Bristol based Futureboogie began 10 years ago as a club night and over the years developed into an agency and is now an up-and-coming label with releases from west country champions Julio Bashmore, Waifs & Strays, Christophe and more. Founding Futureboogie member El Harvo joins us in the lazer basement next weekend for wonky-house night Wet N Wild so we caught up with him to get the lowdown on his label...
Futureboogie started out as a club night- can you tell us a bit about those first few parties all those years ago? How they came out about and what was the reaction to them?
Yeah we started out running a night called Seen at a wicked club in Bristol called Level. We'd moved down en masse from Leicester with dreams of a promised land in the South West and the night was loads of fun. People reacted really well to it and I think it was just a bit different at the time as the city was really drum and bass and hip-hop oriented and I think we came in with something fresh. Music wise we were booking DJ's who played a bit of everything but were quite heavily into the broken beat thing that was big at the time; jazz, afro, latin, techno, all sorts, DJ's like Gilles Peterson, Bugz In The Attic, Jazzanova, Rainer Truby, Charlie Dark, Peter Kruder and so on - it was really eclectic and loads of fun.
Describe the Futureboogie ethos.
Hmm - that's a tough one without sounding like a wally! I think there's many parts to it - with the label we just want to put out a broad range of quality music that reflects both what we play out and what we love; stuff that makes people dance, stuff that people want to listen to at home, a really broad spectrum. In terms of parties - tops off, let's not take it too seriously, we're only here for a bit so everybody try to have a good time….
Whilst your artists and output is certainly eclectic, there’s definitely a tone and aesthetic threading through it all. Was that a conscious decision or something borne out of both yours and Joe90’s personal tastes?
It’s probably easier for someone looking in from the outside to see that - for us I think it really does just come down to personal taste, we love everything we've put out and everything we have in the pipeline, it sounds trite but it's down to the feeling we get from it not whether we think it's going to be commercially successful. In fact there have been several releases we have been offered that in a strictly business sense we could see being really successful but we just weren't feeling in that way so we chose not to sign. So yeah really, it's just a taste thing.
Futureboogie always seems like a massive family so how do you go about finding new artists- do you listen to endless amounts of promos sent to you or is a recommendation thing?
The family thing is really important to us and it's nice that that comes across - in terms of finding new artists, I guess we are in quite a privileged position that lots of our friends make great music and we know lots of people in an extended family sense that also make great music. So really we’ve had most of the stuff we've either released or are about to placed directly in front of us. We do listen to a lot of demos though and if we found anything that was outstanding then we'd obviously be up for signing it but the way it has happened so far has been much more organic.
You’re playing in the basement at Dalston Superstore- having played a wide variety of venues over your career, what are the pros and cons of playing smaller spaces?
Small spots are generally the better ones for getting a proper vibe going, big venues are great as well, but when it's more intimate then the energy is so much more concentrated and you can really feel the crowd which adds into what you're doing as the DJ. It's all about feeding off the crowd - well at least it is when you're getting it right!
What’s one record that hasn’t left your stereo in the last month?
There's been a couple that I can't seem to get off at the moment - Ray Mang’s Cereal Lover is one. It’s a couple of years old now but has a massive Balearic guitar work out that just goes on forever and it’s proper summer action. It came on a few weeks back in the garden when we had that freakishly good sunshine weekend and I've been caning it again since then; it's great when you rediscover a tune in the right setting.
The other one is Ron Basejam's mix of The White Lamp It's You - absolutely loving it at the moment, proper deep… lovely.
El Harvo plays Wet N Wild alongside Deepgroove, Joe Roberts (DJ Mag) and Nicky G on Friday 20th April from 9pm - 4am.