Celebrating the launch of Party Proactive at its new Turnmills home — an interview with D.A.V.E. the Drummer
Reported by Less is Bat
Submitted 11-05-06 17:39
It seems only yesterday that I came on board with the Proactive team to help with pr for their promotion. It was then a small-to-medium event with a steady label with some solid releases to its name. It’s hard to believe than only a year later I am sat at my desk writing about the first of a long string of events at the legendary Turnmills. Party Proactive has, in short, boomed. London town has been blessed with a promotion that is based 100% on fun, flamboyance and inclusion of all party goers from every walk of life. The most obvious reflection of its growing success is its awesome line ups!
This first major event at Turnmills sees Proactive step up to the mark with a line up to rival any of the long-running large London promotion. D.a.v.e. the Drummer is a name synonymous with thoughts of pumping acid techno and we are now thrilled to have him play out at Party Proactive!
D.a.v.e. the Drummer (real name Henry Cullen) has been blasting out outrageously good sets for years and has toured the world playing sets at the biggest parties known to ravers! Henry is also a long standing member of the infamous London based free party crew The Stay Up Forever Collective, run by the Liberator DJs, and a regular recording artist on many of the collective’s labels. Henry has two of his own labels Apex and Hydraulix and a list of releases a mile long.
To help celebrate the launch of Party Proactive in its new home, Turnmills, I met with Henry to find out some more about his life, passions and career.
So going right back to the dawn of D.a.v.e. the Drummer, where does the alias come from?
Well it’s from my old days playing drums with a band called ‘Back to the Planet’. It was just a stupid nickname which stuck with me through my band career, and eventually stuck to my techno records to. I don’t know if I like it so much now as it’s a bit restricting (everyone knows me as an acid techno DJ) but I have warmed to it over the years.
Can you remember what your first musical purchase was?
Hmmm. I’ve been surrounded by musical instruments all my life, but I guess really it was an acoustic guitar aged about 12 then a rubber practise kit, and finally an old premier drum-kit for about £50 from a recording studio, which I played for years and years.
When did you get into the techno scene?
About 1994 I actually got involved in the music directly, although I had been influenced by it and had been listening to it for a few years before whilst in the band.
You have been praised for blending the techno sound with other genres. Which other dance genres do you get a buzz from?
All sorts, ambient dub from the early 90s, house music, breaks, drum and bass, you name it really if it’s electronic I’ll normally be into it in one way or another. A big influence has to be Aphex Twin, not that you’ll hear it much in my music but people like him shaped my first ideas.
You have played out all across the globe. Which gigs stand out in your mind as the most memorable?
Always Brazil for being totally crazy, with long drawn out after parties where I get right into playing what I want to play.
Have you ever had any DJing disasters?
Loads and loads and loads, mostly to do with drunkenness haha!
Proactive is really excited about having you down to play. What have you got in store for our crazy crowd?
What I have been playing recently ranges from electro house through to banging shcranz, so as you can imagine it’s a pretty wide range.
I’ll bring my records and myself, if the crowd bring good vibes we’ll have a great time.
What gives you the biggest buzz in life?
My 3 year old son Alec calling me daddy.
Aww bless! There are so many dance events now that some club nights can feel bland. Proactive has a passion for putting the fun back into clubland. What aspects of the original rave scene do you wish were still in practice?
Less ‘cool’ genres, more smiley t-shirts and bandanas, lots of ‘box building’ dancing people shouting “E!!!!!” at each other etc. etc. . . . I’m just a sad old raver really.
*tear in my eye…* Aren’t we all! On the production tip, you have been churning out storming material for years now. Do you think your style has changed?
Very much so and it’s changing more and more.
What advice do you have for new producers getting involved in the scene? How do you keep your releases fresh?
1. Don’t listen to anyone other than your self.
2. Everything in the media is a lie
3. Success is not measured in money.
Do you have a favourite piece of equipment in the studio? Mac or PC man?
A mac g4 is the heart of it but at the moment I’m really getting into the virus c, very cool stuff.
How would you describe your djing style and technical combination? CDJs or vinyl decks? Effects or stick to solid tune selection?
CDjs not really me although I will buy one soon as I need one to practise on! Vinyl is my favourite but it’s just so damn heavy and these days all the tracks are old. But I love playing it. God it’s not easy you know, you spend years learning how to play vinyl and then everyone switches to cd.
You’ve remixed plenty of big names from The Orb to Alabama 3 and Jesus Jones. How do you find inspiration to bring something new to an already solid track?
To be honest it’s best if I don’t like the track much in the first place. Then I can add something, imagine what it’s like remixing hardfloor, for example.
When we first began chatting Easter was on its way and I really wanted to ask you “Cadburys cream eggs . . . how do you eat yours?” I know it’s not really relevant anymore but it seems too good a question to waste! So? How DO you eat your cream eggs?
I have mine flown in specially from north Guatemala by carrier pigeon, then me and the family get our snorkelling equipment together and go off to the local curry restaurant where we swim in chicken massala for 5 minutes. The egg is eaten at exactly 3.42 pm gmt and must be finished in 5.7 seconds before sprinkling ourselves with magic dust and flying home on a large watermelon. Pretty normal day out for our family.
You are my hero! Amen to Easter curry flying action! Thanks Henry and we are all looking forward to your set at Proactive!
Party Proactive @ Turnmills
Saturday 20th May
22:00 - 06:00
LIMITED £10 ADVANCE TICKETS
Proactive HQ: firstname.lastname@example.org: 07814179946 (No booking fee)
Ticket Web (24hr Credit Card bookings): 08700 600 100: www.ticketweb.co.uk
Vince Midlands (Tickets / Info / Coaches): 07835 626 226
Never Enough Ticket Agency: 07813 684 399: email@example.com
E-Listlondon.com: Advanced Guest List and Tickets
Click here to buy tickets
This is the next chapter.
This is the next Party Proactive.
2005 was an incredible year for Party Proactive - a host of spectacular events with line-ups that dared to be different; nominated in the top 10 UK events and top 5 London events by DJ Magazine and The One To Watch in Mixmag - it’s hard to imagine how 2006 could be any better than that….but it can and Party Proactive now invite you to their most fabulous event to date:
On Saturday 20th May, Party Proactive takes over one of the UK’s most loved venues - the truly legendary TURNMILLS
3 rooms of world-class DJs at the very top of their game
3 rooms of unmissable music
LIMITED Advance tickets only £10
Hard Trance. Tech Trance. Funky House. Hard House. Tribal House. US House. Deep Techno. Funky Techno. Techno. Breaks.
T1: HARD BEATS
Jim Masters – Intec Records/String Theory
The *Ting* b2b Danny Gilligan
D.A.V.E the Drummer
Pete Wardman - TRADE
Chris Cowie – X-Cabs / Intec
The Visitor (Jon Pleased Wimmin)
Queen Maxine - DTPM
Pagano - BLUE
Dani D b2b Stefan
T3: FUNKY HOUSE
Hosted by KINKY U
Lisa London b2b Goliath Jones
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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.