DJs and Artists
Today they continue to DJ across the world, and just in the last couple of years they have played at Glastonbury (twice), Fabric, XOYO and the legendary Berghain in Berlin.
Enamoured with the Acid scene, RatPack threw their own infamous warehouse parties called Trip City. They didn’t plan to perform together, but when a DJ didn’t arrived for his set, Mark took to the decks and Evenson started singing and hyping the crowd. This was normally frowned upon at the time, but the crowd loved it so much that RatPack became the UK rave scene’s first DJ/MC team.
Since that fateful party, RatPack have travelled the world, tearing up dance floors in their wake. Their biggest hits include ‘Searching for my Rizla’, ‘The Clipper’, ‘Brothers/Sisters’, ‘The Old Skool Masters’ and many more. In their three decades, the duo have taken their sound worldwide, playing everywhere from Australia to Japan, Canada to Egypt, Ibiza to the USA and many more destinations. They have performed at Glastonbury, Bestival, Masters of Old Skool, Warehouse Project, Rave Nation and Ministry of Sound.
RatPack’s latest album will be entitled (co)LabRats, and it will be a collection of collaborations with various artists from all over the musical spectrum, with a multi-genre track list drawing from Reggae, House, Drum and Bass and UK Garage, as well as, of course, the trademark RatPack sound.
John’s first performances were at small warehouse parties across London, such as The Dungeons and Crowland Road. In 1991 he produced the track “Hardcore Heaven” originally released as a white label, and then signed to FFRR – London Records. The track crossed over into the mainstream and became a top 40 hit. More tracks followed after, including the release of “Come One” with a remix of “Hardcore Heaven” on the reverse, which also entered the mainstream charts. John then signed with Carl Cox’s DJ agency at the time, and became a major feature at events and clubs all over the UK.
Over the last 3 decades, he’s played at many of the largest events held, such as Fantazia, Universe, Tribal Gathering, Vision, Dreamscape and Perception to name a few, and also performed all over the world.
At the end of 1992, he set up his own label “Impact Records” which released over 60 titles and became one of the most legendary rave labels of all time. Not content with just DJ’ing and producing, John has founded, promoted and co-promoted his own events over the years, such as Hardcore Heaven, United Dance and Uproar, attracting huge crowds from all over the country.
After hanging up his headphones several years ago, he has decided to take on a very few selective bookings in 2018, and Strictly Old Skool in Ibiza is one of them, which he says he is very much looking forward to…
His early influences came from his mother’s background in the jazz scene, and it is improvisation and variety that characterise his DJ performances throughout his career.
At the start of the eighties, Nicky was 14 and playing electro at youth clubs in London. He played with long-time collaborator Clarky and began to mix all forms of dance music, at house parties and on the radio.
Friends FM, run by Mad B, gave Nicky a good education and the momentum to join the ranx of bm soho formally know as Blackmarket Records in 1990.. In 1992, as the house scene moved towards breakbeat, Nicky created a separate department downstairs to cater for the sound,and bringing ray keith in the store, that would eventually be called Drum and Bass.
In the mid-nineties Nicky pushed the hardcore scene with a regular show on Pulse FM and performances at the Roller Express. He moved into production, making his first record “Spam EP”, along with various remixes and releases on his label Gyroscope, with artists like Ray Keith.
This exposure fuelled his DJ career and Nicky decided to put all his efforts into playing his music around the world.
“…first and foremost I am a DJ.”
As the jungle scene exploded Nicky formed his legendary partnership with the late Stevie Hyper D. These performances are still regarded as the standard by which all others are judged, and mp3s of those sets will probably be on the internet forever.
bm soho formally know as Blackmarket Records supported the scene as a focus for the community, an essential component in an world without the internet. Nicky started another label “Kartoonz” featuring the anthem “Two Degrees”, confirming his status as a central force in the scene.
Nicky still is a promoter of fresh talent and ideas, unafraid to help new artists and organisers push the artform forward. His love of drum and bass keeps him from descending into the mindless repetition and lazy performances characteristic of many in the scene.
Nicky invites you to sample his philosophy at any of his shows around the world.
He then started producing his own music with his DJ group “The Mix Factory” (of Sunset 102fm) where his mix of the Mix Factory track “Take Me Away” reached number 41 in the UK singles chart and also gained some good success in the American charts. As well as producing music with the Mix Factory he teamed up with Manchester DJ legend Jonny J to create “The Family Foundation” with MC Shine and Manchester vocalist supreme Rachel McFarlane, they went on to create dance floor smashes express yourself, one blood, someday and of course 10 snide E.
As well as producing he has DJ’ed all over the world playing house music as well as hip hop and Jungle/ drum and bass, for example annually in Malia (Crete), Ibiza, USA, Brussels and across Europe for some awesome nights and venues such as Helter Skelter, Dreamscape, The Hacienda, PSV (lighthouse), The Banshee, Sequins, The Eclipse/ The Edge, Club Kinetic, Pure X and Fantazia to name a few. Mark was also helping to spread the sound of music in the northwest by managing both Spin Inn and Eastern Bloc record shops in the early to mid-1990’s to the beginning of the millennium.
This is when “DA INTALEX” was born. Two guys doing what they loved, producing and spinning Drum and Bass all around the world. DA INTALEX presented a Friday and Monday night drum and bass show on Kiss 102, which changed to Galaxy 102 from 1993-2000. DA INTALEX founded Intalex Recordings with tunes being brought out constantly, such as “I Like It Remix”. “New Dawn” was released on Jump Up Records and also “What You Gonna Do” on Flex, which has gone down in history as one of the “all-time top ten drum and bass tunes”.
Sadly DA INTALEX went their separate ways but Mark signed to Dread Recordings/Penny Black Records with DJ Ray Keith releasing music such as the “Come On E.P” which gained mark interest from the mighty Dillinja himself who then signed mark to Valve/Beatz Recordings and released “Keyz” and “Roll Dem Beatz”, as well as most recently the huge underground hit Dark Shadow under his new guise Snap Shot ft Tonn Piper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK3v4fJkDzI.
Mark has also released tunes on many other labels including Moving Shadow, Integral, Hard Leaders, Penny Black and Dread, FFRR, Warner Bros, PWL. Mark is currently a full time lecturer at The Manchester College teaching DJ technology and Audio Technology/Midi, he works with children and adults from all walks of life sharing his passion for music with them. His dj-ing skills also help keep the Manchester House/Jungle/dnb/oldskool/rave/hiphop scenes alive with him being a regular at such established nights/ festivals as Glastonbury (with the piano wizard Davos and DJ sets), Parklife, Afterlife, Warehouse Project, Fabric Live, Bowlers Mcr, Metropolis, Religion, SOSIbiza, Back by dope demand, S2SEvents and many other. Mark is known for his D&B/ classic house/ rave anthems sets, but his old skool jungle sets are definitely ones not to miss!
Various companies from THTC, Bench and GoGi clothing brands, to Serato (DJ Software), which he still uses regularly when performing his Oldskool Hip Hop scratch sets, have sponsored Mark.
It all started back in 1988, when Mark Archer cut his teeth with Rhythm Mode D then moving on to form Bizarre Inc. in 1989 Although, he didn’t stick around long with the band, Archer received massive critical acclaim – and a few chart placings – for his second project, Nexus 21. It was while Nexus 21 were dabbling with some of the harder Belgian sounds around at the time, that Network Records owner Neil Rushton suggested the formation of a second act, so that some of this hardcore dance could be unleashed… Altern 8 were born!
Altern 8 were a joyous mix of some rather eclectic influences. It sounded so simple and fun and yet the music was deceptively complex. Altern 8 went interstellar with a bunch of hit singles and the album Full-On Mask Hysteria, which hit number 10 in the charts. For a while the unlikely lads from Stafford were jetting around the globe with the likes of Moby, as Altern 8 captured the imaginations of ravers everywhere.
Eventually, the house lights came up on Altern 8 and Archer and Peat went their separate ways. Archer then emerged from the hardcore scene with Slo Moshun, an act he formed with Danny Taurus. Bells of New York became compilation mainstays and Archer’s prowess at the production desk once again came to the fore with this more refined take on electronic music. Archer then followed up Slo Moshun with solo projects Trackman, Xen Mantra and DJ Nex, which rooted our man right back to the underground that he loved so much, as he started to ply his trade as a DJ; something he started to enjoy just as much as making music. The man has been busy ever since.
The past 30 years has seen Archer firmly established as a UK dance music legend. His book The Man Behind The Mask was released in 2016 with a host of famous contributors including Moby, the man Archer toured Brazil with back in the day. The book was a chance for Archer to let that famous dust mask drop, thus revealing the man beneath. The book was warmly received, described by one reviewer as one of the best autobiographies he’d read that year.
Today, Archer can still be seen in that famous luminous mask as the resurrected Altern 8, although the name Mark Archer pulls crowds just as big, as seen in some massive performances at festivals such as Glastonbury, Bestival and EDC in Vegas amongst countless others. Archer is also a resident DJ at The Acid Experiment, Field Maneuvers Festival and Bangface.
Bizarre Inc., Nexus 21, Altern 8, Trackman, Slo Moshun, Xen Mantra, DJ Nex… Mark Archer has been making and spinning, the finest dance music for an incredible 30 years. Now, that is something to CELEBR8! So, get your bookings in for the ‘Man Behind The Mask 30th Anniversary Tour’.
It’s going to get emotional.
Shotta Show’, DJ Phantasy has over twenty years experience as a dj, producer, event promoter and owner and director of the successful Easy Records and more recently the independent Chart topping label, Showtime Music.
Phantasy has produced some of the biggest underground drum & bass singles in the scene’s history and his recent exploits with studio partner Macky Gee have seen the duo produce some of the biggest anthems in Drum and Bass right now. Their music is getting massive support on mainstream radio and from DJ’s across the World. He also produced the track ‘Animal’ with Harry Shotta and Dextone, which beat Eminem’s World Record for the ‘most words in a song’ and this record is currently sitting in the Guinness World of Records book 2017 as an official World Record.
He is currently working on an online TV project alongside one of his business partner’s Harry Shotta in conjunction with YouTube which is currently being filmed and produced at the brand new YouTube building in Kings Cross, London. The new channel titled, 24seventv, will not only have music as part of its content but it will host anything from current affairs, technology, challenges and anything that is of general interest.
His Twitter Biography simply states “Involved with more things that you may realise” and as vague a statement as that may seem, there’s a much larger truth in it. Always there to back and support people with their projects, Phantasy is very much someone who tries to help people bring their ideas to life and as a stanch supporter of the industry, Phantasy’s legacy has been the firm foundation upon which he has built a drum and bass empire and one that continues to grow in strength by the day.
Vibes has produced & remixed so many massive tracks, such as ‘Music’s so wonderful’ – ‘Sing it loud’. & ‘Above the clouds’. He has 1000s of hours behind the decks, in every country from Australia to America, Ireland to Ibiza, and even Southend to Scunthorpe. With over 25 visits to Ibiza already, he really knows the crowds and knows exactly what they want to hear.
Based in East London with over 25 years of Raving and Rockin under his belt with numerous albums, and nearing 100 Quality tracks released and more radio shows than he can remember Vibesy is definitely on the pulse of the scene.
As a resident with S O S since it began he knows exactly what the Old Skool connoisseurs ‘Do and Don’t’ want to hear. Vibes is a clubber(raver) as well as a DJ and will always makes sure he gets there early enough to check out the venue, the sound and especially the other DJ’s, as he never likes to replay a record! Vibes has been around the block many times and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon!
Oi Oi Vibesy Boy – The raver’s fave!
Playing a pivotal role in taking the sweaty, emerging, up-tempo, hardcore sounds that were bubbling up from the streets of London at the end of the 1980s and early 90s, Donovan disseminated these new jungle and rave sounds up and down the country via his residencies at superclubs like Swindon’s Fantazia and famed London hotspots such as the Astoria, Busby’s, The West End’s Gardening Club and Club Da Da on Shaftsbury Avenue.
Originally a competition winning dance, Donovan first caught the DJing bug in his mid-teens. Initially cottoning onto dance culture via tapes he recorded from the US radio station such as KISS 98FM. It wasn’t long before he began to travel around the south of England attending all-day Soul raves and early House club nights. He went to these events not with the intention of dancing or partying, but with the intention of learning the art of mixing from the American DJs he had first heard on those important tapes crudely recorded from the radio.
Influenced by people such as Greg Wilson, Froggy and the now seminal American DJ, Dave Bumford, Donovan always the innovator, always looking for the next big thing, wanted to be a part of this exciting new beginning for British music and culture, was keen to get stuck right in the middle of it.
With his love for DJ culture firmly cemented, Donovan spent the 80s spinning grooves to captivated audiences the length and breadth of the country under pseudonyms such as ‘The Baron’ ‘Don the Glove’ and ‘Quick Eddie’. He secured numer-ous radio spots and began to meet some of the country’s soon to be most influential, revolutionary DJ’s and scene makers along the. With Hardcore and Jungle beginning to bubble up from the very underground he plied his trade within, Do-novan, at the centre of this unique British spin on dance music, was a central figure in directing its growth due the unri-valled command and control he exhibited over the dance and radio waves.
Donovan’s infamous set at a Fantazia fronted rave in Stroud catapulted him firmly into the underground’s wider public consciousness. Rebranding himself as Donovan ‘Bassline’ Smith, the enigmatic selector went on to play starring roles in some of the most famous raves to ever grace the UK’s shores. It was playing at these events that Donovan’s gained his cur-rent moniker, with the then famous DJ/MC team Top Buzz coining the term ‘Bad Boy’ in relation to his hard, eclectic, party-starting DJing style and imaginative tune selection.
In 1992 the always forward thinking Donovan released his first slab of wax, ‘Obsessions’ on the innovative Ruff Beat label, swifty followed up in 1993 with a collaborative double A 12” with Jack Smooth – distributed under the name ‘Ruff with the Smooth’ on the Reading based Basement Records label. The two tunes, ‘Art of Intelligence/Sound Superior’ served as two slabs of exploratory incarnations of proto-jungle and are still fresh to-day.
1994 was the year that firmly established Ruff and Smooth as a probing and talented producing partnership with another double A-side 12” ‘Twisted Girl/Whose Loving Me’ taking their already assured sound up a notch to the next level. At the same time Donovan had taken over the running of Basement’s record shop and the running of ARS’s English subsidiary ‘Street Beats’. This period in the Bad Boy’s career saw him releasing the first two of three split 12”’s on the lauded label under his new alias ‘Astral Vibes’, a progressive venture in partnership with Noel Newton, that saw the pair embracing the slower, deeper sounds of soulful house music and the project that would spread Donovan’s name the world over. Since those pioneering days in the late 80s and 90s Donovan has continued to DJ at high profile gigs and venues around the UK and the world, taking his feel-good party vibes everywhere he goes.
Still a prolific and active member of the constantly mutating and changing scene, Donovan continues to spread the vibes via his weekly exploration of all things DnB on the internet’s most esteemed jungalist outpost – Bassdrive Radio. From net-working, running his radio show and listening to the masses of quality beats around at the moment, Donovan’s love for deep and soulful Drum n Bass is as strong as ever, with his recent trailblazing mix for Bryan Gee and Jumpin’ Jack Frost’s seminal label, V Recordings – on their recent ‘Liquid V presents Afterparty’ CD – epitomising this.
British club music would not have been the same with Donovan ‘Bad Boy’ Smith.
Playing the sounds of Old Skool, Hardcore, Trance, Breakbeat and Hard House. The resurgence in old skool has seen Si dust off his vinyl again to play the music he loves at events across the UK and Europe including Bowlers MCR, Fantazia, History of House, Drop the Beat, Classix MCR, Retro, Forbidden Forest, Northern Project, The Secret MCR, More Cake, Back to the Old Pool, The Zoo Project, Es Paradis, Strictly Old Skool Ibiza, Unity in the Sun Corfu and Tranzmission & Raindance, London.
From Monroe’s other residencies and guest spots soon followed at venues such as Sequins, Zone & Jooce in Blackpool, Angels in Burnley, Manhattan Heights & Peppermint Place in Blackburn, Quadrant Park in Liverpool, Revenge Parties, Blackburn warehouse parties, 808 State Show on Sunset FM, Maximes in Wigan, Manhattans in Southport… to name just a handful.
Greenbins was also an original resident DJ on Friday nights with DJ Welly at the Pleasuredrome, and was also to feature heavily when the night was moved to Trafford Park and became Life at Bowlers.
Fast forward to this millenium and Greenbins has become one of the resident DJ’s for Rejuvenation. He has also DJ’d for Strictly Old Skool in Ibiza, Fantazia, WPG, Pier Jam, Drop The Beat Festival… the list goes on.
It wasn’t until he left school and started full time work that he could afford his 1st set of turntables and start mixing for himself. This was the late nineties when the garage and trance sound exploded onto the scene, so Dean starting experimenting with more genres. Dean was a bedroom dj for many years then fell out of the scene completely for quite a while due to work commitments and the birth of his daughter. A few trips back to Ibiza with his wife & raving partner Joanne in the mid-2000s reignited his buzz for DJing and the whole scene.
He got back on the circuit and started playing for various promotions and clubs such as Pacha, M.O.S, Egg and Electric Brixton to name a few. After seeing how much the scene was changing Dean decided to start his own party with wife Joanne – Detached Parties. They wanted to create a multi genre event taking the raver on a journey through the different years and styles of house/rave music.
Specialising in boat parties they have hosted boat & club events since 2012. Deans love of dance music old & new is reflected in the parties by being multi genre and some djs still spinning vinyl. This style is also heard in Deans DJ style. Rather than play one genre sets, Dean likes to blend lots of musical styles together playing lots of remixes and re edits of his favourite tracks always trying to keeps his sets fresh and the dance floor rocking!
Zack may well be a new kid on the block, as they say, but has an undeniable passion for Old skool music. It was listening to DJs such as Ratpack, Slipmatt & Micky Finn that made him instantly want to become a DJ. Although he plays a lot of Tech house, his heart is ‘Strictly Old Skool’
Zack has played at many clubs on the London circuit as well as many abroad. Zack is a familiar face on the White Isle and has been fortunate enough to DJ at many of the clubs and bars in Ibiza. 2018 will be his 10th season. Bring on SOS 2018!!
This new and exciting format ripped him away from his beloved Hip-Hop, as an avid lover of breakdancing and rappers such as Big Daddy Kane, Ice T & N.W.A from an early age It seemed his path in life was about to be altered, forever.
Living in Cornwall during the early 90′s a visit to the infamous Shire Horse rave venue led to a chance meeting with the South West’s most famous export Dj Mastervibe where he was encouraged to pick up a microphone for the first time. The atmosphere and immediate response to his lively, cheeky tone on the mic found him hooked on Mc’ing from that moment, and so Mc Dodgy was born…..
Yes Mc Dodgy, this was his chosen stage name which stuck with him until attending a Dreamscape tour night at Tall Trees in Newquay. Charlie had jumped on the mic that night and promptly approached the promoter to ask for a booking, the man himself Murray Beetson (R.I.P) the creator of Dreamscape ESP told Mc Dodgy that he would give him work Mc ‘ing if he changed his name…. and so Mc Charlie B rose up like a phoenix from the ashes of Mc Dodgy.
Around 1994 a move back to his native Essex created another fantastic opportunity as he met up with his good friend Dj Slipmatt who he had previously worked alongside in Cornwall and immediately formed a formidable partnership that saw them enjoy success at UK events including United Dance, Slammin Vinyl and Helter Skelter amongst others and also overseas, taking bookings as far afield as Canada, America, Germany and Amsterdam. During 2002 a decision to have a break from the UK rave scene saw Charlie jet off to Ibiza for the following 8 summer seasons enjoying the sun and sand whilst Mc’ ing to the hordes of holiday makers hitting the Island for its hedonistic parties hosted by Garage Heaven, One Nation and Helter Skelter. A flight to Majorca every Wednesday saw him perform every week as resident for Garage Nation.
Returning to the UK on a permanent basis in 2009 he continued Mc’ ing but going back to his Old Skool roots rather than jumping into the increasingly up beat Cauldron of UK Hardcore, regularly working to this day for Fantazia, Moondance and other organisations. As at home in the thick of the crowd as he is rocking the mic on stage with his cheeky Essex swagger. You can take the boy out of Essex but you can’t take the Essex out the boy.. “Where’s all the noise from the girls and boys”
Things soon changed in 1989 when multiple tracks from their self-pressed album “Frequency” took hold of the emerging Rave scene; Homicide, Exorcist, Sweet Sensation, Sound of Eden and Frequency not only changed the lives of these three young producers, but also the lives of thousands of people around the globe… and thus began the success of Shades.
Shades of Rhythm were thrown into a rave whirlwind and played alongside ground-breaking artists The Prodigy, N-joi and K-Klass at raves and clubs such as Raindance, Fantazia, The Astoria and The Haçienda.
The band were soon snapped up by the Warner Brothers imprint, ZTT and found themselves the subject of every magazine, TV show, DJ and clubber throughout the world. A constant stream of LIVE shows continued and Shades of Rhythm were soon entering the Top 20 of the UK National charts and appearing on Top of the Pops on BBC 1.
Fast-forward to 2016 and the Shades are still very much at the top of their game headlining bills on the Oldskool circuit for Fantazia & Raindance and performing at award-winning festivals such as Arcadia stage at Glastonbury ’16 alongside Carl Cox and Heidi, Boomtown Fair and Slammin Vinyl’s festival Tranzmission.
They have also negotiated the rights to their entire back catalogue from ZTT.. so watch this space.
Nights out at the legendary Hacienda “Nude” nights in 1988 led to the meeting of minds and the beginnings of the K-Klass phenomena that lead to regular performances at the Hacienda. From there K-Klass became residents for the worlds biggest dance brand “Cream”, playing guest slots all over the world at some of the most prestigious and biggest dance events
When K-Klass are not behind the decks they spend their time in the studio and have worked alongside most of the biggest and most established artists around, some of these include : The Pet Shop Boys, Kathy Brown, Shake Down, Whitney Houston, Gerri Halliwell, Blondie, Bobby Brown, M-People, Level 42, Kylie Minogue, Rozalla, Sunscreem, Frankie Knuckles, Bizzare Inc, Kathy Sledge, New Order, Janet Jackson, Luther Vandross, Lisa Stansfield and Candi Staton plus many many more.
These skills, combined with ongoing innovation in new rave, electronic and underground music, the development of his World Of Rave Radio Show, which now runs weekly via a number of radio and digital online radio distributors and his never ending World Tours educating the new school and entertaining the old school mean so long as there’s a scene that needs teaching or a packed dance floor that needs a true, real, outstanding and simply incredible artist to lead the way and continue to write the rule book of standards by which other DJ’s have followed implicitly – then Slipmatt is that artist.
Brandon’s success and infectious personality lead to a stream of fantastic opportunities across the entire music industry. The highlights of this include, hosting one of the highest rated radios shows on Kiss FM (+ spin off compilations albums!); His own show on MTV, Blocko’s Bits on Rature TV and a number 3 charting hit under his Blockster moniker with ‘You should be Dancin’. Brandon has also made numerous other TV appearances including Celebrity Fear Factor and Celebrity Extreme Makeover, and more recently Celebrity Big Brother.
Brandon is infamous for his party spirit but in equal measure his ability to capture that spirit in his DJ sets. Though Brandon has become more discerning over the years, the raw energy his DJ sets bring to a dance-floor remains. Musically Brandon has a wealth of experience and is a staunch champion of the funkier end of house. His continued success means Brandon Block is still one of the UK’s most sought after DJ’s with his diary generally full up to 6 months in advance!
In addition to his DJ work Brandon has launched his own specialist international travel DJ bag, Brandon and has recently co-produced a record (Don’t You Feel Like Love) with one of the UK’s hottest house music acts, The Hoxton Whores. Add this all together and it is easy to see why Brandon Block is a true celebrated dance music icon and has clearly no plans to rest on his laurels.
Soon to be collaborationg again with some very influencial and olf friends in the studio
His Biography written by Matt trollope titled ‘life and lines of Brandon Block’ is availble to order through Amazon as a kindle or paperback.
Since 1996 since he enetered the charter nightgale Clinic In Lisson Grove, For three weeks to detox he has never looked back although some tough times followed he never went back to his old behaviour. In 2010 he felt the urge to help people with his knowledge of recovery and his infamy which put to good use was a big contributing factor in his ablitly to empathise and help people.
The next 7years saw him move from working alongside the criminal justice system and court orders for prolific offenders with Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol addiction, to working with people who have Multiple Complex needs in an outreach capacity all the wanting to improve peoples lives. Which spurred to him to search for new way seeing a gap in the treatment system. Met with Olly and Annette and from there was born Get Well together.
Awesome 3 were at and part of every glorious and inglorious moment of that scene from illegal raves to spike island … from the Hacienda to the Thunderdome and every other dark moody sh*thole in the north and beyond.
Steve Gorton / Dave Johnson / Shane Hughes met for the first time by pure accident in Slow Bongo Floyds studio in West Didsbury in August 1990. It was a Saturday and the band met at about 1:30pm and by 5pm they had a manager (Kenny Grogan of Spin Inn Records and Manchester underground fame) and were signed to A&M records. Tell us of another band in history to get a record deal within 4 hours of meeting? (f*cking madness) But that was the Awesome 3 – everything was crazy!
Within a month Awesome 3 had released their first single HARD UP and went touring the world with dancers at that time Ady Moore & Mark Hardicre. It went mental everywhere and they always dragged every scally and low life from Wythenshawe along with them, mayhem ensued everywhere they went. The band followed ‘Hard up’ with the monster piano vocal classic ‘FREEDOM OF LIFE’ featuring the vocals of Wayne Allen followed a few months later by the double a side POSSESSED/PIN UP GIRLS …. (‘Possessed’ being a track way ahead of its time) It was at this time Shane Hughes decided to hang up his 909 and 303 and left the band.
Awesome 3 then became Awesome and guess what A&M records dropped them! No record deal, no money and down to 2. Up steps Pete Orme, Awesome didn’t really know Pete but had seen him around and about in Manchester underground scene, so one Saturday morning the steps were taken “Hiya Pete you fancy joining the Awesome 3 – f*ck it yeah, why not”. Awesome 3 mk2 was born!
Within a month, they were in spirit studios recording, the beast that is ‘DONT GO’ featuring the vocals of Julie Mcdermott. Awesome 3 put it out themselves, independently on Entity Records and it went mental! City beat/XL recordings signed them up for a huge amount of money and off they went, touring again. Not long after this, Lynne Tait joined the group to cover vocal duties and they carried on bouncing up and down stages all over the world.
AWESOME 3, the band – shouldn’t have really existed, yet they wrote many rave classics. Every song they ever wrote has been covered by another band. ‘Hard Up’ was covered by Frank De Wulf. Freedom of Life covered by Dance United. ‘Possessed’ was covered by Coldplay. ‘Don’t go’ was covered by every c@nt. Not bad for a group of football hooligans from Wythenshawe (Oh yeah Pete’s from Salford, but Hey-ho we can’t all be perfect) ~ Steve Gorton 2018
As the scene grew so did his reputation. Ellis went on to headline most of the major rave parties throughout the 90s such as Dreamscape, World Dance, Fantazia, Perception, Helter Skelter etc playing a mixture of hardcore and then jungle/drum & bass. Ellis met up with future breaks guru Rennie Pilgrem and along with Nick Scott and Richard Thake they formed the band Rhythm Section that produced club smashers such as “Coming on Strong” and “Atomic”.
The international scene started to call and Ellis went on to play in Australia, America, Canada, Russia, Japan and most of the European countries. This is one DJ that has played everywhere from small dingy basements to massive raves and festivals and is guaranteed to keep any crowd on its toes.
During the last few years he has played at Ibiza SOS where he has gained recognition among the British audience and his birthday parties have grown to cult status for the Old Skool and electronica lovers always selling out year after year. Jonay has become one of the most relevant figures within the Old Skool scene both in Spain and England where he has played for renowned events such as Fantazia, World Of Rave, Retro, Rejuvenation and Time Machine among others.
Jonay also produces music releasing several records on his own, from limited white labels to major record labels in Spain, and he has also collaborated with talented producers like Bizzy B, J Majik (Viper Records) Pex L and many others.
His DJ skills have taken him as far as Australia and across Europe, to countries including Germany, Greece, Holland, Poland and Spain. He’s also a firm favourite every year in the party capital of the world, Ibiza.
Faydz is proud to be an honorary member of legendary Rave band, 2 Bad Mice (producers of the massive dance anthem ‘Bombscare’) as scratch DJ on their live PA’s and music productions.
SL2 started making music way back in 1986 when they bought their first drum machine, a Roland TR505, and teamed up with North London rap duo Gino & Mikey. This music was very raw and basic back then but after endless blagging they still managed to get played in their local nightclub in Tottenham. In 1988 Matt & John met a crew from Ilford which included Devious D and the man who went on to be SL2’s MC, the man like Jay J. They produced a variety of rap and Hip House recordings together but this was more of a learning curve for the team rather than serious production.
After countless trips to Noise-gate Studios in New Cross, South London and hours of drum programming in the bedroom, SL2 eventually released their first single in 1989 called Do That Dance / It Ain’t Nothing which was signed by Simon Gough of B/Ware Records. Again this was a learning curve for SL2 as they never saw a penny even though the record sold thousands. The duo recorded the single engineered by the late Michael Menson who was famous for his work with Double Trouble & Mike West (aka Rebel MC).
After the Simon Gough experience, Matt and John decided to fund their own follow up in 1990 called The Noise/Bassquake and which was recorded at Watershed Studios in Wood Green. They released on white label and the record flew off the shelves. With the taste for the record business now, they decided to start their own label Awesome Records and gave The Noise/Bassquake a full release. Awesome Records number 2 was DJs Take Control / Way In My Brain which they engineered themselves with the help of Alan Zippo from New Age Studios in Whetstone North London. The 500 promos they pressed sold within a couple of hours and within a week SL2 had an incredible 8 offers on the table for a record deal!
The boys decided to go with XL Recordings and subsequently went on to experience untold success with DJs Take Control / Way In My Brain when it hit number 11 in the national chart and earned then a slot on Top Of The Pops. They then followed up with ‘On a Ragga Tip’ which in April 1992 hit number 2 in the national charts and the number 1 spot in the Network Charts, staying in the top 7 for an incredible 8 weeks. At this time, Slipmatt and Lime were propelled into the media spotlight with many TV appearances including 2 more appearances on Top of the Pops as well as Dance Energy on BBC2 with Normski.
Longtime friend Jay J toured with SL2 (and still does to this day) as their live MC, alongside dancers Kelly and Jo who also appeared with the group at their shows all over the world and who are now retired from dancing. Their current dancer Rachel was a massive fan of SL2 in her early teens.
More recently, Slipmatt and Lime have been recording again and have also remixed a few of their old hits and had great success with the latest versions with Ministry Of Sound on their compilation albums. The lads released re-recordings of their biggest singles in 2015 on the World of Rave label and are currently working on new tracks which will also feature Jah Screechy, the voice of ‘On A Ragga Tip’.
This year the SL2 schedule has been busy with many festivals, club events and Rave appearances around the whole of the UK.
This year sees Ray in his 30th year of spinning tunes to the dance floors of clubs not only on Ireland but much further afield and still taking in his prerogative of “Just Make People Dance” paramount.
Not afraid to float between styles from Classic House of all sub genres right up to banging Hard Trance, Hardcore and everything in between.
“If it’s good it’s good”.
“Can’t wait for #SOSIBIZA2018 we make new friends every year, great music with great people”
Marcus Allen started DJing back in 92’ by getting himself some sets at the Oxford Free Parties after experiencing a love for Old skool music. He then made it into some of the South Wests’ Finest clubs like Goldiggers and Rumours which then led to him becoming a Resident. He then progressed on through the 90’s into the 00’s at clubs up and down the UK and abroad, adapting to the styles of music that were in at the time. (House, Trance and the occasional Old skool event).
Marcus made his debut for Strictly Old Skool Ibiza back in 2014, when he played as the resident for the infamous ‘Dreamscape’ brand, playing at one of Ibiza’s Super Clubs Es Paradis.
Over the last few years Marcus Allen has been running his own highly successful Dance Conspiracy events – which include ‘sold out’ boat parties and very busy club nights.
Marcus also plays for one of Bristol’s Finest D’arke Promotions and is becoming a regular face in Bristol music scene, warming up for the likes of Stereo MC’s, LTJ Bukem to name but a few.
You can catch Marcus Allen playing Festivals & Club events across the UK including Fantazia, Universe, Boomtown Festival, Rewind, Conception/Pure Klass and many more.
Marcus Allen is a multi-genre DJ playing all styles of dance music from Old skool – Classic House – Techno – Jungle and Drum n Bass. So you never know quite what you’re going to get! All you need know is that the mixing will always be on point and the tunes will always be spot on!
Catch Marcus Allen and Dance Conspiracy crew at Strictly Old Skool this coming May….
Early Guest spots included….The Carleton Morecambe 1989 – an iconic Northern venue where hundreds of young ravers would flock weekly to the sounds of the latest UK, Euro and US dance, electro and early rave experimentations. He played there until 93, which is where he ran his own “Choontimes” events for a year. Other early venues include: The Empire Morecambe Monroes – Blackburn Club 21 – Darwin Car-los ii – Colne Barca Bar – Manchester Revenge Rave – Blackburn.
Hux was then asked to be involved in a local outdoor event, which were set in the most idyllic of set-tings, the backdrop was the Lake District, in a field in the middle of nowhere. What started with just a few hundred people in attendance, soon, by year three became a couple of thousand! Being involved in outdoor Parties was certainly a buzz for Hux. It made partying in clubs that much more different (Arn-side Parties mid 90’s). Hux rekindled his love for club DJing on Rhodes Island in Greece 1993 (Tramps nightclub) with great vibes, great people, fantastic sunsets and sunrises. Unforgettable times!
Hux has been lucky enough to be entertaining and playing to crowds for the last 29 years. From clubs, to festivals, to raves, and he still embraces that same the energy/buzz you get as a dj and from the crowds vibe. So it’s safe to say that the dance scene is still the ‘Mutts Nutts’
In the last 4 years Hux has played the Vintage festival (with Mike Pickering, Dave Haslam – 2014 & Graeme Park Dave Haslam & Andy D. 2015) He then started Radio presenting The Revival Sessions with DJ Fingers on City Beat FM radio before turning his hand to interviewing and presenting in 2016 and has interviewed some of the old school finest artists – Dream Frequency / Mark XTC / K Klass / Slipmatt and many more. Check out the Dance Decade interviews on YouTube for an insight into how these musicians got into this wonderful scene.
More recently Hux has been involved with the successful Dance Decade brand and has been one of their resident DJ’s for the last 5 years. Last summer he played at the amazing Back to the Old Pool Festival (Blackpool) on the Main Stage with an amazing 2 hour old school set. The Skiddle write ups for this event were… shall we say were very complementary!
Formerly of Manchester UK, his public-performance debut was made one New Year’s Day in Wigan many moons ago, in Fancy Dress, playing Old Skool Vinyl B2B with local hero & best mate DJ Rikkee (Sequins, Blackpool); a legend from whom he accrued much of his original OldSkool collection. For safe keeping, obv ;0)
To this day Peacharoo has stayed loyal to the Wax, performing on Vinyl wherever possible as the digital revolution sprung to life in the mid-2000s. During these times he made a name for himself in the UK on the private events, festival, corporate & commercial scenes, performing at a multitude of weddings & works parties, and representing brands such as Maclaren F1, Vodaphone, Jonny Walker, Samsung, Coors Light & JD Sports before moving to live in Ibiza in 2015.
Since landing on the White Isle, Peacharoo has been catapulted into a multitude of amazing opportunities, all stemming from his love and passion for Vinyl music.
Early in 2016 he created the Ibiza Vinyl Club (facebook.com/groups/IbizaVinylClub), an event he runs as a pop-up record exchange with Vinyl DJs, Open-Decks & a ton of wax to share with clubbers and DJs alike; pioneering the Vinyl-Revival in Ibiza. The IVC network now boasts nearly 1000 Vinyl DJs and enthusiasts as its members, and has used more than 70 Vinyl DJs and artists on its rota at its 60 events, performing at more than 25 venues in Ibiza and the UK.
Alongside all this, in summer 2017 Peacharoo was spotted spinning Wax as Resident DJ at the Zoo Project & Zoo Evolution events; with guest appearances for Fonoteca & Strictly Old Skool, and for sole bookings at a variety of underground bars and clubs across Ibiza.
His record collection spans MANY genres of original recorded music, with the emphasis on high-vibes and genuinely funky sounds from all walks of life and musical eras. At the moment of writing, only the Universe knows what’s in store for Peacharoo in 2018, but one thing IS for sure – he’ll be making you all dance and remember ‘proper DJing’ at SOS 2018′
Starting on vinyl, a natural talent for track selection and set building soon became evident as uploaded classic house mixes quickly led to thousands of plays. These in turn led to gigs alongside house legends such as Allister Whitehead, Retro founder Paul Taylor and Swedish producer and DJ Stonebridge who has since become a great friend and mentor.
Her second year of playing brought gigs at the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) for French label Jango, a Traxsource top 100 compilation for Kinky Trax label, a rise in UK bookings as well in Tenerife and Ibiza which allowed her to showcase her skills over a wider range of house music genres.
2017 saw Helen secure a full season in Ibiza with a residency at two venues (Rio, Bucanero) as well as regular gigs at Cala Bassa and Deeva Beach clubs for UK label Let There Be House. Winter led to a return appearance at ADE for Jango and a London debut alongside Kings of Tomorrow’s Sandy Rivera.
G.A.P has played many event nights over the UK and abroad working with some of the biggest names in the game, from legends such as KIE, Creed, EZ from the UK Garage scene, to Ratpack, Slipmatt, 2 Bad Mice, Mark Archer and many more from the UK Old skool/D&B scene. Anybody that knows G.A.P knows his style and will know how he likes to get the beats harder and faster as the night goes on.
Klass started his career on pirate radio and has been fortunate enough to work on many stations over the years. From UK Garage stations such as SubJam and Hightz Live to Oldskool / D&B Stations such as Eruption and Origin. Moving with the times he is now well established on internet radio.
Klass has performed at many club event nights all over the UK, working alongside some of the biggest names in the game. From MC legends such as Creed, Hyperactive, VIP, Vapour, Mr Mee, DT, Kie & Neat from the UK Garage scene, to Ratpack, Skibba, Shabba, Yardy, Ribbz, Live-Lee, Chalkie White & Leggo Dan from the Oldskool/D&B scene.
Klass has also had the privilege of working with many legendary DJ’s & Producers from all over the UK rave scene. His style is unique and his flow has taken him all around the UK and has given him bookings in France, Turkey, and Ibiza & Greece to name but a few.
Chalkie personally wouldn’t call himself an MC and prefers the title of host (he’s a bit of a talker) but he loves what he does. After a few years away from the Old Skool Scene he is back full of life and energy! Travelling around the UK, hosting a whole heap of events and loving it.