When Major Lazer bounded onto the party circuit with 2009’s Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do, it was, in two words, dancefloor dynamite. London house music veteran Switch and Philadelphian global bass ambassador Diplo’s collaborative debut was a hyperactive, gymnastic concept album that flipped dancehall on its head and gave it a jolt of electro. Its Spandex-tight beats, blooping 808s, spaghetti western guitar, badman lyrics and rhythms made you want to oil your buns, slide into a neon thongkini and grind. Even Beyoncé saw its vag-wiggling potential and sampled 'Pon De Floor’s zippy siren in her superwoman anthem, 'Run The World (Girls)'.
One spin of Major Lazer’s second album, Free The Universe, and it’s clear that it’s of a very different bun entirely, the kind that hangs hairily out of low-slung jeans and threatens to meet your face as it pogos into the air at dance festivals. You can hazard a guess at why Switch left, citing 'creative differences': these days electronic music fills stadiums quicker than you can whisper ‘EDM’ and Diplo is a step closer to becoming the younger, blonder David Guetta.
Free The Universe is still, at its very core, a dancehall record, with plenty of guest appearances from Jamaican veterans like Elephant Man, Shaggy and Vybz Kartel. But it obscures the connection ever further with lacerations of Dutch house and brutalising bass and appearances from friends-in-high-places like Bruno Mars and Wyclef Jean. The abysmal 'Mashup The Dance' features Dutch DJ duo The Partysquad, whose only purpose seems to be to puncture Diplo’s tiresome carnival drums with a few lazer-blazing build-ups to make frat boys holler. 'Sweat', meanwhile, with Dutchman Laidback Luke, shoehorns sledgehammer-subtle pwew-pwews in around a Ms Dynamite rap. Heavier still, 'No Partial’s promising old-school reggae vibe flops like a gnarled troll’s belly – thanks to Brit wobblesteppa Flux Pavilion – into an ugly WAMP WAMP.
Despite that, there are some great moments. 'Scare Me' suggests Tiga producing Le Tigre and electroclash legend herself, Peaches, delivers a few predictably fruity verses. Songs from Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors ('Get Free') and Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend ('Jessica') are lovely sun-bleached slabs of wonky reggae that sound like they’re bubbling underwater. Yet they are as if from another record entirely. Surprisingly, Bruno Mars isn’t even the worst thing on the album. He sings the lead on 'Bubble Butt', a swaggering song about sexing big booties. Its minimal hip-hop bounce is a deceivingly intricate jungle of trilling, squawking samples, and a reminder that Diplo can be one of the most talented producers of his generation.
In a parallel universe Diplo could have been the next Timbaland. His obsession with scouring the globe for unearthed beats was established on M.I.A.’s debut album, Arular, and he has since worked similar magic for major artists like Usher, Snoop Dogg, No Doubt and Shakira. But Free The Universe reeks of chasing the success of Baauer’s 'Harlem Shake' – which, incidentally, came out on Diplo’s Mad Decent label – like a rabid dog. As such, it’s just another notch on macho rave’s bedpost.
This interview with Don Letts and his son Jet, and Norman Jay and his son Russ, is probably one of my favourite pieces that I've done for Time Out. I'm a huge fan of doing family-themed articles and managed to shoehorn them into the Clubbing section a number of times. This one originally appeared in a July 2011 issue of Time Out – you can read the entire thing on the website here or check it out below.Read More
Afternoon! I'm just back from Vietnam and raring to go. I've been saving this for a special occasion, so here we go. It's my favourite piece of writing so far, so please be gentle, and a profile of the man with the best name in dance music, Orlando Higginbottom, aka the wonderful headdress-sporting Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. The feature originally appeared in Mixmag's July issue and can also be read in full on their website here. Or, as it happens, after the jump.Read More
A new Soul Jazz compilation and book uncovers the music and moves of New York's '80s house ballroom era, the underground nightlife scene immortalised by Madonna in her infamous single 'Vogue' this month. And, though it lives on in the Big Apple, you can find traces of this fascinating polysexual culture in London clubland too…Read More
East London is awash with 'micro radio stations' showcasing the best new DJs. Kate Hutchinson finds a few of them lurking at NTS Live, which celebrates its first birthday in April. Read the full article, which was originally published in Time Out, after the jump.Read More
This year I edited Time Out London's 2012 Festival Guide and we put one of my favourite bands, Hot Chip, on the cover. I interviewed them about their forthcoming (and ruddy excellent) new album 'In Our Heads' and sleeping through festival performances. Here's the original version on Time Out but you can read the extended version after the jump.Read More
Click the title of this post to read my guide to the DJ stars of 2012, as told by London's clubbing cognoscenti
Northwood duo Nero have been setting the pop charts alight with their slo-mo drum 'n' bass and dystopian dubstep ditties, best known for last year's chart smash 'Me & You'. They're about to crashland at the next of Time Out Live's Nite Sessions at East Village for our Future Stars of 2011 special. Kate Hutchinson speaks to one half of Nero, Joe, about why this is their yearRead More
I've also just found the first Mixmag piece I wrote this year on the delightful house DJ Cassy as part of their 'Queens of the Underground' cover feature in May. At some point, I'll post the interview in full because she was quite simply just awesome. But for now, here she is talking about Miami Winter Music Conference, playing at DC10 and how gender boundaries can go fuck themselves.
Look how excited he is! Yes, Mylo, he of "Da da da da, drop the pressure" fame is back. He has been, like, throwing underground parties an' that at Dalston Superstore in east London for most of the year. But on October 8, he gonna take it to XOYO once more with Ed Banger young gun Breakbot and loads of other face-splitting electro DJs.
Read my interview with him from waaay back in May after the jump. It's all about comebacks and Charles Kennedy. WIN.
This article originally appeared on Time Out London in May 2011.
The electro-disco producer who quietly stormed the charts in 2004 with 'Destroy Rock & Roll' is firmly and finally back. Kate Hutchinson meets Mylo
Electro big-hitters come and go, but this year, the likes of Daft Punk, Justice, Cassius, MSTRKRFT and even Digitalism have returned with a synth-heavy wallop. So it feels like good timing that Myles MacInnes - better known to the world as Mylo - is fighting back this year with them.
Mylo's disappearance from the music world baffled everyone, from his fans (of which he still has plenty) to critics, for whom it is has become an insider's joke. The Hackney-based Scot hasn't released anything since his massive 'Detroy Rock & Roll' album in 2004, bar a couple of low-key remixes and Mixmag cover CDs, having been stuck in music industry purgatory for nearly five years.
But in the last two months, and armed with a new synthetic disco sound, Mylo has been putting on small word-of-mouth parties, Ecstasy, Passion & Pain, at Dalston Superstore, with the pork-pie-hat-topped help of Andy Peyton, who books Get Loaded, Together and Moda.
Before his headline set at the latest Moda night at XOYO this weekend, we caught up with the producer and were delighted to find him chirpy, insightful and, despite being out of current music for so long, incredibly interesting. In his first interview in we-can't-remember-how-long, he reveals why he's been out of the spotlight for such a long time, why he might never tour again, getting banned from Space Ibiza and how he's been larging it with the Lib Dems.
Mylo, where have you been? For reasons I'm not at liberty to discuss, I haven't been able to release music in a couple of years, but hopefully it's not going to stay that way for ever. It's been quite frustrating in parts; I can't believe that it has been so long now! I stopped promoting the first album in 2006, and I didn't think that the next four years were going to pan out the way that they did. I've continued to do the occasional DJ gig, which is what I never set out to do. But I've really enjoyed it. I've also spent time working on new material and remixes, of which I have a fair bit now, and I just need to work out whether I should come back with it in some ridiculous way that involves a triple album or something! But, seriously, I'm just really looking forward to being able to release again.
Do you feel under pressure? Perhaps in 2007 I did, but now there's been so much water under the bridge, and I've continued in a much more eccentric and not very 'pop' kind of way. I listen to the stuff in the Top 40 now and I think, that's not where I want to be. And to be perfectly honest, I don't know whether I want to set foot inside a tour bus again either: they are smelly, claustrophobic, carpeted submarines. I had a blast the first time, but it was a bit of an accident and I'm not going to spend the next few years trying to consciously replicate that. How did your secret pop-up nights at Dalston Superstore come about? I'm a real fan of the place; I find it really fun and inclusive. I ended up hanging out there quite a lot and then they had a few Fridays free, and it all happened very quickly. I wanted a night that summed up the over-the-top drama of disco music, and Ecstasy, Passion & Pain were a disco band in the 1970s, so it fitted well. I enjoy the melodrama of disco, definitely.
Is it part of a comeback masterplan? [Laughs] I'd love to say yes, but I'm not sure I believe in comebacks. I'm just glad to do this in the meantime. I don't know how long we'll keep going with it - at the moment we've got a policy for Belgian-only disco DJ guests, as it's at the forefront of the new new nu-disco sound - so I think we'll just keep going until we run out of Belgians. We had my friends Villa play last Friday, and then The Magician, formerly of Aeroplane, is the next guest. I'd love to have The Glimmers come over and play, but it's a free club, so I have to rely on favours to make it work. I can't imagine being able to book Soulwax anytime soon!
It's a very nu-disco path you're going down - how did you start out in that direction? During the last year or so, I've moved away from the electro noise scene. My interest started out with Italo and the cheesy, synthetic side of it and then that eventually broadened out into other sub-genres: boogie and so on. I must admit, the classic idea of disco with a diva wailing over a percussive background doesn't quite do it for me, but it's all the other interesting bits in and around that that I like. I think it's an amazing time for disco music.
On your Facebook, you've posted up a lot of political articles, particularly about the recent AV referendum - is activism an important part of your life now? It's not something that I ever thought I'd be doing, but I was really proud that the Yes To Fair Votes AV campaign approached me. I've always grown up with Charles Kennedy - he was the constituency MP in Skye - so I'm a big fan. I think that Charles Kennedy, drunk, is a much better leader than David Cameron, sober! They had some parties in London that I DJ'd for and that had a few Lib Dem politicians there. Then I went door-to-door with the Lib Dems in the Cazenove ward in Stoke Newington a few weeks ago - although it's a big orthodox Jewish area and I don't think they vote much, so I don't know how much effect it had.
You could have slipped everyone a new mix CD too, that might have helped? That's an idea that I should have had! I was quite a depressing eye-opener, though. Of course, everyone was unhappy about how the vote went…
Obviously there are exceptions, but it's unusual for DJs to be open about politics - it's quite an 'electro taboo'. I care a lot about politics, but I don't spend a lot of time online trying to promote anything. The first album I made wasn't, other than quite blatantly taking the piss out of American fundamentalism and so on, much of a “political record”. But I had a lot of respect for [electronic producer] Ewan Pearson this week - he wrote an incredibly succinct blog about the ethics of playing in Israel. The complete absence of politics in music these days compared to 25 or 30 years ago isn't great, but DJs make party music and people don't suddenly want to be thumped over the head with some well-intentioned political music at the same time. Then again, I'm not aware of anyone “unfollowing” me on Facebook because I posted up a few links to a campaign. And I don't really mind being seen as a well-intentioned lefty who got completely fucked over by the Tories! Will you tour again? A lot of things have changed; the friends who I did the live show with are off doing different thing, so I don't know whether there'll be a band. I've an aversion to touring, so we'll see what happens. I imagine that there will be a CD and it will be available. And I'm playing at some festivals, and at one of the better, crazy, smaller raves at Secret Garden Party [on the main stage, as well as a secret set elsewhere]. And I'm going to play at Space in Ibiza in a few weeks, which will be great because I've been unofficially blacklisted there.
How did you manage that? I played an unbelievably bad set. It was about 10 o'clock in the morning, I don't think I'd been to bed and it was a trainwreck in every possible way. The mixing was messy and the music was perhaps wrong as well. I thought what I was playing was quite cool - I even played 'Space is the Place', a classic electro track. But, in any case, I was notoriously terrible at DJing to begin with and now I hope I've got the hang of it.
Online video/radio broadcast The Boiler Room is so hot darn exciting it makes me feel funny in my ladyparts. They take some of the best cutting edge DJs from London and beyond, stick ’em in a south London warehouse in front of a webcam to spin their heart out and let lossa dubstep fanboy tweens slate them all on their live feed at the same time. Shazzam.
I did write a serious article about it, though, for Time Out all the way back in April. Do read it here or below.
By Kate Hutchinson. Posted: Mon Apr 18 2011
The biggest nightlife success of the past year blurs the line between an online club and a radio show. Time Out logs on
On a Tuesday night, here's what London's electronic music fraternity in their twenties are up to: they're sitting down on their sofas, firing up their laptops, pouring themselves a drink and tuning in to watch live DJ sets via a webcam hooked up to a warehouse space in Elephant & Castle. They're probably rapid-fire tweeting about it at the same time too. If you squint and don't mind the juddering connection, you can see James Blake at the turntables, or perhaps popstar-in-waiting Yasmin singing over a mix from Jamie XX. Welcome to cult club the Boiler Room.
Since its inception a year ago this month, the Boiler Room has become an internet and dance music - wait for it - phenomenon. It's not strictly a club, but a weekly online Ustream broadcast - the live video facility popularised by Wiley, who likes to use it to show how to make boiled eggs and soldiers, advertise instant noodles and, ditto Kanye West, hold press conferences - in a nightlife environment. Shot on just a 'little Logitech webcam', it is pure voyeurism and allows clubbers to have an uninterrupted view of their favourite DJs without the hollering, drunken moshers and cloudy sound you can get at club nights. And if you miss it, you can just download the podcast and catch up later.
Despite the DIY set-up, Boiler Room has captured the zeitgeist in the same way as Rinse FM; that is, dance music's demand for quality radio programming and futuristic underground beats. Consequently, it's the first place that innovative London record labels, like Young Turks, R&S, Numbers, Swamp81 and Hessle Audio, want their new DJs, performers and music to be seen and heard immediately.
The broadcast was started by notorious hipster Blaise Bellville, who heads up mouthy webzine Platform and used to put on the underage Way Out West gigs, and co-run by Brownswood employee Thristian Richards, who goes by the DJ name The bPm. It began life in a former 1930s boiler room in Hackney (of course!), but it has gotten so big in both virtual and physical terms that they've upsized to Corsica Studios so that they can host a larger live audience.
'We've gone from having 50 of our mates watching online to up to 15,000 or 25,000 people during our most popular shows like the James Blake and the Jamie XX ones,' says Bellville. 'And then there's 100,000 people and upwards reposting and replaying the podcast every month. The space has got bigger - there used to be about 30 people max in the room, and now our guestlist requests exceed 500 each time. It's invite-only, but there's still about 150 people there every week.'
The numbers are unbelievable - their Facebook page exceeds 9,000 fans and counting. Which is why if you're not on the list, you're not getting in. 'It was getting too much like a party for a while,' Bellville continues, 'but it's about getting the right kinds of people down there, people who are there for the music, so that the artists don't feel overwhelmed by it all.'
The artists are, after all, the sole attraction at Boiler Room: attendees are positioned behind the decks in a bedroom DJ style set-up so that the selector is always the main figure in view. Says Bellville: 'The Boiler Room's signature format is that the DJ is always playing with their back to the crowd and is always on the ground level, the same as all the people in the room. People bounce about a bit, but they're coming to watch the show. It's all over by 11 o'clock.'
DJs also embrace it as an opportunity to get more eclectic. 'Boiler Room plays an important part in the type of electronic music that's coming out at the moment, because it's somewhere in-between a radio show and a club night,' says Bellville. 'The DJs get to play music that they wouldn't normally play in a club, where they have to face the audience and make everyone dance.'
He views it as a successful alternative to the dominating radio stations. 'Live radio is in a pretty difficult place, I reckon, right now,' he argues. 'It thrives off its podcasts and you get very few people actually tuning in in comparison. And with Boiler Room, because of the video element, there's more reason to tune in. We've managed to get great people in to play who love that live radio element and the instant feedback that you get from people watching it in real-time, whether it's from Twitter or from the chatrooms.'
Of course, like every musical experiment these days, 'there's not strict genre ties', but you can expect to hear West Coast hip hop - a scene on which they plan to shoot a quarterly documentary in LA later this year - one week and the post-dubstepisms of SBTRKT, Sampha et al the next. Coming up? There's a special Diplo and Red Bull takeover on April 26, a day ahead of his Koko show, and the broadcast's first birthday celebrations this month, which in typical east London style, will be announced at the very last minute. They've also plans to take Boiler Room global - they filmed the Young Turks showcase at South by South West this year, and they'll be covering the Rush Hour stage at the Queen's Day Carnival in Amsterdam at the end of April.
It isn't quite a club night and it's not quite a radio show, but Boiler Room is one heck of a party for your ears - and, clearly, there's much to tune in for.
On the boil
'I was actually very nervous about playing the Boiler Room, because it was the first time I'd ever done a PA in a nightclub. And it's a very cool place. It's got this weird double dynamic of being on the internet and in front of an audience - physically, they're in opposite directions and as a singer, I found that quite tricky! What was brilliant is that it has an underground feel to it and a casualness, which is really enjoyable.'
Seb Chew, YoYo
'The spirit at the Boiler Room reminded me of dance energy from back in the day, ie taking music and the rave and giving it another dimension without spoiling the reason why you're there in the first place, which is for good new music, played on big speakers.'
'I find it unnerving DJing at Boiler Room, having people behind me. But it works for watching intently. I've just moved to south London so I go there quite a lot to hang out.'
A version of this article first appeared in Time Out's Valentine's Issue, 2011.
It's the weekend before Valentine's Day and everybody is doing it. DJing, we mean. You filthy lot. Like rockland, clubland also has its Gwen Stefanis and Gavin Rossdales (minus the love children, we imagine) and many of them are playing at parties this weekend, just like house duo Bearweasel at Fabric on Saturday and this frisky lot below.
As it happens, I'll also be spinning in, erm, the name of love: in the 'kissing booth' at Nauti.Cool at The Book Club on Friday with my better half, where there will also be couples-only sets from the likes of Zara from Peanut Butter Jelly Time and her beau, Tim of the Filthy Dukes.
But is it all just a good excuse for a grope behind the turntables? Or does the relationship dynamic lend itself to skillz outside the sheets? We grilled four couples to find out what makes them tick…
Read the full piece after the jump or on Time Out's website here.
Valentine's DJs: It takes two baby…
Richard Young and Sophie Ellis-Bextor (above) Pop siren Sophie and her husband Richard, from indie band The Feeling, are resident DJs at Love to Love at The Bathhouse in Liverpool Street.
Sophie 'We have a nocturnal lifestyle, as do many of our friends, so we started a club night, Modern Love, and did whatever DJing we could around that. I've collaborated with many DJs on songs over the years and have picked up tips where I can. Richard and I are still learning, but we've come on a lot since the early days, and now we're always at Love to Love. We once did a Guilty Pleasures night: I took the whole thing a bit too literally and played some Daphne and Celeste. I don't think I'll ever revisit that!' Richard 'We have similar tastes, but I'm more into the heavy stuff, whether that's dubstep or Rage Against The Machine and, when it comes down to it, Sophie can be quite typically girly: she'd rather have something fun to dance to over something clever. We get excited about playing new things very loudly and having a bit of a dance - and if one of us wants to have a boogie on the dancefloor or needs a refill, there's always one of us left to play the next song, which is great. But, like a typical boy, sometimes I hog the mixer and Sophie doesn't get a look-in!'
Top Valentine track Candi Staton's 'Young Hearts Run Free'. See them next at Addicted to Love to Love: The Masked Ball at The Bathhouse on Friday February 11.
Sunta Templeton and Liam Young Sunta, an Xfm host, and her DJ boyfriend Liam can usually be found at the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch and at indie parties across the world.
Sunta 'We met at Xfm's New Year's Eve party in 2008, where we were both booked to DJ. It was gone midnight, I was quite drunk and all my mates were getting a New Year's kiss from somebody, so I went to find the cocky but very-good-looking guy, Liam, that I'd met in the dressing-room earlier. He was wasted, but I got my kiss before he threw up and passed out on a couch. Now we DJ everywhere together: promoters will get us two-for-one because neither of us is very good at staying at home. But Mat Horne's Session at the Queen of Hoxton is our monthly residency: we've celebrated two anniversaries behind the decks there!'
Liam 'According to Sunta, I also pretended that Alex Zane had thrown her CDs out of the window that night! Ourtastes are quite similar, but she likes a lot of Britpop and I don't. Apart from that, we'veintroduced each other to a lot of new stuff, which keeps our sets interesting. I'm quite stubborn and if I don't like a song she plays, I sulk. Also, I throw CDs and don't put them back in the right places. But we have an amazing time together; we only need to take one record bag and we're guaranteed a pull at the end of the night!'
Top Valentine track 'Baby I Love You' by The Ramones. See them next at The 25th Hour at the Queen of Hoxton on Friday February 11.
Christian Nockall and Rachel Barton Christian and Rachel DJ from London to Ibiza and run bi-monthly club night Lively at The Nest in Dalston.
Christian 'We play back to back at Lively, although I have been known to leave Rachel to it so I can get pissed. We don't really argue behind the decks, but Rachel usually ends up asking me where all the vodka has gone! We share an appreciation of quality house music: we both love the jackin', boompty, percussive kind. That's why we decided to start Lively, to showcase those kinds of sounds and book DJs we love.'
Rachel 'We've run sold-out parties at Notting Hill Carnival for the last two years, but in 2010 we ran it under the Lively name and thus our joint club night was born. We work together on it really well: it's very democratic and we'll ask each other about the next track to play as we know all of each other's records. It's rare that Christian won't like something I like and vice versa. But Christian is more into house records that build for a long time, whereas I'm a little less patient and like something to happen more quickly!'
Emergency floor-filler Zombie Disco Squad's remix of Black Box's 'Ride on Time'. See them next at Lively at The Nest on Friday February 11. Rachel is also appearing at Annie Mac Presents at Koko on Saturday February 12.
Angie B and Dogtaniaun Funky house DJ Angie and her MC-host husband Michael (aka Dogtaniaun) play all over London and have a weekly show on Rinse FM.
Angie B 'We were doing a radio show together on Deja Vu for eight years, but after two years it progressed into a relationship. He was very persistent! Even when we met, at a night called Freedom at Bagleys, where I was DJing and he was the MC, he was still talking about me on the mic to the audience while I was walking out of the door and another girl was on the decks. She wasn't impressed! Orlando, our four-year-old son, picks up the mic and sings, but he doesn't quite get it at the moment. We take him to the radio show with us and he always wants to get on the mic, but we have to switch him off after a while!'
Dogtaniaun 'Because we weren't in a relationship first, we'd got our set choreographed already and had figured out the way we worked. It's more than a physical attraction with us: she takes the lead, tells me off when she wants to and then we carry on as normal! Sometimes stuff does come out on air, though: two weeks ago, I got two parking tickets in the space of an hour. When I told her about the first one, she took it quite well; but when it came to the second, she lost it a bit.'
Top Valentine track 'Superman' by Black Coffee featuring Bucie. See them next at The Fridge on Sunday February 13 when Angie B DJs at Persona's Valentine's Edition; Angie B and Dogtaniaun are at Sting at Mustard Bar on Saturday February 19; and catch them every Saturday 3-5pm on Rinse FM (www.rinse.fm).
Cramming Andrew Weatherall’s vast, multi-genred career into a teensy paragraph feels quite unjust. Not least because, while many of his acid house contemporaries have wafted away with the spirit of ’89, bushy-faced Weatherall has remained ahead of the curve.
His sonic CV dances through helping to kickstart Britain’s rave-in-a-field dance culture as part of fanzine collective Boys Own, all the way up to, most recently, producing Fuck Buttons’ latest album and his first solo record, ‘A Pox on the Pioneers’. That’s all while regularly banging the bollocks out of the best house and techno across the world, digging around in his rockabilly crates for the occasional pub-club set and working with a new studio partner, Tim Fairplay, the former guitarist of Battant.
And yet, despite these enviable credentials, you can still find him DJing regularly in the captial, whether it’s at his new and intimate disco night with Sean Johnston at The Drop, A Love From Outer Space, or spinning for Primal Scream, as he did at the end of last month when the band played through the seminal – and Weatherall-produced – album ‘Screamadelica’ over two nights at London Olympia.
Perhaps ‘Wevvers’ himself will have better luck at this cramming lark, then. This weekend he’s the latest techno star to step up for the A Night With… series, where DJs weave all of their influences into a seamless eight-hour journey at a warehouse somewhere in east London.
I find out what exactly to expect from the dark earl of eclectronica…
What was it like to DJ at Primal Scream’s Screamadelica shows at the end of last month? "It was amazing. I was in bed for days afterwards. I didn’t eat – my idea of sustenance was chocolate milk with a triple shot of brandy in it. When I got in there, it was a bit like drowning: my whole life flashed in front of me. But the music itself, I don’t think it was an exercise in nostalgia, it was an exercise in timelessness. I think it still sounds futuristic. It felt good standing at the side of the stage watching 10,000 people going bananas. I said to the guys: 'Who’d have thought that 20 years later we’d end up in an aircraft hanger in west London?'"
What should we expect from your set on Saturday? "I don’t think there’s going to be any rock ’n’ roll or rockabilly. It’s going to be my more dance-orientated stuff."
You mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people: has that multiplicity worked in your favour? "Sometimes. People like to know what they’re getting; they don’t want surprising. It can lead to great excitement when they learn of a new facet to you, but it can lead to people wanting to kill you, as happened in Cork last year. I turned up to an arts festival there to play rockabilly, which they’d advertised, and a load of people had travelled for miles to hear me play techno. I played three records and a girl came up to me and did that fingers-across-the-throat motion right in my face. I thought, right, I’m going to have to twat someone in a minute. And in the age of the cameraphone, I don’t want to be a YouTube sensation, you know: 'Veteran acid house DJ in drubbing incident'. So I slunk out the back door while the bouncer protected me."
Blimey. What are your toilet break tracks? "Probably something by Ricardo Villalobos, although one would be long enough for a spot of light lunch, followed by a toilet break!"
Yes, I imagine you might need a snack in eight hours. ‘The thing is, there’s going to be photographers present and people with camera phones. When I was younger, I didn’t look at my favourite cool pop stars and think, 'Oh, look at that picture of Marc Bolan eating a bun'. I try to avoid getting photographed eating, or defecating, or pissing: it’s never a good look."
Carl Craig did a session at Plastic People last month and he ordered in a pizza for the duration. "I’ve got a full-on Romanov-style facial hair, though, so imagine me trying to eat a stringy pizza. I could go from hero to zero in one bite of a pepperoni!"
It used to be that you could get away with a lot in the DJ booth… "You’d think so, wouldn’t you? I’ve been almost caught a couple of times. The funniest one was at T in the Park and, admittedly, it was in front of about 5,000 people, but I thought that the DJ area was closed off and no one could see. So I was about to indulge in something naughty and I thought, I’d better have a look round, and I noticed that there were two 30-foot projector screens showing what I was about to do!"
I’ve noticed that you’ve gone from the rockabilly to Edwardian look… "It’s a seasonal thing; Edwardian is much warmer for the winter. And if you see yourself as an explorer, why not dress like one?"
Has anything else changed lately? "It’s actually the first time in years that I look forward to coming into work! I’ve got a finished second album too, but, due to legal difficulties, it won’t be coming out. Part of me though, perversely, is pleased that I’m one of those producers who has got a ‘lost album’ that, hopefully, will gain mythical status way beyond its critical worth."
Your mantra at the turn of 2000 was ‘promote or die’. What’s 2011’s? "It’s not ‘selling out’, it’s ‘buying in’. Scruples come with a bank balance. It’s why Bono and Sting can save the world, you know what I mean?"
I'm Station Editor at London Fields Radio, where I present an after dark-orientated show 'Nite Bites', as well as help curate and run the radio station. We have create everything from local sport to cookery via storytelling podcasts, all with excellent music on top. It operates out of Wiltons Café in London Fields and we'll be relaunching with a brand new website early next year.
Join our radio revolution here:
You can listen to Nite Bites Vol.1 (May 2010) and Vol.2 (Nov 2010) here.
I talk about pop-up speakeasies with the darling Tony Hornecker from The Pale Blue Door.
DJ duo Disco Bloodbath join me to talk about starting out in a restaurant basement in Stoke Newington and the changing sound of the disco sound.
Hallo again. So, this week I meant to publish my Kissy Sell Out interview before his label launch party at Vibe Bar on Brick Lane with Mixmag today, but I had an epic blog fail. I will will will will publish it in full, but Sinden scanned in the e-d-i-t-e-d version and you should all see it and listen to their output.