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Brixton through and through — Danny Tappenden gets the HF treatment

Reported by benz / Submitted 12-09-06 02:08

Brixton has for many years been one of the hubs of London’s dance music underground. Far from the tacky West End and East London’s trendy bars and clubs, it’s a place where all the more underground forms of dance music have always been able to flourish. Its liminal location on the edge of London’s innermost regions mimicking the location of the music played there on the periphery of mainstream culture, it has often served as a centre for various forms of counter-culture.

Hard dance has generally been the predominant musical currency in the area over most of the last decade and has made a home for itself with parties taking place every week at The Fridge, George IV, Club 414, Mass/3rd Bass, Subsouth, The Telegraph, and anywhere else the hard crew can get their mitts on. Amidst the mass of different promoters, djs and clubbers lie a hardcore of Brixton faithfuls who are partying at the events in the area week in, week out. Danny Tappenden is one of these — one of the busiest hard dance djs in town. 12 gigs in the last month? Bloody hell!

Danny with Matt Rush

“I first went out clubbing in Brixton after spending three years from ‘97 to 2000 in Vauxhall at clubs like Strawberry Sundae and Sunnyside Up. My first time out in Brixton was at Return to the Source at Brixton Academy about 2000” recalls Total Mayhem and Sundaze resident Danny when asked about his earliest SW9 experiences. “I loved the whole vibe the Brixton scene had and that led me to the Fridge, where I had my first London booking with X-Static . . . I haven’t looked back since, Brixton still rocks!”

Around this time, the likes of Logic, Frantic, Escape From Samsara and Pendragon were all pulling in thousands of punters every week, and the likes of Tasty and Heat hadn’t quite come into play. The Fridge was packing them out every Friday night with Samsara, and with different promotions on Saturday nights. The full hard spectrum was covered — hard trance, hard house, psy trance, techno, trance, and lashings of European beats too (as opposed to the more UK-centric sound these days). “I miss the way there used to be fewer, more quality events taking place over the weekend, but now there are so many clubs and it’s so easy for just anyone to get in and throw a party that the sometimes better ones don’t get the support they deserve.”

The identity of The Fridge has obviously been one of the things that has changed the most in Brixton over the years, following the change in ownership in recent years. “The Fridge is still as good a place to rave as ever. A lot has changed and maybe for the better, time will tell.”

Danny’s beloved Total Mayhem have been putting on parties at The Fridge for quite a few years now, but built up their following with years of regular parties at Brixton’s tried-and-tested hard dance venues. He was a regular attendee at Mickey and Kay’s events, and was consistently impressed by their line-ups and the diverse selection of music that he’d hear in a night. Eventually his loyalty paid off with a set at one of the Total Mayhem events, which proved to be a major stepping stone into the scene for him: “The atmosphere and crowd got me hooked! When Mickey asked me to play I was over the moon.”

How have they managed to keep a reasonable level of success over the years when so many other promotions have fallen by the wayside? Brixton sees events come and go every month, with hopeful new promoters leaving the area downhearted after one or two unsuccessful parties. “Total Mayhem has a very unique music policy and the crowd are energetic, happy loyal followers that love the Total Mayhem sound and vibe. Big up the mayhem massive!”

His other residency is for Sunday afternoon naughties Sundaze — and he has every confidence in the status of the party. “Sundaze is well on its way to becoming a legendary Sunday party of the noughties, as Sunnyside Up was in the 90s. Jo Bright, the promoter, is an absolute diamond of a person and has helped me with so much since I’ve known her. She’s a great friend and has great taste in music, the same taste as me, which is what is partly responsible for the growing success of the party.”

Not to say that it’s all that gets played at these parties, but the Brixton sound has always had a major focus on UK hard trance — Steve Blake, Phil Reynolds, Billy Bunter & Jon Doe, James Lawson . . . all that sort of business. Danny lists “Skol, Roosta, Craig Mac, Matt Rush and of course Lab4’s PAs at the Fridge” as major musical influences, with that distinct London sound obviously being very important for him. He seems positive about the future of the sound, glowing over producers like Technikal, Micky Fallout, Brett Wood and Ricky Riot carrying it on into the future. “There’s a lot of talent out there that’s finally being recognized,” he says on the subject.

In the last 6 months, the Total Mayhem crew have spread their wings slightly and moved out of their much-loved Brixton area to put on some quite marvellous parties at Hidden in Vauxhall. The name — Hard Dance Mania. The idea? 2 rooms of hard dance, house, electro, Total Mayhem residents, special guests, and free entry for all before midnight! “The first two events have been absolutely wicked and both rooms full of happy ravers at each one. The first was the first party I had enjoyed other than Freeformation in the venue for quite some time! With the right music and crowd the venue is amazing! Keep it up!”

With the third party coming up this Friday, and two filled-to-capacity parties in the bag, it looks like Danny and his crew could soon claim Vauxhall as their own too. With the amount of gigs he already plays though, I’m not sure he could handle many more! Although, I’m told he’s quite impressive when it comes to weekend stamina . .

Photos courtesy of Danny. Not to be reproduced without permission.

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Other Features By benz:
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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.

From: Janie Mac on 12th Sep 2006 11:10.41
Love you Danny Boy! One of the nicest guys in the business... Janie xx

From: Jo Bright on 12th Sep 2006 11:32.13
Could never have done it without u mr Tappenden... i am very proud 2 call u my friend.... Jo xxx

From: Stevie on 12th Sep 2006 13:18.00
Always loved the parties there, but Brixton is still a great big toilet.

From: anushka007 on 12th Sep 2006 15:00.09
Busy, busy, busy boy and i dont know how is he doing it sometimes. Not worthy... He puts a lot of effort to his work and its a pleasure to see him out and about. Good luck - I know you dont need it - and ALL THE BEST Smile

From: Faster Toni on 12th Sep 2006 15:26.40
Nice one Danny. keep up the good workClaps Hands

From: Ashley James on 12th Sep 2006 15:43.45
Well done Danny. Smile

From: dean peters on 12th Sep 2006 16:14.24
Excellent interview Danny. Good to see you finally getting the recognition you deserve. Top bloke and top Dj. The scene needs more people like DT in it....Danny, please no more tequila's though !!

From: dani d on 12th Sep 2006 16:19.02
Nice interview !!Keep it high!!Thumbs up

From: Brett Wood on 12th Sep 2006 17:32.00
Thanks for the comments mate and nice interview! Looking forward to you coming down in the studio mate!
Goodluck with the future

From: 00Frenchy on 12th Sep 2006 18:25.07
Nice one Danny & Jo... being seeing alot more of you guys when we move to SW4...

From: ilona_free_pl on 12th Sep 2006 22:52.48
Nice one Danny! Now I've made my mind... See you at Hidden!!!

From: Tina Martin on 13th Sep 2006 10:25.56
Congrats on the interview hun.. such a lovely lad! All the best for the future hun.. Tx

From: Mark Ashley on 13th Sep 2006 10:37.19
He he, looks like all the hard work is paying off ! Keep focused dude and the world will be your oyster !!!

From: Lay on 13th Sep 2006 12:18.55
Well done babe, keep up the good work... c u soon x

From: Dr DUZZIT on 13th Sep 2006 16:05.00
Go Tappenden Go!!!! Its about time mate and good luck mate..

From: Ualda on 13th Sep 2006 21:25.13
Yeah Danny Brixton will rock for ever!
See at the weekend!

From: szatan on 14th Sep 2006 11:48.54
well done you crazy mofo x

From: Nicky D on 14th Sep 2006 11:49.00

From: CLK on 14th Sep 2006 12:18.30
Nice interview mate - weekend stamina? This guy never sleeps!!

From: sexyminx on 14th Sep 2006 21:46.00
OI OI mass Nuff respect innit to Danny and crew for all their hard work. Keep up the good work and see you on the dancefloor at the weekend Big grin

From: Sheldon on 15th Sep 2006 21:31.28
nice one geezer!

From: jodie on 16th Sep 2006 22:30.43
oi oi xxxxxxxxx

From: Kasia Mac on 17th Sep 2006 00:23.56
wicked stuff!!! gotta love BrixtonHeartbeat!

From: Pink_Princess on 18th Sep 2006 08:25.50
Nice interview Danny! As the hubbie said, we wil, be seeing more of you when we move to SW4! T Heartbeat

From: rossy on 18th Sep 2006 17:40.12
Gd stuff Danny ! Look forward to seein u play out ! Top lad Smile

From: Getonit on 19th Sep 2006 13:34.37
Doing Brixton proud Jo and Danny. See you when I can next make it to G4. Smile

From: Barry Harding on 19th Sep 2006 17:08.51
Go on my son, Keep up the good work Danny, see ya soon

From: nrg hia on 19th Sep 2006 19:51.54
Well done Danny Your passion is being rewarded, keep it up! Heartbeat and Nuff respect innit

From: Hawkeyes on 20th Sep 2006 10:22.40
Your greatest gift is your smiling, always happy disposition, you are a pleasure to know. Well done for the interview and good luck in everything that you do...

From: Ian Edwards on 20th Sep 2006 11:09.18
oi oi!! noice one mate. see ya sat.

From: Ioana on 20th Sep 2006 12:56.29
Wicked interview Danny and were looking forward to having you and Ian playing at Fuel!! Bring it on!

From: Menthol Taz on 20th Sep 2006 17:45.07
Well done Danny - one of the scene's genuine nice guys who works hard @ what he does. All the best mate x

From: DANNY TAPPENDEN on 20th Sep 2006 23:02.25
WoW !!! Big grin
Shocked THANK YOU...
cant believe how many wicked & genuine people I've met &
come close to in this scene... the last year's been proper hard
& I would'nt av done it without you lot!!Heartbeat
MAX Nuff respect innit to such a wicked bunch of ravers & friends...
& looking forward to seeing every1 for another ROCKIN 1 Slayer
Smile Danny

From: Claire99 on 21st Sep 2006 10:57.21
good luck hun , wicked read...enjoyx

From: lisalondon! on 21st Sep 2006 20:08.22
Well done mate! U deserve every bit of it too.... Keep up the good work..... x

From: twistedtiggerz on 2nd Oct 2006 23:57.52
OI OI Tappenden!! You rock! As you can see everyone agrees with me ;0) xxx

From: top man dan on 14th Oct 2006 12:45.01

From: BakLash on 11th Jan 2007 13:33.30
Soz i missed this the 1st time son,haha,Nice one Mr T,well deserved mate....Loving the SunDaZe vibe,see ya soon

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