Drop The Needle
Drop The Needle
Next weekend sees new quarterly vinyl-only night Drop The Needle join us for a top bar party and journey through wax. Having launched earliest this year back in September at Ridley Road Market Bar with Phonica Records founder Simon Rigg, they're dropping in for a session just before their next party in the new year.
With Banjee Boy Realness in the basement featuring residents Josh Caffe and Joe Robots on the same night, you count on the music being of the highest quality. We caught up with DTN's Sanjay Sur to find out what he loves vinyl quite so much...
What was the first record you ever acquired?
The first record I ever brought for myself was The KLF’s 3AM Eternal. Before that, I acquired vinyl from various family hand-me-downs. My sister once gave me a copy of Culture Club’s Colour By Numbers. It had a pretty big influence on me. I still have it now.
What's the furthest you've ever gone to in order to track down a specific piece of vinyl you wanted?
I have actually been really lucky. I managed to get two records that I had been after for years at Kristina Records in Dalston. Life Without Buildings’ Any Other City
and Electrelane’s The Power Out
The most I’ve spent on a record was £60 for a copy of PJ Harvey's Rid of Me, but in terms of digging, I am quite happy spending a day rifling through piles and piles of old records at Haggle Vinyl or Lucky Seven. Also, I think with Discogs now, almost nothing is really that hard to find – you just have to pay a ridiculous price for it. I try to keep away from all that nonsense, if I can help it.
What's the most treasured record in your collection?
I have so many. Off the top of my head, I have a rare copy of an Irdial techno classic, In Sync’s Storm
an original copy of Jacques Dutronc's first album
and the Life without Buildings LP. I also have the Twin Peaks soundtrack.
What inspired your love of vinyl?
I love the sound, and how tactile it is - I like putting a record on and letting it play all the way through. I always come over a bit ADHD when I listen to things digitally. Maybe it’s because I’m spoilt for choice as there is so much out there, but I also like how I feel when I have saved up some money to go and spend it on a few quality records. It makes me more excited about finding and discovering new music. I value it more.
Who are your favourite vinyl-only DJs?
I think Tama Sumo is one of the best vinyl DJs. I always lose myself when she is playing. Her track selection is always impeccable and I think she is great at mixing past and future classics, always knowing that perfect moment of when to drop the track of the night. I'll never forget the time she played Never Mind by Red Nail feat Noni
at Sud Electronic and everyone went crazy! I also have love going to see Kyle Hall, Ricardo Villalobos and all the OstGut Ton guys whenever they are in town.
You hold your Drop The Needle parties over at our neighbours Ridley Road Market Bar- why do you think Dalston works well for these type of nights?
I think so many people in Dalston are more musically aware and expect a certain musical standard on a night out. The musical programming of the venues in the area says a lot about Dalston. In one weekend Todd Terje, Optimo, Andrew Weatherall and Steffi can all be playing within walking distance of each other. I think this is a good indicator of the high musical standard of the area and the quality DJs it attracts.
Drop The Needle works because the crowd is up for something different and goes with it. I think the quirkiness of the bar goes well with the vibe of the party and the kind of stuff we play. The fact that we are a vinyl-only night adds to this eclectic nature and what the DJs play out. Generally, the experience is more different, and maybe more interesting when a DJ explores their personal record collection and takes you on a journey. It’s just not the same as an mp3 playlist.
What guests do you have lined up for 2013?
We have a big one in January, with Drums Of Death headlining, supported by ZNTN, who founded and runs local record label and podcast series How The Other Half Lives. They’ll be joined by Savage Beach’s Alex Torrance and DTN resident Milan Onassis. I’ll be playing the odd record too. Later on in the year we have Rory Phillips playing a special 7” only set. I also hope to feature some of the guys from Gays Hate Techno later in the year. Before all that though, I’m all focused on Saturday 22nd. We’ve got a few surprise guests popping in before they shoot off for Christmas.
Why is it important to celebrate the "beauty of wax"?
I think there is peculiar sense of beauty you get when you buy a vinyl: the packaging, the fact that it is by definition limited edition, the smell, and of course, the sound. It’s a sensory overload as opposed to, say, the transience of digital files, which you can’t see, touch, feel, or smell. I think digital files can be quick and convenient, but there is a tendency to take them for granted. I don’t see a record as something disposable. If I really love a track, I want to own something physical. I think people who still buy music nowadays, as opposed to downloading it for free, are starting to feel the same. By celebrating and buying wax you are supporting the artist, independent labels and record shops; something the current corporate music industry has no interest in doing. Also I think it is important that we have a music as a physical object so we can pass things down to future generations. Each record has a story and a legacy.
What one record would you sell your grandma to own?
I wouldn’t sell me nan for anything but I would give her a copy of Joey Beltram’s Energy Flash. She’s 87 but she can still shake a rug!
Join Sanjay in the top bar for Drop The Needle on Saturday 22nd December from 9pm - 3am. Downstairs sees Josh Caffe and Joe Robots return for Banjee Boy Realness.
Drop The Needle