Edinburgh: Tribal Funktion at The Venue, Sat 27 Feb.
’You know, Gene Farris and Sneak are always at me, like "Scotland, Scotland, Scotland”,’ says Chicago’s DJ Heather. ’I really want to go there and see what all the fuss is about.’
Since getting her first gig in her local pub ten years ago, the 29-year-old is now firmly established in both her local scene and on the international DJ circuit. Right from the start, Heather has played a variety of sets: from mellow downtempo and rare groove classics, to pumping and sexy Chicago house, she easily plays across-genre, only adapting her sound to the crowd.
Regularly playing Chicago, New York, Detroit and San Francisco as well as throughout France, Heather is steadily building up her reputation. Now her reputation has preceded her to Edinburgh, where she will play with three other female DJs at The Venue’s Femme Fatale night. Her bookings diary is aided in no small part by the loud acclaim she receives from the likes of DJ Sneak and Gene Farris who tell all and sundry about her talents.
’I worked at this record store in Chicago for a few years called The Gramophone,’ Heather remembers. ‘Derrick Carter used to work there, so did Sneak and Mark Farina. It was like the place to meet people and make contacts.’
Her contacts led to a wide variety of gigs: from playing rare groove classic sets to opening for the likes of Portishead, the Wu-Tang Clan, Black Grape, Groove Collective and Jamiroquai. In Britain, she played to a storming reception at both the Ministry of Sound and Space in London and was a part of the Family Function crew which rocked the 1998 Winter Music Conference in
'V " .' é“ ’
Spin out sister: DJ Heather joins the Femme Fatale crew at The Venue
'It took a long time for dance music to take off in America,’ says DJ Heather, who has played a part in the impressive international influence of the Chicago house scene. ’But I think that people are now starting to get
While dance music is still a male dominated industry and especially so in America, Heather isn’t bothered by any novelty attached to her being a ‘girl DJ’. 'Some promoters hire you because you’re a girl, for sure,’ admits Heather. ’But think about it: being a girl can only get you so far. Without any technical ability, you’re just
a pair of boobs.’ (Simone Baird)
The Jazz Fudge Tour, Pressure at The Arches, Fri 19 Feb.
There are guys in Sweden who put out their own stuff and sell 30,000 units rapping in Swedrsh,’ says DJ Vadim. ’We’ve got a population of nearly 70 million yet British crews are struggling to sell 5,000 copies lt's mad.’
Although born in Russia, Vadim Peare has lived in London since the age of three Followmg his debut EP 'Abstract Hallucinogenic Gases' released on his own Jazz Fudge la'zrel in April '95, he gained immedzatc respect on the British music siene for his highly expei':iii(:-iital and unique SOund. Vadim was signed to Nlllja Tunes later that year and released a single and LP which cemented his reputation as a serious hip hop producer. He has Since toured internationally — from North America to New Zealand ~ and works regularly With the cream of international hip hop; his forthcoming album on Nlllja Tunes wrll feature 25 vocalists from all over the world
A long-standing advocate of UK hip hop, DJ Vadim gathers some of the country’s finest acts on his labels — Jazz Fudge and K’Boro - including the MUD. Family, producer Mark B and his own work. HIS latest venture is a nationvvide tOur, bringing together some Of the finest underground hip hop wrth guests including members of
the MUD. Family, the Scratch Perverts ;
and Vadim collaborators, New York's Anti-Pop Consortium.
Despite the Current fashionable fawning over all- things 'street’, the frustrating truth is that being in vogue doesn't always mean commercial recognition.
‘The fashion thing's not about the
music, it's ab0ut clothes and old skool trainers: it's for people who buy magazines,’ says Vadim ’But if we gain some more exposure though hip hop being fashionable, then fair enough.’
Glasgow \Nl“ see a slimmed down line-up With a live set from Vancouver's The Swollen Members and turntable Wizardry from Vadim and Mark 8. (Mark Robertson)
A DISAPPOINTING NO-SHOW by Sasha who was due to play at the two Scottish Northern Exposure tour dates (Bar Rhumba, Fri 12 Feb and The Potterrow, Sun 14 Feb). He cancelled both dates that weekend ’under doctors orders due to an ear infection’, his agency Tyrant claim, but still managed to make a Radio 1 Essential Mix gig in Ireland on Sat 13 Feb.
There have been conflicting reports of the Edinburgh date from disappointed clubbers and promoters Colours, who staged the Scottish dates. Clubbers claim they weren't informed that Sasha wouldn’t be playing and that they were refused refunds on their £17 tickets.
Colours deny this however, insisting that refunds were available upon request, but none were asked fen-They also say that posters explaining Sasha’s absence were clearly visible at the ticket box and that they themselves were not informed he wouldn‘t be turning up until late on the night. They are offering refunds to ticket holders: phone Colours on 01698 276 866.
WHO DA BEST? You might have noticed an awful lot of acronyms floating about the hip hop scene this issue. Featuring at Psy-phi 25 Feb (Sub Club) and Scratch 27 Feb (The Venue) there’s DJ Craze and DJ Develop. DJ Craze is the ’98 DMC world mixing champion - that’s simple, but what’s this? From their publicity both seem to have won the ’98 lTF mix awards, surely this can’t be? But it is. The sketch is that DJ Craze is the scratching champ and DJ Develop is the don at beat juggling. So there you 90.
NOW THAT LOVE Boutique has left the Arches to take up residency on the first Saturday of the month at Alaska, London’s mega-club Trade holes up at the Arches in its place. Edinburgh’s Taste fills the Disco Junky dates and Colours and Inside Out stay as it is.
Northern underexposure: Sasha
l8 feb—4 Mar 1999 THE IJST 63