Celebrate a year of Addiction with Phil York, Ian Betts & 2PhUnKeDuP!
Reported by Olly Perris
Submitted 26-08-05 10:20
Can you believe it has nearly been one year? After 26 rocking parties at The Southside Bar, one mammoth Easter blow out at Deep Blue and a superb boat party on the Thames this summer, Addiction has really evolved over the past year. Already the talk of the town, Addiction’s cult status seemingly cannot be rivalled across London’s clubbing scene. On Friday 2 September Addiction returns to Deep Blue once again for the mother of all birthday parties, and, in true Addiction style, we’ve pulled out the stops to bring you not just one, not two, but three interviews with three of the leading names, Phil York, Ian Betts and 2PhUnKeDuP!.
Phil York has climbed to the top of the hard trance ladder in record time, releasing a plethora of quality hard trance productions across his various labels. With his new venture Tranzlation going strong, Phil’s status continues to rise in the hard dance scene.
It’s certainly fair to say your production has taken off as of late! What have you been working on recently and is there anything you're particularly excited about?
Things have been really busy of late in the studio for me! Firstly, I have just finished two remixes of the trance classic ‘Diving faces’, one UK hard trance mix and a German one I’ve done with Gaz West (as a Section 8 vs. Dark by Design). I have also recently completed my new single for Tranzlation called ‘Stage Rage’; a real bass heavy tune combining big thrashing heavy metal guitars with uplifting trance leads; this is getting a Guyver Remix for release towards the end of the year!
Colin Barratt and I have also just finished working on a very funky techno remix of Technotronic’s ‘Pump Up The Jam’. This is something very different for me, and is coming out on Bootek in a couple of months. I have also been in the studio with Nick Rowland doing a cover version of an old classic from back in the day, Emmie — ‘More Than This’. It’s a trancey remix with a German style warping bassline and lush vocals by Jennie Rix. Finally I have completed a cover version of Agnelli and Nelson’s ‘Everyday’ with Gaz West. This has been destroying dance floors all over the UK and there is currently talk of a release on Voltswagon with a remix by Steve Hill on the flip, which I am excited about.
You recently started the Tranzlation label which is aimed towards the uplifting end of the hard dance spectrum. Given the current climate in which sales are at an alltime low, did you feel there was a fair degree of risk in starting a new label?
Definitely, but you’ve just got to go with your gut instinct on it. With Tranzlation I try to be as diverse as possible by crossing over between UK and European more German sounds of hard trance. I also work very hard to make sure the releases are consistent, providing the best in uplifting powerful hard trance music.
Do you have any plans to take Tranzlation into the digital market as you've done with your Nuklearpuppy imprint?
Funny you should mention that as we are actually launching Tranzlation on digital download from mid September, coinciding with the release of Technikal’s ‘Summassault’. We also have plans to release some remixes of tracks on Tranzlation exclusively on download as some remixes never make it onto vinyl and it seems a damn shame to waste them. Our first exclusive remix on download will be a really dark growly and aptly named ‘Dark by Design Hell’s Belle remix’ of Gaz West’s new single ‘My Angel’ due out on Tranzlation toward the end of the year.
There will also be a series of Tranzlation Whites. What do you have in store for this label?
With the series of whites we can afford to be a little more experimental due to the lower cost outlays, so we are signing a lot of tracks of up and coming producers such as Chris Hoff and MDA & Spherical along with new singles from Jason Cortez, Nick Rowland and a couple of EPs from myself.
Tranzlation white 6 is out this coming week and is the debut single from Interphase (duo from Cape town) vs. Shaun M (of tidy fame) with a remix from myself on the flip. No 7 is a young guns E.P with Affirmation from Chris Hoff, and MDA & Spherical’s Eternal on the flip due out early September. Tranzlation Whites 8 is my 1st E.P on the label with ‘Refuse of the Past’ and ‘Evolution’, two peak time hard trancers but both very different. ‘Evolution’ is really uplifting with tinkly pianos and a skippy bass line, whereas ‘Refuse of the Past’ is darker and gets proper twisted towards the end!
You're due to appear at Addiction's 1st Birthday as part of the Hardtimez UK tour. What special goodies will you have for clubbers attending this night?
We’ve got loads of giveaways including vinyl from all Hardtimez associated labels (Hardtimez, Tranzlation, Tranzlation White and Distinkt), as well as free tour mix cds with loads of upfront material on. We are also kitting the club out with full Hardtimez and Tranzlation décor and naturally I have a few secret weapons in the tune department which I am saving to unleash on Addiction!
This appearance at Addiction is a rare London appearance for you. Do you have any more lined up in the future?
Things have been quiet for me in London of late but that is about to change, I recently played U4RIA @ Captain Cook in Acton and we are currently organizing another date to play there in the near future. I am booked to play Wildchild’s 4th Birthday on the 29th of October B2B with my partner in Nuklearpuppy, Jason Cortez, and I am also back in London on the 17th November to play at Addiction’s legendary Thursday night free entry parties.
Finally, what are your top 3 tunes at the moment?
Kain Marco — ‘My Angel’ (Gaz West’s UK Remix) (Tranzlation)
Expose — ‘More Than This’ (Phil York & The Coalition Remix) (Distinkt)
Technikal — ‘Summasault’ (Tranzlation)
Ian Betts has hit the headlines this year for all the right reasons; his production has seen him rocket to the top of the trance charts with 'Shimmer' and his DJing has seen him grace the hallowed turntables at clubbing Mecca Amnesia in Ibiza for Cream.
What a year it's been for you! Perhaps the undoubted highlight was playing recently at mega club Amnesia for Cream in July, alongside Marco V, Eddie Halliwell and Adam Sheridan. Can you put into words how it felt to be asked to play in such a prestigious venue for such a well known promotion?
Yeah, it was a huge buzz to play at one of the best venues in the world for one of the best clubbing promotions in the world — I love everything about Cream @ Amnesia; the venue itself is amazing, the sound system is thumpingly loud yet crystal clear, the promoters pay such attention to detail, the crowd and atmosphere have always blown me away, and if that's not enough it all happens in Ibiza! Getting to play there earlier this year was special, particularly as it was also an event involving the Goodgreef guys who are a great bunch, but I've just been invited back to play at the closing party in September alongside Tiesto and Eddie which has got me really excited — I played at the opening party last year and the atmosphere was electric so I can't even begin to imagine what the closing party will be like!
I was actually in attendance that night and many people came away saying what a fantastic job you did of not only warming the night up, but also how you could very easily jump the gap from UK DJ to International DJ in a similar vein to that of Eddie Halliwell. Do you feel this is within reach for you?
Yeah I’d definitely like to think so — I’m under no illusions about where I’m at right now, how far I’ve got to go and how much hard work it will be to get there, but it’s something that I believe more and more could happen given the right breaks and a little bit of luck here and there! It’s sometimes difficult to see just how far I’ve come since I started DJing. It can feel like being in the eye of a storm all the time, so to get the kind of get feedback I did after my Cream set earlier this year (and more recently from my Dance Valley appearances) means a lot.
Many people have commented that you have the ‘x-factor’ when it comes to DJing, be it either through your crowd interaction, tune selection or technical ability. To you, what defines the ‘x-factor’ in a good DJ and what to you separates the great DJs from the bedroom variety?
Good question, and to be perfectly honest I don’t really know! I guess that’s why it’s called the x-factor, because it's something that you can't really define but you know is there. I think good DJs are those that have their own identifiable sound — I always remember the first time I heard Paul Van Dyk play. From his very first tune you knew he was on. They are also the people who are able to break unknown tracks and make them classics, like Oakey did week in week out at Cream. But as to why some DJs seem to have a presence behind the decks that completely takes over a dance floor when they come on, then I've got no great insights I’m afraid — maybe it’s just luck!
Onto productions briefly. You’ve produced a fair few hard dance-esque tracks in the past including the massive ‘Love Resurrection’ through Masif Records, a tune which so many seem to know and love — I even heard one clubber in London's Club 414 talking about having a “Love Resurrection moment” whenever the tune was played there! How did this track come to life and did you expect the reaction to be anywhere near as large as it was?
That track was the first track that I’d ever worked on as a producer engineering my own stuff, and it took about two years to make it onto vinyl. I got the idea from an old Tall Paul mix tape I had knocking around and initially the track came together pretty quickly — I’d been playing it out in my sets for about six months when I played it as my first track at Heat @ Turnmills one night. Steve Hill happened to be lurking in the crowd and he rang me the next day to ask me what it was as he loved it. A few days later it was signed to his Masif label! We had to re-record the vocals and my mix took a bit of tweaking to get right. Then Steve did his mix with Guyver which took a while to get right as well, but finally it surfaced. I never expected the reaction to be as huge as it was, it really seemed to hit the right notes with everyone which was great. I remember a few events I played at where the music was turned off and the whole place was singing along at the top of their voices!
You have also worked with Ollie Leighs as Ayana, on a track called ‘Shimmer’ which featured a particularly large remix by Inertia, a duo who are on fire at the moment in the trance scene! How did you feel when you first heard their remix?
I loved it! It was very different to the kind of stuff they had been producing on Discover (which I also loved) and it was also very different from mine and Ollie’s version (which made the whole release so much stronger) but as soon as I heard it I knew it had big room anthem written all over it. I've heard it played at several large events and I spoke to John (O'Callaghan) shortly after it was released who said he heard it played at a massive festival in Poland where it took the roof off! The reaction it got at this year’s Dance Valley was also pretty special, and for Jon O'Bir to play it on Radio 1 was the icing on the cake.
‘Shimmer’ has a different feel to other tracks such as the aforementioned ‘Love Resurrection’ and tracks such as ‘Polarise’. As you are predominantly a trance DJ, what inspired your decision to make tougher sounding records with a faster bpm than which you'd normally associate with trance?
I love trance that has got energy, intensity and drive, so that’s what inspires and influences me when I’m in the studio, and I produce tracks so that that I can play them in my DJ sets knowing that they will rock the dance floor. I think the growth of the internet has changed the audience for dance music dramatically over he last few years, trance in particular — there are a lot more people listening to trance music that don't necessarily go clubbing regularly but who love the music (which can only be good thing) but for me as a producer, I want to see a club full of people having the time of their lives to my music, so that's what I write! There are so many flavours of trance that it's hard to label them all under the same genre — the stuff I produce is a million miles away from the stuff Andy Moor produces for example.
With HeatUK you’ve toured the world, as well as headline nearly every major London club at some point in the past. What would you say your personal DJing highlight has been?
There have been so many that it’s almost impossible to pick just one! Dance Valley this year was very special, by far the biggest event I’ve played at and it gave me several ‘hairs on the back of the neck’ moments — I could get used to gigs like that. My debut at the Gallery the other month was special too as that was the night my love affair with all things clubbing started all those year ago! The Heat parties at the Cross were electric, and my first ever Heat gig in T2 at Turnmills has gone down in legend. Then there was New Year’s Eve at Brixton Academy, and my 3 hour set at the Fridge for Twisted was also pretty special. And of course there was South West Four on Clapham Common — to be part of that event last year was amazing but I know this year is going to be even better!
Ian Betts @ Dance Valley. With thanks to Matt Niederberger from Digital Frontier.
Finally, you're headlining Addiction's 1st Birthday at Deep Blue. What can the clubber expect from Ian Betts’ set on the night?
Well I’ll hopefully have a couple of exclusive tracks that I’m working on right now ready for their debut that night. Aside from that, I'll be playing the usual driving, euphoric, energy fuelled trance.
It’s really been a phenomenal year for the pair of you, appearing at some of the biggest promotions across London including Frantic, Twisted, F and of course, Addiction. What would you say has been the biggest factor in your substantial rise in status over the past year?
GK & BSM: Right place at the right time really. It was Karl & Conrad who opened the door for us by asking us to play for them when they hosted the Ice Box at Innovate (the Fridge). The gig went off and thankfully there were enough people who witnessed the vibe and talked about it afterwards. We don’t have a set formula to what we do. We can’t really tell you what our rising status is credited to as it’s not something we’ve thought about. We don’t think of ourselves as the next big thing or anything — we’re just doing what we’ve always done except we’re getting to play on awesome systems in some amazing clubs for bigger crowds. Meeting a hell of lot of cool people along the way too.
For those unaware of your background, briefly introduce yourselves and tell us something about yourselves which we probably don't/shouldn't know.
GK & BSM: Well we didn’t wanna say anything but we’re actually from the planer Zutonia which is on the Northern Cusp of the second constellation after the Yiazon Asteroid Belt. It’s kind of like Uranus — only, not as Shitty~! But in Lehman’s terms — we’re from the city of Johannesburg in sunny South Africa. We came to this country for fame and fortune but unfortunately ended in some serious debt but we got a shit load of records.
GK: If Balt wasn’t so anal about time — I’d be late for almost every set.
BSM: If Greg was a little more anal about time — I wouldn’t be so anal.
What would you say has been your favourite gig over the past year?
GK & BSM: Our debut for Innovate’s Digitize event at the Fridge. Honestly — there’s been so many good gigs for us but the one that set us up stands out. The atmosphere, the system, the people and the people’s reaction when we through on the wigs while dropping the Overdrive mix of Robot Rock. It was mental!
You're both known for playing tough house, but in your own words, how would you describe the style you play?
GK & BSM: We suppose it would be described as house music in all it’s weird and wonderful guises. Big house, tech house, electro house, rock’ouse, electroclash, acid house, click house etc… we have some crazy times too when we’ll drop something completely out of the ordinary in the middle of a set and it does the business. It’s hard to describe because we don’t conform to a set genre or style. We’ve come a long way from when we first started playing out — we would play mainly one style of music that we thought would fit the night but we were buying all sorts of other great music along the way. It then got to the stage where we thought this would go down anywhere no matter what the music policy was so we started mixing different genres into one set and playing music that had all sorts of elements to it. It all still fits underneath the house umbrella though. Gone are the days when people were out to hear the meanest freshest underground from the planet, Zeb (That’s our Zutonian neighbor by the way), people are out to have a good time and to listen to good music irrespective of genre. If it moves you why should it matter that you’re a house, techno or trance head. Good music is good music! In our opinion — we believe this is where it is at the moment.
The tough, electro house sound has certainly been the sound of 2005, with many house producers now steering away from the classic vocal-led funky house in favour of the dirtier sound. What impact do you think this sound has had on the house scene as a whole and do you think this is a good thing?
GK & BSM: It is a very good thing and it’s had a positive effect on the house scene. The major thing we have noticed is that it appears to have bridged the gap between hard dance and house pretty well as it has attitude. That is what the funky stuff lacked. Now you are finding a lot more of the hard dance fraternity attending house events or opting for the tougher electro house sound as you called it. Obviously the increase in numbers is good for the house scene as a whole. It’s also great that a lot of the hard dance events have a house floor because it adds to the mix of music, as well as people.
It’s probably fair to say that a lot of the gigs you’ve performed and are performing across London are at hard dance events. Would you say that this is a good way for upcoming DJs to break into the house scene?
GK & BSM: We don’t think it’s the easiest way because it’s very easy to get pigeon holed by the rest of the main house promoters. Let’s just say that house and hard dance haven’t always seen eye to eye so as an up and coming DJ you’d have to show that you’re very versatile to be able to break both markets. It’s not the easiest way but if you can work it — it can be very rewarding.
You absolutely tore the Southside Bar apart on your appearances for Addiction and generated a huge fan base. What would you say has been Addiction's recipe for success over the past year?
BSM: Tore it apart??? Are you talking about the time Greg took a spare pair of jox with because he had the runs and didn’t think he’d be able to get out the DJ box in time. LOL!
GK & BSM: Addiction filled a much needed gap in the market. There was no other promotion where you could go and listen to both hard dance and house, on a Thursday, in a chillaxed environment for free. It’s also down to Andy & Mike putting in a lot of time and effort into Addiction and they have gained a big enough following which has seen them progress quickly. This in turn has allowed them to throw events like the one coming up at SE1 for their birthday.
Finally, you're going to be headlining the FunkAddiction room alongside King Roc at Deep Blue on the 2nd September. What can we expect from your set and do you have any surprises in store for the clubbers?
GK & BSM: Muffins with poached eggs for breakfast, or by the fire with butter and jam both make us feel very English. This is our interpretation of a Delia Smith recipe, so you can be pretty sure it’s tried and tested.
You need — for 4–6:
115ml hand hot milk
1 tbsp water
6g easy blend yeast
225g plain flour
1 level teaspoon salt
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre and mix in the liquid to form a soft dough. If it a little sticky add some more flour, or water if a little dry.
Knead the dough for 10 mins then return it to the bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for around 40 mins.
When ready roll out to 2-3 cm thick, and cut into 8cm or so rounds. Place on baking tray, cover and leave to rise again this time for around 25 mins.
Cook the muffins on a low heat, in a heavy pan or on a griddle rubbed with a bit of butter or ideally lard.
They should require 5–7 minutes on each side.
Eat and enjoy.
So why exactly are we to look forward to hearing these particular DJs at Addiction above all others? In order to find out the answer to this question, I got a few words from Addiction promoters Andy T and Mike Harris, and FunkAddiction promoter FunkyFranky to get the inside word on Addiction's 1st Birthday.
Why did you choose to go with Phil York, Ian Betts & 2PhUnKeDuP! from the vast amount of DJs available to you?
AT: Personally I have been a big fan of Phil’s production for quite some time now. His unique sound of tough, driving but yet still unbelievably uplifting hard trance is just what I strive to play in my sets, and I also believe suits our music policy perfectly. He’s also not afraid to breathe new life into classic tracks and consistently brings out great remixes, most of which are of my favorite all time trance tunes. He's also arguably the biggest hard dance name north of the border, yet despite all this is not a name that you often see playing in the London Circuit. we feel its very important to try and bring new, fresh DJs into our line ups, and for our birthday we wanted an artist that you could not see week in, week out at other London events.
MH: Ian, who needs no introduction, is the King of London’s trance scene. His tune selection and mixing are second to none and his recent productions like ‘Polarise’ & ‘Koinomia’ have been top class. I feel he is one of the most consistent dj's around, as he always produces the goods time and time again for both HeatUK and other top London/international promotions. We know his unique style of uplifting/euphoric trance will suit Addiction perfectly and that he'll really get the crowd going! We're very happy to have him playing, and we're really looking forward to hearing what he has in store for us!
FF: These guys are no doubt the most up for it, entertaining DJs to emerge on the London house scene since I started promoting FunkAddiction. Apart from their amazing style of music from funky house through to dirty tech nonsense, and there mixing technique as a whole, these guys are the best duo in town. I will never forget their debut for FunkAddiction, when they rocked the place from start to finish. They never fail to impress and that is why these guys will stay special to the Addiction crew and are the best choice for our 1st Birthday.
What do you expect them to bring to the night?
AT: Well an army of paying punters would be nice. But seriously, all I expect is a big smile, the right attitude and a box full of the most upfront, uplifting music known to man!
MH: Ian’s renowned throughout London, and the UK for his incredible energy behind the decks, and Phil for his ground breaking production. As long as they both bring these with them, then I couldn’t ask for more.
FF: Those crazy wigs !!
In less than 10 words, explain why the clubbers should come to Addiction @ Deep Blue on the 2nd September?
AT: For ONLY £10 you’d be absolutely mad not to !
Thanks to Phil York, Ian Betts, Matt Niederberger from Digital Frontier and 2PhUnKeDuP! for the use of their photos.
Addiction - The 1st Birthday
Friday 2nd September
Deep Blue / seOne London [map]
10:00pm - 06:00am
EARLY BIRD TICKETS SOLD OUT !!!
£10 - Advance tickets //
£10 On Door B4 Midnight // £12 thereafter
EARLY BIRD TICKETS SOLD OUT !!!
www.addictionclubbing.com – The Best place to buy your tickets !! There’s NO Booking fee, Pay by Credit / Debit Card, or PayPal. There’s even a FREE CD with every ticket purchased from our site.
www.clubtickets.co.uk – 0870 246 2050
TicketWeb – 08700 600 100
Never Enough Tickets – 07813 684 399
Mad Records (Soho) – 0207 439 0707
Kinetic Records (Little Portland St.) – 0207 323 5303
Cyberdog (Camden) – 0207 482 2842
The Koz Bar (Willesden Gr.) – 07949 084 437
Click here to buy tickets
On Thursday the 2nd of September 2004, Addiction was born in the basement of Central London's Southside Bar. 12 months and 26 parties later, and thanks to your consistent support we are now about to celebrate our 1st Birthday. For this event we're going back to the stunning Blue Rooms of the SE1 London nightclub complex, to bring you another full on all nighter of the most uplifting trance, and the dirtiest house music in the business.
For those of you that came to the 1st Addiction event at Deep Blue in May, you be pleased to know we're pulling out even more stops to make this event even bigger and better than last time. On the night you can expect.... Stunning Decor, 4 lasers, Bubble Machines, Inflatables, Dancers & Crystal Clear Mackie speakers to compliment the existing 15K system. We've also got some amazing DJs booked to perform to you on the night...
Headlining the main room, HeatUK resident and London legend Ian Betts will be joining us for his debut set at Addiction. Ian wins the hearts of every crowd he plays to, and has one of the most uplifting selection's of trance known to mankind ! His recent productions have been incredible and we're very excited that he's a part of this event. We're also presenting the HardTimezUK Tour, with label manager Phil York stepping up to the Addiction decks for a solo set showcasing the latest upfront material from NuklearPuppy, Tranzlation, HardTimez, HTUK and other associated labels. Phil is arguably the biggest Hard Dance name North of the English Border and has been running NuklearPuppy voted 'Scotland’s best night' for the last 4 years. We've also secured the only London September appearance of the midlands dynamic duo Wid & Ben, and last but by no means least a man that needs no introduction to the Addiction crowd, Twisted and Tilt resident Daegal Brain. Addiction resident's Andy T, Mike Harris, and Ashley James will also be joining the above to offer a fluent progression from Trance to Hard Dance, whilst keeping it uplifting every step of the way.
FunkAddiction will be hosting room two of this event, with an equally fantastic line up. Not only do we have those delightful nutters 2PhUnKeDuP!, who have been entertaining crowds across the capital with their crazy antics, and awesome mixing skills, we also have electro house production legend King Roc. Aka 'Hawk Dawson' and once a member of the former Ignition Crew, King Roc has been climbing the ladder of success ever since his 2004 remix of Chicken Lips ''Do it Proper''. Since then he has played a far a field as, Poland, Russia & Germany, and has recently remixed the massive 'Left/Right Switch' by Holderman used in recent Nike adverts. Chris Rayner from Inhale (this months MixMag Bedroom Hero Winner), and Tom Allan from Kurruption/Sundazed will also be joining FunkAddiction residents FunkyFranky & Ilana Belsky to complete the line up.
There will be plenty of upfront vinyl giveaway's on the night from HardTimez, Tranzlation & HTUK, not too mention FREE mix CD's from Phil York, and other artist's playing on the night including Wid & Ben, and Addiction Residents.
Hope to see you on the dance floor !
Deep Blue is located on Weston St. (under London Bridge Station). Exit London Bridge Station / underground via Tooley St. walk past the London Dungeons and Weston St. is the second Tunnel Road on your right.
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Other Features By Olly Perris:
Addiction @ Hidden preview: interview with Sean Tyas
Interview with Ian H & Matt B of Momentum
Interview with Pierre Pienaar aka P.H.A.T.T.
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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.