Dalston Superstore's longest running party institution DISCOSODOMA returns this Saturday with another lineup of forward-thinking selectors ready to unleash their powers on your body and mind! For the latest instalment their special guest is London-based DJ, producer and promoter of cult party institution World Unknown, Andy Blake. Andy is particularly known for his challenging, eclectic and expansive sets that build powerfully and instinctively from start to finish. With a special 5am license for this party, we can't wait to see what he has planned for us! The DISCOSODOMA crew caught up with him to chat about ancient Egypt, the state of clubbing in 2017, and the secret to a good party.
Hello Andy! What have you been up to lately?
The main thing is moving house for the first time in nearly eight years. At times like this I can see why most people have traded their record collections in for usb sticks!
Fabric has now been saved, but what about the actual culture? Is the sense of community still here or can we see this as an opportunity to instil the basics back into the scene, such as acceptance of diversity and an open-arms approach to those who want to experience again a sense of belonging?
There's definitely a great sense of community to be found still. It's always there if you look hard enough. Acceptance, diversity and independence are the key ingredients, along with great music and an excellent sound system of course.
With the previous question in mind, how can one be informed about the workings of the underground scene if one arrives right now in the city?
The Internet has been great for giving access to the various party scenes but there's an extra level of engagement from actual word of mouth. I played at a party on Saturday where literally no promotion was done and as far as social media was concerned the party didn't even exist. Around 500 people turned up, most were around 18-23 years old and from South London, but there were also people from all over Europe who somehow found out about it.
There's an ingrained nostalgia about the clubs of yesterday. Do you think we have lost our capacity to envision the future?
It's time for the nostalgia for the '70s, '80s and '90s to move on into a recognition that this tradition goes back way further than that and will always be here as long as humanity is. It's important that we don't lose the ability to look forward with this culture, but perhaps now is a good time to make sure to include elements that can often get swept away by the illusion of progress. For want of a better term i think it's really important that the dance never loses its soul.
At the end of the day, what are the ingredients for a good party?
Many and varied - but fun people, great music, interesting potions and an inclusive attitude in inspiring spaces are probably the key ingredients.
If you could travel in any time in history, where and when would you land?
I'd love to take a peek at all the classical civilisations, especially the ones where women were in charge - I've a feeling they made a far better job of it than the men have done for the last couple of millennia, and I'd definitely like to see how they got those pyramids up in Egypt. But in the main, I'll be quite happy if I get to live long enough to get to the other side of this period of insane turmoil that's really kicking into gear with trump and brexit but which has never really stopped since the romans decided that ramming Christianity down people's throats on pain of death was a good idea. Like many people I'd like to think that this is the dying gasp of a broken patriarchal system that refuses to go without kicking and screaming and smashing things up like the tartrazine-crazed toddler it's shown itself to be and I'm very curious to see what lies beyond.
With Joe Hart moving on, what's in store for the World Unknown family in 2017?
The WU family is continuing to grow, both on the dancefloor and behind the scenes. We've had some very organised friends join the crew so Amy and I can concentrate on the creative side of things and this year looks like half a dozen bigger parties that will still retain the World Unknown atmosphere. I think its really important to show that a great atmosphere and vibe isn't only possible at a smaller affair. we had well over 1,000 people desperate to get in on new year's eve which one hand showed us how popular wu has become and where we can go with it and on the other that we need to get a lot more organised to do that. we're really looking forward to progressing with a bigger better boat and enough crew to sail it properly
What shall we expect from your set at DISCOSODOMA?
Recently I've mainly been playing a heavy, raw and primal but still warm and inclusive sound, mainly pitched-down house and techno with a few disco and left-field moments so quite likely something along those lines.
And finally, what is disco?
That's the million dollar question, and it seems to change with the wind. Maybe someone should write a book about it.
Catch Andy Blake at Discosodoma this Saturday 11 February from 9pm-5am at Dalston Superstore.