Cheers! ReFre5h is 2
Reported by VinDiesel
Submitted 07-04-10 20:31
Over the past two years, reFre5h has grown in strength and popularity. From what started off as a follow on from Puzzle Project, it has grown to be a renowned name in the world of hard dance parties. Vin Diesel donned his party gear and went to help blow out the candles with the Refresh promoters.
The reFre5h sound is underlined not only by a superb progressive music policy which delivers through every aspect of hard dance but has also been provided by an outstanding line up of DJs.
This has included hugely talented and immensely popular DJs including Trevor McLachlan, Dan Madams, James Lawson, Ting, Nicky S, Phil Reynolds, MDA & Spherical, Chris Liberator, Del Walsh, Nicky D. In fact the list goes on and on as the party has also showcased a lot of leading new talents in the business including Alex Mac, Zeebra Kid, Sachin and Rob OTT.
Run by three of the most enthusiastic, cheery , chirpy chappies you could meet, Kevsta, Timmy Whiz and Nicky Hype work hard to put on a fun party and this is underlined by their dynamic DJs sets, with each contributing something very special to each reFre5h party.
It really was no surprise that the huge effort and hard work that they put into this party was rewarded with the HarderFaster Best Afterparty award in this years annual awards.
Deciding to celebrate reFre5h’s 2nd birthday with a special all nighter on Friday 9th April 2010 at Club 414, the birthday festivities feature some of the best legends in hard dance including Trevor McLachlan and James Lawson, new talent in the form of MacTeck, as well as a welcome return to the decks from the Heat legend that is Marc French!
I decided to grab some time with these guys – all very busy planning a very special birthday party - to tell us all about the development of a very popular afterparty.
Hi there! I already know you well from our many encounters over the past few years in clubland, but tell our readers a bit about your background in clubbing. How long you been involved, when did you all start DJing?
Kevsta: I started off clubbing at garage raves. I then got into parties like Peach at Camden Palace, then parties like Mind Over Matter. It was a couple of years later, when I got into DJing. This started off at crackons, then I bought a mates’ Gemini mixer, decks and records.
Byte at the Purple Turtle was my very first gig.
Timmy: I started off back in my home town of Cranleigh, running local parties and mini festivals which really well received. The parties had a mixture of music genres including drum n bass and hip hop as well as hard house, old skool hardcore and trance. My real DJing career started when I met up with the Puzzle lads and got my first London gig playing back to back with Ben Bennett at Puzzle Project.
I started off raving in London to happy hardcore at The Rhythm Station in Aldershot then moved on to psy trance / techno parties such as Escape from Samsara and OtherWorld at The Fridge in Brixton, moving into Vauxhall with parties such as Feersum, Trinity and Smile as well as being a regular at the larger parties in Camden Palace, Frantic and Peach, generally ending up in either the George 4th, Junction or Club 414 at the end of the weekend.
Nicky: I started off being mainly into the house Ssene when I came over to the UK in 1997 to play Ice Hockey. I didn’t know much about dance music. While getting ready for hockey training the guys used to play a CD (Ministry of Sound Annual 3 – Mixed by Pete Tong) on a portable player that was brought in. This was the first DJ mix I had heard and it influenced me to get into DJing.
When I was back in the NZ in 1999, a friend I had met lent me some hard house tapes. That got me into the hard house scene back home in New Zealand. I went to parties such as Slinky, Gatecrasher, Godskitchen and local clubs in Auckland on K road. I returned to the UK in 2003, my first party was a Frantic event called Chemistry at Canvas.
Tell me how the idea for reFre5h came about?
Timmy: I became a regular punter down at Puzzle Project, going down to sell glowsticks which lasted all of about 10 minutes before thinking it would be far better to just give them away. I got to know Phil and the Puzzle crew really well and I soon started playing regularly for Paradoxx Afters, which was then the after party for Puzzle Project. A few months after playing my second DJ set for Puzzle Project, a back to back with Phil in the legendary club Koko, Phil approached me about setting up a new after party for Puzzle Project. Phil had already thought up the name for the party “reFre5h” and a logo was designed incorporating the lemon / oranges theme as well as the F5 refresh idea.
Kevsta: I got to know Phil when he came down to hear me play my first ever set at Byte. He knew me really well and approached me at the same time as Timmy to run reFre5h.
Now let’s talk about the first party - who played, what was the crowd like?
Timmy: The first party was a simple affair, the line up was made up of Puzzle residents Phil Lankester and Ben Bennett, myself and two very talented lads Alex Mac and Zeebra Kid. Before reFre5h Puzzle Project would stop at 6am and there would be a half hour break before Paradoxx would start up. We decided that we’d change this to try and maximise the number of clubbers who would stay on so we chose to run through from one party to the next and found this to help with staying on numbers. reFre5h was then and always has been free for those who want to stay and party on; getting reFre5hed for the weekend!!
What is the music policy overall for the party? Do you like to experiment or vary with it from time to time?
Kevsta: We liked to put on a party featuring the best in hard dance and hard trance through to hard house. We have featured a line up that essentially consists of unknown or up and coming DJs. As well as established legends. We tend to vary with the DJs we put on in terms of putting different names on.
With the new plans for the party, we are now following on from two very different parties, Requiem which features mainly hard house and Funky 414 which is funky house. So yes with the latter, we will have to adjust the music as we follow on.
Tell me about your DJ residencies for reFre5h. What styles do you play?
Nicky: I’ve always played both hard trance and hard house but I now mainly play hard house, I have found my hard house sound finally. Bedroom mixing wise. These days I play a lot to tech house and techno.
Kevsta: My first love was trance which I started off in, but I also mix in all areas of trance including hard trance. At the moment, I’m playing loads of tech and progressive house at home.
Timmy: With my solo reFre5h set’s I tend to play upfront UK hard trance and hard dance, I like to keep things fresh and new with loads of drive and energy. With the back to back sets with Kev and Nicky I tend to play more hard house.
You work on all different aspects of the party, I know for example that Nicky works on the flyers, do all of you plan DJ lines up?
Kevsta: Yes we do. The three of us meet up every month and we all have an equal say in the DJ line ups.
Timmy: Nicky works on the flyers and lend a hand with ideas, it’s great how I can blurt out a load of ideas and Nicky can digest this and put to paper as it were the ideas in my head. I also look after the majority of online promotion, DSI, HarderFaster and Resident Advisor as well as a load of smaller forums and event listing websites. I tend to leave FaceBook to Kev as he’s a heavier FB user than I am.
Do you plan a reFre5h party on the basis on what party you are following on from or to follow a particular progression of music?
Kevsta: It was quite straight forward following on from Puzzle Project because we could continue the progression of driving hard dance music. Now that we are keeping the party on the second Saturday morning and Puzzle has moved to Saturday, we face two different parties , Requiem (bi monthly) and Funky 414. Requiem is a night of hard house but we will need to think carefully about the crowd from Funky 414 and keeping them on the dancefloor!
Recently Puzzle Project decided to move from Friday to Saturday nights…you guys decided to retain reFre5h on 2nd Saturday of every month, why was this?
Timmy: When Puzzle moved we did think about moving with them but in the end decided it would be better for us to stay where we were. I had recently started a new job and work knows I DJ and promote for several nights so the last thing I wanted was to knackered on Monday after a weekend partying. Also I found I wasn’t going to Puzzle any more with having to run the afterparty and Puzzle is my all time favourite party. So by staying on a Saturday morning I’m able to get back to being the glowing Puzzle Project mascot.
Next month sees a very special reFre5h with not four not six but 12 hours of excellent hard dance music to keep the clubbers entertained. Tell us what you have in store for this feast of tunage!!
Timmy: We have a great lineup of DJs including the return of Marc French who will be playing a Heat Classics set. I’ve always loved Marc’s sets and he’s a top lad to boot also, a right party animal.
Kevsta: We have James Lawson who playing much of his own excellent psy trance material and We also have another hard dance legend, that is Trevor McLachlan
Nicky: We have the debut of MacTeck (aka Dave Mac) making his debut at reFre5h playing a tech trance showcase of his own productions and bootlegs, as well as the reFre5h residents, Me, Timmy and Kev!
With you boys playing at the main event, do you have an afterparty lined up?
Kevsta: Oh yes!! The afterparty will feature two DJs, Zany and RichM as well as the unveiling of our new reFre5h resident, Sach!
We’ve talked about the past and your immense success. Now let’s talk about the future , what are your plans for reFre5h, is next month a taster of more all nighters to come?
Timmy: Maybe, you never know, we’ll see how this goes and take it from there, we’ll always be mainly an afterparty. We may look into hosting second rooms at larger events this coming year, let’s see what the future brings!
You’ve had down just about every great name there is hard dance, but who would you like to book in future? For example, they could be a rising young talent, a living legend, or a retired legend that you could drag away from the comfort of their living room!!
Kevsta: We would love to play Peter Wardman or Nick Sentience.
Timmy: I would really love to have SuperFast Oz down to play as I have been a fan of his and the Kaktai / OD404 sound from back in the Feersum days. Two great DJs we’ve not had down yet would be Ed Real and Kevin Energy, I really think they’d fit the reFre5h morning well.
Nicky: I would love to have Pete Wardman down to play as well, plus Andy Farley.
Recently we’ve seen an emergence of hard dance parties such as Unity, the continued success of parties such as Puzzle Project and Frantic. Do you see a renaissance of hard dance appreciation?
Kevsta: Music tends to go through different cycles. We are now getting a fusion of genres. I think the people who 5-10 years ago were still going to hard house parties are now trying other parties which feature such genres as progressive, tech etc to try something different.
Timmy: London is also different from the rest of the country. Parties up north can be mostly denominated by bouncy hard house even hardsyle, London has many different niches being filled with a mix of genres like Kev said. But the love for driving energetic hard dance will always be there and it’s parties such as ourselves and the newer parties who will be keeping the dance floors rocking!
Nicky: I think the hard dance scene is gonna be back underground for a while and will eventually make a return to the way it was back in its peak days.
What do you think have been the main factors which have figured in the success of reFre5h?
Kevsta: Our parties feature a good progression of music featuring good quality lineups.
Nicky: We do loads and loads of promotion on website forums and mailing lists.
Timmy: reFre5h always has a good enthusiastic crowd dancing away, of course we’ve had the occasional quiet morning but even then those who are there are partying hard and are really enjoying themselves. Also we have a good friends / fan base that take time to go and flyer at other events on the run up to reFre5h. Plus our lineups, I can remember when we did the Phil Reynolds Classics morning, Kev and I had been at Matter for Halcyon on the Friday night and got back to the 414 about seven am to find the dance floor buzzing with happy clubbers. To see Steve Hitch dancing his socks off made that morning for me, as I know he’s not so much into the harder music anymore. Seeing him having so much fun I knew we’d done something right that morning!
You recently won the award for Best After Party at the HarderFaster awards -no doubt a mighty achievement beating other renowned and leading parties - what was your reaction when you found out?
Timmy: It was a really nice surprise to win, not expected at all, it was great coming runners up the year before so to win this time is wicked. It’s a great feeling to win the award as you feel all your hard work has paid off.
Kevsta: I didn’t know about it until a friend called me about it and logged into HarderFaster to see it!
Nicky: It’s great to have our hard work and effort rewarded in such a positive way!
I’ve just got to ask , do you get a ‘gong’ or silver, gold shiny trophy for winning this award? If so who gets to keep it on their mantlepeace?
Timmy: Not in the physical sense, although I do have a trophy icon on my Avatar. Unfortunately we can’t all have one so I got it due to me posting the most on HarderFaster. I may let the lads have it for a few months on theirs, I’ve not decided if I want to give it up yet, haha. Winning in the first place is enough for me and I’m really chuffed!
Have any of you anything else you'd like to add? Any other announcements you'd like to make?
Timmy: Well as you ask, I've got a track coming out very soon on OutBreak Digital called Learn CPR a nice hard dance / trancer with a techy edge. It's my first time at producing and I had great fun making this. It’s kinda opened a can of worms really, I can see many hours disappearing in the future, haha.
I came up with the idea some time ago and finally got on the case putting things together, it's kind of a marmite track, you'll either love it or hate it, haha. The whole Learn CPR idea came about because I think it's something very easy to learn and more people should know what to do should the situation arise. After I finished the track I approached Ian (HiFreak1c) who co runs OutBreak Digital because I wanted advice on making all proceeds of the track to go to The British Heart Foundation. He said to fire over the track and he'd consider signing it. He loved it straight away and here we are! I’m well happy about it.
Ok some very quick Q and A, which of the following do you think is the better at reFre5hing?
Vodka red bull or lovely cup of tea ?
Nicky: Vodka Red Bull.
Timmy: A nice cup of PG Tips for me please.
Hot or cold shower?
Timmy: Hot to start off with and then a good freeze to end.
Refreshers or Smarties?
Nicky: I have heard of refreshers, never had them. So it will have to be smarites.
Timmy: reFre5hers for me, sweet sugary goodness!
Croissant or Bacon Butty?
Nicky: You can’t go wrong with a bacon butty. Gotta have brown sauce on it as well.
Timmy: Bacon butty, no contest!
Thanks a lot guys for taking the time to chat to HarderFaster. I wish you the all the best for the upcoming (or rather The Second Coming) 2nd birthday party.
Photos courtesy of reFre5h and the HarderFaster archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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reFre5h.... The Second Coming!!
Friday 9th April
CLUB 414 [map]
22:00 - 10:00
£8 for concessions and B4 Midnight, £10 after
It’s been 2 years already since we launched reFre5h as
London’s freshest and up and coming after party and my,
hasn’t time flown! The party has grown from strength to
strength bringing you quality line up after quality line up,
managing to bag some of the scene’s biggest names in Hard
House and Trance. This has all been made possible because of your support over the past 2 years and as a special Thank
You, we would like to show our appreciation by throwing the
biggest party we have ever thrown, with the biggest line up
we have ever had! And, if you ask nicely, there might even be
For our second birthday we wanted to do something extra
special and push the boundaries once again. Although we are
primarily an after party, we’ve managed to secure a whole
night and morning at the 414 so that we can give you 12
hours of aural pleasure with possibly one of the greatest line
ups the club has ever had. So without further ado, we present to you…
**********reFre5h is 2! The Second Coming**********
To kick off the proceedings on this joyous occasion we
welcome a man who has been causing quite a stir in the hard
dance scene over the past year. His Electrik Shandy record
label has raised the bar immensely, pumping out quality tracks
by the most talented up and coming producers the scene has
today. Now playing under a new guise, we can think of no-one better to warm you up into the reFre5h party mood,
showcasing his astounding talents in progressive and tech
grooves which will get the party started on exactly the right
foot. Ladies and gentlemen, reFre5h presents… Mac Teck!
Next up on our stonking Birthday line up is someone who has
led Hard Trance scene from the front for many years. His
euphoric and uplifting sound gripped the clubbing world by
storm and since then has headlined most of the major
promotions London has ever had. Resident of the legendary
Friends parties and talented DJ/Producer, Trevor McLachlan
joins us once again to show the Hard Trancers how its done!
Cast your mind back to the year 2002, with the Hard Dance
scene at its peak. A time where it wasn’t unusual for the
regular clubber to go out on a Friday night and stumble back
through their front door late on Sunday evening. Daytime
clubbing was all the rage and Londoners normally had a choice
of 2 or 3 big daytime events to choose from in their weekend
clubbing schedule. Heat was one of those events which had
cemented their place into London's clubbing history by
throwing their legendary parties once a month on a Saturday
afternoon in Turnmills. They very quickly became one of the
scenes biggest brands and on NYE 2002 they rocked Brixton
Academy by throwing arguably one of the greatest NYE parties of all time.
Those who got goosebumps by reading the last paragraph will
probably remember the great line ups that party used to
produce, including probably one of the greatest residents to
ever grace the decks in London. Yes you’ve guessed it folks,
we’re talking about the legendary Marc French! We’re
delighted to be able to bring this man out of retirement to play a one off, nostalgic Heat Classics set strictly for the reFre5h ravers! Get ready to feel the Heat!
The last headliner we have for you on reFre5h’s 2nd Birthday is a man who needs no introduction. We were the first and only party to bring him to you in 2009, and we’re proud to
announce that we’ve got him again in what is his only booked
set in 2010 to date. His productions have helped shape and
sculpt the Hard Dance scene as we know it. If you don’t know
this man, then you’ve seriously been living under a rock for the past 10 years, or just quite simply don’t know your music! One half of the legendary Edison Factor, uber talented musician, DJ and Producer, the almighty James Lawson completes this already fantastic lineup! WOW! We were so chuffed to have him down back in October last year and he well and truly smashed it, so you can imagine how happy we were when he said he’d come back and play again for the Birthday. This man is unbelievable!
So what excuse do you have… none! Mac Teck, Trevor
McLachlan, Marc French, James Lawson and the reFre5h
residents playing under the same roof, on the same night! Do
your ears a favour, get yourselves down to the 414 on April
9th for 12 hours of pure eargasm! Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you!.....
**********reFre5h is 2! The Second Coming**********
10pm – 10am
Club 414 - Coldharbour Lane,
Look out for details of the After Party coming soon!!..
Get reFre5hed for the weekend!
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Other Features By VinDiesel:
Bioshokk Triplicity: Matt Melody speaks to Webbo, with VinDiesel taking notes to make the magic three
Across the divide - It's Alex Mac and Zeebra Kid
Alf takes the Technikal View
Get attracted to Magnetix
Phil Reynolds starts the Digital Revolution: Part Two
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.