It's ReviveHER creator Bi-Bop's birthday! And he's celebrating by having the legendary DJ Nature play for the second edition of the ReviveHER Superstore residency. We caught up with the birthday-boy to ask all about the upcoming festivities and the intricate origins of his night...
Happy birthday Bi-Bop! Your last birthday party at ReviveHER was a house party- how do you plan to top it at Dalston Superstore?
It will be pretty difficult. Our G4 sessions, organised by me and Andrew Thomson of Huntleys & Palmers, have become something of a legend around Hackney Wick. We installed a soundsystem in our place, invited DJs to spin some tunes, decorated the place like the Mancuso loft and even ran our own private bar with security on the door. Then got inviting our pals. Before we knew it our gaff was a rave and I was hibernating in my room scared shitless.
At my birthday one we had Nathan Gregory Wilkins and Andy Blake DJing. I did a good few hours myself with Blakey from 6am onwards when all the freaks are still there. It gets to the point where we have to kick people out after realising we don’t have a clue who any of them are! At that one, Andy Blake and NGW fell asleep together on my bed. I think I still have a picture somewhere. You can check pictures of THAT birthday party on our Facebook.
We've had Johnny and Keith from Optimo, Casper C, The Rhythm Talk guys DJ as well as SOPHIE play live. Unfortunately the last one was more explicit than the laboratory at Berghain. There was excrement, fire engines and god knows what else involved. The clean up was horrendous and 4 neighbours nearly handed in their notice on their lease!
With Superstore, I get the benefit of not having to clean up the mess and have the best house DJs / heads out there play my party and soak it all up instead of hibernating in my room. I like putting on good parties with great music, inspired by my heroes as it were.
What was the best birthday you’ve EVER had?
That would easily be my 21st. I lived in a house with a Victorian terraced basement, which we operated like a club. We had around 500 people in the house and luckily nothing got damaged or nicked. The key is damage limitation though! An old school friend DJed most of the night and my best friend ran a bar in the other basement room. We were selling “Funk Juice” – basically spiked punch. Truly messy, excessive and hedonisitic days.
What are the origins of ReviveHER?
ReviveHER spawned out of excessive after parties at Henry Bennett’s house. Henry now lives in Abu Dhabi teaching and composing a children’s operetta based on the fantastical story of an orphan samurai. Henry came up with the name “ReviveHER”. The idea lay behind a motto: “Revival Aesthetics. Wax Poetics. Played by Forgotten Legends and Future Heroes”. We also wanted to hone in on a quality that so many parties had lost. At that time Superstore didn’t exist and the only basement party in Dalston was Disco Bloodbath at Passion. We wanted to revive artists, genres, but not be known as a throwback party. So Henry came up with this abstract idea of “Divina Mortis” - An imaginary figure, feminine in gender, that was the soul of the party. We must ReviveHER to fulfil her lost sense of ecstacy. He even made this poem:
In exhaustive pursuit of happiness our fair maiden of the night has fallen into a deep sleep...
...to Revive Her we must aspire to fulfill her lost sense of ecstasy.
‘By mindfully mischievous masterful methods
That put to shame modern day fun making efforts,
Together we stand arm in armed without nerve,
Quick to rise to the challenge of make merry mirth.’
Pity not ye scoundrels of youth.
London’s party order is to be restored to its rightful airs.
January saw the launch of the ReviveHER residency here at Superstore with Thomas Bullock as your special guest, what were your highlights from his set?
I was so drunk by the time Thomas finished that there are few records I can remember now. I can tell you as much that it was very ‘90s house inspired. Two that stand out is Ralph Falcon – Every Now And Then and Hieroglyphic Being – Ancient Echoes I was having a great time dancing, whereas normally I’d be upstairs stressing out and making sure everyone’s OK and all the DJs have drinks and trying to chat to as many friends as possible that have made it down.
Ralph Falcon - Every Now And Then
The idea for 2012 is to record every live set and have them on the upcoming website, but for now you can follow us on Mixcloud.
Your next guest is Bristolian legend DJ Nature, who brings a much deeper sound- is this a conscious decision towards eclecticism or borne out of a desire to have your heroes play?
DJ Nature has been on the cards for a while. I was totally unaware of his history as DJ Milo and the vast eclecticism of his experience. I just loved all his releases on Golf Channel records. After discovering his DJing credibility, I was more inspired to book him, especially knowing that he’s a UK dude that lives in NYC and rarely plays out. I can’t tell what he’ll play and I’m not prepared to advise him. I know as DJ Nature he’s about deep, raw sounding house. But Milo Johnson, the man himself, is schooled in dub, reggae, hip hop, jazz, funk, everything. At ReviveHER we love having DJs play that are renowned for their knowledge and reputation as collectors and DJs, and DJ Nature fits that bill. He definitely comes under the bracket of “Having one of our heroes play.”
Actually, both of your main guests are Englishmen who moved to New York to enhance their careers- is this a secret theme running through all your ReviveHER headliners?
Haha – nooo! It’s just by chance this has happened twice in a row! But there is a distinct theme running throughout our bookings. We try to book people from further afield to make rare appearances in London. It feels very special to take a small nightclub like Superstore…very few have the same quality of crowd and fun, intimate atmosphere and then put incredible DJs from around the world to play there. No one is doing that on such a small scale. It takes a lot of passion and dedication. It's a way of life – not a money maker!
Who has been one of your most favourite or interesting guests so far?
That’s impossible. They’re all good in their own right and have their own styles. I would say however, that Tiago was an all round performer and played a great long set of 6 hours. Jonny Nash and Lovefingers have amazing vinyl collections and played a lovely set together. Chida and Cos Mes also excellent with their far out music, that’s hard to get. Misha played some very rare, weird stuff I hadn’t heard before including a hard to find Jamal Moss remix of Crash Course In Science’s “Flying Turns”. Eddie C was all vinyl only and has some very special music with him from Canada. He dropped deep house, disco and even some Belgian and UK 90 / 91 hardcore, including this favourite of mine.
Birthdays, much like New Years, can be time to reflect on the year ahead- where do you plan to take ReviveHER?
I’m just in the process of finalising bookings for the residency at Superstore for the rest of 2012, with some real killer names to boot! Then I have the “ReviveHER Rave” parties to lock down, which are the parties that take place outside of Superstore. The first will be a label showcase featuring one of our previous guests’ label artists. That will take place this summer at Corsica Studios. There will be a second EFES party in the latter half of the year with a Chicago house legend – and not one that has been in the UK for a loooong time.
There will be a ReviveHER radio show kicking off end of April, a website with all our mixes, info, gallery, video library and more launched by May. ReviveHER Records will hopefully launch in the summer and we also have two slots at Croatia’s Echo Festival this summer with special guests Midland and Koreless repping the RH sound!
Finally, there is the launch of Guess Who this summer which is a new music collective founded by myself, ReviveHER resident Nicholas Feel and DJ buddy KITT.
And finally, can you tell us a bit about this mix from Flora?
In her words: "The mix is a combination of both old and recent releases, moving from more classic deep house sounds from Detroit via Omar S and Carl Craig, to tracks by younger UK producers like 100% Silk's Fort Romeau and Krystal Klear. I tried to keep it deep, laidback and fairly slow-paced ahead of playing upstairs at Dalston Superstore, but it also features some heavier tracks from Braille on Hotflush and Dutch producer Tom Trago's collaborative effort."
ReviveHER with DJ Nature, Riotous Rockers, Flora Yin-Wong and residents at Dalston Superstore is Friday 30th March. Join the Facebook event here.