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Modernism, Politburo and Sedition: Matthew Duffield’s manifesto

Reported by benz / Submitted 24-01-07 21:19

2006 saw the landscape of London’s club scene change dramatically. Indie clubs flourished, electro infiltrated even the most commercial of nightclub establishments, and afterparties became even more f*cked-up as the minimal plague enveloped London’s most twisted club crack-ons. This year, the revitalisation of the clubbing landscape en masse looks set to continue as more promoters push the boundaries of clubbing, merge different musical scenes, and take more risks to stage events that are truly memorable and exciting. One such promoter is Matthew Duffield, director of the house/electro agency Sedition DJs and now co-director of the newly formed Politburo events company.



Matthew’s career in dance music started off when his love for all beats electronic led him to trying his hand at freelance journalism for magazines like DJmag, I-DJ, and hip-hop bible Knowledge Mag. His usual day job in publishing saw him working nights, setting the trend for his night-owl activities in years to come, and it wasn’t long before his hunger for clubbing give him the desire to put on some parties on his own. He needed an angle for his events though, and the angle came in the form of a female DJ duo known as The Lovely Pair — made up of a girl called Venetia and a certain Tania Von Pear — and he held his first event at Fluid in Farringdon in 2002. This was the departure point for the rest of his career — with Tania eventually going solo and become the first DJ he did bookings for, and his pre-parties for Turnmills opening the door for him to host rooms and events at the world-famous venue. Currently, he takes the bookings for some 30 DJs, including King Roc, Anil Chawla, Tim Sheridan, and of course Tania, and hosts Going Places once a month in T2 at Turnmills. But where does Politburo fit into all of this?

Politburo is a joint venture between Matthew and Will of Uprising Clubs (more commonly known to y’all as the promoter of Frantic). It’s an events company that they set up together to cater for a multitude of different crowds, and to help pool their creative resources under a common banner. “We want Politburo to become a hallmark of quality. We want people to see the logo or hear the word Politburo and feel confident that this is going to be a well-run event with good attention to detail and that making people have a positive experience will be our priority” Matthew tells us. “Perhaps even more importantly, we want clubbers to be excited about the line-ups we put on and it’s in this area in particular we want to go the extra mile — to put on events that are unique, basically, and will never happen again. We want people to feel inspired when they see a Politburo flyer or website and get that ripple of excitement in their stomachs — it’s no easy task, but it’s what we aspire to.”

The name of the company is a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the era of hardline Russian Communism in the 1920s — although obviously with less sinister connotations. “The Politburo was the executive committee of the Communist party in Soviet Russia and basically the controlling power in the land for many years. It also exerted a tight grip over all things cultural. Our Politburo is a play on that really and we also think it sounds rather cool. We’re certainly not into telling people what to do but we’re more than happy to point in the right direction!” It’s also an in-joke between Sedition DJs and Matthew’s colleagues in Russia, where he sends a lot of his DJs. No doubt the name has raised a few smiles...



Still in its very early days, Politburo is already responsible for the hugely popular house night UP^^ at Turnmills, as well as playing a major hand in the running of the highly acclaimed Issst electro parties. It was the massive success of the last few editions of UP^^ that gave Matthew and Will the confidence to take things up a notch and start an events promotion company to run alongside their existing businesses. “We’re co-promoting the Kult of Issst warehouse parties and if the Issst NYE party was anything to go by, these are going to be very special. We have some truly spectacular line-ups in store. There’s also SLAANG coming soon on more of a nu-rave tip, plus we have a few tie-ins with some existing nights in the pipeline too which we’ll be giving a special Politburo twist. Musically, we want to cover the whole spectrum and we have a passion for drum & bass too, which you’ll be hearing more about soon. Politburo is also about different locations too from warehouse raves to the best clubs to more intimate spaces, so, er, watch this space!”



Then there’s also the matter of the techno events that Matthew is getting behind, namely the imminent Modernism and later down the line, Closer. Techno certainly seems to have experienced somewhat of a resurgence over the past couple of years, with preconceptions of the genre being broken down and elements of the music creeping into house and electro clubs. Matthew puts it down to a change in demographic in the capital, and those feisty Latino types. “The great change has been the amount of Spanish and Italian young people now living in London. They live, breathe and eat techno and have brought that hunger with them. Look at the amount of Brazilians in London too — techno is second nature for them! Their passion has ignited London’s smouldering love for techno — excuse the dodgy metaphor! — and I think this year people are going to want to hear it more and more. That’s why we’ve created Modernism and we hope it’s captured the spirit of the moment. It’s true some techno DJs and producers did suffer a spot of writer’s block a while ago, shall we say, and the whole lock groove thing became a bit tedious, but those days are firmly behind us. Techno has found its funk again!”



While still only a handful of London parties attract the elite of the techno scene, Modernism is going straight for the jugular with a seriously heavyweight line-up that has been attracting attention far and wide. Basically, they’re not fucking about here. “You might say it’s a techno party but then techno is a very broad church... I guess what most characterises this music is that it’s thoroughly modern and electronic, and techno was a big step forward from what went before, hence Modernism. The word also has an abstract feel and techno is an abstract music form placed within a rhythmic structure. House is essentially the naughty, younger brother of disco kicking out for himself, whereas techno is the after effects of the same kid after experiencing an alien abduction!”

A nice analogy, and one that reflects the otherwordly, uber-electronic feel of some of the more “out-there” strains of techno. As Matthew is keen to point out though, all sects of the techno church will be catered for — from tough and pumping to electro-infused, to tech-house and glitchy electronica, the debut line-up for Modernism aims to show the breadth and innovation that is present in the genre. “Quite simply, these are some of the best artists around across a broad spectrum of what we call techno. This line-up has also been very hard to put together and represents the sounds of Detroit (two legendary pioneers in the form of Stacey Pullen and Blake Baxter), Berlin (Moodmusic Records), Glasgow (Soma Records) and London. Chances are this line-up will never ever come together in London again, so it’s a little bit of history also. It goes back to capturing people’s imagination and delivering something they’ll never see again. We’ve just had some posters done and I put one up on the office wall — when I stood back and looked at it, I had that rush of excitement, so Modernism has passed the test! The music is going to blow your socks off, trust me!”

Turnmills isn’t somewhere that is loved by all — a little bit of a Marmite situation really — but the calibre of the nights there attracts even people who aren’t particularly fond of it. “I’ve been going as a clubber and putting on parties there for a few years, so I guess I’m prejudiced, but there is something special about the place. All venues have their quirks and physical limitations, but there is an energy about Turnmills. Perhaps it’s to do with the history of Clerkenwell and this has always been a place for partying, cavorting and general wrongness back through to Dickensian times and maybe a lot earlier too. You can feel the energy sometimes — that word again! — and it’s as though you’re getting a taste of a thousand parties run before and a thousand parties still to come. You’re definitely tapping into something special here. I also think the best clubs are basement, labyrinth affairs and Turnmills fits the bill perfectly — I still get lost occasionally. Each room has it own feeling too, whether it’s the intimate, friendly vibe of T2 or when the lights cut and those lasers burst into life in the main room… maybe it’s something in the Clerkenwell water. And I have heard a rumour that Turnmills has been built on the site of an ancient well (that may be haunted)...”


Stacey Pullen


Matthew sees a good year ahead for dance music and clubbing, with an emphasis on energy and keeping things fresh and mixed up. The new crop of young indie kids experiencing their first all-night clubs is certainly helping to keep the future of the crossover scenes healthy, and as 2006 proved, fusion is definitely the way forward. Plus the whole minimal thing may have run its course slightly, as Matthew highlights: “Techno is definitely going to have a resurgence this year and that’s partly because of its energy; similarly, the nu-rave and indie/dance crossover scenes are really catching hold and they’re all about youthful exuberance and vitality. The minimal scene has been responsible for some amazing music and great new talent, but the after party scene has stretched people a little and a bit of club fatigue has set in. You can’t beat that 6am ending on a high/leave people wanting more feeling and sometimes afterparties can just be a way of dodging that bus journey home. Alas, it always gets you in the end! I love a good crack on for sure but 2007 will be all about what happens at night and making that as exciting an experience as it can be. There’ll be new musical trends, of course, and there’s some great new talent emerging across the board. Benny Page is smashin’ it in drum & bass, for example, while the spiritual side of house music is coming to the fore again thanks to Dennis Ferrer. We’ll be hearing a lot more about urban house too and it’s great to hear those bumpin’ garage basslines back on the dancefloor, they’ve been sorely missed. You can’t beat a good rave-up too, nu or whatever, and the best is yet to come.”

Speaking of raving it up, where does the promoter of some of London’s tastiest parties go when he wants nothing more than a total lack of responsibility, some thumping tunes and a balloon? “Well, there’s never been a truer saying than you’re only as good as your last party, so that’s a very hard one. Bugged Out! at The End always does it for me on the line-up front and they’re real innovators. Together at Turnmills never fails to be good fun either with fun partying and serious music in equal measure. I think The Key is really going to rock as a venue in 2007 too. Plan B in Brixton is also one to watch when they open their new basement space in the spring. The truth is that competition is fierce out there, so all the major clubs have had to raise their game and it can only be to the benefit of the clubber. There’ll be plenty more warehouse party action in 2007 too. If I had to pick one party who broke the mould though its secretsundaze as they really put on some amazing events over the last couple of summers. It’s the crowd that make a party in the end and secretsundaze certainly have one of most loyal around — all on a Sunday afternoon too. I can definitely see some excellent young promoters breaking through this year, so it’s all up for grabs and that’s the way it should be.”


Blake Baxter


Modernism looks set to kick Politburo’s 2007 in to touch on February 3rd and show London that there is more than one option if you want world-class techno and underground house on a Saturday night. The company’s track record is pretty flawless so far, and if it continues to grow at the rate it has been — it looks set to become a major part of London clubbing. Do they have their sights set on bigger things though or are they just content putting on rocking party after rocking party? “We have but thankfully we’re currently enjoying it more than ever. It never gets any easier though. The sky’s the limit for the future really and we don’t want to restrict ourselves in any way — if something feels right we’re going to do it. Out of London, and even overseas, is definitely on the cards though. We also want to bring some of the best parties in the world to the UK — events like FortDance in Russia have been truly inspirational, for example. It’s still very early days for Politburo but we’re excited and we’re going to go where it leads us. The beauty of dance culture is that it is constantly reinventing itself so you never know what’s round the corner.”

Photos courtesy of Richard Mayer Agency, Evolution99, Ben Gomori and MixMediaBookings. Not to be reproduced without permission.


MODERNISM
Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Saturday 3rd February 2007
At: Turnmills [map]

From: 22:00 - 06:00
Cost: £12 in Advance / More on the Door
Website: www.turnmills.co.uk/modernism
Ticket Info: Tickets £12 in advance from www.ticketweb.co.uk / 08700 600 100

For more information call 020 7247 4121 or visit www.turnmills.co.uk/modernism
Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
More: Politburo HQ and Turnmills are proud to present the first in a series of special parties at the venue entitled Modernism. The night is aptly named too as it will be a celebration of the very best in international electronic dance music.

It’s easy to forget just how much electronic dance culture tore the music scene apart back in the late 80s and things have never been quite the same since. Electronica is now intertwined with every aspect of modern life but it’s on the dancefloor where it’s most at home and where new ideas are hatched and new paths forged. Modernism will reflect that and we have assembled a selection of the finest international practitioners around to provide the perfect soundtrack across four dancefloor spaces.

The techno blueprint may be at the heart of Modernism but this is by no means a night for purists only. Techno in its many shapes and guises has become the leading international language of the dancefloor from the beach festivals of Brazil to the underground sound of Europe’s coolest clubs. Modernism will be drawing on this wealth of music and supplying the sounds in the main room at the launch party will be:-

Stacey Pullen: One of Detroit’s favourite sons and the man behind Blackflag Recordings. Stacey is a rare visitor to the UK but his album ‘Today Is The Tomorrow You Were Promised Yesterday’ remains a seminal moment in techno history. Expect deep Afro-infused and jazz-tinged techno from a true master.

Blake Baxter: an equally influential Detroit figure who cut his teeth in the early days of acid house and now plays all over the world. His production career also boasts releases on labels like Underground Resistance, Tresor, Disko B and more. Blake has his finger on the pulse as strongly as ever and has recently collaborated with Abe Duque and Marc Romboy.

Giles Smith: secretsundaze co-promoter and resident, and an inspirational figure on the UK underground scene, Giles will add a distinctly London flavour to proceedings and give a taste of why the capital is home to one of the most thriving scenes in the world right now.
Moodmusic 10 Years Anniversary Tour featuring Sasse & Dave DK: Your hosts in the second room will be the legendary Berlin imprint who will be coming to London as part of a series of parties celebrating 10 years of the label. Head honcho Sasse AKA Freestyle Man AKA Klas Lindblad will be joined by Dave DK who is shortly to release his debut album and is one of the latest talents to emerge from the Berlin scene.

Gavin Herlihy: Another name to watch from the London scene and attracting much attention already with his debut single 'Machine Ate My Homework' – signed to Moodmusic Records, this became one of the underground anthems of 2006. Gavin has plenty more tricks up his sleeve too and grows in stature as a DJ every time he plays.

Soma Records present Silicone Soul & Repeat Repeat: When it comes to quality electronica Glasgow-based Soma Records are a benchmark for many and will be represented at Modernism in the third room by Silicone Soul who have become one of their most successful artists in recent years. With three albums under their belt already, the duo of Craig Morrison and Graeme Reedie have given the tech house imprint a unique twist. Joining them will be Repeat Repeat playing live on stage and their recently released debut album, ‘Squints’, has received much praise from across the board. These boys are ones to watch.

You may be forgiven for thinking that there’s a city theme developing here represented by Detroit in the main arena, Berlin in the second room, Glasgow in the third space and with London joining the dots. In fact, it’s a happy accident and just the way things worked out, but it adds another angle to Modernism and is further proof of just how widespread and influential electronic dance music has become. It has become a truly modern phenomenon.

Providing support on the night will be several of the best young crews coming up from the London scene to help show what the capital can do. Maximal have made quite a name for themselves in the last few months with several rockin’ parties at The Key featuring music across the spectrum on the cooler side of the tracks. Resident Chris Barratt will be opening the main arena with some deep and melodic minimal grooves, while John Donaghy will be laying down tough and chunky tech house grooves in the third space following Silicone Soul.

Closing that room will be Steve Strawberry with his drivin’ Latin-infused techno that has become the trademark sound of the Titled Disco parties which are fast becoming a crucial night on the London underground techno scene. Getting the party started right will be the Bete Noire residents Greg Matthews and Rich Weller whose recent exploits have included playing at the ISSST NYE secret warehouse party.

Welfare for the Digital, the guys behind the Innuendo parties, are pretty hot too after successful events at Turnmills, the Ministry of Sound and ISSST NYE recently, and they’ll be opening up for Moodmusic in the second room with their deep progressive house vibe. Finally, the Topfloor space upstairs will feature young DJs from Maximal and Bete Noire who’ll be given the chance to cut their teeth on the big stage. Check out EJ Wagna, Tom Star, Stuart Edwards, Matt Thompson, Dead Person, Formless and Little Jo.

Techno, tech house, electro, acid house, minimal… forget the labels and think past present and future electronica. Come down and be inspired – this is Modernism.

For more information contact Will or Matthew at Politburo HQ on 020 7247 4121
willfrantic@yahoo.co.uk / matthew@seditiondjs.com

Modernism is a Politburo event – www.myspace.com/politburoevents
Flyer:
-
Region: London
Music: House. Deep House. Prog House. US House. Deep Techno. Funky Techno. Techno.
DJ's: T1

Stacey Pullen (Blackflag Recordings)
Blake Baxter
Giles Smith (secretsundaze)
Chris Barratt (Maximal)

T2 - Moodmusic 10 Years Anniversary Tour

Sasse
Dave DK
Gavin Herlihy
Welfare for the Digital (Innuendo)

T3 - Soma Records

Silicone Soul and Repeat Repeat (live)
Steve Strawberry (Tilted Disco)
John Donaghy (Maximal)
Greg Matthews & Rich Weller (Bete Noire)

Topfloor - Maximal vs Bete Noire featuring

EJ Wagna
Tom Star
Stuart Edwards
Matt Thompson
Dead Person
Formless
Little Jo

Who's Going? (20) : benz, Dan Van Damn, Daniel K, e99, Eddie and Lance, garyoptim, gUrngUrl, House Mouse, Ilana B, Jacob, junky_stepz, Less is Bat, Mizz_behavin, Neil English, paul jack, PonyBoy., Section303, suzy-q, Wivazed, Zoelee 
HF Photographer: Neil English HF Reviewer:

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Other Features By benz:
Introducing: Salerno - part of Chemistry's NuWave selection
Eat Static return for Lost In Space
Coburn bring their live show to UP^^
The return of The Colosseum
Kym Ayres gets the HF grilling for Frantic presents Timeless Romance
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
Comments:

From: JC-TAKTIKAL on 24th Jan 2007 23:45.34
so looking forward to this one!

From: the Greg on 25th Jan 2007 09:03.47
Great piece on Matthew, -one of the most respected figures in the industry and rightly so.

From: Jacob on 25th Jan 2007 11:17.18
That was a very interesting read!

From: Baltazar on 25th Jan 2007 11:40.55
Awesome Read and can't wait for the events ahead. Agree with Greg about Mr. Duffield and I'll add a big ditto! 2007 is going to be a great year!

From: Emma Dicey on 25th Jan 2007 11:43.00
All sounds very exciting!

From: Anil Chawla on 25th Jan 2007 13:31.44
Go on Duffield!

From: Neil English on 25th Jan 2007 23:12.18
I cant wait for Modernism. My b'day too.

From: Lx on 26th Jan 2007 14:24.57
Neil shut up about your bday you old git! Razz

Pullen/Baxter/Strawberry - fkn bring it on Slayer

+ nice one Matthew n Benz

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