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Get attracted to Magnetix

Reported by VinDiesel / Submitted 20-08-08 10:34

In what has been a recession like state in the current dance scene, parties on a smaller scale within the underground have continued to thrive and succeed. Amongst these are a number that have come out of Club 414, a tidy little venue in Brixton. These include Spangulation, Zoology and Puzzle Project. A year ago, 3 of the most popular faces on the dance scene, Dean Zone, Phil Lankester and Ashley James, decided to team up and form Magnetix. With the party geared towards entertaining clubbers with a full range of all types of trance music, it has become another established success. In fact it won the award for best new party of the year in the HarderFaster awards.

Already hosting established names such as Jurrane and Jon the Baptist as residents, alongside some of the cream of UK talent, including K90, Kristian and Sutekh, Friday 29th August sees a very special Magnetix party to celebrate the 1st birthday. This interview gives an insight into the formation of this party, the guy’s thoughts behind the planning of the parties and, of course, all things trance!

Hey guys lets start by asking about the idea for Magnetix or rather how the idea behind the party came about?

Phil: I approached Dean and Ash for a party that was different to Puzzle Project. I had around 10 years experience in the hard dance scene from my beginnings as a DJ, through to my involvement with parties including Swamp and Puzzle Project. Ash already had over 5 years experience within promotion through his involvement with Heat and with Addiction.

Dean, you have had something of a sharp learning curve going from clubber to DJ to promoter?

Dean: Yeah it’s all happened in the space of the past 6 years. I joined HarderFaster to meet new people in clubbing, not knowing many. In the first 3 years of constant raving I met loads and loads of people, many of whom are now good friends. Phil and Ben Bennett asked me to join Puzzle Project not long after I played my first set and I’ve just gone on from there really. I have been promoting one way or another for almost as long as I have been playing out, so for me now it’s just part and parcel of what I do.

Describe the build up to the first party, how long did it take to plan?

Phil: It took us 3 months to plan the first party, but we only came up with name ‘Magnetix’ 3 weeks before it took place!

Dean: I wouldn’t say we did anything groundbreaking. I’m just a mega internet spammer, haha! Got nearly 100 websites I use to promote along with the flyering and posters we do. Admittedly the outcome was much better than we expected, especially as Brixton tube was closed.

Ash: I wasn’t too sure about it as well because obviously Brixton tube station is the main point of entry for most of the clubbers coming to Brixton.

Phil: But I always had faith, I told you guys that I was confident we would do well!

Dean Zone

OK now let’s talk about the music behind Magnetix. People say that what distinguishes a party or in fact a DJ from others is the music that is played. Describe how you make Magnetix stand out from other 414 parties such as Spangualtion?

Ash: Well our music policy is all forms of trance music, including progressive, hard and psy trance, but it does lean heavily towards psy trance.

Phil: It’s all about trying to make your parties different from anyone else’s! Put on different DJs from everyone else!

Ash: We do make a lot of effort with the décor. We have invested a lot of money into banners and other stuff to ensure that we make our party stand out and deliver an experience that goes beyond the music.

What are the factors that you consider when booking a DJ for Magnetix?

Dean: We have a wicked crew who all know their stuff: Andy Forse, Mat Lock, Kevsta, Timmy Whiz and Lorenzo Barrero. They all suggest DJs and I respect their opinions as they wouldn’t suggest anyone who wasn’t right for the party.

Phil: We look at their experience, we will try checking them out playing at other parties, listen to their demos.

In terms of the DJ line up and progression, how are these arranged?

Phil: We have 3 residents, myself, Ash and Dean, who rotate in terms of the times we play. We also have semi-regular residents for Magnetix in the form of Jurrane and Jon the Baptist.

Ash: The DJs we invite to play for us are always informed in advance what set they will play and the expectations that we have. DJs aren’t arranged according to their billing, but by how they will fit into the progression of the music on the night.

What happens if you have a big name DJ that doesn’t adhere to what they have been asked to play?

Phil: Nominate Dean...

Dean: Believe me, I would have no problem kicking a DJ off if they weren’t playing the music they were booked to play! We’re not Nazi’s or anything, we just know what we want, but we book DJs accordingly so we’ve never had a problem, touch wood!

Phil: I can't wait to see that!

What do you attribute to the continued success of Magnetix?

Dean: We have a good walk in crowd that comes with holding a party at the 414, but also a very good following that has been built up on HarderFaster and DSI. I believe that if you give the clubber something they don’t get elsewhere, then they will come back. Also there’s the atmosphere we create by putting in a mega effort to decorate the place. We always receive positive feedback on this which just inspires us to do more next time.

Phil: People come to see Dean Zone! And the fact that we are consistent helps, you always know what you're getting!

Ash: And also maybe because our parties taken place only 3 or 4 times a year and not on a monthly basis. That keeps it fresh in peoples’ minds, and they are more likely to make an effort to attend as we are not a regular party.

Why do you think there is a lack of big parties in London for the trance scene i.e. regular parties the size of Frantic?

Dean: A multitude of factors I think. The smoking ban was never going to help, but I think the biggest factor was some lazy promoters booking the same headline DJs and not experimenting, which in turn made the scene stale. After all, if you hear the same stuff every month, why would you want to go back?

Phil: As Dean says, I think lack of originality is a major factor!

Phil Lankester

Who do you consider to be the biggest trance DJs in London at the moment?

Ash: Kristian for sure. He’s probably one of the biggest psy DJs on the planet right now. Nick Sentience is also a firm favourite of mine – he’s great at playing the whole spectrum of trance music.

Dean: For trance I would say Ian Betts, but Jurrane is definitely up there.

Phil: Ali Wilson, Mike Koglin! Both awesome personal favourites of mine!

Out of the current crop of trance DJs, who do you think would hold their own in a world class line up say at a party like Cream in Amnesia, Ibiza?

Phil: I have always rated K90, and the legendary Matt Church, he plays some of the best trance around!

Dean: Mark Sherry for the fucking win! Oh, and my brother Mat Lock too. Blates! Big up the Fluff Lock!

There seems to be so many different variations of trance which are bounded about, discussed on forums and played by DJs, but can you name all the different types?

Phil: Nope!

Ash: We probably could but it may take a while. There are so many genres and sub genres. Check out Ishkur’s guide to EDM on the web!

Dean: Right, here goes: Tech, acid, UK hard, psy, goa, progressive, uplifting, epic, vocal, and my personal favourite, European hard.

What do you consider the good and bad sides of promoting your own party?

Phil: Good – can't put my finger on it, but I have thoroughly enjoyed myself over the last 7 years! I have had loads of help from friends, Mattie, Ben, Gordon, Timmy, Dean, Ash, the list goes on! I have yet to find a really bad thing about promoting, and if I do, it’s cancelled out on the night!

Ash: It’s very enjoyable when it all comes together.

Dean: It was great winning the HarderFaster award for ‘Best New Party’. It’s always nice to win awards. As for bad sides, flyering in the pissing down rain at 6am in the morning. Hours of fun.

After 12 months of hugely successful parties, August 29th sees the Magnetix 1st Birthday party. Tell us what you have planned for this extra special Magnetix party?

Phil: Well as having our usual residents including Jon the Baptist and Jurrane, we will be having K90 to play, plus Mat Lock who will be playing his last set in the UK, before he embarks on his travels.

Dean: K90 baby! That’s all I have to say!

Ash: As Phil and Dean have mentioned, not forgetting the usual decor and residents!

Phil: We are all going to eat lots of cake and have fun! Oh and Dean is giving away lots of coasters in the shape of CDs! (By the way, it’s a very good CD).

You have discussed the music policy of Magnetix as ‘all forms of trance music’ from prog to psy to hard etc, but would you ever be tempted to devote a Magnetix party to one particular type of trance, say for example psy trance?

Ash: Magnetix was formed always with the intention of providing a range and progression of different types of trance. There may be future occasions where Magnetix joins forces with other promotions and provides the psy trance room at a party but our events at the 414 will always follow our current formula.

Dean: Personally I don’t think that would be a good idea. The reason I think our parties work so well is because of the progression, and if we devoted a night to only one type of music I think you would lose this element.

Phil: I like things the way they are, everything runs smoothly, there’s great progression throughout the night.

Ashley James

Do you see psy trance music becoming more and more established within main commercial dance and hard dance music and moving away from its underground roots?

Dean: Speak to these two, I know nothing about psy!

Ash: No, the psy sound will always remain predominantly underground, which is a good thing. It is unique in the fact that it is truly global and yet still remains underground. Popularity and success are not the same thing as commercialization.

Phil: There are a lot of psy / hard dance crossovers around, none have that real psy sound, until that happens, psy will stay underground!

We know that worldwide, psy trance music is followed in countries including Israel, India and Brazil. Does the psy trance sound tend to be different to what we hear in the UK, or does it tend to be a rockier harder sound abroad?

Ash: Different countries have their own take on the sound. Personally, I'm not into the rockier sounding stuff. As already mentioned, psy trance is a global scene and there is fantastic music coming out of all corners of the globe.

Do you think that with the commercial success of trance music especially from
DJs such as Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto and others, it has a strong future especially for the underground party scene here in the UK?

Dean: Only for the top jocks like those mentioned. There is not really an underground trance scene, in London at least, maybe with the exception of Planet Angel, or the Psy Squat party scene.

Phil: I think the future is looking better, there will always be an underground alternative to commercial!

What are your hopes and aspirations for the following 12 months between now and the Magnetix 2nd Birthday?

Dean: To hold bigger and better events and use different venues along the way.

Ash: As Dean has already said, we will be looking at getting bigger and better.

Phil: MagnetixFest '09 - That would be awesome! But maybe I'm aiming too high, I don’t feel we've had enough parties yet to judge where we will be, but no matter what happens, it'll be good!

Thanks a lot guys for taking the time to chat to HarderFaster. I wish you the all the best for the upcoming 1st Birthday party!

Photos courtesy of the HarderFaster archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Magnetix 1st Birthday
Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Friday 29th August
At: CLUB 414 [map]

From: 22:00 - 06:00
Cost: £8 paying guestlist before midnight, £10 after £10 on the door before midnight, £12 after
More: Birthdays are always a tricky time when they come along. Arranging secret birthday parties, rushing around buying cards and presents as well as making sure your friends actually turn up can make it a nightmare at the best of times! But here at Magnetix (in case you haven’t noticed yet) we like be a bit different, and we like to think that we go that extra mile too! So even though it’s our birthday, we have some presents for you! These come in the form of LIVE downloadable DJ mixes, recorded from all the DJs at our superb May party.
So if you missed it then you can listen in on what you missed, or if you were there you can relive it all over again; we have, many, many times!
Where can you download these we hear you cry? Where else but our website, Once there, direct your browser to the Mixes section, where you’ll find not only the live recordings from all the DJs at the May event, but also a selection of previous mixes from the Magnetix residents!

However, thankfully for this birthday party, you don’t have to worry about any of that present malarkey. All you have to worry about is how long you’re going to stay, and how many friends you are going to bring with you! Indeed, we don’t want birthday presents, cards or even sweets. Oh no, all we want is lots of party people to help us celebrate our first birthday in style on Friday 29th August @ Club 414. And to help you do just that, we have brought a few friends with us…

Our main act for the night is a name synonymous with quality Trance/Hard Trance the world over. Responsible for 3 critically acclaimed, chart topping artist albums and with a fourth well on the way, we can only be talking about the legendary K90! As the man who has produced for more anthems and classics than you can shake a stick at as well as being the driving force behind the groundbreaking Dataless Records, we really can’t think of anyone else we would rather have to help us celebrate our first birthday. K90 has also generously agreed to record an exclusive mix for us, which will only be available as a limited edition CD to the first 50 people through the door. But if you just cant wait until then you can hear some clips of his new album and of what to expect from him on the night here!

Along with K90, we are also bringing back two DJs who are very well known to the Magnetix faithful.

Firstly we have Jon the Baptist, a man who has achieved a near God like status in his native South West, as well as managing to find the time to juggle not only a hectic DJ schedule which has taken him all over the country, but also to keep on producing some of the finest hard trance sounds which can be found on some of the biggest and best labels both on these shores as well as all over Europe.

Joining Jon is another regular Magnetix guest, Jurrane. The trance maestro has been a busy beaver in the studio of late with production partner Sly One, with recent remix work just out on Conspiracy and Future State Records respectively, as well as keeping up the DJ appearances with recent gigs for the likes of Planet Angel and Parallel amongst others.

Our last guest is none other than up and coming DJ Mat Lock. Part of the crew of promoters and DJs whom without there just simply would be no Magnetix, Mat Lock will be taking over the 2 hour warm up slot for his last set before he embarks on a year long sabbatical around the world. Let’s make sure we send him off in style!

As usual, no Magnetix would be quite right without the trio of residents! After leaving everyone at the last event gagging for more with a thunderous last set, Dean Zone returns, and he promises to bring his imitable Euro sound and flair with him.
Phil Lankester, widely regarded amongst many as one of the most underrated DJs in the London scene, will be showcasing his newly found Ableton skills under his new guise, Libra 9. Expect his trademark full on party Psy Trance, just even more mashed up than before!
And lets not forget Ashley James. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a copy of his Magnetix Vol. 3 mix then thank your lucky stars, as we have been literally swamped with emails requesting more of the same. If you weren’t lucky enough to get your hands on one of the 50 copies we had on the night then never fear, you can also find this on our website,, available to download or steam.

And for those of you who don’t want to go home come 06:00, the Magnetix after party will be running from 06:30 till late, with DJs Andy Forse, Lorenzo Barrero, Kevster, Timmy Whiz and Farhada!

Please note, we here at Magnetix are not content with just turning up, putting up set times, switching on the decks and playing some music. Oh no. It is our mission to give you, the clubber, a much more personal clubbing experience.
On the night we will be decking out Club 414 to the max.
Expect psychedelic décor, vinyl give aways, free mix cds courtesy of our special guest K90 for the first 50 people through the door, free glow sticks and bands, free tickets to other events and lots more.
Couple that with the best chill out room of any club in London, dedicated club Photographers, a roof terrace for the smokers and of course, the legendary 414 café (what other club in London can you get a Cheese Toasty from?) and you’d be mad to miss out!

We are also doing our best to support new talent and push new DJs. With a strictly any type of Trance music policy, we are always open to receiving demos. Just hand your demo in at the door when you arrive. All demos will be listened to by a member of the team and you will receive feedback.

Please add your name to the who is going list here!

Friday 29th August 2008
22:00 – 06:00

Club 414
414 Coldharbour Lane

Jon the Baptist
Phil Lankester
Ashley James
Dean Zone
Mat Lock

Concessions: £8 before midnight, £10 after
OTD: £10 before midnight, £12 after

For guest list Email names to
Region: London
Music: Trance. Acid Trance. Hard Trance. Tech Trance. Psy Trance.
DJ's: K90
Jon the Baptist
Phil Lankester
Ashley James
Dean Zone
Mat Lock

Who's Going? (33) : *cheeky chick*, Adam Symbiosis, Andy Force, anushka007, Ashley James, bennett, cheerio, dax2301, Dean Zone, farhada, Jurrane, Kamora, Katied, kevster, Lorenzo Barrero, luke warner, Magnetix, MarkyMark, Mat Lock, Matt Church, Matt Strawberries, Mizz_behavin, NatNat, phil lankester, puzzle-project, Ryan Wilkinson, sexyminx, Timmy Whiz, Tinks, VinDiesel, Wu Ming, xffx, ~deleted12332 

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Other Features By VinDiesel:
Bioshokk Triplicity: Matt Melody speaks to Webbo, with VinDiesel taking notes to make the magic three
Across the divide - It's Alex Mac and Zeebra Kid
Alf takes the Technikal View
Cheers! ReFre5h is 2
Phil Reynolds starts the Digital Revolution: Part Two
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: Andy Force on 20th Aug 2008 11:52.49
Good read, well done lads! Thumbs up

From: bennett on 20th Aug 2008 16:43.32
Not worthy...

From: PSYLICIOUS on 20th Aug 2008 18:24.44
Good read and best of luck for the future Smile

From: Dean Zone on 20th Aug 2008 23:34.11
Thanks to Chris for perservering with us on a very drunken weekday visit to the pub.

Roll on the birthday!!!

Big grin

From: Jurrane on 21st Aug 2008 09:15.49
Great interview from excellent promoters and DJs, who obviously love what they do. The success of Magnetix is a testament to all the hard work and preparation I know goes into the promotion. Thanks for the kind comments and bring on next Friday night! Smile

From: cheerio on 21st Aug 2008 21:43.41
Well constructed piece, and you listed everything which make Magnetix a stand-out partyThumbs up

From: sexyminx on 22nd Aug 2008 15:07.18
Wicked interview, nice one guys. Happy 1st birthday. Missing you all

From: Timmy Whiz on 22nd Aug 2008 18:08.10
wicked interview Chris Thumbs up, nice one lads Smile pleasure to be involved Yay!

From: voodoobass on 25th Aug 2008 05:50.24
Cool interview, you all sounded very interesting, even Dean! Wink

I'll have to come check yo' shizzle next time I'm in town... Big grin

From: Mat Lock on 25th Aug 2008 15:20.17
Magnetix rocks !!! Really is a great party that know's the true meaning of progression - perfectly summed up by the last party we had back in May. It's been a pleasure helping out with Phil, Dean and Ashley and all at Magnetix over the past year. I shall spread the word in foreign lands of our epic party in a small club in London town.

See you on Friday - NICE AND EARLY !!!

From: Lorenzo Barrero on 27th Aug 2008 10:40.27
Great read! Can't believe it's 2 days away now! This will definately be just as good, if not better than the last party!
Roll on Friday + the afterparty! I'll be (for sure) still celebrating my birthday from the previous night! Smile

From: NatNat on 27th Aug 2008 14:56.49
Great read!Well done Chris!

From: Sutekh on 27th Aug 2008 18:05.17
kicking party and top guys to boot , nuff respect to keeping hard dance fresh n exciting with that added psy edge... keep up the good work magnetix

From: Matt Strawberries on 28th Aug 2008 18:33.43
Nicely done Chris Thumbs up

From: Kamora on 28th Aug 2008 18:40.43
Solid interview Chris, looking forward to tomorrow in a big way! Big grin

From: Mizz_behavin on 28th Aug 2008 21:23.56
Cool interview Big grin

From: Mike Harris on 29th Aug 2008 13:22.08
Have fun lads, sorry i cant be there, but having 0 monies and having to be up at 8am to goto the new forest, its just not possible Frown

From: VinDiesel on 30th Aug 2008 07:15.32
Hey there
Thank you so much for all your wonderful was an absolute pleasure to interview these very hard working guys..who sure did put on a wicked party!!!
Looking forward to the Magnetix 2nd Birthday!! Thumbs up

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