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.
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.