An interview with Polanski

The queer techno scene in London is thriving right now, so it pleases me to complete a trio of interviews from people who make this scene so special. The first was with the much loved Lee Adams from KAOS. The second from LEGION promoter Jeno Balasz. The third comes from Andrzej So, who is hosting B L A N C // N O I R E at the Electrowerkz on 28th November.

Here’s what he had to say…

You run a quite secretive event in London called B L A N C. What’s the party ethos for the night?

B L A N C is a quarterly night, currently at Electrowerkz, which combines urban, minimalistic visual aesthetics with a progressive electronic music sound. The idea behind the night was to create an environment where those qualities unite, the space is transformed with the DJ booth in the middle to allow the performer and audience become one – immersed in the sound. Over the two years since it started, the sound has been constantly evolving and at this stage it’s leaning towards a wider spectrum of techno. The spaces between each of the letters in the name create the blank spaces, which – as you can imagine – doesn’t come up in the web search if typed without them. I hope this creates a natural selection, people who come to the night are friends and their circle, as for the rest it’s the people who search between the blank spaces…

Your upcoming party has Mørbeck headlining – what drew you to him?
When I visited Berlin this summer to attend the Berlin Atonal festival, on the last day of performances I went instead to Berghain and that’s where he was playing a very long, dynamic set on Sunday evening. It was pure joy! In the rush of the moment I scribbled a note on a piece of paper and handed it to him, while he was still playing. Despite his bemused reaction he got in touch the following day and here he is headlining the specially titled B L A N C edition: N O I R E.

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You’re known for supporting up and coming London-based talent. Who are you expecting big things from in the future?

That is true, both my nights B L A N C and tanzBar feature lots of local talent, also up and coming DJ’s and producers. Some of the guests took quite a bit of convincing, purely as I was very keen to hear their excellent music choices played in a club. In the techno scene at the moment some of my friends are working on a new material; Tcherneyan is expecting a release next year but he’s not new to the world of production. VVEEAA has done an awesome remix of Lazarus Man, I hope he gets more recognition here in the UK for his work. Also Sebastian aka Venice Calypso is launching his record label for which he self-produced a stunning video for the debut release. As for the more melodic stuff, lets call it disco-tek, I’m very much looking forward to Justine’s new project. Her debut release had some big names featuring Egyptian Lover and Scott Fraser.

There’s been a lot of stuff about the London party scene dying. What do you think about this?

I very much doubt that this happening at the moment: in the 15 years I’ve been living in London I have certainly seen much worse. I think most of the problem is coming from the licensing and how local councils respond to the ‘needs’ of residents. Plus the property developers and estate owners forcing venues out of their current homes, as seen recently in so many queer spaces. London venues often serve as a generic platform for different promoters to put on their nights. Personally I find that this often leads to a lack of atmosphere. Every weekend those places host a different crowd, randomly brought together to see a specific artist, which is fine for diversity but it misses something… The story differs with nights like KAOS, or similar with a strong following, where promoters and their friends create a sort of a weekend, temporary family. It’s where people meet not only to dance but also to socialise. I also think the whole divide between the straight and gay world had an impact on the London scenes being fragmented. There is much more quality music at queer parties nowadays.

What 3 tracks would you say sum up your party?

Good question! For the first one I’d like to go back in time to when B L A N C was held in Stoke Newington, when our sound was very different. Lots of Cold Wave, like the one below: Greg Punkov “Don’t Challenge My Dark” When the party moved to the current venue, I used to split my time between the opening and closing set. As all my guests played much more intense music at this point, I had to reinvent my choices as well. The track below would have been played within the first hour of opening: EOMAC “Spectre” As for the late night sound I chose the below as it has the two very important elements that I go for. Stomping rhythm and a beautiful, ethereal synth-lead melody. Definitely will be playing this on the 28th… Inigo Kennedy “Aleph”

You produce music yourself under the name Polanski. Do you have anything coming up for this?

I have just received a master of my track; I hope it’ll see daylight in the form of an official release. Also my other work goes towards sound design, I have just completed a piece for a video trailer for the LGBTQ FRINGE! Film Festival. I want to invest more time in this sort of thing in the future.

 

 

5 Alternatives To The “Berghain On The Thames”

It goes without saying that the UK is a mecca for dance music culture. We have behemoths such as Sankeys, Fabric and Corsica Studios.

But we’re still missing one thing – our very own Berghain.

A crowdfunding campaign to turn a disused fort on the Thames into a “Berghain in the sea” picked up pace yesterday, and it’s a welcome bit of pressure to give the UK a real techno hideout. Let’s be honest though, with a target of £750,000, it isn’t looking like this dream will become a reality – with an address like ‘No1, The Thames’, it’ll more than likely be snapped up by some oil tycoon that will transform it into a bouji swag pad.

The building itself is a tiny component of what makes clubs like Berghain special, but there are loads of places in London and around the UK that have the wow factor that the Berlin club has.

Read on for 5 buildings desperate for a Berghain makeover…

DISCOVER BERLIN WITH LUCA LOZANO

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We are big fans of Luca Lozano and his Klasse Recordings imprint here at Slothboogie towers. His love for solid dance floor electronics and the bucking of want away trends are clearly at the vanguard of his output and I look forward to hearing what will be coming out of his camp in the near future.

On that note, we are happy to present you with our first “DISCOVER” series where we ask artists around the world to share with us some of the gems tucked away in their hometowns. In this instance, check Lozano’s top 5 in the place he now calls home: Berlin.


LUCA LOZANO BERLIN TOP 5.

Berlin has been my adopted home for four years now, and even after all this time I still find myself inspired and surprised by this transient city, things never seem to stand still and there’s always a new experience around the corner. For this feature me and my main girlhomie Johanna Knutsson jumped on our bikes for a quick tour of Berlin, rode around recklessly and snapped a few photos which I then vandalised for your viewing pleasure.

1. BERGHAIN.

Ok, so I am hardly going to win any points for originality here…and whilst Berghain is easily THE most popular club in Berlin (if not Europe) it is still regarded as one of the most underground. The line-ups are uncompromising and the musical style stays true to what the club and its owners believe in and thats what I dig most about Berlin, underground is KING, you can witness examples of that everywhere. I have been extremely lucky and had the opportunity to play in Panorama Bar and being ‘behind the scenes’ as it were provides an insight into a very proper and professional club, one that is an absolute pleasure to play.

2. HARD WAX.

Yeah..so lets get the obvious ones out of the way first shall we?. Berlin has many good record stores (OYE deserves a special mention for its selection and super nice staff) and the vinyl format still seems to be going strong in this city. What I love about Hard Wax, aside from the music itself, its the identity of the store. Cold concrete and with an industrial looking interior, the space does away with any flashy gimmicks and lets the records do the talking. Despite its frosty reputation I have always found the staff friendly and helpful, of course thats helped when you are accompanied by an asian music nerd….Im sure they see dollar signs when Mr. Ho walks into the store.

3. CORE TEX.

At the bottom of Oranienstrasse in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district sits Core Tex, a punk, metal and hardcore store. For me, this large, centrally located store signifies the point I was making earlier….underground is king and here to stay. The surrounding area has become quickly gentrified but is still home to many punk-rockers and squatter types looking for an alternative to the mainstream, hanging around here on the 1st of May is utter chaos. I buy a lot of tshirts from Core Tex and enjoy sitting on the bench outside, pretending to be a tough guy whilst the tourist pass by.

4. HASENHEIDE SKATEPARK.

I started skating at around 13, stopped when I was 21 and have recently started up again and I am so glad I have….being back on a board is such a familiar feeling to me and rolling around this park early in the morning (before the good guys turn up) starts my day off perfectly…theres a bunch of us that make music and skate and its nice to get out of the ‘music-blah-blah-blah’ scene sometimes. Kris Wadsworth keeps on threatening to get a board and knock out waist-high flips but I’m yet to see any evidence of that…hahahaha.

5. THE CANAL/MAYBACH UFER

I live close to the canal, and its a dope spot to come and relax when the sun is out. Theres a bunch of old-timers that spend their lives playing Boules and drinking beer and I can see myself being one of them when I get older. Summertime sees the techno-tourists hazard makeshift dinghies out polystyrene blocks and old rope, the waterways bustle with people having as much fun as they can. Being close to water and the movement it brings is important for me and provides respite from the office and the studio. Come by on any summer evening and its likely you will find me and Sacha Robotti chilling with a few beers.