In North East England during the mid-90’s hardcore was massive. Pit villages were awash with tapes from events all over the UK, Rezerection being one of them. It was at the age of 13 I heard a tape that would change my life forever – Tom Wilson, Rezerection Event 2. From the first listen I was hooked on music and became obsessed with the hardcore scene, the little money I got back then paid for trips to the legendary “In Sounds” of Bishop Auckland. It wasn’t long before I had myself a little record collection, and not long after that I managed to convince my Dad that a pair of JB systems (Exactly?) belt driven turntables were the must have items of the 90’s. He must have seen something in these cheap Technics rip offs because a few weeks later I had them, I was now a DJ! Providing a DJ by definition was a 14 year old kid from a pit village with enough Scott Brown records for a 20 minute set.
As I grew up my tastes changed, I got into house and then around 98 the trance boom happened. At the time I was DJ’ing Friday and Saturday nights at a local ritzy type club, I managed to blag my way onto a few promo lists off the back of it. The trance anthems were coming through thick and fast but they were a bit full on for my tastes. Every now and then though, in amongst all the fodder the odd deep gem would arrive. One day, the postman delivered Quivver – “She Does” and that was it, I had found progressive house.
The early 2000’s is a bit of a blur but it involved lots of nightclubs, festivals, long weekends and everything else that goes hand in hand with that…I set up Confi-Dance Records, an online mail order record store with two friends around 2002. It later progressed into a label and although short lived, we did well. We had tracks featured on essential mixes, Renaissance and Perfecto compilations respectively and I found myself booked to DJ in various countries across Europe. Unfortunately 2004 was a turning point in vinyl sales, we ceased trading as a store but carried on as a label until my life took an unexpected turn and I had to call it a day.
It’s 2013 and I’m now a family man. It was never a conscious decision to get back into it, but after a conversation with two lifelong friends about having nowhere to go for a decent night out we decided we would start something. “You Belong” is currently running as bi monthly event at the Globe, Newcastle. It’s doing well in what is a busy market and we’re bringing the likes of Ian Ossia and Dave Seaman up to headline, DJ’s who have influenced us over the years. For us it’s not about being “cool” or the “latest thing”, it’s about staying true to our roots and re-creating that intimate, underground club vibe which seems to be missing at the moment.
In for a penny…I also started a new label – Music To Please Friends. People have asked about the name, it comes from an old set of classic mixes I did a few years ago for a select few, basically music to please my friends. It seemed the obvious choice for the label so I just went with it. We launch in November with a two track EP from Terje Saether, early feedback has been excellent so it looks like we’re off to a good start. We’ve also got some nice releases in the pipeline from Smight and David Podhel, as well as an another EP from Terje in the new year.
2014 is geared up to be a busy year for both You Belong and Music To Please Friends but after being in the wilderness for several years, it’s nice to be unexpectedly doing the one thing I have a genuine passion for again.
Silinder – A Doomed Endeavour (Lorenzo’s Light Mix) [Proton]
Soul Mekanik – I’ll Call You (Acapella) [RIP]
Silinder – A Doomed Endeavour [Proton]
Terje Saether – Foundation X [Music To Please Friends]
Muui – Slam The Door [Crossfrontier Audio]
Stiven Rivic, Michael & Levan – Mind The Gap (Anthony Yarranton Remix) [Movement]
Terje Saether – Human Element [Music To Please Friends]
Marcelo Vasami – Smoog [Moonchild]
Jonatan Ramonda – Long W ay To Sky (Jelly For the Babies Remix) [Balkan Connection]
Poison Pro – Lilu (Andre Sabota Remix) [Intricate Cuts]
Erik Lake – Hadron [Terminology]
Ultraviolet – Kites (Pete Gooding Remix) [Big Life]
Biologik – Skin (Silinder Remix) [Sleepless Nights]
EFG – Patcher (Diogo Ribeiro Remix) [Future Synth]
Terje Saether – Binary Breakfast [Music To Please Friends]
Lank – Needless Solution (Silinder Remix) [Proton]
Lautaro Varela – Dow ning Street (Muui Remix) [3rd Avenue]
Viloxysound – Sunstando A36 (Vortex Remix) [New Era]
Science Department – Repercussion (Danny Howells Remix) [Bedrock]
Tilt – Twelve (Dousk Remix) [Lost Language]