Chris Cee and Alan Banks get Fundamental
Reported by Adam Symbiosis
Submitted 07-03-07 23:37
Already winning praise from some of the most important people in London clubbing today while providing quality electronic dance music to discerning clubbers, FUndamental has come a long way since its earliest conception in deepest Essex. Now taking the promotion a step up to the bear’s pit of London, promoters Alan Banks and Chris Cee step up to the podium to tell us about Turnmills, sweets and octopi.
Credible dance music and Chelmsford are not quite two words you’d put together in an average sentence. For most a wide berth is the most Essex has to offer, but for the enlightened few who have decided party sounds of the 60s, 70s and 80s are best left in their respective eras, what option did they have but to come to London? There was obviously a gap in the market and that’s exactly what Alan and Chris set out to fill with the launch of their new concept FU. Alan explains: “We had been working at a bar called Broadwalk for a while laying really good house music so knew there were people out there who wanted the same as us. A new venue under the railway arches had opened up called The Cave. It provided that real gritty underground feel, and it took us a couple of months to get in but on our opening night in April we pulled in over 400 people! We ran for another three events with an atmosphere we had never seen in Chelmsford before. Even though we were the most successful night, the other promotions just weren’t pulling people and the club owner decided to close!”
Many people would have moved to a similar sized venue or even just given up, but being in the right place at the right time led to a VIP room showing for one of the best new parties in London, Party Proactive at Turnmills, and more recently a room at the huge Heat NYE 5th Anniversary at Brixton Academy at the end of 2006. Chris agrees: “Yeah it was just a right time, right place thing, we did take a break whilst we both found our feet in London, and in 2006 we decided we had good enough names within the scene to bring it back to London and we’ve not looked back since.”
Atmosphere isn’t everything though, there has to be a musical foundation to build the fun and as with any successful promotion its one of the key features. Surprisingly they’re also very liberal in their approach to what gets played. “We’re always moving forward with our own music styles,” Chris explains. “You’ll never hear myself or Alan play the same set twice and this lends itself so well to Fundamental. We always program the night to flow and the DJs we book are closely vetted to make sure they fit into the night, make a great progression and keep the dance-floor alive right until the last tune is dropped.”
It’s a musical ethos, Alan tells me, focusing on great dance music no matter what the style, while basing the DJs around him and Chris. From all kinds of house like funk, electro or jacking to tough house, techno and trance, whatever’s good goes and you’ll hear and enjoy.
Being more of a special event at the moment running every couple of months leaves the boys plenty of time to be out and about on the town and working on other connected projects. Recently you’ll have found Alan warming up for the Anjunabeats boys at their last party at The Gallery. “It was an amazing experience and a great honor to play at as only those signed to the label get a chance to play,” he says.
There are even international dates coming up and of course productions on the horizon. “I’ve been working hard in the studio with James Rae coming up with some remixes and original tracks and I’ve also been teaching myself the joys of Ableton and laptop DJing. It’s far from perfect yet but it’s getting there for sure. It’s an amazing piece of software for live and production work and I’ve been enjoying getting my teeth into both aspects,” Alan adds.
Watch this space then as he tells me, but what about Chris? If you’ve spent any time talking to him then you’d know his major project is tied into the FUndamental brand; FUsic.co.uk. Splitting his time between programming the site himself and actually learning the web technologies used for the site, it sounds tough, but he tells me it’s actually a great distraction from his music. Again he harbours the production bug and you’ll find Ableton buried away on his computer too. “I hope to get to grips with it to at least re-edit those tracks that are good, but need the ‘Cee’ signature spark adding to them. All of this really compliments our work with Fundamental and this will show in time as the promotion grows. We would both like to try the record label thing to, but I think that’s on the back burner until we get other stuff sorted.”
Spanning FUndamental, FUtos, FUsic and of course their website FUsic.co.uk to tie it all together into one package, it seems if it catches on, FU could grow to become a big brand and Chris agrees. “I think there’s a massive future for the brand, we’re always looking at how music changes and we are continually changing, evolving and adapting. I think things will move more towards digital art, with people producing live with music and video, VJ’ing is on its way up at the moment and we would love to embrace this within our nights as well. I’d like to see FUndamental take a move out of the Capital once in a while, take it to places that might not have the chance to hear good dance music. We have plans to do our own night in London at some point, but we seem to be getting offers from some of the bigger promoters in London at the moment to host their rooms and even one very big promotion want us to co host their main room secret warehouse party, so how are we going to fit it all into 2007?”
Alan thinks the future is bright as well and with a growing following and great working relationship for FUndamental with Party Proactive, things can only get better. “I think people are always going to want to go out and dance, meet people and have a good time. Dance music has taken a dip but it is on the up, the charts are now seeing more and more club tracks (even though they are cheesy) which opens the market and I think we’ll see an increase again in people coming to dance music clubs which can only be a good thing. Hopefully FUndamental can get a place with that and attract those people. The ideal plan would be to take FUndamental to a club and run our own night in London. That would take a lot of work and a really big following. I think we can do it though.”
When they’re not running themselves ragged promoting, producing or programming, every now and again the boys do take a bit of time out to go and party themselves. Of course with such little time they have to plan their free time wisely. For Alan it has to be The Gallery and Vaccine. “They can’t be beaten for line ups. Constantly changing they get all the big names weekly! Party Proactive has also impressed me, especially in the way they promote themselves, the people they attract and the atmosphere provided. Electronic Sessions is also up there. It dares to be different and is not afraid to put on techno acts along side house acts and trance acts. This party will continue to grow and grow if they keep up with this formula.”
On the DJ side of things he’s been keeping close tabs on Lizzie Curious, the Knowwhere funky resident: “Her energy behind the decks and crowd interaction as well as great tunes really get the crowd in the palm of her hands. She is someone I’ll be watching for FUndamental”
Chris points out Platform 12 as a party to watch. “It’s an excellent night similar to Fundamental, always fun and full of great people. For us I’d love to get LadyKiller and Clive down to play one night, they’re both full of energy and not scared to entertain as well and educate. My kind of DJs.”
Of course, by now you must be salivating at the prospect of the next party and that’s got nothing to do with the sweets, but more on that later. March 24th sees the boys return with Party Proactive to one of London’s favourite venues, Turnmills, but if you haven’t been to a PP or FU before then what can you expect? “Friends, sweets and good music,” Chris tells me. “We always seem to see so many smiley faces at our nights and everyone’s really friendly. Of course I’d say good music, but then it’s our night so we are bound to love it. One thing that will be great this time around is Max Cooper’s four decks and FX. I saw him on a boat party last year and he’s excellent, get your cameras out and get ready to be amazed!”
The thought crossed my mind if in fact they’d booked an octopus for their headlining set, with bathers and goggles handed out at the door but would that watery fun make good business sense? “There is too much business involved with clubbing now,” Alan tells me. “Our main aim is to have fun. We run behind the scenes very much like a business but when it comes to the nights they are filled with surprises, special effects and entertainers. We try to provide a real party atmosphere with great people and great uplifting music. Who knows, we may even bring out the jelly and ice cream one night and pin the tail on the donkey!”
And FUn is key at FUndamental. Just make sure you get in quick for the sweets, a little touch often over looked by other promoters, if only to get that sugary rush to dance that little bit harder. One last question though, just who eats all the left over sweets? “We never seem to come home with any,” Chris reckons. “Either we have hungry DJs or you greedy lot eat them all!” Yum!
For more info:
Photos courtesy of Daf, Ryan Rickett, Alan Banks and Chris Cee. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Party Proactive present The Awakening
Saturday 24th March
10pm to 6am
£14 Advance / £16 Paying Guest List / £18 OTD
Advance Tickets: £14 / Paying Guest list £16 / Door £18
We strongly recommend you buy tickets in advance to avoid queuing and to guarantee entry as THIS EVENT WILL SELLOUT.
Ticketweb.co.uk Credit Card Bookings – 08700600100
Party Proactive HQ – firstname.lastname@example.org / 07814179946
Maria NeverEnough: 07813684399 / www.toomuchbutneverenough.com
Vince ( Midlands): 07878 619504
Cyberdog Camden: 02074822842
Chris Cee: 07725 369643
Click here to buy tickets
For our first event of 2007, following the massive success of our debut at Brixton Academy alongside HeatUK and The Gallery for NYE, we present
I know many of you have been looking forward to us announcing our first event of 2007 and I think once again we have put together something that we think is simply UMISSABLE!
Share this :: : : :
Follow HarderFaster ::
Other Features By Adam Symbiosis:
Godskitchen Xmas Party: Reviewed
The Big Chill: Reviewed
Tiësto at Victoria Park: Reviewed
Lilly Allen: Reviewed
Digital Society May 2009: Reviewed
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: paul jack on 8th Mar 2007 09:28.36|
a pleasure to work with chaps and always deliver the goods!
From: Chris Cee on 8th Mar 2007 09:38.37
Thanks for the interview Adam, well written!
PS listen to/downlaod Fusic Vol 2 Demo Click here
From: Andy Dunford on 8th Mar 2007 18:59.25
Well done guys, would have loved to have gone to one of those original nights in Essex having seen the video footage. The only way is upwards I think
From: Jacob on 8th Mar 2007 20:57.22
Looking forward to soaking up the vibes in the Fundamental room once more!
From: Mike Harris on 8th Mar 2007 21:33.38
Good shizzle lads, 2 top blokes and great dj's, all the best for the future!
From: Jurrane on 9th Mar 2007 07:38.31
Very impressie interview with two guys who are forging a real and very well-deserved reputation for putting on top quality parties. Congratulations guys - 07's going to be huge.
From: James Terry on 9th Mar 2007 11:08.25
Nice interview guys, well done...looked a bit cold on that roof though!
From: Chris Cee on 9th Mar 2007 11:20.57
freezing! we were on a dome roof, about 20 meters high and the wind was blowing! lets just say I wasn't the happiest of people up there!
From: Prozak on 9th Mar 2007 15:30.29
nice one lads!
From: K.A.R.L. on 9th Mar 2007 15:58.08
Great interview by 2 top guys. Fundamental is set for big things. Keep up the good work you 2 scallywags.
By the way Alan, you are allowed to smile in photo's.
From: Safe As Fuck on 11th Mar 2007 14:46.08
Great interview! Was a shame to lose the venue that Fundamental used to be hosted at, in Chelmsford. I remember the opening night very well and was probably the most fun I have had on a night out in Chelmsford. Would be nice to still be able to go to something decent here. Alan and Chris definitely put a lot of effort into their work, are great dj's and Fundamental is definitely set for greater things. Keep it up guys, hopefully see you two again some time soon...
From: Mat Lock on 11th Mar 2007 18:25.15
Top read guys, all the best.
From: Baltazar on 12th Mar 2007 12:37.03
Nice oen boys. See you on the 24th.
From: Carine on 12th Mar 2007 20:05.46
I think Fundamental is set for big things this year.
All the best guys
From: Greg Blaquiere on 12th Mar 2007 20:09.18
Good read fellas. Keep it up and 2007 will be a top year. More sweets all round!
From: Pandora S-K on 13th Mar 2007 09:38.17
Nice interview Alan and neat photo's too!
From: *VaNeSsA* on 13th Mar 2007 20:32.03
well done guys
legend status beckons!!
nice hair Alan
From: Lizzie Curious on 14th Mar 2007 13:09.17
A wicked read and it's good to see things are going so well for you!
And thanks for the positive comments too Alan!
From: Alex Buck on 14th Mar 2007 17:22.11
FUll marks chaps. The FUture's looking bright
From: Alan-Banks on 15th Mar 2007 17:41.07
My thanks to Adam for a great interview. Also thanks to Ryan Rickett for the photos.
And thanks to all the nice comments. Roll on the 24th!!!
From: Point Red Records on 22nd Mar 2007 11:35.18
Nice one Chris. Look forward to hearing some of those Chris Cee productions soon. All the best - Craig H