs PS. on Friday 22nd February from 9pm – 4:30am here at Dalston Superstore.

Happy Birthday Hectic

It’s time for the Hectic party to end all other hectic parties… IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE HECTIC’S FIRST EVER BIRTHDAY!

That’s right, Mark-Ashley Dupé and Tom Stephan invite you to put on your party shoes, break that January detox (it’s almost the end of the month after all!) and come get down with all the banjee boys and girls heating things up over both floors of Superstore. They’ll be “pumping out the most sinful, sexy, and urban tunes and house beats sure to make you wine your waistline” which is surely an offer you can’t refuse.

The only rules are Dress To Impress and Embrace The Moment because if you’re not shaking out you’re sure to be in the wrong place.

DJs include (obviously!!) Tom Stephan and Mark-Ashley Dupé as well as, Nastee McQuaid and FiFi. And your two sexy hosts take the form of the fit Nate Chin-Yue and the fierce Mikey Woodbridge. With the party going on until 4am it’s sure to go off with a birthday bang!

Help Mark-Ashley and Tom celebrate Hectic’s 1st Birthday in style tonight Friday 25th January from 9pm – 4am.

Dmitry Strigun

Russian hotcake and DJ Dmitry Strigun plays Hectic here at Superstore next Friday. As he’ll be joining Tom Stephan in the lazer pit for a journey through house and techno we thought it only right to give him a good grilling, which we are happy to report, entailed him filling our inbox full of photos and a podcast. It’s time to get Hectic!

What is your current dancefloor weapon?

Sometimes all it needs to set the dance floor on fire is good soulful music full of emotion that comes straight from your heart, and that’s how I enjoy playing.

Who are your current favourite DJs and producers?

At the moment there is not one DJ and producer that I favour more, but there are a few guys in scene that I really respect and admire like: Maceo Plex, Jamie Jones, James Pople and Dmitry Kurmyshev.

Your physique is amazing! How long do you spend working out a week?

I believe that one should balance the time spent on their brain and body and because God made me so smart, I have plenty of time to spend in the gym, usually four times a week… obviously I’m joking but it is a good way to start!


Can you tell us a bit about your podcast please?

My podcast is heavily influenced by the way I feel and the different things happening in my life at the moment. This latest podcast “Feelings” reflects the difficult time I went through when I split up with my ex partner and my need to pick up the pieces and turn my pain into a positive experience.

What’s the filthiest thing you’ve ever got up to at a night you were playing at?

At one of my most recent gigs the promoter asked me to play half naked wearing a leather harness and I thought it was a good chance for me to make the most of the time I spend in the gym!

Dmitry Strigun DJing

What do you prefer- being an underwear model or being a DJ?

DJing is my main focus in the life and I aspire to get my music out there as much as I can. The modelling part is something that I enjoy and helps me pay the extra bills, but music is my life.

What’s the sexiest brand of underwear in your expert opinion?

My favourite brand is ES Collection, recently I took part in a photoshoot for their summer collection 2012 and I found that their underwear, apart from looking sexy, is also very comfortable… so you kill two birds with one stone.

What can we expect from your set at Hectic?

I love surprises in the life so expect the unexpected.

Dmitry Strigun

And finally, who is your fantasy DJ crush?

I usually just fantasise when I watch a porno! With DJs I try to focus on their music… but honestly there is one that exists and he is part of my family, DJ Dmitry Kurmyshev (from Moscow).

Dmitry Strigun plays Hectic next Friday 10th August from 9pm – 3am with Tom Stephan, Mark-Ashley Dupé, Kingsley and Nutty Nyce.

Mark-Ashley Dupé

It won’t be long before promoter and party host Mark-Ashley Dupé is running everything round these parts so we thought we’d catch up with him about his myriad of projects he’s got on the go sooner rather than later. In addition to being a host at mega-popular nights This Is Circus and Room Service, he also runs The Bloc Party, Dupés Den (part of fabulous night SOS) and Hectic here at Superstore along with Tom Stephan and now has started a new online venture called DD.TV…

You’re a promoter and a party host- what other strings do you have to your bow??

I am an entertainer by nature. I like to try and take every opportunity to express myself creatively, but dancing is what I feel I’m able to do that the best! I danced in Boy George’s music video Turn To Dust at the end of last year! That was a lot fun and reminded me how much I missed dancing professionally!

How and when did you make the transition from host to promoter?

I started hosting at Jim Warboy’s night SOS at East Bloc last July. He gave me Room 2 to take control of and put my own mark on. I was able to choose the name (Dupés Den), the sound and DJs! Jim was basically my mentor and I was able to co promote alongside him, which was scary because I had never done this before and was learning as time went by. But the reward was watching everyone cramming into this small room because they not only loved the music, but wanted to be part of the atmosphere, which is like no other!! Dupés Den blew up so quickly that I had to learn quickly or get swallowed up by it all! In November last year Wayne Shires from East Bloc approached me about putting on a charity benefit for World Aids Day with Tom Stephan and that was when The Bloc Party was born, then a couple weeks later did my very own night called Clique 15 at Dalston Superstore which lead to them approaching me about doing something again. At the same time Tom Stephan had just finished doing Meat and I love his music so we teamed up and everything got a bit HECTIC!

With about four nights you’re promoting on the go, how do you ensure they’re all suitably distinctive?

Because they all have different vibes, but all the vibes are addictive ones… Dupés Den at SOS is part of a night which draws in a really eclectic crowd because it’s a Warboy event, so everything he does is always out of the box, maybe sometimes even perceived as odd or taboo, but always ahead of trend. Now we have three rooms, playing three different types of music to three different crowds, but as the night goes on you have this colourful mash up of old, young, ghetto, eccentric individuals all shacking out together to good music! The Bloc Party was an expansion of Dupés Den, everybody wanted more space, so the The Bloc Party flips the normal set up and puts the more urban sound in the main room and making the house like a boutique room in the back… Every Sunday I get a different crowd alongside my trusted regulars, but everybody leaves happy because the music is good and the atmosphere is attitude free, and we are all like a family from staff down to clubber, which is most important!

Tell us about how Hectic came about…

Dan Beaumont and Mikki Most had approached me last year about doing an event at Dalston Superstore and Tom had already approached me about starting a new project with him, so we teamed up together as we knew that the end result could only be one Hectic Party! Dirty tribal house beats downstairs and the baddest of R&B, UK funky and bashment upstairs! We wanted it to be fun, intense and care free! Just come and get sweaty to good music!

What’s it like working with Tom Stephan?

I love working with Tom. He is so relaxed. For someone with his level of success as a DJ and producer, I feel he is very down to earth and humble.  I haven’t known him for that long, but have got close quite quickly, he always seems to see things so rationally, which is always best in an environment which sometimes can be quite fickle.

Superchumbo (aka Tom Stephan) – Fire

What’s your top tip to throwing an amazing party?

You got to love the sound of your party and get involved!! Don’t separate yourself from the people that have come to invest their time and energy into your event! Dance with them, talk to them and show them that you are having just as good a time as they are… it’s a party! It’s supposed to be fun!!

What do you look for in a night from a clubber’s perspective?

I want to be able to wear my own clothes, style and attitude without feeling like I have to conform or rebel, I just wanna have a good shack out with my friends!

Can you explain about the origins of Dupé’s Den and subsequently DD TV?

Well Dupé is my surname and I always wanted my own little den where I could go and dance to my favourite tunes in an attitude free environment, so when Jim Warboy gave me to opportunity to run Room 2 at East Bloc, Dupés Den was born, a safe haven for young people to come and express themselves (whether they are gay or straight) whilst listening to music that makes you want to just keep dancing till you have no choice but to leave, either from exhaustion or time was up!! 

DD.TV started when I started making short videos with pictures, video clips and information about previous and up coming events! I thought it would be a good way of promoting Dupés Den originally, then it got loads of hits and people started to ask me about it. Its still in working progress as it’s a one-man team, so I do what I can when I can!

Where do you plan to take DD TV?

Well it’s based around informing everyone about what is going on in club land! Interviewing promoters, DJs, host and other public figures relevant to a diverse polysexual culture in 2012. I would love to eventually become as successful as SB.TV, but I’m happy at the moment just kind of doing it for the benefit of showing a true raw representation of how colourful and creative the gay scene is at the moment without having to conform to old stereotypes of what it “means to be gay”.

What are your plans for world domination (or at the very least London domination)?

Haha!! To keep smiling and keep London dancing to proper feel-good music!

Mark-Ashley’s night with Tom Stephan, Hectic, returns to Dalston Superstore on Saturday 31st March from 9pm – 3am

Tom Stephan

New York native/London resident TOM STEPHAN (aka Superchumbo) teams up with Circus host Mark-Ashley Dupé to launch brand new night Hectic. Their very first party will feature guests Fat Tony, Kartel Brown, La Gosse, Nutty Nyce and Layo. We caught up with resident Tom Stephan himself to quiz him on his Top 5 Hectic Trax…

Superchumbo- Fire [Nervous Records]

Hectic trax are peak time, + 11 bangers. Pure fire- like this one from yours truly! Well- it would be my fav, wouldn’t it?

Skizofrenix & Franky Rizardo – Eu Vo Tu Baille [Azuli Records]

Franky Rizardo works me hard- his beats are the bomb!

Xpress 2 – Muzik Xpress [Boys Own Records]

I have never stopped playing this piece of house music genius. Floor filling hands in the air crowd pleaser every time. 

Real El Canario – Bumrush the Sound [Beat Dis]

The Dutch have taken the ’90s tribal feel of NYC that I love so much, and given it a new twist that I love even more. The beats are back!! 

Bingo Players – Get Up (Diplo Mix) [Secure Recordings]

And Diplo is one of the guys that kicked off this new sound a few years back with this one. Seriously HECTIC!!

Hectic starts Saturday 28th January 2012 with resident Tom Stephan joined by guests Fat Tony, Kartel Brown, La Gosse, Nutty Nyce and Layo.