Archive for March 2012
With the Wig Party’s reputation for clubbing glamour sophistication & style in combination with charitable causes, thus attracting the cream of the scene & celebrity crop and proving ever more popular year on year, it was only a matter of time before the team behind this annual event would seek to score a second yearly soiree success, Disco Matt delving deep into the details on “The Masked Ball” which hits the ground running this coming Sunday with a spectacular showcase.
We are fabulously fortunate to find ourselves within a sparkling scene that, like the biggest & brightest of rainbows, superbly shines & shows off the full colourful spectrum of clubbing concepts, whether it be internationally renowned brands such as WE, Matinee & Salvation, or home-grown gatherings such as Beyond, Orange & Trade, London very much proving a fruitful partying playing field that encompasses one of the most diverse clubbing communities & cultures in the world. And that also goes for the venues that house all these happenings, from former theatres to abundant arches and from state of the art super structures to bijou basements, the capitals clubbing circuit pretty much having it all. Then add to this a plethora of promoters propelling their productions on a plentiful partying public and the picture is certainly as prolific as you will find anywhere, an insatiable desire from a catalogue of creators to cater for every type of taste making for one of the richest tapestries of tantalising turns that we know. But when it comes to combining both clubbing & charitable causes, it seems that one particular outfit have got it down to a tee, having built on a firm foundation that has seen its annual events grow in both popularity & stature to the degree that it was simply a matter of when as opposed to if it would extend its offering into a second showcase to score a success with the scene.
The Wig Party has certainly captured the imagination, one that started as a pretty small & select slice on the clubbing & social scene four years ago, has now grown into a massive annual event each October, drawing in the cream of scene along celebrities a-plenty, notable attendees including Leona Lewis & Danni Minogue, while a host of other have made discreet & cameo appearances, often attracting the national newspaper paparazzi, all which has propelled The Wig Party to a position of prominence within the clubbing circuit calendar, as a consequence the October event making headline news in pulications across the land. And it seems that the scene, year on year, has responded resplendently, not just donning wigs for a charitable cause, but going all out with some of the most extravagant & opulent costumes & apparel to match the sumptuous surroundings which, for the first three years were within the wonderful walls of Cafe De Paris, although the 2011, due to that huge demand & popularity, moved across to Mayfair, further enhancing this prolific party’s prominence on the scene schedule. So having become the amazing annual attraction that it has, demand for the October event far outstripping its capable supply, the team being The Wig Party have been under considerable pressure to pander to its adoring public, the product of this process being “The Masked Ball” which, like its bigger sister, looks like storming the scene and making more of those heavenly headlines.
So, with the scene set, what is “The Masked Ball” all about? Well, the format is similar to The Wig party itself, although with one intrinsic difference, the emphasis being on masks rather than wigs, although we highly suspect that veteran “wig-ers” will be wearing their handsome head pieces with pride, of course along with the mandatory mask. But as we have said, wigs are not necessarily part of the makeup of this event, rather, in the words of the Wig Party promotions team, “…the dress code is very relaxed but wearing a mask is compulsory, think simple but chic, think sexy and fun..” they adding “…our famous pageant is taking a back seat on this event making “The Masked Ball” a different yet equally fabulous charity event where dancing and seduction is the main aim, so wear footwear to keep on moving and clothing (or lack of) in which to sweat…”. But the central theme of raising funds for charitable causes that is at the core of The Wig Party is very much part of “The Masked Ball’s” aims & achievements too, the main benefactor being The National Aids Trust, an incredible organisation noted as the UK’s leading HIV/AIDS charity and one which is dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV, NAT provides fresh thinking expertise and practical resources for those living with the virus, while they also campaign for change in a whole series of ways. As a result, support to allow NAT to continue its wonderful work is vital and both the Wig Party & “The Masked Ball” are proud to be giving a helping hand in this quest, further information on NAT & how you too can contribute, is available to going direct to the NAT website at http://nat.org.uk
But back to “The Masked Ball” itself which takes place this coming Sunday (18th March), the team choosing to return to the captivating Cafe De Paris, a place that has not only played host to The Wig party itself, but is the historical home of one of the best known & loved Sunday t-dance parties, Salvation. Indeed the man behind the original Salvation parities, prolific promoter Alex Erfan, is very much connected & involved with both The Wig party & this event, while Joshua Rafter, the man behind Outlet, one of the best known gay property companies in the UK, heads up a team that reads a bit like a scene who’s who, notable names including Ben Kaye, Alan X, Jon Dennis, Rob Sykes, Chris Jepson, Jerry Boston, Mark Barrett, Kevin Arpino, Mark Mackenzie & Matthew Arnold, while the promotions team have superb scene starlets Naomi Ruiz, Suzana Quentin & Katy Lawrence on board, joining a host of other names that make for one of the most gorgeous & glitterati gatherings of magnificent minds anywhere. And it seems that The Wig party team are pulling out plenty of stops for “The Masked Ball”, as along with a confimed D.J. line up & prolific P.A., they are promising excellent entertainment that includes “…the charming sounds of a string quartet as our guests arrive…” plus an amazing aerialist show to kick off proceedings, other attractions including walk-about magicians, a caricature artist, trot card readers, fortune tellers & the like, very much making this a colourful pageant to satisfy all the senses. Plus, having been reliably informed that everyone involved from the venue through to the D.J.’s, the dancers, the designers, the performers & the organisers have donated their valuable time & input for free for this event, we give thanks to them, along with all the supporters, sponsors and prospective attendees (that’s you!!) for making this possible & for making a difference, all in the name of charity.
That said, having a great time is also what “The Masked Ball” is also about and the team have lined up a superb set of D.J.’s to stimulate your musical senses, The Wig party’s resident Rob Sykes the first to get our mini focus and a star that has been stepping out on the scene for many a moon, clubs such as Factor 25, Action & Juicy part of his considerable C.V, of achievements, while most recently he played for the massive Matinee “The Return” party which stormed back onto the scene in January, Rob’s main room performance showing that he hasn’t lost his touch for turning out a terrific tune and a set showing well worth a listen by checking out his devoted podcast at http://djrobsykes.podomatic.com/entry/2012-01-18T14_44_50-08_00. But joining Rob will be D’Johnny, this Berlin based boy having made significant strides on the scene in recent years, playing regularly for brands that include Beyond, Orange, Later & Gravity, while showings across Soho extend to Barcode, Lo-Profile & Rupert St, big name international brands also craving for his terrific talents, WE Party one of particular note, Johnny having played at a handful of the London events, while he was in the thick of the Madrid action on NYD, his devotion to the brand through his compilation from October of last year, still available at http://djohnny.podomatic.com/entry/2011-10-13T08_05_02-07_00 giving more than a hint of what to expect on Sunday. Then there is a name that is making his mark on the scene here in London, although has a reputation in the industry that has its roots in the recording studio, Marco Gee having been behind productions that include “Sun Rising Up” & “Bodyswerve”, while appearances for brands Lovechild & Deviate have got this impressive Italian noticed here in the capital, his uplifting & euphoric house sure to go down a storm, his “Gold Vol 9” at http://marcogee.podomatic.com/entry/2012-01-02T12_00_00-08_00 probably the best representation & clue of what his performance at “The Masked Ball” will encompass.
But the music and the performances don’t stop there, as the team have extended to offer to a second dancing space, Tony English joining the party and bringing with him a wealth of talent that extends to brands such as SuperMartXe, Puscha & Lovechild, while he has hosted his own radio show and now takes the helm of Gaydar Radio’s Club Nation show every Saturday night, Tony being in touch with some of the biggest names in the business & showcasing some of the newest & freshest sounds coming out of Europe & Spain in particular, a country that he remains incredibly passionate about. And his own series of podcasts at http://tonyenglish.podomatic.com/ represent his style of European sound, that come Sunday will surely also include plenty of huge house hits that he also brings to the fore when pressing podcasts for the Logan Presents brand, these also featuring other D.J.’s producers, the February release including Brazilian clubbing brand The Week’s resident, Pacheco, so well worth a listen at http://loganpresentspodcast.podomatic.com/entry/2012-02-06T16_42_30-08_00. And joining Tony is another Lovechild star although a man with a repertoire that extends to pretty much every major party in the capital, let’s see, Action, Beyond, Crash, Hard On!, Industri, Matinee, PSP & Salvation, while a score of years & more still see antipodean Brent Nicholls cutting a stride on the scene, Lo-Profile’s “Playtime” just one of many parties that draw on his exceptional experience & towering talent. Playing genres that extend to disco to funky house & having inspired a new style of genre which he labelled as nu-funk, Brent always seems to trend set with his sounds selections, his latest podcast devoted to that “Playtime” party, indeed lifted from his live set for the outing in February at http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2012/03/04/podcastplaytime/, symptomatic of the sound selections that should see him score a success with his set on Sunday.
But no spectacle like this would be complete without a prolific P.A. performance and the team have certainly picked a big hitter to headline the party, Peyton being one of the best in the business and a towering talent that has been in considerable demand right across the globe in recent years. Indeed, he will arrive at The Masked Ball fresh from his tour of Australia, having featured large in Sydney’s Mardi Gras festival, while other destinations recently have included Brazil, Spain, Israel and, naturally, his home country of The USA. Having been born there, in North Carolina to be exact, like all good American boys, he often travels home to catch up with family & friends, although being a son of a travelling evangelist, Peyton (christened Christopher Peyton) was encouraged to develop his vocal skills from an early age within the church environment that he used to frequent with his father, he being noted as saying “…it’s not uncommon to find me singing the old time spirituals and hymns that gave my voice its starting place, and consequently its strength…”. And it is this power & strength in Peyton’s voice that has seen him score significant successes in a singing career that has spanned close on twenty years, a whole list of track releases littering his discography, although the stand-out one surely has to be “A Higher Place” which was featured in a handful of Hed Kandi album releases, one sample at http://youtube.com/watch?v=8USNazREcos a resounding reminder of just what a huge hit it was, Peyton’s connections with Hed Kandi & the then top cheese, Mark Doyle, really putting his name on the vocal and dance/clubbing scene map. But more recently Peyton has been associated with the latest international clubbing brand phenomenon that is WE, having collaborated with the clubs resident D.J./producer Carlos Gallardo on a couple of projects, “Let It Go” their latest production, this video clip at http://youtube.com/watch?v=D1rbIngNOZA, a great insight into the bond the two have formed in the studio, while we will never forget Peyton’s performance of “WE (Eloise)” at the “Attacks” party on NYD 2011, which, for us, propelled him in our books as the best in the business. So, we are expecting something quite special from him on Sunday and also hope to bring you an exclusive interview on the back of the review of “The Masked Ball”.
Having gone into dynamic detail on the D.J.’s the music, the performers & the plans, lets now run down the detail you all will need to know about the event itself, The Wig Party’s “The Masked Ball” taking place this Sunday (18th March) at Cafe De Paris in Piccadilly, doors opening for this t-dance affair at 6.30 p.m., the party running through to a planned 1 a.m. finish. Advance tickets are still on sale online at http://wigparty.org/tickets, currently priced at £12, all the early bird £8 & £10 ones having been gobbled up a while ago, while if you fancy treating yourselves, then the VIP option at £25 will get you priority entrance, access to the upstairs VIP balcony, a welcoming complimentary drink, a dedicated bar, cloakroom & washroom facilities & exclusive access to the roaming magicians. Plus, if you want to grab a ticket in person, then you can head either to Outlet on Old Compton St, Soho or to Q Men on Earlham St, WC2, while you will be able to pay on the door but do expect to pay more, while it is worth remembering that all tickets sale proceeds will be going direct to the charity benefactor, NAT, so by simply buying a ticket, you are already making a difference to those affected by HIV/AIDS. But it doesn’t stop there, as Room Service are hosting a pre-party tomorrow night (Thurs 15th March), details at http://clubroomservice.com, while The Orange Group will be holding the “official” afterparty, details of which we will bring you in our Weekend newsletter, further information on this event available through http://wigparty.org.
So, it definitely looks like “dancing in disguise” is the way to go this Sunday and we will hopefully be donning our mask & heading down to Cafe De Paris, so if you see us no doubt nibble size review tweeting our way through the party, (you can follow the live action at http://twitter.com/discomatt), do come & say hi, while it just leaves us to remind you that to “Be There!” you need to “Go There”. (DISCO MATT)
With a sturdy spring back in his step following a couple of weeks of unsteady uncertainty, Disco matt is back with a bang, taking you through his Best Bite choices of were to be & be seen on the scene in Soho Vauxhall & Shoreditch, the cream from a crop of contenders being scooped up & spotlighted in this first part of his weekend roundup newsletter.
There’s a little ditty that starts, “…March wind is a jolly fellow, he likes to joke and play, he turns umbrellas inside out and blows men’s hats away…” while it goes on “…he calls the pussy willows and whispers in each ear, wake up you lazy little seeds, don’t you know that spring is here…”, this very much marking the month of March, meteorologically wise, as one known for both for its winds as well as the coming of spring. And my have the winds been blowing us around this week, although it seems that, with today at least, spring is on our doorsteps, this wind seemingly also fuelling a scene that looks set to sail with a real spring in its own steps, some sensational shindigs on the schedule as the month continues to unfold. So, with this weekend being no exception and with an eye on Soho, Vauxhall & Shoreditch, we draw on some analogies from that March ditty as we choose our best bites of where to be & be seen on the scene.
To Soho first and top of our tree (surprise, surprise) is the Wardour Street wonder that is the dynamic duo of Profile & Lo-Profile, a combo which, for us, cannot be beat, both having soared skyward in our ratings since they came together just about eighteen months ago, Profile having previously been over the other side of Soho & seemingly quite separate to its bigger brand of a sister. And while we never really took to the Frith Street operation, Profile in its new situ is a completely different story, we warming to American diner come bar sophisticate virtually from the off, while the hot bar team are just one of many reasons why we continue to get drawn back to its charms time after time. With a heady concoction of taste tingling cocktails, a mouth watering food menu and, of course, marvellous men (well women too), Profile also serves up magnificent music from Thursday’s through Saturday’s to get you in the mood for the clubbing experience down below, this weekend being no exception as the team have pulled in two of their most popular roving residents, the natty Nathan Six getting you into a very playful mood tomorrow night (Fri 9th) while it’s a Jamie jam on Saturday, of the Head variety, as our podcast producer pick of the week, Jamie Head, steers you towards Sunday with a truck load of terrific tech & chunky tunes. Add to that the bar’s special happy hour which includes cocktail pitchers for just £15 & 2 for 1 spirits, that along with lunchtime & week night food offers & Profile is definitely right up there in the ranks of where to be & be seen, further details available at http://profilesoho.com.
So, moving downstairs and Lo-Profile has very much captured the imagination of late with the family of home grown branded nights that are attracting considerable following & favour, their week always starting off with “Beartrap” on Monday’s which, according to independent reports received to DM HQ, is pretty populous each & every week with the likes of Phil Marriott & Ben Jamin on the decks, while the major focus is still on the weekends, which always now kicks off with “Society” on Thursday’s, a neat alternative to Room Service while the big players are naturally Friday’s & Saturday’s, this weekend looking like a bit of a corker in both respects. So to tonight (Fri 9th) first and it’s time for “Playtime” again, your host Jay Roberts bringing you the best in raunchy porn-tastic action along with magnificent music, although it completely mystifies (nay annoys us) why Mr Roberts continually insists on not only ignoring us in the club, but repeatedly fails include the D.J.’s in both his advertisements & his PR and while we can see the attraction of the two porn stars in Samuel Colt & Chris Porter, the temptations of Jay’s backroom boudoir for the few & fortunate who’s faces fit (it yours will have to believe us!!), the plain fact of the matter is that it is the music that does most of the “Playtime” talking, this week seeing Mikey D take the Pitron reigns from 10 till 1, this while Steve is sunning himself across in Asia, with our premier protégé player, Zach Burns following Mikey from 1 till 4 a.m., Zach celebrating his first year anniversary in residency at Lo-Profile, so will definitely be in party mood. But the weekend continues in style on Saturday with “ClubNation”, a collaboration between Lo-Profile & it’s major sponsor Gaydar, the radio station variety now beaming their Saturday night show of the same name direct from the club, this week Lee Harris taking up the reigns for a specially extended set from 10 p.m. till 3 a.m. (wow!!!), this cheeky chappy currently resident at House Nation UK, Gaydar Radio’s monthly podcast series that is recognised in the top 10 music podcasts on i-tunes and downloaded from all corners of the world, lee using this medium to showcase his uplifting house & electro sound that will surely feature this Saturday. With entry to both nights priced at just £8 before midnight & then £10 thereafter, Lo-Profile is certainly the Soho place to be, more info up at http://loprofile.com.
Onto Vauxhall now and the spotlight is very much on the Orange Group this weekend, particularly on their flagship venue Fire, which takes up the strain of Area’s refurbishment closure and in so doing housing the whole gambit from Thursday through Sunday, that’s Gravity, Onyx, A:M, Beyond, Later & Orange (in amongst other parties), meaning the management team have their work cut out in jockeying clubbers from one event to the next. With Beyond having already received extended exposure in our special feature “Brilliant Brand’s Backyard On A Break” and topping our tree of choices of where to be & be seen on Saturday night into Sunday morning, we thought we would give all the others a even amount of coverage this weekend, starting with Gravity which tonight (Thurs 8th) goes “Underground” with special guest D’Johnny flying in direct from his Berlin base to turn up the tech volume with regular resident Alan K, while the team take a breather before the virtually back-to-back onslaught which starts of Friday with Onyx, which moves from Area of its three week “Adventures In Clubland” residency in The Lightbox, where it will be hailing the launch of its spring season with Jodie Harsh charging the tunes, while the second pop space will be found in Protocol (the club space next to the Lightbox) with Lady Lloyd & Tasty Tim, more info a click away at http://facebook.com/events/195707633867182/. Then it becomes a bit of a Steven Sharp resplendent roadshow as our promoter of 2011 (more on that in our awards feature “I Would Like To Thank…” coming up) takes charge of three of the next four clubs on the Orange Group weekend calendar, that on top of being in birthday celebration mode & mood. So, before we concentrate, deservedly so on him, A:M, Beyond & Orange, let’s give a quick mention for Later which starts a short “Spring Break” season “…on the move around Vauxhall…” although isn’t moving far as its simply switches from the mirrorarch to the main room in Fire, this together with a new host & D.J.’s that include Jamie Head, Paul Heron & D’Johnny, means we will be bringing you an Extra Bites post on this, coming up on Saturday.
Now back to the Steven Sharp show, which starts with A:M on Saturday morning (10th March) with special guest Paul Christian as the clubs “Headliner”, while he will be joined by a team that includes Fat Tony, D’Johnny & Guy Williams in the main room, while in the “A:M 2 Lounge” there is a special b2b set from Amir Groove & Sam Sierra, the club opening its doors (Fire entrance) at 3 a.m. & the club running through till 11 a.m. (oh my word!!), host Danny Boyce inside & the marvellous Minty on the door. Then, as we hinted earlier, Beyond comes at you with a “Midnight” twelve hour event, although with Area closed for refurbishment, it takes up residence at Fire for the very first time (well apart from Ultimate of course). Now we have covered much of the detail in our special feature, “Brilliant Brand’s Backyard On A Break” (direct short link http://discomatt.com/web/?p=4864), but suffice to say, while it will be very strange to see our favourite afterhours in Fire, we will be there to witness it all, even without our indelible influence who is currently a few thousand miles away, we possibly also carrying on into Later which we believe Beyond will roll straight into. However, looking a little further forward than that, to Sunday night in fact (well more Monday Morning really) we find the third brilliant brand our prolific promoter is putting out there, Orange having firmly established itself as the only place to party deep into the start of the working week, many trading the office for the dancefloor and with a resident D.J. line up that includes The Oli Fat Tony, the Sharp Boys, David Jimenez & Hifi Sean, a main room with upfront house & the infamous RAW room going deep, it is no surprise. Plus, with special guest this weekend, D’Johnny, squeezing the best beats out of this citric splendour, Orange is definitely the place to be & be seen rounding off your weekend, more info on latest events & happenings available at http://facebook.com/groups/128096257227348/.
So to Shoreditch for our final Best Bite choice of where to be & be seen this weekend and the DM red carpet is rolled out for East Bloc, the uber trendsetting underground venue that has very much shaken up the whole Shoreditch scene with so way-out & whacky wonders, brilliant & out there brands that grace its doors including “Gutterslut”, “SOS” “The MenWhoFellToEarth” & “Paradise 45”, while it was probably “Meat” that really put this hip & happening hangout firmly on the clubbing circuit map. And while “Meat” may have passed on, Tom has tidily taken the capitvating concept that made ”Meat” our alternative club night of 2011 (more on that in our awards feature coming up) & transformed it into prolific party “Dish”, the similarity in the name style also harping towards the music & party politics, Tom & his terrific team serving up a sumptuous start, main & dessert packed powerhouse of pumping beats, from pure tech & underground sounds in the “main course” room served silver style by Mr Stephan & co “Dish” promoter Borja Pena, while in the second space, aptly called “the larder”, it more about old skool house, RnB & classic house from young blood Kartel Brown alongside Scott Webster. But there is a surprise third “Pudding” place, a micro (wave) size space that is pure pop with the equally aptly named Miss Cupcake selecting the sweetest beats, that on top of “maitre d” hosts Kane Luke, La Pequeria & Melvin making sure to get to wade through all three musical courses from the clubs start at 11 p.m. leaving satisfied with the whole service by the 6 a.m. finish, entry a mere £7 before midnight or £10 thereafter, side dishes of yummy go-go’s Fer & Claudio & a magnificent menu of “Dishy” visuals to complete the prolific party package meaning that you won’t need a doggy bag after devouring the delightful dance dinner that is “Dish”, more info, should you need it, out at http://www.facebook.com/events/101830959937889/. However, just a quick mention for East Bloc’s Friday frolic, “Super Electro Party Machine” with Larry Tee & guests, while Sunday sees the continuance of “The Bloc Party”, showcasing the best in RnB, hip hop, & funky house from 10 p.m. through till 5 a.m., further details of these & other happenings available via http://eastbloc.co.uk.
Now just a couple of quick dates for your dance diaries, the first being The Wig Party Masked Ball which storms your Sunday next weekend (18th March) all the detail coming up in our special feature “Dancing In Disguise” which includes an exclusive interview with PA Peyton, while the following weekend Matinee returns to London for a special “Midnight” extended event on Saturday 24th March, general event details for both a banner click away right here at http://discomatt.com/web.
Well, that’s it for our Best Bites for another weekend and one that will see us in playful mood at “Playtime” tomorrow night, while on Saturday we will be burning the midnight oil before heading out to Beyond and, if our legs will carry us on enough, will see how the transition to Later works out. So, if you see us, come say hi, don’t forget you can keep an eye on all the action via our live nibble size tweets at http://twitter.com/discomatt, but remember that to “Be There!” you need to “Go There!” (DISCO MATT)
With the news having filtered through to DM HQ that heavenly home to our favourite club of all time will be out of action for a while, this amidst the maddening rumour machine going into overdrive on the why’s & way for’s of Area’s three week closure, Disco Matt spins a positive light on the news & what The Orange Group have planned for Beyond as it takes up temporary residence over at sister venue Fire.
It is pretty much common knowledge to anyone that follows our reviews, our reports, our recommendations that there is one club that tops all others in our books, a brand that was born back in the early noughties & found a home in Vauxhall venue The Colosseum, a marriage that lasted just over five years. However, when the awesome afterhours disappeared off our clubbing calendar & radar, there was a real sense of loss in what had, for us become a weekly homage to its then heavenly home, indeed even being based out in Essex & then down in Kent, we still made the trip, pushing our own boundaries just like this brand did too. But, as we reported & reviewed at the time, like a phoenix rising from the ashes of its company part from Colosseum, this Sunday morning magnificence was to break new terrific territory as it found a new heavenly home in the spectacular shape of the amazing Area, a Vauxhall venue that, for us, cannot be beaten, not just in its own backyard, but right across the capital, nay across the globe. Yet the appeal of Area cannot easily be summed up in a simple sentence, although what we can say with total conviction is that it fits this brilliant brand like a glove, both going hand in hand with each other, just as DTPM did with Villa Stefano, Salvation did with Cafe De Paris & Trade did with Turnmills.
Of course the brand we are talking about is Beyond and while we were charmed by its companionship with Colosseum, there is little doubt in our mind that in Area, this awesome afterhours has its most hypnotic & heavenly home, Beyond having very much broken the mould when it came to finding a new heavenly home that was better than the old, after all, Trade has never really been the same since Turnmills, Salvation only seems to feel right when in Cafe De Paris, while DTPM did its best at Fabric, although Villa will always remain its holy grail of a home for us. So, with Area being all about Beyond & Beyond all about Area, we have never really taken to the idea of it moving anywhere else, whether temporary or permanently, this blissful bond between brand & backyard seemingly unbreakable, we never that convinced that backtracking to Colosseum with the “Back To” parties was a majestic move, even linking it with Trade & calling the combination Ultimate, somehow muddying the wonderful Beyond waters. But what we cannot deny is that this amazing afterhours needs to keep pace with the continuous change that is part & parcel of the capitals clubbing circuit and so its heavenly home needs to do so too.
So, with news that Area will be out of action for a while certainly pricked up our ears, not least that we would be puzzled as to what would become of our favourite club during this short term suspension of services and, dispelling the ravenous rumour machine from certain quarters of the scene, we quickly decided to negate the negativity & propel the positivity, getting the straightforward storyline from the Orange Group horse’s mouth, we being reliably & resoundingly informed that, quote “…Area will be closed for the next three weeks to allow pre-planned refurbishments to take place…”, the improvements the team will be implementing having listened to you, the clubbing public, while they acknowledging that Area is in need of a nifty & nimble nip tuck. So what have they got planned?, Well, like any good surprise reveal, they are keeping much of it under wraps, although we have a sneaking suspicion that promoter Steven Sharp has posted a wish list with the powers that be that includes an improvement in the coatcheck facilities, having often acknowledged the need for increased capacity, particularly on special events & parties, this prolific promoter always having pit this part of the clubbing experience & journey very high on his list of priorities. So, we highly suspect that the main coatcheck space at the front of Area will be extended, that additional capacity will be sourced from underutilised spaces, while we are pretty sure that there will also be a spring like spruce & sparkle to aid the focus on the front entrance facelift, while a little birdie tells us that the refurb will include the much awaited opening & extension of the VIP area.
With no Beyond backyard for a trio of weeks, where does that leave our adorable & awesome afterhours? Well, as much as it pains us to accept, there is little choice for the promotions team but to pick up this brilliant brand & transport it across Vauxhall to Area’s sister venue Fire and while for Beyond purists like us, Fire on the face of it is not the fit we would favour, the blow is being superbly softened by an extra special “Midnight” event, this marking the first of several similar themed parties including Matinee which comes at you in two weeks time (more on that in a separate Weekend Focus post). As for Beyond this coming Sunday, well it naturally starts at midnight on Saturday (10th March), or as we prefer to call it zero o’clock on Sunday (11th), taking over all three rooms of the re-shaped & formed Fire, this format similar to Area’s spaces, although in a different layout, the lounge replacing the terrace, the mirrorarch replacing the chapel & one main room swapped for the other, while the outside space is at the rear rather than the front. That said, promoter Steven Sharp has told us of Fire, “…it will open a different set of options with the layout and it works extremely well with long parties such as the “Midnight”(twelve hour) format…” he adding that “…it will give the brand a new feel for our three special parties…”.
And for this first Beyond in Fire (we are beginning to get used to the sound!) Steven & the team welcome our very own Italian Stallion, Pagano, to the decks who, like Beyond, is riding a wonderful wave crest right now, his exposure Stateside going from strength to strength, while the playing ground that is Europe sees him feature for all sorts of parties & brands, including La Demence in Brussels, Cologne’s Sexy & Lab in Paris among many more,. But it is back in blighty that the man has been simply huge, not least for Trade, having featured large in the recent “A Tainted Love Affair” event which has spurned his worldwide chart topping compilation “Trade – The Dark Side” which looks set to eclipse even his hugely successful “Digital Generation” releases. And having played out for Beyond before, although like everyone this coming Sunday, for the first time for the brand at Fire (well there was Ultimate), Mr Sharp say’s of this prolific player, “…Pagano always brings a different dimension to the brand when he plays…” he also commenting that “…there is a lot of energy to his sound which is addictive on the dancefloor…”, we certainly being able to vouch for that have seen scores of storming sets both here in London & across in Europe.
So Pagano is the Beyond “Midnight” come Sunday morning headliner, he being joined by a veritable feast of the brand’s all-star residents including Alan K who will no doubt also star in the main room, while new boy Paul Moreno gets to play at Fire for the first time, he being joined by The Sharp Boys (probably just George though as Steven has the club to promote & manage). As for other main room residents, well Steve Pitron is currently on vacation so, sadly, he won’t be there (no rollercoaster emotional ride??, no tears?? how will we cope?!?!), so it is possible that either D’Johnny or Guy Williams will feature, while the mirrorarch (the Fire chapel space version) is sure to sport Paul Christian & Hifi Sean, Fat Tony & Jonny M confirmed to play too, possibly in the main space or more likely in the lounge. And given this amazing array of all-stars, Steven is confident of “…a kaleidoscope of only the finest contemporary tunes in the land…” the promise of more guest D.J.’s (The Oli?, Jamie Head?…pleeeeease) to send you soaring right from midnight start to midday finish. Add to the music the much improved Fire lighting & effects, the team having recently employed those resplendent roof rockets that were always an Area trademark, that along with the huge LED wall behind the main room D.J. booth, a superb stage space for Elektra Paris, Shaun Capewell & their cavorting crew to “…blow your minds throughout the party with their poses and routines…” and we are pretty much prepared to see Beyond in this new temporary light, even if we are far from fans of Fire in comparison to Area & the “Midnight” event format against the age old & (in our view) much better morning sessions.
So, before we take a brief look at Beyond in the coming weeks, let’s look at the detail of this Beyond “Midnight – With Pagano At Fire” and a reminder that this is a full twelve hour event, doors opening at the witching hour this Saturday (10th March) and the event running through to a planned midday finish on Sunday (11th), those doors being of the Lightbox variety, that is in South Lambeth Place (just past Starbucks), the terrific Tom Fuller on the door ensuring your smooth entry as always. Plus, as a special thank you to both to loyal Beyond regulars & all those that attended the awesome WE “Pharaoh” afterparty last weekend at Area when, in the words of its sponsor, “…Beyond rocked like never before, it was really busy with the best crowd in town…”, there is a special free entry offer for those getting their dancing shoes on & in through the doors before 1 a.m. with a valid flyer, ad or Facebook invite, while for others, advance £10 tickets are available at the usual Soho outlets, prowler, Clone Zone & 50, or online at http://clubtickets.com, failing which you can pay on the door at prices £12 with flyer, ad, etc or £15 without. And with your host Danny Boyce pampering to your every need from within, this should be a night & a morning to remember, so one not to be missed, more details & that all important FB invite available via http://facebook.com/events/260650157347131/.
Now to Beyond in the coming weeks and as we hinted early, this weekend will signal a short sequence of extended events in Fire, although this awesome afterhours will be taking a rest for one week on 24th March, when it gives way to the massive Matinee “Midnight” which has been billed as the biggest & best yet, while Beyond itself will be itching to bounce back in its old backyard, Area of course, the following weekend (Sunday 1st April). And to coincide with the improvements to Area, Beyond will be extending its opening times, an all new & regular 3 a.m. start to become the norm (remember the brilliant “Belief” bashes?!), the brand very much stamping its authority on Sunday mornings, while there are more exciting parties ahead, Steven Sharp stating “…it’s an exciting time for clubland in general with Easter on the near horizon, then the diamond jubilee & the Olympics, meaning there will be lots of themed parties & special events, this season of splendour being kicked off with Beyond “Berlin”, when we will transform Area with prolific production, superb costumes & special performances – think Cabaret with Liza Minnelli…”. Add to this the likelihood of another of those “Super Size” events over the Easter weekend, as part of the very popular “Big Ticket” package and the flowers of Beyond spring are looking very rosy indeed.
So, while Area rests & rejuvenates it’s all change to Fire for Beyond from this weekend and we will be there to see it all, no doubt nibble size review tweeting our way through the whole lot, which, of course you can follow by going to http://twitter.com/discomatt, while if you happen to see us, please do come say hi, but remember that to “Be There!” you need to “Go There!” (DISCO MATT)
We were gushing over Grammy’s, beaming for the Bafta’s, bewitched by the Brits & overjoyed with the Oscar’s, and now it’s time to roll out the red carpet one more time, polish up those acceptance speeches & herald the winners once again, as the 20th Boyz Magazine awards are upon us. But with little over 20 hours to go before voting closes, Disco Matt takes a last minute look at these much anticipated twentieth anniversary awards & what makes them that extra bit special this year.
We have always had a penchant for a decent awards ceremony, the excitement, the glamour the pomp & the circumstance that seems to go hand in hand with these yearly events never failing to draw us in each & every time and while the season, which seems to start just after Christmas & end sometime in April, is bursting with dedications to all sorts of arts, we do favour the the big four, as our anticpaition & expectation rises for our favourite actor, actress, director, film, pop star, band or group scooping that coveted crown within their field. Indeed we love everything that goes with these colossal ceremonies, the acceptance speeches often as entertaining as the spectacles themselves, this year has been no different to others, as we were amazed when the fabulous flick, The Artist, picked up one Oscar after the next, while we were amused when Meryl Streep lost her shoe on the way up to collect her Bafta, Colin Firth retrieving it like the Prince coming to Cinderella’s rescue, although the highlight of the awards ceremony season so far has to be the finger moment at The Brit’s when Adele showed her disgust at being cut short by the ITV producers.
However, with these ceremonies pretty much done & dusted, we can now set our minds on the next set of awards and ones that are probably much closer to our hearts than all the rest, as the scene is close on set for the annual Boyz scene awards, celebrating everything that is fabulous about probably the most gorgeously gregarious gay playing fields on the globe, the institution that has become this weekly magazine’s annual accolades marking a magnificent milestone this year, as it has been a whole 20 years since it started sharing its spoils across a scene that both it & we feel so privileged to be part of. So, given this momentous occasion in the magazine’s history, we couldn’t let the moment pass without trumpeting our own tribute for these amazing awards and what special & extra categories have appeared this year to mark that marvellous twentieth milestone, while running down some of our own contenders for the likes of best bar, club, event, business, music maker & more, hinting to our forthcoming special feature that will wrap up awards from Attitude, SeenQueen, Boyz &, of course, our own in a neat & tidy package for posterity.
But before we do all that, we thought we would remind those of you that have yet to cast your vote that you now have little over 20 hours to do so, as voting for these special scene awards closes at midnight tonight (Tuesday 6th March), meaning you really need to get your skates on with your selections. So, lets share that all important direct link now, as a click onto http://boyz.co.uk/index.php?p=boyzawards will take you straight to the voting page, although if you are already on our website then a simple click on the Boyz award banner under our “Businesses” section will also suffice. And in making this simple selection, you will find yourselves presented with the first of the special 20th anniversary additions, as the Boyz team have put up a fabulous prize draw that each & everyone that casts their vote(s) gets entered into, with the chance of winning a luxury (gay of course) cruise for two with RSVP Vacations (http://rsvpvacations.com/), “…the originator of the gay & lesbian vacation concept…” the prize worth over £2,300, we taking a punt that it may be their new for 2012 exotic Med cruise taking in Barcelona, Valencia, Casablanca & Ibiza, while there are extra prizes donated by Ministry of Sound in the form of five pairs of stylish, gym friendly, MOS 005 headphones, so six great reasons (among a host of others) why you should be casting your votes before it’s too late, what do they say, “…you have to be in it to win it…”.
So, you have got past that initial simple selection, what beholds these Boyz 20th anniversary scene awards? Well, they tell us that it shouldn’t take more than five minutes to vote, although there are a whole raft of categories & options to choose from and plenty of options within each category to, is north, south east or west you are voting for?, while that is perhaps one of the easiest decisions, as within each there is a long list of hopefuls vying for your vote. However, if you have your firm favourites then wading through the categories should be very straight forward and we are assured that you don’t need to make a selection in each & every section, rather just cast your vote were you want to. That said, with this year’s voting that little bit more special, it’s worth adding your vote to the 20th anniversary selections, namely, “Ultimate Gay Bar Or Pub”, “Ultimate Cabaret Performer”, “Ultimate Gay Club &” Ultimate Gay Club D.J.” and don’t worry, you needn’t have been around on the scene for the last twenty years to cast a vote here. Plus, the great thing with a lot of the voting categories is that Boyz allow you to add your own selection suggestions, they making voting as straight forward as possible, unlike some polls that we could mention that have tried to complicate things, while validating your vote is as secure as it can be as a full name along with a valid e-mail address is required, hence little opportunity to cheat (why would anyone?!?!).
Well, as they say in the business, that’s a wrap, although with the results due out later this month, we will be commissioning a special feature, “I Would Like To Thank”, bringing you these Boyz awards results and also analysing them against our very own winners in the London categories for Best New Club, Best Club Weekly, Best Club Monthly, Best Club Event, Best Club Newcomer, Best Promoter, Best D.J. & Best D.J. Newcomer, having brought you our abridged club review of 2011, “Emotionally Enthralling Expeditions & Experiences”, which we still aim to put out there, hopefully by next weekend, those clubs & events we supported during the last year, while we will also be looking internationally to the clubbing brands, the D.J.’s & the promoters that floated our boat during our travels abroad. But more than that, we will also be going in-depth on the SeenQueen awards, looking at the losers as well as the winners in what has always been THE scene awards of the year, although with a change in the voting process, seemed to dip in favour this time round, while with Attitude Magazine also having their scene say, we will bring you their results too. So, while the big four may already be fading into the memory banks, it is still all celebration steam ahead for this spectacular scene that we find ourselves in, so get Boyz voting and see you on the other side with our results review. (DISCO MATT)
Having reformed & refocused his mind on the magnificent muse that is music, Disco Matt plucks from a lengthy list of potentials, a select few that, without doubt, fall into either the “Premier” or “Protégé” category and who, having been moving & shaking his musical world with their productions &/or sets of late, fit the bill for inclusion in this first volume of his new “Premier & Protégé Player Productions” newsletter series.
We cannot quite believe that it has been a whole five months (scraping ourselves off the floor) since we have brought you a music newsletter, it was 24th September 2011 to be precise, so, having firmly selected our seventh gear of sound & in so doing, compiling a list that extends beyond the half century mark, there is clearly much catching up we need to do. Therefore, with a planned separate newsletter series entitled “Allsorts In The Mix” picking up on the majority of these 50 or so D.J.’s/Producers, we decided that the select few that we call our “Premier” & our “Protégé” players deserved their own newsletter series, “Premier & Protégé Player Productions” being the result and a newsletter in its first volume of a continual series throughout 2012, that will pick on an exemplary eight that have either been delighting us on the dancefloor or have produced podcasts that have exhilarated our ears.
So let’s get to it and in choosing the first of our exemplary eight, the word premier hardly does this individual justice as Steve Pitron is, without question, top of our tree when it comes to both live performances & podcast productions, his sets, particularly at Beyond, leaving us breathless in adorable admiration of his masterful music, while there is no-one else that comes close to tipping us into tear filled emotional eruptions with his scintillating selections. But with regular fixes coming our way at Lo-Profile & Room Service, as well as the occasional treat at Orange, how could we also forget that euphoric evening on 1st January, when Steve stormed “Safari” and had us eating out of the palm of his magically musical hands. Then there are his podcasts and while they don’t come thick & fast, the lack of quantity is easily made up for by the quality of his outputs, 2011 alone seeing Steve produce three podcasts that took all three top spots in our Y.E. chart, such were their overriding excellence in comparison to the competition.
But if we thought “Afterhours”, & “Summer Vol’s 1 & 2” were exceptional enough, we were not prepared for Mr Pitron’s latest mind-blowing masterpiece and one that has pretty much ruled the musical waves of our lives since its release in January, we having played it on constant repeat when out on the roads and hardly allowing any other a look in, even his own previous podcasts. Then there is our time sitting in the study, when we cannot resist pressing the play button when at our computer, while such has been the impact of this colossal compilation on us, that we have not only been shouting about it from the rooftops but have devoted a special feature to it, our “Phenomenal Podcast Production” post hailing Steve’s “Jan 2012 Session” as his best yet and, given the magnitude of magnificence that his three 2011 releases attained, to top even those is an awesome accomplishment in our books. Indeed, we would go as far to say that even Steve is going to find it difficult to further top this podcast perfection with his next release, although we can reveal that he is currently collecting & collating a truck load of tracks in an attempt to do just that. So, naturally we are feverishly anticipating this new Pitron production which will no doubt feature in a subsequent newsletter (maybe even another special feature), but in the meantime continue to sink into his January session and suggest that you join the 10,000 plus (yes that many) that have already downloaded this dance dream, by going to http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com while we will let our feature at http://discomatt.com/web/2012/01/music-phenomenal-podcast-production-steve-pitron-jan-2012-session-wednesday-18th-january-music-is-the-answer-special-feature/ do the rest of the talking about this sensational selection of sounds.
Next up is another premier player of ours, one we sometimes refer to as our second Steve Pitron, not least that The Oli treads similar boards both in terms of live performances & productions, while some would say that their sound styles are quite similar, Oli certainly able to hold hs own in any main room and having often been billed alongside Steve in specialist events, the recent Orange “Electric” being a good example. However, with regular slots at Beyond, Later & A:M (oh & Orange too) a virtual weekly feature, Oli remains a star turn on the scene, while we know one of his favourite spinning spots is the terrace space of the awesome afterhours is Beyond and having entertained us immensely on many an occasion with a heady concoction of classics intermixed with new hits. Indeed his podcasts reflect Oli’s skills of blending old with new and it is probably why each & every production of his makes it into our collection. Indeed, Oli’s compilation devotion to our favourite club of all time (that’s Beyond if you didn’t know already) made it safely into our top ten chart of 2011, one which pushed out plenty of others that would normally have made it in, such is its brilliance and is the only one that sneaks into our Pitron packed playlist when spinning around the roads of London.
However, with his devotion to Later’s “9th Birthday” we have another that looks set to penetrate that playlist, Oli having treated us to something quite special, a collection of tracks that takes us on a jubilant journey through genres of tech, progressive, electro & funky house, also dipping into pure disco with tracks like Soulsearcher’s “Can’t Get Enough”, Oli cleverly chronicling Later’s musical history with this brilliant genre blending. Yet, having only discovered it as late as this morning, it will sadly need to wait until next weekend before it makes it in as our “Podcast Of The Week” slot, although has already made it into our collection, onto our iPhone, our MP3 player & our Motorola device and should make your collection too by going to http://theoli.podomatic.com and while you’re at it, grab his “Bit Of Latin & Sexy Tech” production too as, while it is one for Oli purists like us, it is nevertheless a damn fine compilation all of its outstanding own.
So, with Oli having to wait until next weekend to pounce of that “Podcast Of The Week” slot of ours, it seems wholly appropriate to tell you why, as the next in our exemplary eight is the individual that has stalled Oli’s podcast by seven days, Jamie Head another of our premier players that, like Mr Bell, is one that we can count on a single hand that has wrestled us away from a Steve Pitron set at Beyond and never fails to tip our musical scales with his barnstorming beats. Indeed, Jamie has been pushing our beats button for many a moon, having been right there in the Crash days, has been a fabulous feature of Beyond for the best part of its 10 year history & never fails to impress at Profile & Lo-Profile, while he would be the first to say that his sessions a Later, particularly of late, rank as his favourites. Indeed we ranked his set for Later’s boat party from July last year as well within our top ten of 2011, a measure of the man’s musical magnificence, while in the premier playing stakes, Jamie is right up neat the top of our list too, a whole host of other residencies & appearances making him an indelible inclusion & influence on the scene, as well as in our musical world.
However, when it comes to podcast production, Jamie’s contributions to our collection pretty thin on the ground, although when they do come around, they make it in easily, his devotion to WE “Attacks” a exemplary example, Jamie repeating that process with his dedication to WE’s “Pharaoh” event in which he played his prolific part just last night, (we reliably being informed) captivating The Coronet with a storming set. However, if like us, you missed out on WE, you don’t need to miss out on a Jamie jam, as downloading his pumping podcast at http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2012-02-27T12_21_46-08_00 will make you realise why it is this that has made it to our “Podcast of The Week” slot this week. As for catching Jamie out there playing, Later is a regular weekly slot for him, while appearances at Profile & Lo-Profile pepper his schedule, Beyond remains a Jamie jamming playing ground, as is A:M on a Saturday morning.
Onto our next exceptional eight inclusion and we zip over into France to find our (both premier & protégé) Parisian pal Leomeo Carandang who is one of the busiest D.J./producers we know, hardly a weekend going by when he isn’t playing out in some part of the world, his globetrotting taking him to Asia, & America as well as right across Europe, just this weekend seeing him hop over the border into Germany and to Frankfurt’s CK club where he headlined their “Killer Cow” event. And we highly suspect that the visit may be marked by the production of a podcast, our Parisian pal having already laid down no less than six compilations this year alone, one of our favourites being his “About Love” mix that was, naturally, dedicated to Valentine’s day, although his “Winter Chill In Paris” is also right up there for us, both showing a side to Leomeo’s sound that is somewhat removed from his live performances, yet reflect the depth of talent that is Mr Carandang.
However, it is his mix from his performance at Milan’s Hero club that gets our main attention here, as this is clearly much closer to the Leomeo music making we have come to adore (or should that say j’dore!), a breathtaking blend of tribal tech & upfront house that makes this amiable Frenchman with Malaysian roots so popular across the globe. And, very touchingly, Leo’s “Hero” mix starts off with a tribute few moments to the late Whitney Houston with a slice from probably her best know track “I Will Always Love You”, while it then dives into bits of Madge (that’s Madonna before you ask) remixed before taking us on a journey of neo tribal tech that is the basis of the Leo style of sound. But what makes this compilation stand out from his works of a year, maybe two years ago, is how Leomeo has continued to craft his art & evolve impressively with the times, that tribal part of his playlists still evident, but the upfront house very much more present both in his podcast productions as well as his live performances and “Hero” is an exemplary exponent of his evolution, so one you must grab by going to http://soundcloud.com/djleomeo/hero-the-mix-by-dj-leomeo, while by simply selecting http://soundcloud.com/djleomeo & doing yourselves a favour by hitting on those two other podcasts we mentioned, along with the veritable feast of others at your disposal.
Now for a quick track interlude and one of just two in this newsletter as we concentrate on the players a little more, although such has been the influence this tune and its creator had on us in the last few weeks that we couldn’t let the moment pass without including Rony Seikaly & his trance-tastic track which made our now regular “Track of The Week” slot back at the end of January, but still to this day never fails to send us into dizzy delirium & emotional enthrallment, “Take Me Higher” doing just that every time we listen to it (as it is right now). Sharing it here in fill length glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=OYCts_4YJTY, we think this could have all the trappings for DM’s track of 2012 let alone track of the week, although there is one already knocking on its door that we have been sworn to secrecy on, so we are simply savouring this one for now, in the knowledge that Mr Seikaly’s towering track will surely be safely into our top ten come December, as far away as that is.
Right, back to it and we come to our next premier, or is it protégé player?, well a bit of both actually, as the delightful Danny Verde straddles the two categories like no other, although given how his career has continued to soar in the last few months, perhaps premier rather than protégé is more appropriate, not least all the notoriety he has achieved with his “official” remix of Lady Gaga’s huge hit “You & I”. Indeed Danny’s version has made it into D.J.’s boxes right across the globe, so to a wide variety of clubs & brands in the business to boot, the productions coming out of the hallowed turf that is his Holab studio, watched with eagle eyes & equalled eager anticipation. But as much as our Milano man is devoted to his studio work, his D.J.’ing duties continue to go skyward, very much like Leomeo, hardly a weekend passing by when he isn’t somewhere else in the world, be is Portugal last weekend for the Lisboa festival, or this weekend, when we find him in Miami, where he is in the thick of the action at the Winter Festival, just last night playing at club Flare & rubbing shoulders with Ralf Rosario & Abel.
But despite all this name dropping, Danny is still very much the man we knew a handful of years ago, modest, approachable & seemingly un-phased by his considerable stardom & taking it all in his stride. As for his music, well the uplifting euphoria that has always been present in his productions continue to feature large, that vein in his sound style pumping prolifically with his latest Gaga adventure, “Marry The Night”, which is up on iTunes, while his remix of the Pagano, Paramour & Peyton track “The Reflex”, shot up the Beatport charts when it was loaded six weeks ago & is our favourite version by a country mile. Then there is his re-work of Rosabel’s “Let Me Be Myself” which is being pushed hard in Miami & is a Danny dream, while his latest production still in the final making is his mixing mastery on Neon Hitch’s “Fuck U Better” which we are tipping for towering greatness, all these previewed at http://soundcloud.com/holabstudio with links to online purchase sites, while for a full fix of Danny devotions, check out his “Pink Party” podcast from last year at http://dannyverde.podomatic.com/entry/2011-08-28T02_37_56-07_00.
Onward we go with our exemplary eight and this individual certainly fits into both that bracket and is also one definitely of the premier kind, indeed of all our inclusions here, he is probably the most experienced & well trodden, Fat Tony having risen to fame & notoriety back in the 90’s at the height of Trade and the now infamous “lite lounge” of which he was a weekly resident. However, along with it came a pretty hefty cost to Tony’s health, one that was blazoned across the press at the time, although like all the best of them, he came out the other end and has since carved a continuing career behind the decks that sees him play four, sometimes five days in every week, some of those days seeing him hold down two maybe three gigs, occasionally one after the other. Indeed this week is a typical Tony one, having played at Room Service then Gravity on Thursday, A:M on Saturday morning, WE Party Saturday night & beyond this morning, while his weekend doesn’t end until tomorrow morning when he finishes his set at Orange.
On top of that, Tony is still riding the wave crest that was his new club outing Delooded which attracted a capacity & colourful crowd of east enders, west benders & much in between, making it the talk of the town , although one we sadly missed. However, what we didn’t miss were his recent sparkling sets for Orange & AS One, while no morning at beyond is quite complete without our Fat Tony fix in the terrace with the terrific Tom Fuller. All that said, while we really dig Tony’s style & style of sound, finding it in abundance away from the clubs is rare indeed, he not noted for laying down podcasts of any kind, although all this changed back in October when he recorded one especially for Orange “Electric” and, by jove, it’s a corker, being unmistakably him in every way, so one definitely to cherish & coax into your collection by going to direct link http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2011-11-25T09_25_05-08_00. And don’t forget, you can catch this main man playing at Gravity, A:M, Beyond & Orange every week, along with Room Service once a month while Delooded’s return on Saturday 14th April is a must for your disco diaries.
Now to the first of our pure protégé players, although a premier protégé, as Zach Burns has continued his rise & rise in our exacting estimations since we came across this cute yet capable young chap last year, indeed since that glorious opening set at Gigolo’s launch in May, he has continued to hit a radar with his series of podcast productions as well as live performances, his residencies at Profile & for Lo-Profile’s “Playtime” being where we catch him most, although Zach’s resident repertoire extends to The Edge, Popcorn, Casalatina &, of course, Gigolo. And it is for this brilliant brand that we scored Zach only second to Steve Pitron in our year end set & podcast charts, that prolific Zach performance in May matched by an equally excellent one in December, like our premier player, Mr Burns selecting sounds that never fail to hit our musical sweet spots, while his Gigolo podcast remains a regular feature in our weekly MP3 play’s. But it is not just us that is noticing this bright young talent, as recently he has been scooped up by weekly gay rag Boyz to produce a podcast for featuring in their magazine, while just this week, he announced another commission, this time for GUSmen, the gay lifestyle monthly magazine, this exposure sure to further propel our premier protégé into the eyes & minds of clubs, promoters and events further afield from London.
And it is this latest podcast, pretty much hot off the press that gets our focus, one which we were chomping at the bit for when he split the beans on its release and were playing it in the wee hours of Thursday morning in advance of its official release, totally glued from minute one to seventy six, especially when we were given fair notice to, in Zach’s own words, “…listen out for your track(s)…”, he perhaps referring to the sensational new “Pressure” sample, or maybe the re-work of “Shine On Me”, but without doubt he meaning “I Really Want To Say”, known to followers of our tweets as “Track 3”, Zach picking on equally impressive sample of it to laud upon us, while the rest of this prolific podcast is jam packed with funky disco & tech toned house that vindicate our decision to rate him as highly as we do, it therefore going without saying that you should go grab your slice of Mr Burns pretty quick at http://djburns.podomatic.com/entry/2012-02-29T13_28_26-08_00, while keep your eyes on him as we predict huge happenings as the year progresses.
So we come to our exemplary eighth of eight and a brilliant Belgian that impressed us from the off when we tripped across to Antwerp on Christmas Day 2010 for Lovechild meets Red & Blue, a follow up trip in February confirming our conclusion that the terrific talent that is Elof de Neve should rank alongside the select few that have made it into our “Premier” & “Protégé” list slots, although like Leo & Danny, we reckon Elof straddles both categories. But what we are totally convinced about is the comparison we make with the likes of Steve Pitron & The Oli, Mr de Neve in effect being our international equivalent of these two London based boys, such is the uplifting & euphoric nature of both his sets & his studio productions. And,, since seeing him socially during Delice Dream, we have been tracked his progress and cannot be more pleased with some of the results, showings for Matinee in Amsterdam, along with his recent trip to Portugal for the Lisboa festival, playing alongside Danny Verde, just two of many other highlight happenings in his soaring schedule. Plus, with a trip to Berlin for club Propaganda & a return to Delice Dream on the cards, these on top of Matinee in Paris at Easter & his residency back home for Red & Blue and its all systems go for Elof behind the decks.
But it is his studio work that gets our main attention as Elof is constantly beavering away on track projects & podcasts although always erring on the side of quality as opposed to quantity, his trademark uplifting & euphoric house style of sound that is winning him friends far & wide central to all his productions, although is what he terms as “Energetic Iberican” music, that label good enough in our books. Indeed his sound is very much in the Matinee mould, partly due to, we suspect, the connections his production manager J.d. Cerronez has with this global super clubbing brand, although we have no doubt that it is Elof’s music itself that is doing much of the talking. And listening to his latest two track re-works, “Shine On Me” & “Finally”, we can see the Matinee appeal, while a little birdie tells us that the former track went down an absolute storm at Red & Blue last night. And keeping with the Matinee theme, we simply cannot put down Elof’s latest compilation in his “Finest Selection” series, his devotion to all things Matinee extending to this “Amsterdam To Paris” mix which we cannot recommend enough for your collection by going straight to the download button at http://soundcloud.com/elofdeneve/elof-de-neve-matinee-from-amsterdam-to-paris-mix-vol27-2012, while simply selecting http://soundcloud.com/elofdeneve will lead you to those two terrific tracks we have mentioned.
Well, that’s it for our exemplary eight here, but we haven’t quite finished yet as the equally exemplary Rony Seikaly gets his second track shout in before we close this first “Premier & Protégé Players” newsletter volume. And by golly it’s a good one, “Let You Go” having totally destroyed us in a pool of poignant tears just two Sunday’s ago at Beyond and you can guess who the protagonist player was!! However, having hit our musical radar a few weeks before at WE “Safari” and then seeing it appear on that phenomenal Pitron podcast, we kind of knew that this Seikaly smash would tug on our heart strings in a big way and while it doesn’t quite reach the dizzy heights of “Take Me Higher”, it is a emotionally tear jerking track triumph that we absolutely love, as we do the video that accompanies the tune at http://youtube.com/watch?v=fKEd-q-ivv4 and featuring the vocals of Polina, she of “Track 3” fame, another reason why we love this track so much.
So, that is now definitely now it, although we should make it clear that this first volume does not represent the full extent of both our “Premier” & “Protégé” players lists, the next edition delving into a new set of exemplary eight subjects as we continue our musical catch up. However, we hope you like our inclusions here and with over 20 podcasts &/or tracks to download, we end by simply saying, “…sit back, select those sounds, turn up the volume & let them play, as music is the answer…” (DISCO MATT)
Regardless of the topsy turvy times & the rollercoaster ride twists & turns that have become part & parcel of our lives lately, being charmed by a creative compilation, passionate about a prolific podcast & titillated by a terrific tune means that music always seems to be the answer. And in finding that answer to our problems, Disco Matt is once again ready to extend his enthusiasm for the art of music making & music makers with the return of his regular features, focuses & newsletters, this report hinting towards a mass of activity to come.
There was a time not too far into the distant past when not one Saturday would go by without a music feature or focus of some sort making it to our former BlogSpot page or subsequent website section, although we would be the first to admit that our attention has been somewhat diverted by non Disco Matt duties & devotions recently, while we are somewhat shocked just how derelict & devoid have been our dedications to D.J,’s & producers that were once a weekly norm. Indeed, having looked back through our archives, we cannot quite believe it was September since we posted our last music newsletter, while to be fair to our activity, we did share a string of track selections that made for our top 40 of 2011 in the last forty days of the year, following that with our most comprehensive & three part review of “The Podcasts”, “The Sets” & “The Tracks” that made 2011 our best music year yet.
However, having hardly given that claim justice by our infrequent features & focuses, we are determined that March will signal an about turn on our tardy coverage of the single most significant passion in our lives, music making & music makers. So, from next weekend, Saturday & Sunday will signal the two days that Disco Matt will devote to D.J.’s, to producers, to compilations & to tracks, mixing up his activity between special features, specific focuses & the much loved newsletters that have all been noticeably absent. Starting with a focus on impressive Israeli Guy Scheiman, other D.J.’s/producers that will be reaping our focus attention in March will include Zach Burns, Elof de Neve, & Paul Moreno, while we will be re-starting the special focus features on music makers that have influenced our lives both past & present, so having covered Steve Pitron, Leomeo & Danny Verde already, we will be moving onto Javier Medina, Brent Nicholls, & The Oli during March, with many more to follow in the coming months.
But our music coverage reconstruction story doesn’t stop there as it is the podcasts & the tracks that will also be at the forefront of our attention, we both catching up on the months we have missed as well as restoring some sense of stability to our newsletters. So, in order to achieve this & maintain our coverage, we have decided that, throughout the remainder of 2012, we will be running two distinct music newsletter series’ in a sequence of volumes, the first entitled “Premier & Protégé Player Productions” and devoted to those handful of music makers both in London & internationally that have attained this privileged position within our extensive player & production list, while the second series, simply called “Allsorts In The Mix”, will cover the rest, planned subject matter’s in forthcoming weeks including Potential Protégé’s, Lofty Londoner’s, Exemplary European’s & Superb Spaniard’s, the aim being to encompass a list of scene stars & indelible music making influences that, both at home & abroad, extend well into treble figures.
Add to that the return of our music features devoted to specific events, such as Delice Dream, Gay Pride & Circuit Festival, along with particular parties, club brands & production houses and it is clear we have our work cut out. However, with music having been the answer to the rollercoaster rides we have found ourselves on of late, we feel it is high time we paid our dues to those protagonists that have helped us through these tough times and in so doing, paying homage to a medium that means the world to us and without it, would mean a very different world indeed. (DISCO MATT)
Who would have thought that an afterthought for an afterhours would become the amazing afterparty that it has, Later not only extending clubbing into the delights of daytime, but has become part & parcel of a scene that sees its celebrate nine years cutting a significant stride this Sunday, DM dipping his toe into this terrific treat of a turn & hitting on some heavenly Later highlights in the process.
Casting our minds back nine years, the capitals clubbing circuit looked pretty different to what faces us today, Vauxhall for instance was still on the ascendency, clubs like Crash & Action forging a significant path in putting what was then a lowly & pretty rundown part of town on the map. But there were others helping to make Vauxhall what it has become today, pioneering club Orange having moved from across town & finding its full-on feet in the venue that is now so well known as Fire, while the undisputed crown of the Vauxhall scene (& now the whole of London) is Beyond, pretty much re-writing the Sunday morning clubbing rules that Trade had re-written back in the nineties. And while there are plenty of other brands that, along the way, have helped Vauxhall become the premier point for gay clubbing in the capital, A:M, Horizon, Juicy, Matinee, Megawoof, the list goes on, there is one brand & weekly outing that has cemented itself into the schedule & significantly so. But moreover, this is a club that has, like Beyond & Trade, pretty much re-written what were basically un-written rules about daytime clubbing, a Sunday trend that was emerging in the 90’s with clubs like DTPM & Sherbert, but was a mantle taken up by what is now considered the afterhours’ afterparty institution that is now well known as Later.
Having been around for the very first party nine years ago, the Later we see today is very different to the one that took its first unsteady steps onto the scene, the idea for a daytime afterparty born out of the success of Beyond, the team behind this awesome afterhours soon recognising a captive clubbing audience that simply didn’t want their partying to end at midday on Sunday. And with Sherbert having fallen off the radar & DTPM shifting to a Sunday evening slot, Later was perfectly placed to scoop up that audience, not least being located on Beyond’s doorstep in Vauxhall. However for the first few parties, Later found itself in pretty auspicious surroundings, the very first event in a darkened underground space on Kennington Lane, while the next few gatherings were literally under Beyond in the extension to Colosseum. But, with Fire coming to Later’s rescue pretty early on, it very much found its feet, attracting capacity crowds that would fill out both the main room & the mirrorarch , week in week out. Indeed we can recall countless superb Sunday afternoon’s in its heavenly hands, a brace of New Year’s Day parties the pinnacles of the clubs memory making moments, unforgettable performances from Per QX & D’Johnny as vivid in our minds as they were back in those early & informative Later days.
Since those early days, Later has continued to form an indelible part of the weekly partying picture, specialist events on bank holidays highlights of its own cavorting calendar, while the brand has even hit the high seas (well the Thames to be exact), an integral ingredient in the winning formula is that “outside” element that neatly mixes in with the music, making Later as much a social gathering as a full-on clubbing experience. Indeed, as its host venue Fire has developed over the years, the now infamous Later garden is very much part of the package, a host of pool parties, & funfair themes playing out to significant success in recent times. That said, like many clubs we can mention, Later has had its fair share of lean times, the need to graduate from the main room to just the mirrorarch & a smaller chill-out area a development that finds the club in its current format, while the outside space, especially in the summer months, continues to be as popular as before. However, later is as much about the music as the socialising, a whole host of D.J.’s having graced its decks, the likes of The Oli, Paul Martin, Jamie Head, D’Johnny, Gonzalo Rivas, The Sharp Boys, Paul Martin, Terry Bryan, Paul Heron, Mikey D, Per Q.X. (of course) and even Jonny M, we could go on, the music policy always erring towards the tough tech, while that element of daytime disco dance devotions also features from time to time, moreover to lighten the mood.
So, there is no doubt that Later has found a healthy place in party people’s hearts and will surely attract an ample audience of adorers as it celebrates nine years of cutting that significant stride on the scene, the promotions team labelling the club as “…the only day disco that matters…” while the reality is that, in terms of a Sunday, it is the only day disco, so for that reason & that reason alone, it definitely does matter, especially to those that love partying right through Sunday (and there are a lot!!). But what exactly is this 9th birthday celebration all about? Well, from what we can gather, pretty much same old same old, business as usual really (oh apart from the Peter Lichtenstein themed artwork & visuals), the PR we have been passed not giving us any sort of indication as to extra razzmatazz by way of production, effects, stage shows or the like, although with the indelible ingredient of magnificent music at the core of Later’s whole fabric, in choosing The Oli & Jamie Head to fly the birthday beats flag, promoter Jay Sharp couldn’t have picked two better exponents of the Later art, both seasoned spinners from the clubs history, Oli in fact right there from the start. However, it doesn’t stop there, as international playboy D.J. Paul heron is back in town & on a marathon weekend, appearances at A:M, WE & Beyond preceding this 9th birthday bash, so will surely be on a resplendent roll.
Now talking international, on top of those three brilliant beatmasters, Later welcomes Leonardo Glovibes Abbate to the birthday decks too, this impressionable Italian when we last blinked, being based in London & playing for brands that included Barcode & Megawoof, although we now see he is based in L.A. (where have we been?!?!), so is supposedly jetting in especially for this special Later celebration, although we suspect he may have some other gigs &/or plans lined up too. As for his D.J.’ing credentials, weeding through his extensive biography, we have picked out a few poignant parts so as to give you a flavour of what to expect musically wise, notably “…his sound is forward moving and progressive with a vintage feel…” while Leonardo’s sound style switches between “…old soulful house, Nu- disco, deep and tech house…” perhaps hinting that we can expect a mixed bag of beats come Sunday, while “…this amalgamation of sounds can be attributed to Leonardo’s deep understanding of both vintage and modern tools used in his production as well as from a hybrid of influences…”as well as the fact that “…many of his releases (he is an accomplished producer as well as a D.J.) can be found in the charts and record bags of some of the world’s top DJs…”. So, we are expecting a lot from this L.A. based lad and selecting his soundcloud site at http://soundcloud.com/leonardoglovibes should give you a more than a clue of what to expect too.
So, what about the detail?, Well, there’s not much more to tell to be honest, apart from the fact that this Later 9th Birthday bash takes place this Sunday (4th March) at Fire in Vauxhall, doors opening at midday. & the club running through to a planned 8 p.m. finish. Advance tickets are on sale online at http://clubtickets.com/gb/2012-03/04/later-the-birthday priced at £8, although you may as well pay on the door, as it’s also £8, while for those with a flyer, an ad or a stamp from Beyond will pay just £6 (bargain!). And with Fire keeping their bars prices reasonable, Later will certainly not burn a hole in your pocket rather allowing you to dampen your dancing feet with drinks, we crossing fingers that the forecast wet weather won’t dampen spirits for this special shindig, one which we are planning to be at & nibble size review tweet our way through. So, if you see us in our favoured spot (yes just left of the D.J. booth) then come say hi, we leaving the last word to Jay when he says, “Sunday will see us continue into the spring season of 2012, bigger, bolder & brighter, so come join in the day disco delights we have to offer…” we adding that you simply have to “Go There! Be There! (DISCO MATT)
In our haste to share the detail & our insight into this nine years of Later celebration, we omitted to include the specially devoted podcast to the event from its special guest Leonardo Glovibes, and what an oversight it was, as you will discover right from the off that he has pitched this podcast to perfection. Drawing us in from minute one with a hypnotic blend of trance & deep house sounds, it continues to trip us fantastically through a whole genre of styles including tech & tribal, dips into vocal keeping us hooked right until minute ninety three. So, to get a sample of what to expect from Leonardo’s set, go directly to http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2012-03-01T11_36_56-08_00 & hit the download or play button to benefit from this brilliant beats bonanza.
The other omission (totally inexcusable!) is the delightful devotion from one of the clubs original residents who is still cutting a significant stride nine years down the line and producing podcasts that float our boat time after time, so much so that he is one of only a handful of D.J.’s/Producers that is an indelible inclusion in our premier players list. And with this devotion to Later, not only has Oli once again floated our musical boat, but he has proved exactly why his is on that list, as this a colossal musical celebration to one of his favourite clubs, reflected through string a of superb selections that very much mirror the kind of set he plays when he picks up the final slot in the schedule, which he will be doing this Sunday. Kicking off with tech to electro beats, Oli then sinks into more vocal house even sliding into pure disco before polishing off this prolific podcast with slices of sexy & funky nu-disco style house that make for an irresistible combination, also meaning that, even if you don’t make his set at Later, later on this Sunday, then you can still enter the magical musical world of The Oli’s by hitting the play & then the download button at direct link http://theoli.podomatic.com/entry/2012-03-02T15_47_05-08_00.