Swedish DJ, party promoter and owner of one of the most impressive ginger beards we've ever seen - Pjotr - is special guest at the next Les Poppeurs party, and we are simply giddy with excitement! Having established himself as a DJ in both London and Stockholm, he turned his hand to promoting his own super-cute mixed party Cafe Polari, and now he has his sights set on setting up his own label, Red Curls Records. In between all this we caught up with him to chat Swedish italo twins, gay Stockholm and dream club lighting!
Hi Pjotr! We can’t wait to have you here for Les Poppeurs! Your party, Cafe Polari, has seen huge success recently – can you tell us a little bit about how that started?
Well, we did a party called Polari in the summer of 2014 that was crazy, really beyond our expectations. We hardcore curated the DJ’s, live acts, performers, visuals, artwork and everything surrounding the party, and it really worked out! Then we decided to move venues due to changes in the management of the club where we were. We realised when we did this that there would be a different vibe to the party, so we named it Café Polari, since we do another night called Cafe UFO too. We decided we wanted it to basically be a merge of the two musically. So we moved it to Trädgården/Under Bron which is amazing space that I’ve been playing for a lot over the years. The party was held midweekly outside under the bare sky, with a really amazing vibe and enthusiastic audience. We were lucky once again!
If your love for music could be traced back to one track, what would it be?
That’s an impossible question! Too many to mention. So many 'me's that have passed through this life… *laughs* My mom said I was listening to Beethoven when I was four but I have no memory of that. I always thought it was ABBA. Something about those harmonies.
You’ve played in an incredible range of places in both London and Stockholm – what has been the craziest or most memorable party over the years?
If we talk about London and Stockholm… Hmm… The Proud Pride Unity parties I have been arranging in Stockholm with my fellow black sheep Staffan Lindberg have been amazing for the past two years especially… So many great people playing for us and it’s so much fun to play for the people on the floor. And in London… Well, I got to play the infamous NagNagNag in my very, very early career – they were nice to put me on although I had no idea what I was doing! That was pretty special.
What do you love about the Stockholm gay scene? (Apart from all the beautiful Swedes!)
What do I love... Shall I be honest here? Not that much actually, haha… This is why I’ve continuously tried to change it since I started DJing. It has transformed a lot, but it’s pretty small. The traditional gay scene is horrible, but then there is a more alternative but small sideshow, where I guess we belong since we do more mixed parties. We have the music lovers, the fashion crowd, the artists, gay and straight, so we have a lot of fun with that.
We hear you’re a bit of a connoisseur of amazing club lighting – Can you tell us about some of the best setups you’ve seen on your travels?
Yeah I’m obsessed! I was lucky to get to play Lux Fragil in Lisbon a few weeks ago and that was… Wow, really something. That place is great. The light design in the basement is just ca-ray-zee. All these lightbars in a big mishmash in the ceiling making a ton of colours – so perfect. I loved it.
If you could design your own lighting setup with an unlimited budget, what could we expect?
I guess the light UFO machine that was a centrepiece at The Saint in New York in the 70’s would be something… I go crazy for these very specific nuances of blue and pink. Like turquoise deep but still very light blue and purple-pink pink! And Miami Vice-mint green… And… classic red and blue is good too, when you start up.
The sound of dying babies. I hate mornings! I can’t. If I would hear a piece of music while waking up I would start hating it pretty fast. Although when I was in Lisboa I woke up to a church choir singing the most angelic songs I’ve ever heard, since I lived next to a cathedral. They woke me up very softly. That I liked…
What track gets you throwing shapes on the dancefloor without fail?
Well, I’m gonna say three tracks actually… First it’s this group called The Galleria, it’s a producer and a singer that I think a lot of people know but maybe not in this constellation, their track Mezzanine out on Envion this year really makes me happy - freestyle a la 2015 with perfect corny lyrics.
Then this kinda cheesy record by two sexy Swedish sisters who were a commercial pop phenomenon in the 80’s here, Lili & Sussie. Before they were known they were doing italo stuff, trying to make it big. Their track Stay is so good. It has so many flaws but that’s what makes it. They sing with this passion and sexual yearning that is so fucking good. The 12” cover is also great.
Another completely different track I love is Nick Höppner’s Come Closer from his debut album. It really moves me to tears. That kind of never happens anymore for me with house stuff - or extremely rarely. This track just grabs me and hurts my heart - in a very good way. I wanna dance with someone I really like under slow flashing purple pink blue lights to this towards the end of the night… These three kinda sum up some of the favourites of summer 2015 for me.
Finally, without giving too much away, can you summarise what you will be bringing to the Les Poppeurs laser basement in three words?
SEXY FUN MUSIC! :)
Catch Pjotr at Les Poppeurs on Friday 23 October from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore.