Atomic Energy: Blowing the Roof off EQ
Reported by spacekitten
Submitted 30-11-03 20:08
Atomic Energy is becoming increasingly familiar to many on Harder Faster as word spreads about their phenomenal parties. What you may not know is that this small club has been on the hard dance scene for five years now and is as respected for staying true to their underground philosophies and ideals as for their relaxed parties and stonking line-ups.
Over the years they’ve earned massive respect for their unwavering support of up and coming DJs/performers and the hard dance scene in general. Each and every party hits you hard with a feast of London’s best underground DJs and live acts, both the better known names and those still establishing themselves. And somehow, it just keeps on getting better!
Atomic Energy also embraces the freedom to party in true underground style; with their relaxed, friendly security and consistently low door prices their parties are very different to what you’ll find in the more mainstream clubs. The fact that people travel from all over the UK is proof of what a blinding night you’ll have, but don’t take my word for it – read the HF forums and then get your stomping feet along to the next party on Boxing Day.
And for those who think the ‘home’ of Atomic Energy, EQ Warehouse, is a tad off the beaten clubbers track, a free shuttle bus is provided between Stratford Tube/BR and the venue, the short ride made entertaining by the lovely driver, Danny.
All this hard work has now paid off in a much-deserved nomination for Best Small Club (under 1000 capacity) in the first annual Hard Dance Awards.
I caught up with founder and promoter of Atomic Energy, Dean (aka DJ De-Cent), to find out more…
What is Atomic Energy?
Atomic Energy is very much about the freedom to party. It is a home to the essence of the underground, a party with its roots firmly planted in the party scene of 89-95 – not in terms of our music but in the atmosphere and vibe: we’ve captured what was essentially the best of the scene from that time, a time when greed and commercialism was not the pre-dominant culture. There were many warehouses and non-licensed venues that were being used back then by like-minded, good-natured people who just wanted the freedom to party without attitude and with everyone seen as equals. Atomic Energy has always held true to those ‘Old Skool’ ideals and the atmosphere and feel of our parties has been likened to the best of those days.
How long has Atomic Energy been running and what inspired you to start it?
It has been running five years now and it was essentially started as a party for friends on the scene at the time, and borne out of the need to have a great party away from what we saw as a changing time, a time that seemed to be losing the essence of what partying was and is all about. Inspiration came from the change in the music and the fact that it was getting harder to find the music and the choice of music/sound that we were getting into at the time. There were fewer and fewer of the good clubs left so it made sense to start our own, to support our philosophy and ideals and give the Djs and clubbers who shared our love of the music somewhere to party. The irony of it is that there are not many around that are like us now! The scene has been diluted by the same principles and ethics that seem to be prevailing in society as a whole.
Who else besides yourself is involved with Atomic Energy?
Too many to mention! There are lots of small groups playing an important role – atoms that make up the whole - but essentially the internal organisational team is small. It has taken time to build our team but it is one that wholeheartedly supports what Atomic Energy is all about. The Nu Energy Collective’s involvement is continuously increasing with an ever-closer association with each new endeavour.
How would you describe Atomic Energy to ravers/clubbers who haven’t been to one of the parties?
For all the older ravers, our vibe is very much reminiscent of the underground scene as it was at its height, with an atmosphere of ‘all together as one’. We are one big, happy family with no attitudes other than the united one of having the best time and forgetting the outside stresses we all have. For all the younger clubbers or newcomers to the scene, Atomic Energy will be a different taste to the commercialised alternatives on offer claiming to be ‘underground’. We feel we are at the forefront of this scene and our music is at the leading edge; quite often music styles that are currently popular were heard at our parties anything from 6/9-12 months ago. The result is an awesome night and atmosphere unlike any other. The best way to find out what we’re like is to come along to one of our parties and experience it for yourself!!
What makes you stand out from other parties or club nights in London?
Our ethics and principles, and sticking to them whilst not selling out to the commerciality that is rife in everything and finding a stranglehold in our scene too. Atomic Energy has stayed true to its principles and cause, through all the ups and downs in this very difficult market, and the atmosphere we are renowned for, has stayed the same. We feel that we are one of just a few remaining parties in London that has the true vibe of the underground, and many people out there appreciate that. The genuine human nature of the people we all meet at our parties is a testament to that. Many people have formed long-term friendships with others they have met at our parties.
What’s your assessment of the current hard dance scene and where do you see Atomic Energy’s place within the scene?
The hard dance scene has embraced commerciality in a way we find disappointing in view of what its essence was about originally. Many clubs have opted for a standard, commercialised formula that has bored the scene. Many of those who have been in, and experienced, the scene long enough, as well as some newcomers, have been put off by that. We are one of the last remaining parties of our type. We see ourselves at the forefront of the underground scene and, at the moment, we feel we are the home of the underground. We feel our sound is and has been leading the way and we expect that to continue… we anticipate a revival of the underground – there’s a lot of interest out there which is continually growing and it’s important for people like us to give our support to the scene.
Describe the atmosphere at an Atomic Energy party
Friendly to the extreme (close to the ‘family feel’). The nature of the people we attract brings a sense of community. It’s a mutual appreciation and love of the freedom to party, and an acceptance of individuals that makes the party whole. The people who come along have an open acceptance of what the party is all about – to have a great time without any pretentious bullsh*t; just people enjoying themselves in a safe, comfortable environment with some of the best undergound music around. Some would call it electric. Either way it is what Atomic Energy is renowned for. You have to feel it to know it and understand it!
You’ve recently made the EQ Warehouse the home of Atomic Energy parties. Why do you think EQ is so suited to your style of party and was it hard to find a suitable venue?
The EQ, to us, is one of the few remaining venues where they have an ethos and understanding of the party scene similar to ours. It has been a nightmare finding a venue that we can work with. The choice gets less and less as each year passes. It is a warehouse similar to many we used in our earlier days and fits in with our underground identity. We appreciate that it’s a bit further out than many clubbers are used to but people know that once they get there it’s going to be a party to remember. In view of the difficulty some have in getting to the venue, we offer a free shuttle service from Stratford tube/BR and back again after the party.
Who from the hard dance/hard beats scene play, or have played, at Atomic Energy?
The best of the London underground scene…. Orange Peel, Kevin Energy, De-Cent, Rubec, Group 185, Sol Ray, Thermobee, Fordy, Mark Ashley, The *Ting*, Choci, Orpheus 2, Mishka & Injector, Type 1, Fabry, Keef, Wayne Smart, amongst others in a very long list! The likes of Mark Sinclair, Justin Swales, Marc French, Raymondo, Dean Peters, James Lawson, Ian Mac, Phil Reynolds, Dan Madams, Carl Nicholson, Chris C, Madam Zu, Oliver Twist, Gary Coburn, Ian Betts and Paul Penny have also played in the past. (apologies to anyone offended by their omission – the memory banks are dire! :-)
You mentioned before that Atomic Energy has a close relationship with the Nu Energy Collective. How did you become involved?
The Collective was in its early stages when we got involved. Back then it was growing as an entity but was essentially Kevin Energy with his small but expanding team. We had been made aware of Kevin in 1999 via our DJs at the time. We had a tough journey for a while looking for venues where we could party in the style of our ethos and principles. It was while we were at our temporary home, ‘Trenz’, in 2000, that we made the decision to take Kevin on as part of Atomic Energy. We knew that his sound would add to and enhance the direction we were taking with our music. The relationship built from there, culminating in our backing of the NEC, with the relationship continually building to the partnership we enjoy today.
Any future plans you’d like to tell us about?
Along with working even closer with the Nu Energy Collective and bringing plenty more free parties (Freeformation), Atomic Energy will be touring the country next year too. We are also getting closer to sharing the hard work that has been going into our ‘Are you Aware’ page on the website. This page has been ‘under construction’ for so long many may have given up or got bored, but a tremendous amount of work is going on behind the scenes for this and some of it will soon be ready to go up so keep an eye on the site.
Atomic Energy is about more than just the party and we have a very strong belief in life. What we aim to share on this page is a deeper awareness of life and the world in which we find ourselves. It may not be everyone’s idea of what clubbing is about but for many of us, clubbing epitomises what life is all about… freedom to be and to enjoy all that life has to offer.
Head to www.harddanceawards.com to show your support and vote to keep one of London’s true underground clubs alive and kickin’. Voting closes on 15 December.
And when you’ve voted with your fingers, come and vote with your feet at the next Atomic Energy party, the Coming Dawn, at EQ Warehouse on Boxing Day. With another kick-arse line-up including Kevin Energy, Matt Style B2B Andy Vinal, Type 1, Danny Gilligan, The *Ting*, Group 185 (live), Orpheus 2 (live), Orange Peel, De-Cent Wayne Smart and Kutski - you’d be an absolute turkey to miss it! www.atomicenergy.co.uk for more information
AND, don’t forget the limited £10 early bird tickets are now available - either call 07808-163600 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. But hurry, these tickets are limited!
You can also enter the competitions to win tickets on the following sites: www.atomicenergy.co.uk, www.harderfaster.net, www.clubbinginlondon.net and www.nightclubbinuk.com
See you on Boxing Day!!!!
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Other Features By spacekitten:
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As Above, So Below: it all comes together at Atomic Energy’s 6th Birthday
True to Type: an interview with that bangin' duo Type 1 DJs...
More than hardcore: an interview with MC, producer & DJ Sharkey
Welcome to the zoo: interview with the Zoology crew
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: acid les on 1st Dec 2003 14:36.12|
well put. Atomic Energy is the place to be. See ya there Boxing Day. wooohooooo! Well deserving of support!
From: Mark Ashley on 1st Dec 2003 14:58.40
Marvellous party, top promoters, great venue. Have played there once (and aim to again) and been a regular punter on more than one occasion, really is one of the best parties at the moment.....Plus they have the best lightshow out there!!!!
If your not up to anything on boxing day, get down to Atomic, you won't be dissapointed !
I'll be there, woo hoo !!!
From: GROUP 185 on 1st Dec 2003 15:48.44
nice on hf and spacekitten ..a well deserved feature ..atomic energy is the dogs bollox of promotions ..we love it there .
From: Fordy on 1st Dec 2003 21:53.28
Add your comments here !
From: Fordy on 1st Dec 2003 21:55.50
Yay! to that! Atomic Energy keeping it real & undergound. ENERGY is the key word, loads of good positive energy all round - I love it!
All this & Fred Dibnah too!
From: *Ting* on 1st Dec 2003 23:23.43
Yeah! Can't wait til boxing day. THis is gonna be the muts nuts. Coming for the whole thing with a HUGE crowd. best way to break away from the whole family regime!
From: Matt Church on 2nd Dec 2003 05:12.54
Quality write up!!! Well put!!! Hope to see you on Boxing Day!
From: Rascal on 2nd Dec 2003 09:22.52
Nice interview - I've said over and over again that Atomic is the best party in London, everyone has to experience it and I promise you will be hooked after that! Bring on Boxing Day, it's going to be wicked!!!
From: The Soundscape Gardener on 2nd Dec 2003 13:51.50
I've never had as much fun (with my clothes on) as I do when there's an AE party on, they're the best on the block and well worth making the effort to get to... which for some of us is no small trek! But then that's what it's all about - going to something special, something that really does get better every time you go. It's the only party I know of where I can guarantee what a good night I'm going to have before I even leave the house, and that's so rare these days.
The AE crew, all of them, deserve a medal for services to clubbing culture... nobody can touch them. And that's no bullshit. I can honestly say that it was an AE night that sent my life in a whole new direction and opened my eyes to something I thought had disappeared a long time ago - the real free party spirit, the "old skool vibe", that little thing that the corporate face of clubbing will never understand... it's not about the names, it's not about the money or the clothes... it's about getting in a warehouse with likeminded people and dancing your f**king tits off. Just like the old days.
Which is why not being able to get down for Boxing Day really hurts.
From: spacekitten on 2nd Dec 2003 14:59.21
gutted you guys won't be able to make it - was looking forward to a damn good stomp with you too !!! we'll tell you all about it, tho, promise !!!
From: mad rush on 2nd Dec 2003 15:12.42
This is exactly as it is put by every1, you really have got to experience this atmospheric feeling as we all say time & time again just like i did and i am now hooked!! There is nothing better than being able to party without any hassles around you...you dont get a bad vibe from any1,which to me is what it is all about aye
Cant wait to be there again Boxing Day, and what a way to celebrate the Christmas Spirit. Super..Smashing..Greeeat!!
See you all there
From: Evil Ez on 2nd Dec 2003 21:01.27
Fantastic event, I loved the first time we played for AE at 'Thinning of the Veils' and can't wait to do Boxing Day. See ya all there x x x
From: nickos on 3rd Dec 2003 13:54.56
Well what more can I add to this?? For those of you that haven't been to Atomic Energy then this Boxing Day will be a very good start!! See you all there.
From: Exiled Angel on 4th Dec 2003 10:02.16
Top party! Top interview! See you on Boxing Day!
From: The Green Man on 5th Dec 2003 19:46.59
bloody hell !!
From: De-Cent on 12th Dec 2003 23:53.40
Add your comments here !
We have pulled out all the stops possible for this party.....there is no lover of the underground that is not gonna love this! The Lasers alone are a first, let alone the renowned atmosphere and we have an even deeper level of entertainment pushing us on!! Just ya wait!!
The Wild Things are coming indoors to play in the second room along with our best warm ups and Metaphase Antiworld cd002 launch.....(AKA Fabry!). This room is gonna be enough on it's own!! Magic cafe and mad decor! Mmm, mad is a good suitable word!!
Chill out room with massage, face painting, Buddhist karma, higher level lifting and a getaway if ya wanna!!
Just wait for the lasers....this style of party has been soo long coming.....your gonna feel the buzz!!! You have no choice if you are within the walls of Atomic Energy!!!
From: GROUP 185 on 13th Dec 2003 11:21.58
BLIMEY..AND I WAS GONNA STAY IN AND WASH ME HAIR..SEE YE THERE..
From: LOZ on 13th Dec 2003 14:18.11
Luv the venue, music n atmosphere always have the best time n really really lookin 4ward 2 Boxing Day
p.s. wicked interview Karen
From: moonmantra on 14th Dec 2003 16:23.02
Nice one Kitten!
What better introduction to what Atomic Energy is all about? If you've never been before, Boxing Day - The Coming Dawn - could be your gateway into another world and a whole new set of experience ...
From: Type 1 on 19th Dec 2003 08:03.49
Oh yer its gonna be a banger