Open House with Carlo Gambino (July)

Carlo Gambino kicks off all things House Music in July

Get To Know….. Tristan da Cunha aka DJ, Producer, Label Owner, Day dreamer, Creature of the night.

I’ve known Tristan since the late 90’s whilst living in Leeds from frequenting at both the Legendary Back To Basics and also spending hours propping up the counter at ‘Play Music’ record shop. Back To Basics is still the longest running club night in the UK and Tristan has been a massive part of that journey with the club night priding itself on its strong accumulation of residents. Tristan has spent the past 20 plus years building up an army of fans across the globe, which has seen him glide from that Back To Basics residency to landing slots at Glastonbury’s ‘NYC Downlow’, ‘Houghton Festival’ plus a string of club nights around the UK and Europe and everywhere in between.

Tristan is not only a ‘Selector’ but he is also an artist that has gone to carve his way round this music industry by also running his own events through to working as A&R for Ralph Lawson’s 2020 Vision. Aside from his own steady flow of productions, Tristan is also one half of DJ and production duo Dungeon Meat with Brawther plus we have now recently been introduced to his ‘Freakenstein’ guise. If you don’t know, get to know.

It’s a pleasure to welcome Tristan to my page this month. . 

DJ name: 

Tristan da Cunha / Freakenstein / Dungeon Meat 


Physically 42 Mentally 21 

How long have you been djing and producing for: 

DJ for 23 years and Production for 9 years

I’ve been collecting records since I was 15 and then my Mum bought me a pair of Technics 1200’s for my 18th Birthday which further propelled me into the world of DJing. Within a year I had my first gig in a club in Leeds and then about 2 years after that I became a resident at the infamous BacktoBasics where I played with the biggest and best DJ’s on the planet. Since then, I have been playing most weekends around the globe and have enjoyed a career that has lasted to the present day.

Production was much later, wish I’d have started earlier because it’s such a long journey to get to a point where you find your feet and begin to master the art … I started to get curious around 2010 and then by 2013 I had already started making music and released the underground “hit” “The Fuck Off Track” with Brawther under our Dungeon Meat guise which we also have a record label under the same name. Now I’m mainly focusing my time and energy on music production and have another label called Hearlucinate and I’m about to launch another one soon as well. With both DJing and Production I just feel like I’m getting started really. So much more to learn and also so much more to give and contribute to the world. 

Where are you based:

Leeds, Yorkshire, North England. “God’s Country” 

Do you currently have any residencies in your home city: 

BacktoBasics / Hearlucinate & Inner City Electronic festival 

Music Style: 

New and Old House & Techno, Proper Electro, Breaks and broken beats, Disco, Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, Rare grooves … anything that’s got a good groove and makes you want to move. 

Favourite producer: 

Too many to mention really … But here’s a few , Quincy Jones, Larry Levan, Timmy Regisford & Boyd Jarvis, François K, Pharrell, Dr Dre, Q-tip, DJ Premiere, Pete Rock, Timbaland, J Dilla, George Clinton, Sly and Robbie, King Tubby, Egyptian Lover, Nelle Hooper & Howie B, Masters at Work, Todd Terry, Murk, Cajmere, Brawther, Ron Obvious, Garrett David, Gene On Earth, Sweely, Maurice Fulton, Inflo (Sault) Keith Tucker Aux88, Ed DMX Juan Atkins, OCB, Nightmares on Wax, Mark Bell, Rob Gordon, Rob Mello, Orin Walters , Kaidi Tatham, Phil Asher, Carl Finlow, Goldie, Dbridge, Calibre, Keith Tenniswood, Andrew Weatherall, Detroit In Effect, Ron Trent, Derrick May, Underground Resistance, Mystic Jungle & West Hill Studios, the list could go on and on and on.

Favourite label: 

Again, there’s lot’s that I love, old and new, If I listed them all you’d need a toilet roll to write them on … Seems like a good opportunity so shout out some of my friend’s label’s though and shine the spotlight on what they’re doing.  Casa Voyager, Limousine Dream, Butter Side Up, Slow Life, Eon, Negentropy, Courtesy Of Balance, Cabinet, Ritual Acquaintance , Tone Drop Out, Parkway, Isle Of Jura, The Nothing Special, Slapfunk , Klasse Wrecks, Dr Banana, Ugly, Periodica , Asking For Trouble, 2020Vision , My Own Jupiter, Domesticated, Mindhelmet, Super Rhythm Trax , Breakin’ Records , Ba Dum Tish stuff, Nothing But Nice, Blackmarket, My Love Is Underground, Vivid , Infiltrate , Instinct, Constant Sound, One Records, North South, Cartuli’s, Subsequent, Phone Traxxx ….. I’ve probably missed quite a few of my mates off here as well. Again, the list could go on and on. 


Mother Nature is a BIG ONE, I get A LOT of inspiration of Black Culture & Music …Books, Films & Photos can often spark things inside me. I also draw a lot from People & Places, Incidents & Accidents. 

Your Hero: 

My Mum of course. 

Interesting fact about you that others may not know:

I’ve just started mentoring and advising up and coming artists based in Yorkshire with Launchpad, an arts funded social enterprise. I’m excited to take on this new role and support local talent to develop their craft and carve their own path. 

If you weren’t DJing and producing what would you doing right now: 

Probably something to do with Food, Fashion, Healing or Plants … I LOVE plants and nature. I love nice clothes and styling and I’m a proper foodie. 

What’s next for 2021: 

Trying to ease back into reality and finishing off some of the music I’ve been creating over lockdown. I’m really pleased with some of the stuff I’ve been cooking up in the studio and now I’m looking forward to test driving it on the dance floors. Put it this way … the hammer is cocked, the barrel is loaded … I’m ready to go Bang. 

Music Of The Month

Music of the month comes courtesy of house veteran who needs no introduction by the name of Johnny D. After outings on the likes of 8bit Records, Cecille Records, 2020 Vision, Cocoon Recordings, Distant Recordings, Leftroom Recordings and of course the legendary Oslo Recordings it’s the turn of the lovely ‘Pleasure Zone’ label that welcomes Johnny D to their family with this wicked 2 track EP. 

‘Discordination’ is the lead track on the release but for me it’s the flip entitled ‘Virus In Sinus E Minor’ that hits the spot. This 12 mins and 34 secs are Johnny’s trademark groove that gets you from the word go. Low slung deep grooves with a wicked vocal running through the track which is very likely to entice your feet to the dancefloor. You just don’t want it to end.

Out now at all the usual vinyl outlets plus all the digi stores if you prefer.

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About the Author

Carlo Gambino, originally from the North of England but currently residing down under in Sydney. This DJ has been playing since the 90’s with releases also into double figures on the like of 3am, Real Tone, We_R_House, Jacks House to name but a few.