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Hannah Holland Vs Smokin Jo

Hannah Holland Vs Smokin Jo

It's time for another Paris' Acid Ball, and after the success of the fabulous Miss Honey Dijon, they've recruited the legendary Smokin' Jo to their cause. She's been taking dancefloors deeper since landing her first gig in the early '90s at the infamous afterhours party Trade, and has been on a global house journey ever since. Jo is a formidable selector as anyone who saw her turn it out at last year's Trailer Trash extravaganza can attest.

We're so excited for her to lay it down in the basement that we asked Acid Ball resident Hannah Holland to quiz her on all things H.O.U.S.E. and we even asked both lovely ladies to participate in a little virtual back to back session from the comfort of their own laptop screens using YouTube and SoundCloud...

HANNAH: When was the first time you heard house music and that acid sound?!

JO: It was in 1986 or ‘87, I used to go to a club called Enter The Dragon in Kensington, it was the most popular/coolest night in London at the time, when west London was really happening and the sound was rare groove. One night about an hour before the end a new DJ came on and started playing house music, it was a like a revelation, it was so amazing to hear some new different music, a lot of people didn't like it or get it and left but I stayed and danced my tits off! I LOVED IT!

You've played literally every corner of the globe, what's the most drama you've seen on a dancefloor / maddest place you've played?!

I must say the early days of playing in Ibiza were pretty nuts, it is still crazy now but back in 1992 Ibiza was full of the most outrageous characters and there were many more gay people/ trannies/drag queens there. Playing in the open air on the Space terrace was just the most bizarre and exciting experience ever. And also Manumussion at its peak was pretty full on, watching a girl fist her female partner whilst hanging in some netting over my head while I was DJing was rather memorable!

Gay club culture has always influenced straight clubland, and ballroom bitch tracks are all over the place again, what's your relationship to the gay scene and why do you think it has such an influence?

I started my career on the gay scene, playing every week at Trade, the first legal after-hours in the whole of the UK. Back then the gay scene was leading the way musically. The atmosphere in gay/mixed clubs is much more OTT and out there, I love the vibe and the appreciation you get from the crowd. People don't realise how many of the big DJ's and producers are gay and the music they make sets the tone for the whole scene.

Last time you played for Paris’ Acid Ball was one of the best sets we've heard there, where were you pulling those tracks from!?!

Well if you have been DJing for 21 years you are gonna build up a rather large collection. I picked some oldies and favourites out to bust that night. I actually sold around 2000 of my old records a few years ago; it is truly one of my biggest regrets in life.

You've been releasing some killer tunes on Area Remote, Dirt Crew, Monique Speciale, what's your inspiration in the studio?

My inspiration usually comes from older tracks, I like to try to have a bit of old skool flava in my tunes.



Smokin' Jo's first choice...

K-HAND - I Can't Take You Leaving Me

Hannah Holland's first choice...

Boddika & Joy Orbison - Swims 

Jo's second choice...

Lil' Mo' Ying Yang.Reach.Yin Yang Dub

Hannah's second choice...

Robert Owens - Bring Down The Walls

Jo's final choice...

Banji Boys - Love Thang

Hannah's final choice...

MikeQ - Feels Like (ft. Kevin JZ Prodigy)

Smokin' Jo's latest EP, Listen Up, is available exclusively from Beatport and you can catch her play at Paris' Acid Ball alongside Hannah Holland, Dan Beaumont and DJ Squeaky this Saturday 10th March from 9pm - 3am in the lazer basement.

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Hannah Holland Vs Smokin Jo