Mchl Kelly's gay electroclash party series Shake Yer Dix has gained cult status over the past six years, having cruised the basements of Dalston before settling on Superstore as its spiritual home. In that time, he has welcomed guests ranging from pop princess Ronika to Yelle's GrandMarnier who have lit up the lazer basement with all kinds of synth-heavy nonsense! We caught up with Mchl Kelly to reflect on the last six years, and find out what's in store next!
Can you tell us a bit about how the first ever Shake Yer Dix came to be?
I listened to a lot of electronica at home and it was pretty danceable, a lot of my friends were listening to The Knife and Digitalism and stuff, but there weren't any clubs playing it out... there seemed to be a lot of house/techno nights and a lot of pop nights, but something missing in the middle. So I decided to learn to DJ (well, sort of) and start Shake Yer Dix. The hardest bit was actually thinking of the name – me and my friend Susan spent an afternoon in Odd Café in the Northern Quarter scribbing things down like 'Electric Is Danger' and 'Touch My Pony, He Really Likes You' on a bit of paper.
How have you watched the electroclash genre change over the last six years of Shake Yer Dix?
I guess electroclash isn't a thing any more, but there's still loads of synth and electronic stuff from Digitalism, Tiga, Cut Copy, Simian Mobile Disco that's still coming out... maybe some of the more jagged edges of stuff like Fischerspooner and The Rapture have worn off a bit. It's never been a struggle to find something new to play which is always good. Guitars seemed to die a death around 2005, 2006 and I think electro filled some of that 'alternative' gap, but they've maybe regained a bit of ground the last few years.
How different does SYD look today than it did at the very first party?
Actually, it's pretty much the same – hot synth geeks freaking out when Crystal Castles gets played. There's a just a few more of them now than November 2005 when we started and about 35 people came down, it was the coldest day of that year!
You have had some amazing guests at Shake Yer Dix, who have been some of your favourites?
I really liked Bronco from Horseplay and Jamie Bull's sets, and Mother Club were super fun when they headed over from Dublin... and it's been hot having an upstairs when we moved to DSS where the lovely Ronika can spin :)
If you had to single out a few highlights, what would they be?
The three guys who pulled their jeans down and did forward rolls onto the sofas in the basement of The Victory when we were there, our first Shake Yer Dix at The Star of Bethnal Green when the night went from being a pretty niche thing in the wilds of Haggerston to something a bit busier (our first ever queue!) And sparking a meltdown in the DSS lazerpit this year at SYD March, when I closed the night with Flutes by Hot Chip!
What is your number one track that sums up the last five years of parties?
It's got to be Emerge by Fischerspooner, with an honourable mention to Shoes by Tiga.
What is the first electroclash track you ever fell in love with?
House of Jealous Lovers by The Rapture. I was going to a club called PIGS in Leeds run by the Kaiser Chiefs before they were the Kaiser Chiefs and they played this song I would freak out to every month... I had no Shazam or internet back then but eventually the track ended up being Single of the Week in NME, it sounded so amazing from the description I bought it without listening to it and got home and was like, oh it's THAT song, WOW.
Your favourite SYD track of 2016?
Two Hearts by NZCA Lines and Night Owl by Metronomy which has literally just come out two seconds ago but I'm pretty sure will do well at the last SYD.
What surprises do you have in store for the final send off?
That would be telling, eh?
Where to next for Mchl Kelly?
I'm sure you'll be hearing again from me soon ;) - I'll still be fighting with Laurence Del Rey to play as much synth as possible at Douchebag and I've started doing a guitary thing, Pink Glove which is fun for a change.
Catch Mchl Kelly at the final Shake Yer Dix on Friday 8 July from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore.