Breach DJ-Kicks Interview Special

Breach DJ Kicks

John Talabot’s amazing DJ Kicks has only just come out but there’s already another superb DJ Kicks series mix contributor lined up in the form of Breach. Check out the interview with Ben Westbeech below where he tells us how he went about putting the mix together for the prestigious and well respected series.

You can also get a little 20 minute sample of what’s to come when you buy the full thing.

Buy Breach DJ Kicks on iTunes.

SlothBoogie Guestmix #034 – Permanent Vacation (& Interview)

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34 Permanent Vacation

To say we’re excited about this new guestmix instalment is an understatement. We’ve been fans of zees Germans since we started the blog all those years ago and we’ve finally locked them down for an exclusive mix and an interview ahead of their new compilation ‘Permanent Vacation Selected Label Works Vol.4’.

Hit play on the mix and read on… Continue reading

Pacha London Is Evolving…Interview with William Reilly: Owner of Pacha London

Pacha_London

What do you need to have a good night in Pacha London? Clean pants apparently.

William Reilly (also known as Billy) is an important name in London clubbing history, and I got to chat to him about the new direction Pacha London is taking, with a view to be taken more seriously amongst music heads.

Reilly is responsible for The Cross nightclub in the 90s, which attracted a super-glamourous crowd of pouters and ravers above Kings Cross – it was like an industrial piece of Ibiza for many. He also acquired the legendary Bagley’s across the road, famous for its anarchic warehouse raves back in ’91.

So what the hell happened with Pacha London?

A far cry from Bagley’s so it seems (it was recently showcased on some programme about drink-driving…nuff’ said).

Reilly is getting his eye back on the prize though now- read on.

1. How did the rebrand come about in the first place?

After The Cross closed and other projects came to fruition we decided to give the global brand we hold a little love.

2. The club has undergone huge changes inside- can you tell us a bit about how it’s changed?

Pacha always failed at feeling like a real club, it was time I revisited it and got the place right. I was so busy when we opened I was running 3 other clubs and had just finished helping my brother at Fabric so I suppose I took my eye off the ball.

3. Can you tell us a bit more about Room 3?

It’s the room we always needed. It gives us the opportunities to give young talent a break and see how we work with new promoters. It’s a small intimate space with a wicked system and my favourite place to be.

4. Some big clubs have shut down in recent years. But, do you think there is a bit of a ‘Club Revolution’ going on under the surface at the moment, with more and more people getting into dance music?

No I don’t think there is a revolution in club land we are listening to the same rehashed sound of twenty years ago but time will tell and things do change I hope I am still around to see it.

5. Some people in London have a slightly negative perception of Pacha London – have the new and improved line-ups been bringing in a different crowd so far?

And rightly so, I failed to deliver a great Pacha in London. From a business perspective it has been amazing but not as cool as I would have liked it to be. Mainstream pays the rent and too cool will make you skint. Now I have to follow my heart and get the balance right, London is ready for Pacha to be the west end dance club.

6. Tell us about your booking policy and direction you have gone down?

Donal is our new young booker who has embraced the Pacha ethos by looking at its heritage and choosing the direction we go. We will be showcasing underground dj’s and some who reflect the global brand we stand for.

7. Who are you most excited about seeing?

My children when I get home. On a dj tip Dimitri from Paris is one of my favourites, who even I will get on the dance floor for.

8. Finally, what are your top 3 tips for a perfect night at Pacha

Clean pants, no drugs and plenty of money.

Thank you for taking the time to send me your question good luck with your feature.
By Danny Ingham
Google

TraxBox – The Trax Records Collection + Interview with Bill Brewster

Final Traxbox Expanded Pack Shot

Trax Records is probably the most important house music label of all time. Created in Chicago in 1985, the independent imprint quickly became the go-to company for anyone who was making house music in Chicago from 1984 onwards.

Originally owned by the larger-than-life Larry Sherman and managed day to day by ‘Screamin’ Rachel Cain, Trax Records officially launched in 1985 with Le Noiz’s ‘Wanna Dance’ and crested the wave of both the house music and acid house scenes for the next 5 years, with a load of club hits and dance-floor smashes.

Traxbox is the most important retrospective analysis of Trax Records since the label began. There have been many Trax related compilations in the past, but nothing that even remotely approaches the sheer scale and comprehensive sweep of Traxbox.

To mark the occasion KMG caught up with Bill Brewster, who has written the foreword, and asked him for his thoughts on Trax.

 

KMG: When did you first lay ears upon a ‘Trax’ record? and what sort of reaction did it stimulate?
BB: The first Trax record that I was aware of was ‘Hey Rocky’ by Boris Badenough, which I heard on the John Peel Show in 1986. I honestly had no idea what house was or what Trax was then. To me, it was a fun, novelty-ish electronic record, similar to something like ‘I Ain’t Into That’ by the Rappin’ Reverend, which came out aroun the same time. So I had no reaction to it, other than that I liked it (and bought it).

 

KMG: You lived for a while in NYC, and Trax would go on to epitomise what we now refer to as ‘Chicago’ house. Was there an awareness of what was going on in Chicago in New York at the time? Or did the scene’s in America’s big 2 cities influence each other?
BB: Mmm, well New York was obviously aware of what was happening in Chicago, though by the time I had moved there, the focus in Chicago had moved on to Cajual and Relief, Guidance and Prescription. Also, in the early 1990s, a lot of Chicago artists weren’t even recording for Chicago labels anymore after Trax and DJ International had imploded. New York labels were generally in a stronger position, so it wasn’t unusual to find Chicago acts on New York labels. For instance I signed a Johnny Fiasco EP to my label in 1995, while Tribal America had Celeda & The Heavy Hitters.

Obviously though Trax had a huge impact on New York, though arguably less so than in the UK, simply because there was an electronic sound close to house music that had been developing in New Jersey and New York right through the 1980s with acts like D-Train and producers like Blaze, Paul Simpson and so on.

 

KMG: Larry Heard or Frankie Knuckles?
BB: That’s tough. As a producer, I think Larry just shades it, but I’ve seen many fantastic live performances from Frankie. I’d have to say Larry Heard on points.

 

KMG: When we consider how platforms to consume music have evolved over the last 30 years, to what do you think Trax owes its enduring success?
BB: I think one of the main reasond is that there were two labels that had the monopoly for the early years and of those, Trax has the great catalogue. That’s one reason. The other reason, I think, is pure accident in that Trax happened to release records by some enormously talented and unknown people. That happens very rarely, maybe once every generation, maybe not even that. They had: Jamie Principle, Marshall Jefferson, Larry Heard, Virgo, Frankie Knuckles. How many new labels have ever found a well of talent that deep? Motown maybe. Philly Inteernational perhaps. Trax certainly.

 

KMG: The Trax back catalogue is extensive, to say the least, can you pick a top five Trax releases?
BB: Jungle Wonz – Bird In A Gilded Cage
Master C&J – Dub Love
Mr Fingers – Washing Machine
William S – I’ll Never Let You Go
Virgo – In A Vision

 

KMG: Music is inherently connected to its context, both in terms of culture and physical environment, do you think the scene during the late 80s was reacting to the music, or vice-versa? or are they just perpetually intertwined?
BB: That’s tricky. I think house music, or something very similar, was a historical inevitability, given how electronic music was developing in the 1980s, but the way it exploded out of Chicago somehow gave it greater impact because it seemed to us – in Europe at least – that it had arisen from nowhere.

 

KMG: Do you think Trax represented the beginning of house music?
BB: Without question. Although house, in its original context basically meant disco records being played at the Warerhouse. But then, as Frankie Knuckles once said, “house is disco’s revenge.”

 

KMG: What was your first Trax record?
BB: It was the aforementioned Boris Badenough’s ‘Hey Rocky’.

 

KMG: Are there any particular Trax records that still find their way into you record bag?
BB: Yes there are. Not loads, but Virgo Four/ME, I still play Washing Machine semi-regularly and some other Larry Heard stuff. And Jungle Wonz, too.

 

KMG: Do you anticipate another compilation in 25 years time
BB: Almost certainly, though I’ll probably be dead by then, so they’ll have to find someone else to write the notes.

 

The 16 x CD Traxbox is out now on Harmless records…. It’s time to jack.