Mr C Interview

Mr C can easily take credit for being one of the original rave Dj’s by entering the UK Electronic Music scene already in the late 80’s. Mr C have clearly made his mark as a Dj, producer and co-club-owner. Recently relocated to the US, he now focus his time on the running of his record label and international club-night ‘Superfreq’. Growing up in the East End in London, mostly in his father’s Bethnal Green pub, surrounded by music days to end, it was no surprise that he found his calling in music from an early age, transcending trough all styles of music and with an interest to continued musical growth, Mr C still is one of the more interesting artists on the scene.

He also shows a big interest and belief in personal and spiritual development which he lightly share, alongside his thoughts on the worlds subjects, through his social media sites. TIP are happy to present you a correspondence with the man of the hour, and his view on the current clubbing scene, future plans for ‘Superfreq’ and meditation…

You have been on the EDM scene from the late 80’s, what is difference today from when you started promoting and playing?
The difference is huge. Firstly there was no dance music scene as such when I started in the mid 80’s. I made my first deep house track in late 1986 with a vocal about the power of meditation & positive thinking, which was released in August 1987. The house scene was just beginning in London at that time in which we were pushing great music from Chicago, Detroit, New York & London. House was only played in Gay clubs like Pyramid & Mud club in London back then as in the straight clubs, house was generally mixed with Funk, Disco & other forms of dance music. A handful of us who believed in house & techno music built our own scene, that then went on to become a culture known as rave culture. Back then people didn’t know about house & techno so it was very niche, but the scene built very quickly & by 1988 it had spread across the UK, Europe & then the world. Nowadays, what we knew as rave culture many years ago in now know (mainly in the USA) as EDM, which is a very loose term indeed, as those of us who specialize in cutting edge house a techno are a million miles away from what most people know as EDM. EDM is extremely commercial & obvious pop music, whereas what I do with Superfreq for example is cutting edge house & techno, which is now being played & loved by people all over the world.

You went in to partnership with Layo (from the Dj duo ‘Layo and Bushwacka’) and opened The End nightclub, why did you decide to embark on that venture?
London clubland & house had become pretty commercial by the early 90’s & underground house & techno was being played in illegal warehouse parties. All of the clubs in London were playing lowest common denominator dance music & there needed to be a club in London that championed underground dance music in all it’s formats meaning house, tech house, techno, breakbeat, drum & bass etc. etc. Layo’s father is an architect & in 1993 was commissioned to work on a space to turn it into a shell for a possible club. Layo alerted me to this project & after chatting with him we decided that we should build the club ourselves so that it would be done properly. This is when the concept for The End was born.

The End grew to become a record label and very successful and loved venue, there is not many venues like that around anymore, what mistakes do you think today’s new club owners make?
Most club owners today have built their clubs for business & don’t really understand the music & culture the way that Layo & I did. We were 2 DJs that really believed in what we did & had our fingers on the pulse with electronic dance music, as we still do today. The End was really the only club that I know that was built by cutting edge DJs to enhance the scene & push quality cutting edge music for adults. When we built the club, everything had to be perfect for dancing to cutting edge music, so we installed the best sound system in the world, a wooden sprung dance floor, intelligent lighting, air conditioning (which was a first in London), free drinking water fountains, quality furniture & fittings, had very clean attended toilets & we left no stone unturned. I can’t think of another club that was set up in this way except for the new club Output in Brooklyn New York & of course the Berlin clubs. The End went on the become the blueprint for all modern day clubs to follow.

Do you miss being a club owner?
No, not at all. After having the best club in the world & doing it right for over 13 years, it was time for me to move on. Right now I’m happy doing my Superfreq brand, throwing events the world over & running the Superfreq record label.

The Superfreq parties have travelled the world, but also holds its residencies at Paramount and Fabric in London, and now coming up its first warehouse party, do you think the characteristics of a party changes with the venue?
Superfreq has been doing warehouse parties in America & we even did one in Ibiza years ago but this is the first for us in London. Of course the characteristics of the party will change now that we’ve left Paramount & are taking Superfreq into the London warehouse scene. However, Superfreq will continue to provide quality in every way giving the very best cutting edge DJ line ups, amazing sound, lights, décor & visuals & will continue to be a the forefront of the cutting edge dance music scene. It’s also great to be hosting Fabric twice each year as it’s such a great club & they really have got it right, but our warehouse events will be smaller as the Superfreq crowd are very adult & have a family type vibe & also demand music that is completely cutting edge, something that will keep Superfreq boutique in it’s nature.

Tell us a little about ‘Superfreq’, a very successful party that has also became record label – was that a planned development from the beginning?
Superfreq records started only 2 years after the parties started over 11 years ago & it was always what we wanted to do, but after only 3 years of running the label, we thought that our efforts were being spread to thinly so decided to concentrate solely on the events. This of course has changed & after a few years of not having a label, I decided to re-launch the label as the brand was in a very healthy position & needed a label for it to grow further. Also, I’ve been doing a lot of studio work in the last 3 years & had finished my Smell The Coffee album & on completion I decided that I wanted to release my album myself, which was the final deciding factor in re-launching the label. Also we have so much great talent, both older & new talent in the Superfreq family, the label is now providing a great platform for people to release their music from.

The latest release on Superfreq label ‘Late’ is a great track by Xo Chic, which is your wife, do you find it hard to work with family?
Not at all hard. Xo Chic is such an inspiration to me in every way, from fashion to music, to lifestyle & beyond. As Dollz At Play with Bea Tricks, Xo Chic has been a Superfreq resident DJ right from the beginning & she is a major part of everything that Superfreq stands for. Her new single “Late” is her first solo outing but of course she did record as Dollz At Play with Wagon Repair.

A lot of promotions and venues now run their own record labels, do you think it’s a necessity for success?
It really depends on what you want your brand to be about. If you want to just throw parties in your home town, I don’t think a label is important but for international brands, it’s important to have a label too as the music & artists will be promoted internationally which can only be good for the growth of a decent international events brand. Without having music in the international market place, it’s difficult for the dance music community around the world to know much about the resident DJ & parties as most of the new kids on the scene follow what they see in the music media, so musical presence is vital & that means having a label too.

You currently live in the US, would you say the everyday EDM scene is different over there compared to the UK, from a Dj’s point of view; is there as much going on there as over here, especially in London?
The cutting edge dance music scene is different in every country in the world but all of the big cities have a great scene. As far as the commercial stuff is concerned, I couldn’t tell you that much about it as I’m not involved in the commercial nonsense but I’d imagine it’s pretty much the same the world over. The Underground scene in America has all the same ideals as the underground scene in Europe but as the American scene in newer, there seems to be more excitement about cutting edge music there & less people just following the hype, but the cutting edge dance music scene is comparable all of the world as it’s frequented by adults who know what they want. Quality, forward thinking, innovative dance music.

Where, according to you, is the best club scene at the moment, and a must visit for every music lover?
I’d say Berlin has the best club scene as the authorities there are pretty open minded to dance music & rave culture. They even sponsor EDM brands & events whereas in London for example, which in my opinion is the music capital of the world, there’s so much red tape. Warehouse parties have to stop at 6am & there’s so much bullshit. If London had the same laws as Berlin where clubs can actually be complexes that can stay open from Friday until Monday morning, then London would be the best. The scenes in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago & in many major cities around the world are great but none of them have the flexibility that Berlin has.

What about Ibiza, love or hate?
I love Ibiza, however the clubs in August & September are too busy, they over pack them & let way to many people in which I put down to greed. If the clubs weren’t so greedy, there’d be more room for more diversity there. The whole dance music community of the world is there in the summer so it’s amazing to be there enjoying the global dance music family’s presence. Ibiza is a very magical island with very powerful lay lines so there’s a lot of magic there. The beaches are great, the restaurants are amazing, the people are amazing. My only gripe is the greed, everything is way to expensive, especially in the club scene apart from clubs like DC10 & Sankey’s who have reasonable prices & a more cutting edge attitude.

Current favourite tune?
There are way to many to mention, but I do love my own procuctions & the music of the Superfreq family the most as it really fits in with the style that I want to play, which is very musical, acidic, electronic & funky, yet futuristic & spaced out.

You are very active on social media, and your post sometimes are quite morally enlightening or even a bit spiritual, do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person?
I love social media & as a scene elder I feel that it’s my responsibility to tell the truth about how the world really works & to be forthright about the scene & what’s happening around us. To many people in our scene sit on the fence, scared to be judged & therefore don’t post much stuff of any use to the mainstream of society. I’m lucky enough that over the last 30 years I’ve been able to access information about human development & incorporate that into my life to amazing affect & it’s my duty to share that information which is why I do so many spiritual status updates. My updates are also about health, both personal & global, politics & I also post a lot of dumb shit, as I’m also a bit of a joker. I do consider myself to be a spiritual person.

Do you practice yoga or meditation?
Yes I do. I’ve been practicing meditation for over 30 years now. I actually teach meditation & creative visualisation & do workshops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York & London. These workshops are extremely thorough & last for upwards of 10 hours. At these workshop I teach people how to meditate but also cover Buddhism in general, Oneness with the Absolute, the conscious & subconscious mind & how they interact with each other, the law of attraction & positive thinking, banishing negativity, cleansing Karma, letting go of attachments, making right action, brainwaves, altered states of consciousness, the Pineal Gland & what it does & I also do psychotherapy & analysis on my clients to find their hidden problems & remove them. All of this gives my clients the tools to seriously take control of their lives & destiny & also removes the blockages that can stop putting these valuable tools into place. In the last 2 years since I started teaching I’ve had over 160 clients.

If you can give a tip to new Dj’s and producers out there, what would you like to say to them?
Don’t be a sheep. Most DJs & producers simply copy each other & follow each other in little circles. My advice would be to be creative, use your imagination & push the boundaries to create & develop your own style. This way you become a true artist rather than a copyist. Also you have to be the whole package, so make an effort to contribute to the scene, be friendly, look good & be confident in pushing what you do. Remember you are unique & special & the world needs what you do. This is art.

So what’s happening for you and Superfreq for the latter half of 2013 going in to 2014?
I will continue to do my Superfreq residencies in London, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, Calais etc. & will continue to release 2 EPs each month after the summer break pushing quality cutting edge innovative dance music & events to discerning adults who want to live & demand forward thinking lifestyles.

Read the review of XO Chic – Late including a remix by Mr C.