Tuesday, 13 September 2011
So it seems barely more than a blink of an eye ago that Boys Own hosted a construction party at XOYO, with Weatherall wowing people in the basement alongside Vera and Dorian, whilst Hippie Torales and Severino putting on a disco and house master class in the oh-so-hot and not yet complete bar room.
But it was a year ago, it must have been, because XOYO has reached the grand old age of 1 - and its having a massive party to celebrate!
Even in its semi-finished state it was clear XOYO was going to be quite a special venue. The bar room, which I am pleased report was fully functioning and beautifully air conditioned by the formal opening night, is cool and intimate, offering respite from the throngs downstairs. But downstairs is what XOYO is all about.
You descend down the stairwell onto the edge of a dancefloor that looks very much like someone has cut the end of a circa 1993 Sound Factory and transported to large Shoreditch basement. The iron pillars are there, the high ceilings, and even the herring bone struts (that one for the carpenters) between the beams in the ceiling above, all of which were present at the legendary New York venue, along with the other key feature the two venues share - a killer sound system.
Since that autumn opening night, XOYO has established itself not just as club but as a live music venue, hosting the likes of Mos Def, Jessie J, Friendly Fires, Gold Panda, Skepta, Zongamin, Egyptian Hip Hop, and Matthew Dear.
Club nights are its meat and drink thought and there’s been a few crackers - The R&S parties with James Blake and Hessle Audio, Bugged Out with Tiga and Erol Alkan , The FACT parties with Jamie XX and Joy Orbison, and the fast becoming legendary Boys Own party with Frankie Knuckles, which ended with Faith’s Dave Jarvis acting as cheerleader to the crowd, pumping a giant Frankie poster in the air, as the crowd chanting the Godfather of house’s name.
The 1st birthday on SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER looks sure to follow in the footsteps of these fantastic forerunners, pitching techno legend Juan Atkins into the mix with the up and coming XxXy, and the slightly mysterious Radionasty.
Atkins needs little introduction. Alongside Richard Davis as part of Cybertron, he pushed the boundaries of electro music in the early 80s before going onto create a range of bona fide techno classics, such as ‘Nightdrive’, ’No UFOs’ and ’The Chase’ amongst many others, as Model 500 and numerous other aliases.
It is almost impossible overstate his importance in the history of electronic music and it’s rare to get a chance to catch him play in London.
Joining him on the bill is XxXy, who is highly regarded and whose tracks overtly demonstrate some of his influences -‘Know U’ drawing on drum ‘n’ bass and ‘Ordinary Things’ on UK Garage. Kind of like post-dub step with a non-house twist.
Radionasty are also on the bill. Who, I hear you ask? Well it’s Keith Tenniswood (Radioactive Man and one half of Two Lone Swordsmen alongside Andrew Weatherall) has UK techno legend Billy Nasty. Which is some fairly hefty pedigree to with the rather nifty play on words they used for their name.
If you fancy it, advance tickets £8.00 or it’s £10 on the door
You can get them tickets right >>here<<
And here's to many more happy years - London needs special venues like XOYO.
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Back in Novmber 2009, I wrote about the first release on Modernista Records. The quality was impressive - music, mastering, pressing, design, packaging - and Beyond The Stars waiting excitedly for the follow up release. Now, almost 2 years later, it’s here. And boy, was it worth the wait.
Whereas modone drew more on Paul’s Chi-Town influences, this release clearly has its roots in the productions of Detroit’s most famous techno sons, the Belleville Three. ‘After All The Tomorrows Became Yesterdays’ it a long, multi-layered, and beautifully detailed production that might evoke memories of Derrick May’s mix of ‘Sueno Latino’, with the loop laden ‘Heavy Red’ sounding more like Kevin Saunderson in his more underground E-Dancer mode, and ‘Peculiar Movement’ tipping its hat in the direction of the Juan Atkins. It really is completely different in style to modone, with Paul, who was also behind many of the early and now infamous Moxie edits, showcasing his versatility as a producer.
The attention to detail is still there too - mixed in collaboration with Nick Moore of Linkwood and Firecracker fame, mastered and cut by FST at Dubplates in Berlin and more original artwork and design by Finnie Harrington.
It is both musically brilliant and a physically beautiful product that collectors will want to own. In fact, I can’t wait to buy one and I’ve got a test pressing! If you feel the same way, it will be in the shops later this week.
Paul Bennett - After All The Tomorrows Became Yesterdays by modernista
Paul Bennett - Peculiar Movement by modernista
Paul Bennett - Heavy Red by modernista
Saturday, 10 September 2011
After I played at the inaugural Thunder party back in August (summer nights seem so long ago already, eh?), quite a few people were jolly nice about a number of the records I played, so I thought why not cobble them together in the form of a DJ mix but record it for posterity? And just to remove any further doubt I had in my mind, my good friends the Legendary Children asked if they might host it on their fabulous website. And thus the dye was cast and not long henceforth, one cloudy Saturday forenoon, the dark deed was done and the resulting mix be found >>>here<<< or by using the black magic that is soundcloud below.
Nope, no idea what I’m going on about either, but here’s the tracklist:
DJ Nature - Celebrate Your Life
Catz N Dogz - Excape From The Zoo (Carl Craig remix)
Paul Bennett - Heavy Red
FCL - Let’s Go
Virgo Four - It’s A Crime (Caribou remix)
Brawther - Ron & Chez D's Kms54
Precious System - Voice From Planet Love
Romathony - The Wanderer (CD Remix #9)
Milton Jackson - Dimensional (Romanthony's Romix)
The Gathering - In My System
Ron Trent - Pop, Dip and Spin
Storm Queen - Look Right Through (dub)
Freedom - Closer (Late Night Blast mix)