With the launch of his new club, Baked, just hours away and with a marvellous music policy that is as scrummy as a Victoria sponge, we have mixed up our own Mary Berry music bonanza, lining our tunes tin, opening the oven and serving up superb slices of the deck duty & studio sets that make up the rapturous recipe of baking beats cake chap, Chris Brogan, while also looking at the aims & achievements he has for this new club concept of his.
Earning a decent crust as a D.J. on the capitals clubbing circuit is so much tougher these days than when it was when we first landed in London in the 90’s, as then there were so many different venues with equally different styles, spaces and sounds, which meant there was so much more choice for the young, enthusiastic & energetic new blood that seemed to appear quite regularly. But oh have times changed, as not only have scores of clubs disappeared, but the clubbing scene has, in a way, shrunk, or at least concentrated itself to the degree that what we can only describe as clubbing cartels have taken hold, the days of D.J.’s being able to hop between brands & promoters without repercussion long gone. Moreover, what was considered an ample crust of pay back then, is now nothing short of pittance for the capitals scene D.J.’s in comparison to their European counterparts, mainly because the rates are virtually the same now as they were back in the 90’s, so no accounting for inflation there then!! So, it comes as no surprise that many D.J.’s in London have other jobs and their time behind the decks is much more of a vocation than a career, the charismatic & bubbly Chris Brogan one such individual who, like many of his compatriots, has seen opportunities here in the capital, at best wax & wane, while at worst simply shrink. Indeed, having dipped under our own radar in the past year or so, despite being on our affectionately termed “protégé list”, Chris has sped right back into the spotlight as a result of his new club concept, Baked, which launches tonight at Green Carnation, meaning that while we would have loved to be been there, we are doing the next best thing, by focussing on him, his D.J.’ing & his podcast productions.
Chris Brogan is a name that will be familiar to many that frequent both the manly & bear-tastic Tonker at The Eagle and the swish & substantial Soho bar The Edge, both resident spots for Chris these days, while we go right back to 2002 to find Mr Brogan first breaking out onto the D.J. decks, he jumping at the opportunity to play at Fabric, a venue that has housed the likes of DTPM & Matinee, while Mr Brogan’s break was for a straight party, Chris entirely comfortable (as many are) in playing it straight as well as gay. Indeed, this has been a winding path that Chris has followed with fervent footsteps over the years, not so much dropping his guard in the pursuit of a gig, but rather grasping great openings, offers and opportunities with both hands, appearances at The Ministry Of Sound & for brilliant international brand Salvation huge highlights, the latter both here in London & across on the continent , his involvement very timely, as while Salvation was riding high across the world, like so many other clubs of its generation, it was finding the capitals circuit a much more difficult proposition, in no part due to the dirty handed dominance that a certain clubbing group was adopting. These two massive names on the music industry & global clubbing playing field apart, Chris has played across the world, particularly in his early years, destinations including Brazil & Mexico, while closer to home, the likes of Belgium, Germany, Greece, Denmark and Sweden feature too, home an interesting point here as while Chris is based in London, his family & his background stems from France, he often paying visits and playing the occasional gig there too.
However, Chris’s real passion for music, as he explains, “…is to work on my own productions that showcase my creativity both in the compositions I produce in the studio and in my live sets…”, this very much exemplified in the variety of podcast he has released as well as the titles he chooses, two of our favourites being “Baby Cakes” & “Off With Their Heads”, while others have been directly devoted to parties he has played, “Hola” at The Shadow Lounge one. Plus, it’s worth mentioning other places he has played that have influenced his podcasts, Rupert St & Barcode (both in the good days of course), Hed Kandi in Clapham and even Soho Gyms. All inspirational to the Brogan beats production machine, while we also should mention recent appearances in Cologne for clubs Recon & Panic Room, while without doubt the biggest influence has been Chris’s own & first track production, “Temper”, which, with a helping hand from our super Swede Per Q.X., he worked on during the summer of last year, its release in October following being assigned to Sorry Shoes Records, seeing it reach number one in the highly respected & renowned download site, Juno. And Chris remains keen to release more tracks, “Green Means Go” his latest project, while you can keep pace with his track by following http://junodownload.com/artists/Chris+Brogan/tracks/. As for his podcasts, please don’t ask us to hang our favourite hat on any one production, as we dig pretty much all them, no surprise when our musical tastes both in terms of genres & sound styles are quite similar to Chris’s, while Mr Brogan’s choice of artists for inclusions on his podcasts also align with ours, the likes of Stefano Noferini, John Dahlback, Michael Gray, Bob Sinclair, The Hoxton Whores, and Syke & Sugarstarr just a small handful among heaps of others that do it for us & Chris. That said, his “Baby Cakes” compilations are right up there, while that “Off With Their Heads” production always makes us dream of summer and is the perfect antidote to this latest cold snap we are being subjected to, but with plenty more to choose from, we are sure your collection will grow considerable when you click on http://djchrisbrogan.podomatic.com/.
However, the world of Chris Brogan doesn’t stop there as this genial gent is also dipping his toe into club promoting, his “Baby Cakes” podcast series the inspiration for the name of Chris’s new night, “Baked” which, as we said, launches at Green Carnation in Soho tonight (Sat 2nd Feb), the plan then to run it as a monthly meet on in the first Saturday each month. And we find the name of the club quite catchy, another example of Chris’s creativity, while the music policy also seems to have the Brogan beats banner of brilliance on it too, how did he put it “…200 gram(s) classic house, 300 gram(s) anthems, 1 pinch of disco & 1 extra large dollop of fun…” that plan to include classic hits & anthems, along with fabulous floor fillers & splashes of chart pop a refreshing breath of air in a clubbing environment which is all too often driven by tech and even tribal, vocals hardly every part of the picture. So, given this, coupled with a shift away from Vauxhall of late, along with that recent venue closure in Soho, we reckon that the timing of Baked couldn’t be better, the element of fun very much something Mr Brogan is keen to emphasise. And while he acknowledges that Baked will not compete with the bigger brands, the fact of the matter is that he doesn’t want it to, that the words variety & room carry weight in this particular equation, as it is about time we benefitted from more variety in our clubbing schedule and there is definitely room for more club nights, Baked, along with a host of other new clubs & events launching this month, we hope, signalling a tide change in the capitals clubbing circuit, the current definitely looking like its pulling away from that south of the river superb. So, with the Baked stall set, we wish Chris & everyone involved all the success they truly deserve and may this delightful dough of a dance devotion rise & rise like the best Mary Berry bake. (DISCO MATT)