TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED GUESTS

Although this year we have announced a lot of the artists we have playing for Tales Of The Unexpected, last year’s events were for the most part a fairly secretive affair. We had completely unannounced performances from Midland, Ralph Lawson, Samuel Deep, Luca Cazal, Groove Armada’s Andy Cato and many more. In keeping with this ethos and for semi-political reasons this summer we have a few very special unannounced guests joining us for some special dates. (Some of them may be more “expected” than others with the detectives among you perhaps able to guess who we’ve got lined up!?)

First off on August 18th we’re welcoming our friends and longtime collaborators Feel My Bicep to host Freddies from open to close. Brother Andrew has known the FMB crew since it’s inception and has worked with them across continents including parties in London, Miami, Amsterdam and a residency at We Love Space back in the day. No stranger to the Pikes On Sundays crew we welcome Hammer once more. Having played pretty much every year since we started, on August 18th he makes his Freddies debut along side some Very Special Guests as they go All Night Long. A word to the wise, we expect this event to sell out very quickly and as such we suggest getting your name on the guest list as soon as you can. You can sign up for that here.

And then the following Sunday we have another secret showing. On August 25th we we welcome an old friend from our We Love Space days. During his 4 year residency with us at Space he played in both the Discoteca and The Terrace and in that time cemented himself as one of our favourites. Since then his broad range in musical taste has meant we have invited him to join us at Pikes for poolside sets, intimate Chez Fez sets and also extended Freddies sets. He continues to play the bigger club shows in Ibiza and we are delighted to welcome him back for an extended and unexpected set. Get signed up for the guest list for that one here.

And finally the last of our secret guests joins us on September 8th for an all night long B2B set with our friend and resident Ruf Dug. There’s not a lot to say about this guest that we haven’t already said if you catch our drift 😉 Again a hero of ours who we first met back in our We Love Space days. See if you can work this one out for yourselves! Guest list available here.

And that just about wraps up the Summer surprises. We have something very special lined up for October 13th too but we thing we might announce that one a bit later on. Anyway, let us know if you think you can guess who we’re talking about above. Have we been too subtle, or perhaps not subtle enough??

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INTERVIEW – RUF KUTZ

This week we’re doing things a little differently here on the Pikes On Sundays blog. For one time ony we’re handing over the interview reins to an outsider! Well, somewhat of an outsider anyway. Our friend and compadre Ruf Dug interviews his friend and musical partner M.Miuante who together will pay all night long in Freddeis this Sunday under their Ruf Kutz monkier along with some poolside fun thrown in for good measure. And so let’s get down to it. Bang this mix on whilst you’re having a read!

RUF DUG – I first met M.Miutante aka Mikey almost 20 years ago in Sydney at the first regular party I ever put on – “High-Jinks” – in a pub in Enmore. His girlfriend (now his wife) made him give us a mix CD to try and get a gig and it was brilliant and that was that. We’ve had all kinds of adventures together over the years and I’m very excited to be playing at Pikes with him this weekend.

I haven’t seen Mikey or his family for a couple of years since they moved back to Australia – he’s a Melbournite these days but is travelling around Europe right now en route to Ibiza. We caught up online for a reminiscent Google chat the other day…

Where are you guys at the moment?

M.Miuante – We’re in a village called Selva in the Italian side of the Swiss Alps. It’s pouring.

RD – Can you remember what was on the mix CD you gave us at High-Jinks?

MM – I remember it had some Perlon records mixed in with Miles Davis. It was at a time when I didn’t realise you didn’t have to mix everything so I spent ages getting the jazz to blend right. There was a tune off Kilimanjaro. And bunch of other fusion stuff like Chick Corea.

RD – There was another night at the same pub we did High-Jinks called Paradise Lost… They were a loose crew of oddball disco and good deep house heads and Mikey fell in with that lot pretty quickly. Back then he was already onto the good shit like that while I was still listening to minimal… Soon the Paradise Lost vibe outgrew that little pub and they started putting on serious warehouse parties of dubious legality and also – quite unsually for Sydney at the time – refusing to book big name guests…

MM –  We worked out the formula didn’t need an international DJjust good sound, a warehouse and a DIY spirit. We were petrified of cops picking up the address ahead of time. We had a leave no trace policy of promoting things without telling people where they were until the last moment by SMS. Somehow we sold tickets on a promise, and you know we kept trying to make every one of them better [but] not bigger. When we were putting on parties all the clubs were shit and run by gangsters. Now there’s not even any clubs.

Melbourne is a different beast though. It’s not really a struggle to put on music things in the same way it is in Sydney – I’ve met a lot of people here who DJ for a living. You don’t see that in Sydney.

RD – Almost all the DJs have day jobs in Sydney. It was always like that tho right?

MM –That’s pretty much why you left oz right? To give up your day job.

RD – Yep. Took a few goes but I managed it. I left Sydney at the very right time – the warehouse / squat party scene was really peaking and the lockout laws weren’t even on the horizon. I always tell the story of how on my last Saturday in Sydney we were DJing at a lesbian sex party and then one week later I was back in my mum’s spare room in Manchester, in bed by 10pm.

MM – Haha. I remember that party. Loud rhythmic slapping sounds from go to woe, and the performance piece with people dragging things around with their nipple piercings. Sydney is still my home town. But it’s hard work.

RD – So what does Ibiza mean to you?

MM – Ibiza is kinda this mix of low brow party people dancing for a week straight on dodgy speed and yacht glamour and incredible natural beauty, but it’s both at once. Not one or the other. I’ve only been once and spent most of my time on the North side beaches exploring the rock pools

Went to the clubs and met a dude who was a hired mercenary who provided protection to US VIPs in Afghanistan. He comes to Ibiza to blow off steam. We talked about everything. The war, religion, philosophy. Then he bought me a 20 euro drink and headed off into the dancefloor to pump his fist at the bangers. The next day I was snorkeling on clear white sand beach. That’s kind of how i picture Ibiza.

Has it changed a lot in the time you’ve been going? I kind of get the feeling the island itself has this hedonistic spirit that will outlast any trends in music or fashion or whatever.

RD – It’s changed loads but it’s still the same really and up on the hill in Cala Llonga it’s not much different since I was a little boy.

MM – The natural beauty of the place was a surprise to me. Hippies always find the good places so I shouldn’t have been surprised.

RD – What are you listening to at the moment?

MM – I’ve been on a mission hunting bangers for Freddies. That was the only description you gave me and i took it broadly – I’ve got everything from vogueing and ballroom music, to Italo-house to 130bpm soul.

Have been really digging a Japanese composer called Takashi Kukubo. He does these amazing lush ambient pieces – All of it is brilliant, he’s been doing it since the 80s and has a massive discography. He’s like the Brian Eno of Japan. Where Brian made the Windows startup sound, Takashi made the earthquake warning

Have been finding a lot 90s era Chicago house I never knew about – Braxton Holmes, Chez Damier, Glen Toby

Do you know Saada Bonaire? She had one self titled album which got a re release a couple.of years back, it’s this kind of middle eastern chill wave dub thing. I think there might be a Dennis Bovell hand in the production somewhere.

RD – Yep, Dennis produced the album in Kraftwerk’s studio! It was two women and a guy who wanted to sleep with them both.

MM – I’d love to say that’s what I’m into but i only know that one album that sounds like that. It’s great.

RD – And what have you been reading about lately?

MM – Have been reading an Ursula le Guin translation of the Tao Te Ching. I’ve not read it as another translation but it’s super enjoyable. She makes I Ching seem like somewhere between zen and anarchism and maintains a lot of the poetry.

I’m also reading some of the history of the yoga movement. It’s interesting to me cause of what my wife is doing as a yoga teacher. A lot of its origins are from a specific time in the 20th century. But there’s also a history as part of tantra. Tantra goes very deep in time. With things like meditation, mandalas, chanting sutras all of thatrepetition and not treating the mind as separate from the body. It’s an idea I have a lot of time for. And I think what you choose to do as your ritual is incidental.

Join me & Mikey enacting our own repetitive ritual of playing mega bangers for ur body & soul on Sunday night in Freddie’s!

Thanks very much to both Ruf Dug and Mikey. Come and catch them playing both poolside and in Freddies this Sunday.

 

INTERVIEW – FLYING MOJITO BROS

Anybody that has been visiting us poolside these past four summers will no doubt have enjoyed (hopefully) the section mid afternoon that myself and Andrew like to refer amongst ourselves to as Cowboy Hour. How long this ‘hour’ lasts is very dependant on who’s hanging out poolside and what we’ve managed to find along the way, we try not to repeat our selections too many times and we’re not country obsessives so we don’t get chance to do it on a weekly basis but country and country influenced styles is music that we massively enjoy playing and the reason why it’s with great joy that we invite The Flying Mojito Bros to join us poolside at Pike On Sundays this week. Don’t worry, if you think that your not a fan of ‘country’ music it’s not all line dancing and ho-downs, this is music your going to Love. These guys also play a fantastic selection of styles from right across The Brothers Grim endorsed board. Have a listen to some mixes and enjoy the little interview Brother Mark was fortunate enough to get earlier this week.

Listen in to some amazing mixes from the guys as your read on! Try this one on for starters. And if you like what you hear be sure to sign up to their mailing list here.

BROTHER MARK – When I first started out raving across the country back in the dark ages I’d generally be treated at some point in the night’s festivities by some google eyed skinny white boy/girl and before the couple open their mouths I knew what was coming so giving a nod to those helicon days I’ll start the interview with the immortal words (try and imagine this being said in a strong Lancashire accent) Where are ya from, what are you on?

Flying Mojito Bros – We’re from Way Out West(country) – from where the hillocks and streams are made of chalk – but with our gaze firmly on the orange siltstone buttes of monument valley, and the peachy ones of LA. Ever-seeking the perfect dive bar on the crossroads of country funk, smoky mezcal, dancefloor euphoria, cosmic sunsets and fish tacos.

BM – That question could then often lead to a long and fruitful friendship which could last for anything from 15mins whist waiting to have a slash or in some cases to a friendship still standing. How long have you two known each other and how did you meet?

FMB – We’ve known one another for about a dozen years through one of our brothers. Our friendship is mostly based around music, the countryside, crisps and Old Speckled Hen. We have very similar interests and Flying Mojito Bros allows us to explore them in depth and be creative with them, which is hugely satisfying. It’s lead to us mutually shitting our britches in the studio lovingly laughing at the monsters we’ve created, and to some ridiculous adventures …

BM – I was lucky enough to have been brought up in a community of music loving people at an incredible point in British musical history. When I was still a child I was pointed in some fabulous directions by certain people in my life that I looked up to. What drew you to music and has there been a particular person that has made a huge impact on your musical journey?

FMB (Jack) –  Many people along the way have played their part for sure. One that comes to mind is the band The Bees from the Isle of Wight (which you can see from where I grew up) teaching me that I didn’t have to be tribal about my tastes… That it can also be cool to love the best of all genres.

Ben comes from a very musical family and a very musical town — he and his two brothers devoted themselves to learning instruments growing up and had great teachers — he went on to study drums and percussion at degree level.

As FMB we’re still hoping to pick up a cosmic guru. Apply within.

MB – Listening to your selections online you seem drawn to the more laid back high quality studio productions that were coming out in the 70’s and a lot of the modern music you play is obviously influenced from this time period. Would you say that this was a golden age for music and how do you feel about the Punk movement at the same time that set about to smash the system and make music making more democratic?

FMB – Golden age? 100%! Not only was the studio production amazing — which therefore carries through to sounding amazing on big sound systems — but so was most of the songwriting in our view. And there’s so much, we’ve found it unfathomable so far. Can’t stop finding nuggets. As for punk, it’s hard to imagine the explosion of electronic dance music which followed via post punk ten years or so later being so prolific without people’s access to music-making gear being democratised. It’s all a beautiful history

MB –  Beatles or Stones. Please explain.

FMB – Stones all the way. While we love the Beatles for their musical magpie-ness and grew up on them too — the Stones hooked themselves up to the great American dream in a way that we relate strongly to. That said we do steer clear from the blues. It’s more their grooves, swagger, country and rock roll we’re into. And the thought of those Compass point sessions for Emotional Rescue. Woof! Check our edit of Dance Pt I (on Mojave Sundown mixtape)

MB – Are you fire-starters?

FMB – We’re both pretty gentle beings. More present-day Keith Richards than Keiths Flint, Moon, or Chegwin. We make excellent things happen through our various endeavours but prefer not being centre of attention really. Fires don’t have to burn quickly or brightly to inspire creativity or affect change in others. They can smoulder too…

MB – I used to follow Andy Weatherall and Justin Robertson around the country because I felt that they could tap in to my inner feelings and spoke to me on a level that I’d never felt had been touched before simply by playing other peoples records in a certain order. Is there anybody that has touched you in a special place in a similar way that you’d like to share with us?

FMB – No-one in particular takes first prize for that in FMB world! Instead for sure it’s more the ever-present possibility of being hit with goosebump moments at any turn. Whether that’s seeing the incendiary Don Kelly band at Roberts Western World in Nashville, sat silent to folk singers at Cecil Sharp house, hearing something you’ve never heard before in a tune you know well on Spiritland’s mammoth sound system, or a dancefloor epiphany. We’ve always said it’s a shame we can’t be punters at our own party too…

MB – Do you feel that you have gained the right amount of exposure from doing what you do or do you feel that your untapped talent waiting to explode onto the unsuspecting public?

FMB – There’s the whole thing happening stateside with pop and EDM colliding with country – on a pretty mega scale. It would be cool for that same acceptance that country music can be (is) danceable, funky and ultimately fucking COOL translated more widely in the UK’s electronic music community – ie in clubs. We’ve been doing our bit to address that with our productions for five years now, and people do clearly love it when they’re on the floor, and not in a guilty pleasure way. Be that at a country event or a conventional club. Another way to look at it of course is that people have been remixing/editing 70s soul, funk and disco for modern dancefloors for decades…so why not funky country? We have complete faith in our sound. Just need to carry on getting the word out…

MB – What are you doing to address this?

FMB – Putting a lot of effort into building a West Coast fanbase; those folks have been engaging and responding really excitedly at what we’re doing, so once we’ve built it a bit more, the next step is to visit for a string of dates for early next year. We’ve a few people lined up who have asked to put some shows together for us, but happy to hear from others who may be interested. Working title — “Selling Ice to the Eskimos Tour 2020”

MB – Well thanks so much for being good sports with this guys. And on to the last question. Whats your favourite thing to eat for breakfast and where is it served best?

FMB – Huevos rancheros and Bloody Marias in Mexico with Lowell George, Bonnie Raitt, Levine Helm and Ronnie Milsap.

Thanks very much to both Mark and The Flying Mojito Bros. you can catch them all playing at Pikes On Sundays this week along with Brother Andrew, Jon Woodall and Jon Rasta. Plus an all night long set from in Freddies from Djebali and Stephane Ghenacia! All the info, restuarant details and guest lists can been found here.

Come dine, drink and dance with us!

PIKES ON SUNDAYS – 9TH JUNE

Well, what to say about last week that we’ve not said a hundred times before? Not a lot really. How often can you wax lyrical about a pool party in the grounds of the worst kept secret on Ibiza?!? Well, a few more times probably.

Thanks to everybody that came and played and hung out. This last week was probably the busiest one so far this season and we were rather taken aback on arriving at 14:00 to a fully packed poolside soundtracked by the most inappropriate peak-time club music we’ve heard there – yeah, thanks for the updated background music guys! So it was a pair of shaky hands that took back control of the poolside vibes this week. The Pikes On Sundays usual unusual flavours were quickly brought back into play and the standard re-set for the next ten hours. An exceptional performance from Simon ‘More’ Morell at around 20:00 showed us just what a classy booking this fellah is. Not only is he a dancefloor destroyer, record label financier, DJ booking agent and all round good guy, he’s also an incredible Balearic selector who absolutely knows his way round the various genres that it takes to be that. As we are quite an unapproachable set once ensconced behind the decks and don’t usually have people talking to us it was actually rather refreshing (and not totally unlovely) to be asked “Who the fuck is this guy? He’s amazing!” So yeah, shout-outs to Mogger who was most certainly this weeks poolside man of the match… And please do come and say hello, tell us that you’re enjoying what were doing… Keep it to yourselves if you’re not however!

So yeah, we mentioned that we had George Fitzgerald coming to play with us in the last blog piece. We’d not seen George for sometime and before that in our previous lives as ‘super club’ aficionados he’d been a regular booking and good pall of ours so it was wonderful to catch up with him and his extended crew (manager Mouj and his dominatrix friend) over Sunday lunch in the courtyard last week. It seems George has been rather busy bringing up three children between writing the two albums that we know about and all his side projects. This life does really seem to suit him well and we’ve not seen a happier chap… It could well have been the escape to Ibiza for the weekend of course!

George played the full five hours inside Freddies and once we’d gotten past the requests to “play something we can dance to” and “have you got anything a bit harder” he managed to settle into his own groove and draw the crowds from the gardens and onto the dancefloor well into the early hours of Monday morning with what can only be described as a sublime set of low slung beats and pieces. A perfectly programmed extended set. Cheers George!

On to this week and the treats we have lined up both inside and outside.

Poolside this week sees the welcome return of Justin Robertson (who you might remember from Mark and Sarah’s Birthday the other week… If you have any memories of that day/night) who this time round will be playing under his Temple Of Wonders guise. If you’re not familiar with this side of Justin you need to climb out from the rock your hiding under and listen in to what can only be described as a master class in radio programming. Music’s not for everybody of course and some of his selections are pretty out there, which is just the way we at Pikes On Sundays like it. Soooooo excited to be able to host this kind of thing poolside at Pikes and really happy that our crowd have grown with us to appreciate this sort of programming. There really is nowhere else on this island that you could get away with it. The Brothers Grim kick things off as per usual and are joined later in the day by David Phillips and old friend of the family Lord Anthony. We’re going to give the lions share of the programing to Justin this week and sit back and enjoy something wonderful. Join us from 14:00 and bring your best ears.

Tales Of The Unexpected will be curated by France’s ambassador of cool Dan Ghenacia this week. Again Dan is an old friend of the family and was once a regular feature of We Love…Space so we’re happy to bring him back in to the fold for another extended Sunday set (5hrs). You just know that there are some acts out there that can do a long set and keep it interesting, keep you wondering what they are going to play next, make it so that you simply can not leave the dance floor incase you miss something. Dan is one such artist and we know that this will be a really special night so stick yourself on the guest list and join us for a final cocktail poolside before heading into the Rave Cave for a night of delectable dance music.

PIKES ON SUNDAYS – 2ND JUNE

We’re feeling far older than we really ought to this week after last week’s Birthday celebrations. Time slipped by quicker than it ought to have thanks to dubious concoctions handed round the gathered. We do remember the music being amazing and people’s smiling faces in and around the incredible setting that is Pikes On Sundays.

Bernie Connor did The Broadbents proud with his selections spanning the five decades that they’ve been around, highlights being far too numerous to mention (and also very blurry) and the usual unusual suspects that had been given the challenge of bringing a record to play from each decade didn’t disappoint either. Although we do think that Andy Wilson and Sebastian Spring probably played a lot more than five tracks each due to their mastery of the craft… And the fact a few of the folk we asked peaked a little too early.

Anybody witness to the scene of Craig Christon on the sun-beds earlier in the day would rightly not have expected the wonderful selection of music he put together a few hours later as he opened Freddies for the nighttime activities ahead of Justin Robertson. Playing plenty of his own pieces from the outstanding reissue label Passport To Paradise and under its new guise Beyond Paradise Craig set the scene for total Acid House devastation as Justin took control of the final three hours of Birthday programming. It really was a wonderful way to celebrate The Broadbents and the music they have championed on Ibiza for so long. Roll on Sunday.

Which brings us round to week six of Pikes On Sundays / Tales of The Unexpected.

This week we invite long term friends and collaborators Simon Morell and Adam Moujahid poolside to join The Brothers Grim and their brother from another, ‘Big’ Jon Woodall. Adam will be playing a set compressed of music he has collected on his travels around London whilst Simon will be spinning pure Bradford beats n pieces. A true Northern soul who never fails to bring joy with his selections and a dude from Peckham who’s never played out before. Whats not to love.

If your wondering why we’ve asked a man called Adam to the table it’s pretty much all down to our night-time booking this week. When we inquired about booking George Fitzgerald Adam demanded that we book him for a gig too “or it’s simply not going to happen mate”. We love George so much and admire how far he has come / developed musically since we first started booking him all those years ago when he was better known as ‘Scubas mate’ that we had to take it on the chin. So, no matter how it goes poolside this week we are in for a massive treat as we welcome George Fitzgerald to Freddies for his only Ibiza show this year. This really is a massive thing for us as George very rarely plays such intimate shows since his huge 6Music success and Radio residencies of recent years. We cant fucking wait…..

Come dine, drink and dance with us. And if you’re arrving after 9pm don’t forget to sign up to the guest list here. If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in!

INTERVIEW – JUSTIN ROBERTSON

This week we’re getting to know another of our musical heroes, Justin Robertson. Get down to the nitty-gritty of it all with this incredibly interesting conversation between him and Brother Mark. Just joins us this Sunday in Freddies to help us celebrate the 50th Birthdays of Mark and Sarah. Read on and come down!

BROTHER MARK: I first came across you in the early 90’s in Manchester where you hosted what was probably one of the cooler gatherings that that city has witnessed over the years, Most Excellent. Your not actually a native of Manchester so tell us what you were doing there and how that night came about.

JUSTIN ROBERTSON: I went to Manchester as a furrow-browed, long mac wearing cafe bar botherer, with pretentious hopes of becoming an absinthe drenched philosopher. My musical pallet was a mixture of serious space rock, reggae and a lot of angular guitar music, but my main love was the music coming out of Manchester. The Fall were my favourite band bar none, but i was also into the whole Factory thing, especially ACR. So though the University course I chose was well thought of academically, it was really the city’s musical prospectus that drew me there.

I studied Philosophy for three years and was reasonably diligent despite the distractions! That was 1986- 1989, so anyone with a modicum of knowledge of musical history can work out what those distractions were! Acid house did for me! Well actually i was hooked way before that; clubs like the Fizz Club, Trash, the PSV alongside the Hacienda of course, these places were where i really studied and where i grew up and broadened my pallet. House was the pulse of the city from the start, it was modern northern soul in a way, so acid house was really about different drugs, different clothes and a different dance, but in Manchester the musical shift wasn’t so pronounced as in London.

Long story short, I graduated and went onto to work in Eastern Bloc records in Manchester, I met Greg Fenton who had recently moved over from Belfast. We were really interested in the ‘Balearic’ scene that was happening over here and in London at the Boy’s Own parties etc. That breadth of music wasn’t really a feature of Manchester clubbing, it was much more straight up house and techno, all be it with some significant caveats! But that’s how we saw it. So we started a Sunday night session called Spice. It was more legendary than successful, but we did break the mould to some extent, and we started to make friends around the country, the Balearic network if you will. Most Excellent grew out of Spice, we wanted to re- inject the energy of ’88 into the slightly nosed up vibe of ’91, Greg started the high octane job of Glitter Baby on a Saturday and I did Most Excellent on a Thursday. It started off as a piano laden romp with tambourines and whistles and ended up, well the same with slightly less pianos. Musically it went all over the shop. 

BM: With such a broad taste in music you are an obvious choice for radio and indeed you do host a fabulous show on Soho Radio, This Is The Temple Of Wonders. Listening to it on a monthly basis has become a Brothers Grim ritual and reminds us of amazing radio shows we’ve enjoyed past and present. Is there a particular radio show that you think of when recording your own, what were your influences when starting out on radio basically?

JR: Thank you kindly I’m so glad you like it! Yes a lot of time and love go into it, not to mention a colossal vinyl bill. I wanted to create a show with energy that was a slightly disorientating, like a trip through a universe of different sounds, but that all shared a psychedelic quality, it’s a Discordian party basically. So it’s eclectic but still focussed, I’m guessing ‘On the Wire’ might be a touch stone in that respect, but also the weird cut up interludes you get on albums like Spirit’s ‘Potatoe Land’ album. I want people to get lost inside the Temple. I try to play stuff people might not know, or stuff they’ve forgotten, but i like to think the music is odd and interesting rather than wilfully weird or deliberately difficult, though i do have my moments. Chat is relatively sparse but my dog friends do like to get involved at times and there are no requests.

BM: Musically I do tend to lean more towards ‘home listening’ nowadays and when in a nightclub I’m often left wondering what i’m doing there if i’m not there on a professional level. Do you still go to nightclubs for enjoyment and if so what would get you off the sofa and on to the dance floor?

JR: Yeah man, I still do from time to time, though I favour the afternoon/evening soiree these days. A good jacking number will do it, and i’m partial to an eastern tinged swayer. I think i’m doomed to train spot for music until i’m just dust in space.

BM: Which do you prefer. A night in front of the stereo with the dogs or a night behind the decks?

JR: That entirely depends, I have to say i’m quite bad at relaxing though. When I’m at home of an evening I’m forever fidgeting in the racks or puling books off the shelf. I’m a fairly voracious reader and I like to sketch ideas for new art collections, so multi-tasking has laid waste to my chances of spending too much time on the sofa. I love spending time with the dogs, we are like a little team scuttling about the park, they are my family really. But they aren’t fond of house music it has to be said, so i sneak out at night to satisfy that urge. 

BM: Do you still own most of the physical music that you’ve bought over the years or have you had a massive clear out in recent times and roughly how many records do you currently own?

JR: I sold well over half my records when I moved from Manchester in 2003, then promptly bought most of them back again! But I think its more of a collection of records I love now, rather than a complete library, I just got rid of those ‘warm up filler for one week’ records or the complete discography of a label instead of just the zingers, a few got sold in error, but i think i’ve corrected that mistake now. It’s good to rationalise what you love into a tight collection from time to time, but i’m certainly not brutal about it, my tastes change too quickly to be certain i’m not going to fall in love with something i once felt lukewarm about. I have no idea how many records I have? Plenty maybe?

BM: Do you have a box of valuable records close at hand in case the house catches fire at night and you have to leave quickly? if not which records out of your collection would you risk a scorching for?

JR: Don’t even mention it! I would simple walk into the flames like Daenerys Targaryen and gather them up one by one. My collection is in a mysterious order that very few can decipher a bit like the Voynich manuscript, So it would require patient selection even as the flames consumed the building. 

BM: I’m still being surprised by Dj sets and last year was no exception when I witnessed one of (if not thee) best Dj sets i’ve ever heard/seen in over 30 years of being in nightclubs. I watched as Andy C played a four/five hour set to the gathered masses and I simply could not work out how he was doing what he was doing. A master class in mixing and programming. Whats the best Dj set that you’ve ever seen, and if thats too difficult who is it that consistently amazes you with their skills?

JR: Hard to say and even harder to remember. These are some of the highlights my wizened brain can recall from my early days, nights that got me excited and pushed me to try stuff out and a couple of recent encounters…

1. Andy Madhatter at Trash Manchester in 1986/87- he was playing a mixture of rare soul and funk and early house and man could he mix! He got one the mic once and slagged off all the other djs in town, saying they couldn’t play house properly, then proceeded to smash the living heck out of two Adonis records- astonishing.

2. Steve Williams at Frenzy Blackpool and the Thunderdome Manchester – undisputed king of New Beat, Steve was just streets ahead of everyone in ’88, ’89, effortless mixing and peak crowd manipulator. He didn’t care for bullshit so packed it in when he was at the top of his game. Loved him.

3. Mike Pickering and Martin Prendergast (MP2)- Nude night at the Hacienda Manchester 86, 87- what can you say? Pure jacking energy, with the foot patrol ruling the floor and the deafening sound of whistles. Pure energy.

4. Jon Da Silva at Hot Manchester 88, – Jon did things we records i didn’t understand, just brilliant and he wasn’t afraid too chuck in a Dub Syndicate record from time to time, Balearic pioneer, though he’d hate name saying it! I used to pester him constantly, watching him mix in the booth etc. I even used to go round his house sometimes. He was quite polite about it too. Jon fearlessly launched disco into the mix too, he understands the history of it all.

5. Andrew Weatherall at some Boys Own do in a barn- Andrew went on in the early hours, I was high as a kite and, charmingly, i’d been sick down my shirt, I was quite a sight. Andrew dropped out of an accapella of Rozalla ‘Everybody’s free’, a song i hated, but at the moment it was the greatest thing i had ever heard. Then this slow drifting ambiance bubbled up underneath and ‘We Came in peace’ by Tranquilty Bass emerged from the haze. My fucking mind exploded! Andrew has been doing similar things to me on a regular basis since then.

6. Jaye Ward at my mates pub in London, and wherever she plays- I was embarrassed after the fifth or sixth enquiry as to what she was playing, i just took to hovering about the decks with binoculars and a note pad. The tunes were immense! She has a selection skill like no other, playing stuff you’ve never heard of, stuff you’ve overlooked and stuff you thought you’d never play, but when you’ve heard her play them, you go rooting about for them again. A truly inspiring selector.

7. Channel One at the Mason’s arms London- A well appointed boozer and a well to do pub manager, keen not to disturb his neighbours. Channel One sound in the house. The manager turns to me and says, ’This is quite relaxed, I think it will be fine’, ‘They haven’t started yet’ I replied, ’That was just the warm up selector’. The manger flashed me a sudden look of panic crossed with a dreadful realisation that something was about to happen. Mikey Dread steps to the deck, puts on his first tune. He flicks a switch. The whole fucking pub explodes as the bass threatens to blow out the windows, i mean the place is vibrating. The crowd goes wild… the managers phone starts to ring…

BM: It seems to me that your incredibly busy with your DJing out and on the radio and recently I’ve been seeing a lot of talk online regarding your various art shows that are happening about the place and in fact you will be returning to Pikes hotel later this summer to host an art exhibition with us there. Can you tell us a little bit more about ‘The Art’ we’ll be seeing and you divide your time between all your projects?

JR: It’s really something that has grown quite organically over the past few years. I was encouraged to show my work by my friend Shaun McCluskey, he had a gallery on Redchurch Street in London with Martin Tickner. I was starting to get some paintings together that i’d been working on during an enforced studio meltdown, and was beginning to feel they were maybe coherent enough as an idea to show. Shaun and Martin offered me that chance and i took it. Since then I have been keeping up the momentum, producing work that represents a particular theme or an idea i’d like to explore. So the first show was called ‘Everything is Turbulence’ and dealt with the occult power of uncertainty through the medium of monsters! ’The Explorer’s Chronicle’ was a mixture of pencil drawings and digital collages that dealt with the importance of the imagination in scientific discovery. ‘Its Alive’ was about secular animism and our connection the objects around us and my most recent collection ‘Alone’,started as a response to the death of my Father, but became a study in isolation, both voluntary and enforced. The life of a dj and artist can be weirdly hermit like despite the crowds, you spend a lot of time alone, whether travelling or in hotels and this can be a blessing and a curse. I concluded that however bold your ideas are in private, they only make sense, or have meaning, once you share them. That is the common thread between art and music, the communication of ideas and meaning.

Thanks very much to both Justin and Mark for a really really interesting read! Come on down this Sunday to have a listen to both of them play and to wish Mark a Happy Birthday!

THE SOUNDS OF SUNDAYS #3

For episode #3 of The Sounds of Sundays Brother Andrew waxes lyrical about the one and only Bernie Connor:

“The idea of choosing a single favourite DJ is quite a strange concept. I wouldn’t for example want Jeff Mills to be the DJ as I was laying on a beach (or maybe I would actually, I bet he’s got an amazing ambient collection) but hearing him play in Space’s Discoteca back in the day is one of the best musical experiences I’ve had. What I’m trying to say is I have quite a few “favourite” DJs. But if push really did come to shove and I had to choose one overall favourite, that person would be Bernie Connor.”

When it came time to program the DJs for Mark and Sarah’s 50th Birthday Party there was only ever one choice for who we wanted to come and play with us poolside at Pikes. This Sunday Bernie will be playing a specially crafted mix featuring 1 song from each of the last 50 years to celebrate the Broadbents’ half century.

And so to get you in the mood and to in general spread the love for Bernie’s most excellent The Sound Of Music mix series here are a selection of our favourites from over the years. To be honest they’re all our favourties 😉

So sit back, hit play on the mixes above, relax and enjoy the ride. And for those of you lucky enough to be in Ibiza this Sunday come on down to Pikes On Sundays for the real deal!