:- Magnetic thought
Brighton purveyor of hard-edged beats, Dave Clarke talks techno and entropy with Bethan Cole.
Dave Clarke chisels beats into scrolling tracts of steely staccato. His l994 releases Red 1 and Red 2 are characterised by a control-freaked minimalism spiked with razor-sharp industria. Tight, metallic danceﬁoor dominators: Clarke‘s eight year DJing history has determined a proliﬁc vinyl output. The releases on his Magnetic North label as Graphite and Analogistic Warrior and those by Adam X and Cristian Vogel mine an underground vein of electro-terrorism.
On the phone from his Brighton home, Clarke explains the deﬁning elements of his music: ‘1 come from the old-school. l have a passion for techno and house. Yeah. i would say l'm a purist.‘
Clarke‘s DJing career began in a roller disco playing hip-hop and soul. ‘Bn'ghton had a really vibrant little club scene in those days — hip hop. soul and garage were being played. sometimes all in one night. God forbid.’ he says. But his love of early 80s electro led him to pick up on acid and techno early. ‘I remember playing Strings Of Life well before everyone locked onto it and knew what it was.’
Clarke was the ﬁrst British artist to be signed to R & S. moving to XL in its early days and putting out some inspired material. Clarke was sampling
John Lydon and Martha And The Mufﬁns years before the words ‘punk revival‘ were common currency. More than 25 releases later. he’s working on an album. is a resident at London's Eurobeat 2000 and DJing in France. Switzerland. Germany. Austria and the States. ‘1 think my name‘s still fairly underground,’ he says. ‘Some people might know my Magnetic North stuff. but not my name as a DJ. To be honest there's a lot of old fuckers DJing that should move over and die. All those London Balearic boys who've got the same pension schemes for starters. They’re half dead anyway.’
it's easy to sympathise with Clarke's cynicism. the signs of entropy in club culture being so prominent. After the Thatcherite free market enterprise of the rave scene and the corporate capitalism of the Ministry Of Sound — a Pepsi liaison and the TV spectacle of Glastonbury. never mind the Criminal Justice Bill. As fast as club culture has mutated. the multinationals and media concerns have stayed close behind. ready to grasp and transform the underground alternatives into proﬁt
‘l found rave culture particularly insidious.‘ continues Dave. ‘The Storm raves ﬁnished off the Brighton club scene. Rave could have been a Government conspiracy couldn‘t it? Make a load of kids happy with chemicals. it's like something Norman Tebbit could have thought up.‘ He‘s cautious about ambient too: ‘l like ambient. it serves a purpose. But l‘m really worried about ecology. politics. all those things. . . i don’t think sitting around wearing silver and being doped out of your head changes anything. do you?’
Dave Clarke is opinionated. Some might call it arrogance. yet while the future of personal freedom remains under threat and the commercialisation of dance music continues apace. club culture desperately needs voices like his — people who will speak out against fashion and bullshit. lfthe word underground still has a sphere of application. be assured. Dave Clarke
lies somewhere within it. I Dave Clarke is at Sativa. The Vaults. : Edinburgh. Fri [9 August.
Terry and Jason are the cats that hide behind the Pussypower name, a name that is well known for demanding a ‘high quality threshold’ in whatever musical genre they wander Into, be it American-influenced hard house, ‘real’ Detroit-style techno or hip hop. In early 91 the boys made the leap from bedroom mixers to professional Ills and by the end of the year were flnnly ensconced in the Glasgow club scene. Today, their nights regularly fill the venues they are held In, and the crowd Is a sussed out, partied up mix who take the camlval atmosphere
to the max.
To give themselves a bit of light relief though, the boys created Body Mechanics, a night that investigated avenues of musical excellence that differs from the full scale ‘event’ club nights. Initially, neither the names Terry and Jason nor the Pussypower origin were mentioned, enabling the night to become a success on the merits of the music alone. it was only recently that the night had proven itself to have matured into an entity of its own and their names could be used, albeit in small type.
Pussypower (derived either from their ‘love of cats’ or because they’re ‘a bunch of pussies’), see themselves apart from the usual rent-e-locir, claiming they have a style all their very own. In Calmere (Caiual Records),
they see this same energy. ‘lle’s forged ahead with his own style of house without bowing to a trend,’ says Terry.
Such kindred spirits have resulted in Caimere coming over to Scotland to give a rare live performance in association with Pussypower productions. The promotion side of the operation is, according to Jason, the direction in which they want to go, ‘to platform acts that don’t get a lot of exposure as well as those that do - to let the crowd get a taste of the real underground acts.’ (llory Weller) Pussypower Productions present Calmere, baiae and DJ Pierre at The Garage (Glasgow) on Thursday 25 Aug. On Mon 29 Aug Oaimere and Jason of Pussypower will be at The Venue (Edinburgh).
sponsored by VOX
Bethan Cole trawls through the most canin’, glammed-up, and housed-up clubs. See Venues on next page for addresses and phone numbers.
I Sativa Spiky techno. chunky dubs. dreads. zippies and a loved-up atmosphere. On Friday. the forrnidably talented Dave Clarke carves up Detroit- styled mayhem. See preview.
The Vaults. Fri 19 Aug. lOpm—«lanr, £6 (£5/£4).
I Squid Back by dope demand — James Lavelle. Expect a quietly radical fusion of abstract jazz and new school electronica and if you‘re lucky a preview ofthe new Funk Mob single remixed by Richie Hawtin and Nightmares On Wax.
La Belle Ange/e. Fri [9 Aug. llpnt—4am, £6 (£4).
I Club Latino Hip-grinding rhythms on a sensual. hot dancefloor. Prepare to lose yourself in a dizzying cocktail of Rhumba. Curnbia. Merengue. Salsa . . . The Assemny Rooms. Saturdays. midnight-3am. £4 (£3).
I .loy Scotland‘s answer to Heaven with a far superior playlist. Maggie and Alan throwing down the inspired mix of house and garage and Edinburgh's loved-up queercore going for broke. Out 'n’ proud.
The C(tltml. .S'aturdays. [Own—4am. £5 (£3).
I Tribal Funktion New York house hedonism upstairs. blunted hip-hop cuts downstairs. Sweaty. beautiful — essential Festival clubbing. Wicked! The Venue. Sat 20 Aug. llpm—Jam. £5 I 0" The Hill Post-Acropolis hoedown with a top name line-up. This week. Slam boys Stuart and Orde segue the foot-friendly mix of hard-edged house andtechno.
The Venue. Mon 22 Aug. llpm—4arn. £5 (£2.50).
I Fringe Club ‘Club flight’ Reﬁned. underground garage and house from Phil Asher.
Fringe Club. Tue 23 Aug, lOpm—3am. £5
I Chocolate City One-off reunion for Edinburgh‘s ﬁnest funk ’n' jazz night. Jamie. Whitney (now man and wife). John Porter and Mo Wax artiste A-One get together to spin the discs abetted by the live talents of Freshly Squeezed. The Venue, Thur 25 Aug. llpm—4am. £5.
I Mambo Club A nightly Festival institution. Sir Ossie mixing up the world class Latin. soca. reggae. calypso and zouk and a sweaty. friendly assembled crowd up for anything.
The Cavendish. every night.
10 m—4am. £3 (£2.50).
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The List 19—25 August l994 67