It started off being played in the back rooms of clubs in Glasgow, but now R&B is getting main room action. Events like the Soundpresence nights see up to 1000 people turning out, and clubs throughout the city are pushing the music to centre stage. It's a sexy music, a music to look good to, with few druggy connections, and more and more clubbers are shying away from the 4/4 beat and choosing the groove. A core of DJs like Paul N’Jie, Paul Traynor, John Lyons. Naeem and Martin Hesketh have championed the music, and in little more than a year the scene has gone from a handful of nights to the current explosion. R&B now plays an integral part of the musical mix practically every night of the week.
Babaza's Paul Traynor reckons it's bigger now because the music has changed: 'People regarded R&B as love songs and ballads, now there's a lot more energy and it's a lot more dancefloor friendly. People are more willing to dance to it.’ Paul N'Jie from Trash says that it's the image and feeling of the music that has made the difference: 'R&B
encourages nice women to come out and dance. It's not neds, that's the main thing. You get a much healthier crowd with less trouble at an R&B night than a dance event.’ And as every DJ knows: once you've got the girls on the dance floor, the guys will follow.
Why the scene hasn't taken off as much in Edinburgh is open to question. Perhaps it's the tradition in Glasgow for dressing up to go out that matches the music. or the fact that R&B fits into the kind of good- looking venues that the city excels at. Yogi Haughton
Hard core groover: Paul N‘Jie
couldn't believe how the scene had caught on in Glasgow, 'I didn't realise how big it was in Glasgow, I came through to Joints and Jams and I was blown away,’ he says. With his Streetlife night he's starting the
education, and you bet that before long the
phenomenon will take hold in Edinburgh too.
. Soundpresence is at The Temple on Thu 9 Sep. Streetlife is at The Honeycomb on Fri 27 Aug. DJ Dodge plays Trash on Sat 28 Aug. See listings for individual club details.
Rub a dub dub. we're off to pre-club: Jengaheads
Do You Come Here Early?
In recent years, the boundaries between entertainment venues seem to have blurred. On the downside, this means that your local is now liable to describe itself as an avant garde bar/bistro, but on the upside, genuine hybrids are starting to turn up. Perhaps the best example of this trend is the
rise of the pre-club, which allows committed revellers to have a quiet tipple before their night out proper, and the less hedonistic to sample club sounds in a more relaxing context.
So how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? A good place to start would be with the Jengaheads (The Living Room, Wed), who for some time now have been taking advantage of the fact that, with no dancefloor to fill, the pre-
club provides an opportunity to play out new discoveries and old obscurities. Continuing in a hip hop/electro vein, Paul Cawley (Air Organic, Fri), the man behind the Fenetik imprint, pushes the boundaries with a selection of hip hop and drum & bass that simply can't be heard anywhere else. As well as allowing the club DJ room to Spread his wings, the pre-club also works as means of alerting punters to the delights of genres they might otherwise miss. Radar (The Cross Bar, Fri), for example, sees forward-looking techno clashing with peculiar dub, often to jaw dropping effect. Straight Ahead (McChuill's Way Out West, Sun) is another such evening, with Kev and Mark of Goodfoot fame melding a cohesive set from an ultra-eclectic selection of jazz, retro breaks and classic soul.
The pre-club, then, provides an excuse to get out of the house a few hours early and, more importantly, a chance to keep abreast of musical developments without shelling out on the door. (Jack Mottram)
I See listings for individual club details.
If God is a DJ, his name must be Paul Oakenfold. Rory Weller ﬁnds out why.
Name? Paul Oakenfold. Age? Mid 305. Place of birth? Mile End, London.
Occupation DJ, Perfecto label boss, producer, record breaker (in more ways than one).
How do you mean He's the first ever DJ to make it into the Guinness Book Of Records, under the entry ’World's Most Successful DJ'.
How did it all start? He'd been hanging around with mate Trevor Fung who gave him a job playing records at the Covent Garden bar Rumours when he was sixteen.
Did this catapult him to fame No, the business was pretty much closed shop and Oakenfold marked time studying cookery and working in a men's outfitters.
So how did he make it? He jacked it all in and headed out to New York for fourteen months and was hooked by Larry Levan's sound at the Paradise Garage. Coming back to London he used what he learned to set up a club 'The Project' to showcase the music he'd discovered over there. He was A&R for Champion, Def Jam and Profile.
Ibiza is bound to come into the equation about now. Yup. At the recommendation of Trevor Fung he goes out in '87, inviting Danny Rampling and Nicky Holloway. A moment in a pool, holding hands, off their heads, as the sun came up marked the beginning of a new era. Rampling came back started Shoom, Oakenfold started Future and Spectrum and the Summer of Love was just round the corner.
So the rest is history then? If you want. Oakenfold created modern day remixing and invented indie dance when he produced the Happy Mondays’ WFL. He was nominated for a Grammy producing Deacon Blue and has been responsible for some of the best remixes of the decade including The Shamen's ‘Move Any Mountain‘, Massive Attack's 'Unfinished Sympathy’ and U2's 'Even Better Than The Real Thing'.
Anything else? Far more than we could fit in here. Basically though he is still topping the polls of best DJ and breaking new ground all the time.
I Paul Oakenfold 015 at The Tunnel, Fri 3 Sep and at Homelands Scotland, Sat 4 Sep.
26 Aug—9 Sep 1999 THE usna