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Introducing: Salerno - part of Chemistry's NuWave selection

Reported by benz / Submitted 26-03-07 15:15

The past couple of years have seen DJs from outside London break into the city's hard dance scene in a big way. Where once big headline DJs were joined by jocks from London and Antipodean types, we are now seeing a great influx of passionate spinners from clubs across the country joining in at the biggest events in town. It's helping to make the scene more of a nationwide one, rather than a regional/secular one and for DJs like Brighton-based Hardsouth's not-so-secret-weapon Salerno, it's providing the opportunity to get known on the circuit of the world's clubbing capital.

Salerno joins a very fresh line-up for the return on Chemistry at Hidden on March 30th in a back-to-back stylee with his good pal Velos - alongside many of the hottest new names on the scene like Matt Pickup, Andy Rise and Kym Ayres. We probed him about all things Hardsouth, Harder, Techno and the general craziness of his hometown of Brighton.

A little explanation please – how did you first catch the musical bug?

I’d always been obsessed with music from the age of 5, but I think it was when I first taught myself to play the drums at the age of 11 that I started to really get into it. The drums were ditched 8 years later when I moved from Essex to Brighton to do a degree and my passion for music moved from percussion and bands to decks and electronic music.

When do you first remember coming into contact with the harder end of dance music? Was it love at first bite?

It was definitely love at first bite! I was heavily into electronic music at university and a good friend from home took me to London’s Chunnel Club [now known as Hidden!] in 1999 to a night called Trinity, and it simply blew me away. The people and atmosphere were just electric and it was that night when I decided I wanted to be on the other side of the decks.

Was your transition from bedroom DJ to club DJ an easy one? Was it thanks to a lucky break or was it more hard graft?

It was a bit of both. There was a lot of grafting to start with, but I got a part time job as a technician in a club that put me in touch with the people who promoted events, and I built my contacts from there. I was asked to put a demo together with my friend DJ Drummer and we were lucky enough to get booked to play Room 2 at Cream in Brighton back in 2003. The fear was so immense I could barely put the stylus on the record!

Do you get nostalgic for the past of hard dance? What do you miss about the “days of old”?

I will always remember my first few years going to hard dance events, it was a novelty then and it was great meeting so many mental people. I’ll never forget spending the summers going to Pussycat Club at the Zap, Freedom at Bagleys every Saturday and Sunnyside Up on Sundays. They were always rammed and the atmosphere immense. I sadly lost a friend at Sundissential back in early 2000 and when we were out in clubs we always used to talk about what it would be like to play along side people like Andy Farley, Lab4, Rob Tissera etc, so it’s a great feeling to have done that and I’m sure he would be proud of my progress so far.

Hard South has a very devoted following, and has really been making a name for itself in the wider hard dance scene over the past year. How did you first get involved with Nick and his merry crew?

Whilst I was studying at university, I had a part time job as a sound and lighting technician at Brighton’s Honeyclub and knew Nick for the entire time I was there. After my first set at Cream he asked me to be resident for Hardsouth, and it was then that I started getting involved helping him more with promotions and getting involved with other club nights.

As far as I can tell, there are quite a lot of nutters in Brighton. Fair comment?

Nutters in Brighton? I’ve never seen a single one! I’m pretty sure it has the highest concentration of loons and wrongens in the country - it’s why I’ve never left!

So if we’ve got a weekend free and we take a trip down to Brighton – what would you recommend doing to fill up the time? Any other clubs we should be checking out while we’re there? Any hidden haunts you can tell us about?

Brighton has a fairly diverse music scene, considering its size. Depending on what you want to hear, Hardsouth at the Honeyclub is the best monthly Friday night event if you need your dose of hard dance. Peach has just been re-launched at the Zap Club for those wanting trance. For the people that don’t want to go home, Harder supplies the afterclub mayhem at the Ocean Rooms until the early hours on the first and second Saturday mornings [of the month]. The best time of year to visit is of course the summer, when you can roll out of the seafront clubs straight onto the beach….

Have Harder got any other London ventures planned this year?

Yes Harder are going to be doing room hosts at Chemistry at Hidden on May 25th and also with Twist where we will be in Room 2 at Crash on the 29th April. There are more collaborations with other club nights in the pipeline and general world domination will shortly follow. (Cue evil laugh.)

You’re into your techno in a big way – what is it about the genre attracts you?

The thing that I love about techno is the greater variety in the genre. There's just so many different styles, from the more soulful sounds of Detroit, the more percussive tribal sounds of producers like Ben Sims through to the hard-as-u-like Schranz that the Germans like Chris Liebing provide. The producers that float my boat at the moment in this scene have to be Vince Watson, Joris Voorn and Alexander Kowalski; techno with emotion and energy.

Lots of people felt that 2006 was a tough year for hard dance. Do you agree with that statement?

I think that the dance music scene as a whole has had a tough time for the past couple of years. Since the licensing laws changed and people don’t have to go to clubs to continue their night anymore, there has been an impact on the scene and especially the larger events and venues. But with all genres in music, they will lose and then regain popularity over time, promoters and events just need to keep injecting new ideas and offer the clubber more to keep them coming back.

What would you like to see change in the hard dance scene? Or are you pretty content with the current state of affairs?

I’d like to see more new talent being pushed forward rather than just the huge headliners and more live acts integrated with DJ sets. Live PAs from The Edison Factor and Greg Bookman have really restored my faith in hard dance events. Also the bigger events are by no means any better than the smaller ones. There are too many “new breed” DJs being used as ticket touts and too many DJs being crammed into single events. I think this is affecting the way the music flows, just as the crowd get into a set the music can change style too quickly and it can be frustrating at times.

You’re back down in London on March 30th to play at Chemistry’s free party at Hidden. Following on from gigs at Frantic and Tasty, do you feel like you’ve cracked London so to speak yet?

I finally feel like I am starting to get into the London scene more, but so far I’ve only done a small amount of what I want to achieve there. It’s nice to break out of Brighton and avoid the politics of small town club land. London has so many more events going on and it’s great to be getting regular slots there while working with like minded events.

Who else on the line-up would you recommend checking out? The line-up definitely represents the new wave of hard DJs who have come through in the last few years.

There’s plenty to check out at Chemistry, no matter what your taste in hard dance. For the hard trance side, Technikal is always pushing the boundaries and is one of the most talented producers out there at the moment. If your looking for something on a harder tip, JP and Jukesy are an example of some of the hardest working DJs to come through the ranks in the last 3 years. There’s plenty of newer talent there as well, Velos, Matt Pickup and Andy Rise are definitely ones to watch for the future. Overall there are easily enough DJs on the line up to fill 9 hours of mayhem for any hard dance addict!

And finally – what’s your epitaph going to be?

Om nom shivi, om nom shivi!

Photos courtesy of Salerno and Beth Crockatt @ Pixel. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Friday 30th March 2007
At: Hidden [map]

From: 22:00 - 06:00
Cost: FREE if you email in your full names to and arrive before Midnight! £8 after Midnight!
Ticket Info: FREE if you email in your full names to and arrive before Midnight! £8 after Midnight!
Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
More: Cally Gage sums up all the values that Frantic stands for. She loves Hard House, she loves clubs and most of all she loves entertaining clubbers from across the UK and far, far beyond.

Cally is joined by a who's who of the NuWave of the Hard House Scene. DJ's like Technikal, Steve O'Brady and Greg Brookman are our new Heroes! By the end of '07 we expect them to be headling every major event in the global Hard House scene.

Chemistry is a very rare oppurtunity to see all these new acts together under one roof and its all for FREE if you email in your full names to and arrives before Midnight! It's £8 after Midnight!
Region: London
Music: Trance. Hard Trance. Psy Trance. Nu NRG. Hi NRG. Hardcore. HardStyle. House. Bouncy House. Funky House. Hard House.
DJ's: Purple Room: This is Chemistry!

Cally Gage
Phil York
Steve O'brady
Kym Ayres
Mark H
Mark Ashley

Red RoomL Heat-to-Head Chemistry

Kevin Energy vs Greg Brookman
JP & Jukesy
Matt Pickup vs Andy Rise
Salerno vs Velos
Hypnosis vs Nicky D
Alex Mac vs Zeebra Kid

Blue Room: Electro Chemisty

Ben Gomori
Arthur Keen
Stevi D
The King
Matt Church
Arrun G

Who's Going? (55) : Aga, Alex Mac, allstars, Andy Rise, Ayresy, benz, Cally Gage, dancingtinkerbell, Dean Zone, e99, Elvis, Getonit, GregT, hardstylereeves, Hot Chips, Hypnosis, Jazzy, Jeffski B, Jennie B, John Silver, Krazy Nut, LilVik, Little God Zeus, Lorenzo Barrero, Lucy Fur, MARK H, MarkyMark, Matt Church, Matt-Endemic, mattpickup, mental-tessy, Mira G, MissWicket, Mizz_behavin, msdizziblonde, Nicky D, Nixx, NRG EXUS, nuba, PolysexualBex, ravechick, rob.O.T.T., Saint., See Why, Seraya, sexyminx, shelldyke, sparkleberry*, Stevi D, suzy-q, Timmy Whiz, Tinks, Vinyl Destination, zeebra kid, ziob 

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Other Features By benz:
Eat Static return for Lost In Space
Coburn bring their live show to UP^^
The return of The Colosseum
Modernism, Politburo and Sedition: Matthew Duffield’s manifesto
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.

From: zeebra kid on 26th Mar 2007 19:34.07
well done son see you in room 2 for some party fun

From: hayley_blackwell on 26th Mar 2007 20:13.55
Nice read.

Show London what Brighton is all about!!!!!

From: sexyminx on 4th Apr 2007 20:57.04
Am gutted missed Chemistry friday, heard it rocked. Wicked interview. Keep up the good work guys Smile

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