This Thursday for a special New Years Day odyssey, join us at Dalston Superstore for tanzBar. Ahead of the party we caught up with DJ and promoter Polanski and host Mr Deutz to find out more about we can expect from the very first Superstore party of the year!
What is the ethos behind tanzBar, and where does the name come from?
Polanski: The idea for the night has been in planning for many years now, as has the name: but I just never found the right venue/people/promoters to connect with on the idea. In my mind it’s a place where everybody is welcome, regardless of gender, skin-colour, preferences or even the sense of personal style: we are all united on the dancefloor. Like in Berlin in the 1920’s, where a very liberal subterranean dance scene existed – people would come from different backgrounds and unite dancing to swing.
Mr Deutz: When we were researching for images and ideas to illustrate the concept, I found a piece written around 1940 by a Hitler Youth officer who visited a swing club in Hamburg. He’s horrified/fascinated by people experiencing the shared joy of music and dance: people dancing in groups, some mixed, some single-sex. It’s inspiring that people were brave enough to carry on being free spirits at such a time, and ironic that even a Nazi thug couldn’t describe it without revealing how wonderful it is to dance, and how a love of music brings people together.
Social media makes it all too easy for us to moan and rant, but the end of the year always seems to be a time of positivity. So, for you, what has been either a personal, global, political, highlight of the past year?
P: Personally I dedicated 2014 fully to music becoming an undergraduate student at LSBU on Music Production and Sonic Media course, and then launching tanzBar alongside co-running B L A N C. It really took over my world, if not for Mr Deutz I wouldn’t have much idea what’s going on around in the world. As for our LGBT community I am pleased to hear more of trans people making their mark in the world.
M: Launching tanzBar was a chance for me to bring to life something I’d long dreamed of. I can’t say any more, or I’ll run out of things to discuss over the 10-hours of tanzBar.
What personally drives you to play music/put on parties?
P: Music! I started my first parties 15 years ago; it’s not easy to make living out of music, plus reaching outside of your own audience is pretty tough, so for me it's very important to use this channel to promote myself as a DJ. As I put lot of effort creating my sets, it matters to me hugely to get a good reception. Creatively I think response from a dancing crowd is the most direct feedback one can receive. Often mixing two records together for an extended period of time creates this sensation of excitement, for me this is the formation of something new; ‘a third record’ is created, I don’t usually record my live sets so this moment is unique to that particular place and time.
M: I enjoy meeting people and get a lot out of helping people to connect. [I sound like a miss World contestant!]
What was the first or most memorable record that made the back of your head tingle?
P: You can’t ask a DJ this sort of question and expect a simple answer… As a kid I was a huge fan of anything from Depeche Mode; I was a bit of a New Romantic kid. Later on I remember when The Prodigy released their first album in 1991, it was like I’d been removed from the greyness of my Polish surroundings and placed somewhere in outer space. ’91 was generally very important with Massive Attack masterpiece Unfinished Sympathy. See I can’t stop - there is so much else: Goldie Timeless, Kruder & Dorfmeister The K&D Sessions, anything from Warp and Ninja Tunes. More recently James Holden etc etc.
M: Different musical experiences seem important at different times. Poulenc’s Organ Concerto really blew me away when I was 16; soon after it was Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde: MacMillan choreographed it and I was hooked.
Tell us about your individual background and how that led you to tanzBar?
M: We came to tanzBar because – from different perspectives – we both felt it was time to create a social space in which people from all backgrounds would be able to delight in good quality music: to dance, obviously, but also to listen to it; to mix, engage, share. It’d be light-hearted and joyful, but serious about the music… I love bringing people together, and at tanzBar I get to do that whereas Polanski is the man behind the music. He’s been at it for years.
What can we expect over the course of almost ten hours of New Years Day partying with you?
P: The Alpaca Boys play a lovely selection of old and new electronica and rarities. When I’ve been had them play parties in the past, I felt that their sound would be a great introduction to the night. Then we follow with Kasia for another two hours: we’ve been friends since the early raving days in London and she plays a selection of deeper sounds, whether that’s house or techno. Then my ‘little brother’ Lakis will take over with a selection of robotic Nu Disco and I’ll be on at midnight for an extended birthday set, consisting mostly of dancey Electronica and Techno. But lets not forget a very important person who will be working it for the duration of the night: Mr Deutz who’ll be making sure everyone is greeted and made feel welcome!
If you were making an old-fashioned mixtape-as-a-love-letter to our dear capital city, what track would you open with, what track would be your real feelings buried within, and what track would be your concluding emotions?
P: Sound of tourists in Trafalgar Square – for the intro - that’s obviously a joke! I’d perhaps create a soundscape consisting of field recordings, travelling from East to West London then across the river capturing the sounds specific to each area. Noisy market in Dalston sounds very different to perhaps Docklands with its open space and less people around. As for the music piece, if you listen to lyrics from Timeless by Goldie "Inner city life, inner city pressure…" for me this perfectly captures the emotions of London. We all struggle here from time to time, but the abrasiveness of our lives pushes us forward. London is an epicenter of everything new and the creative industry lets all the creative people produce more art making it an exciting place to be.
M: I recently heard Waterloo Sunset again. It's shabby-sad, kind, hopefulness really embraced me; and a feeling that in the teeming throng of London, where we are so anonymous, we nevertheless do matter individually…
If you had a time machine and could visit any dancefloor anywhere/any when, where would you want to go?
P: For me the ultimate time would definitely be back in days of acid house scene when the rave culture was only emerging, Hacienda in the UK but also the loft parties in New York.
M: I’d put on my (white) dinner-jacket and go to Havanna c 1950: erotic, steamy, criminal…
What was the last piece of art- of any format be it painting, sculpture, movie, book, music - that truly moved you?
P: Mr Deutz and I went to see Anselm Kiefer at RA and that was beautifully moving. Malevich at Tate Modern was so good that we went to see several times. As for the literature - We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, I’ve had this little novel for many years but only just finished reading it. It was written by a Russian poet/writer just after WWI and wasn’t available in the native language until '80s. I was inspired to return to it especially after seeing two of the last rooms at the Malevich show, where we witnessed the artistic schizophrenia that he experienced because of the pressure on artists from that era inflicted by the Stalinist government.
M: Malevich painted Rectangle and Circle in 1915. He seems to think deeply about the relationship between modern industrial technology and human creativity, and the release of art from the need to represent. There’s a visual and conceptual purity to this piece that has stayed with me. We also visited the Barcelona Pavilion this year and as always it had a powerful impact: it’s appeared quite a lot in our tanzBar imagery.
Tell us a record that sums up 2014 for you, and a record that sums up your hopes for 2015?
P: 2014: Richard Fearless Higher Electronic States is a brilliant minimalistic acid burner, even though it contains all the usual components the sounds he’s using just work of each other and spaces in between create anticipation that leads to a slow and a gentle build up finishing off with a massive wall of sound.
2015: I’d like to be surprised, really music in most recent years have been an reinterpretation of older sounds, something new…
Join Polanski and Mr Deutz for tanzBar Thursday 1st Jan from 5pm - 2.30am