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Tag Archives | Ibiza

Derren Smart

Derren Smart

Very sad to hear the news of club promoter Derren Smart’s untimely passing last weekend. Derren was someone I only got to know during recent years, initially when I appeared at his ‘A Night With…’ event, where I played for 8 hours on a memorable occasion at London’s Loft Studios in October 2012. I subsequently appeared at his Berlin equivalent ‘Eine Nacht Mit…’ at Kantine Am Berghain last December.

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Cutting Shapes – How House Music Really Hit The UK

Moss Side Manchester

During recent times I’ve been intrigued to hear about the growing schism on the House scene here in the UK, brought about by the introduction, primarily by young black dancers, of ‘foot shuffling’ (aka ‘cutting shapes’), an increasingly popular style of dancing that has been met with much hostility in certain quarters, and, somewhat bizarrely, resulted in shufflers being banned from some clubs for dancing in this way. The accusation is that not only do they take up too much dancefloor space, but there’s a general ‘moodiness’ with regards to their attitude. Although it no longer seems to be online, there was even an ‘Anti Foot Shuffling Campaign’ page on Facebook, with some of the posts suggesting underlying issues of racism. As one person commented, “It’s not that all these people on here hate shufflers, they just don’t like fact that black people are into House music now.” Although this comment may be well intentioned, it’s also somewhat misguided given there are, and always have been, plenty of black people in the UK who are big into House – it’s just that their presence is usually to be found away from the mainstream, in more specialist avenues like the Deep and Soulful House scenes. Furthermore, some of the older black crowd are also resistant to this new wave of shuffling, so to present it as a purely black / white issue would be wrong.

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A Million And Counting

Checked my stats on SoundCloud the other day – I hadn’t looked for a while, so it was an extremely pleasant surprise to find that my account has now generated more than a million plays. It’s quite astonishing how popular SoundCloud has become in such a relatively short period of time, I could never have envisaged such a remarkable response when I uploaded the first of many mixes (currently 66 on there) in 2009 – having just checked the date I’ve only just realised that this mix, from Café Mambo in Ibiza, was recorded exactly 3 years ago today – mad coincidence!

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How Clubbing Changed The World

Last month I was over in Chicago chilling out in my hotel room ahead of my first gig in the city, at Smart Bar, a venue with a rich tradition, which opened back in 1982. Chicago is, of course, along with Detroit, Philadelphia and New York, revered as a key US city when it comes to the evolution of dance culture (and, indeed, black culture, with, way before House, a deep heritage in Rhythm & Blues, Blues and Jazz, dating right back to the ‘great migration’ of black workers from the southern states, beginning just over 100 years ago).

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Terje (Not Terje)

Great to see Todd Terje blowing up big time with his infectious ‘Inspector Norse’ single, a definite candidate for best new dance track of the year, it’s simple complexity the mark of somebody who very much knows what they’re doing, someone with an understanding of both feel and precision who strikes the right balance between head and heart. I suppose that by being a feelgood DJ with a sharp sense of irony, as well as having been a student of physics at Oslo University, Terje was bound to have his own unique angle, which, when applied to making music was sure to produce intriguing results.

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