International News

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Trance icon DJ Tiesto fled from the decks at US club Crobar last week when cross-dressing basketball superstar Dennis Rodman reportedly ripped his clothes off and mooned at the Dutch cheese-meister.

The New York Post said Rodman then chased after Tiesto screaming sorry and begging him to return, which Tiesto refused to do until the notoriously flamboyant drag queen was ejected from the club.

However, Rodman’s agent Darren Prince denied his client hadn’t been thrown out and told the tabloid that clubbers had instead celebrated the spectacle, chanting ‘Rodman, Rodman, Rodman’, a version Skrufff contributor Larry Tee, who’s played alongside Tiesto as well as DJing for Dennis Rodman , said could be right.

“Americans do LOVE American celebrities, I certainly wouldn’t place money on Tiesto in a Rodman/Tiesto match,” said Larry.

“Particularly since Tiesto’s biggest contribution to dance music is taking off his shirt and adding boyish energy to the DJ game. In fact, I believe he might be partially responsible for the latest DJ trend: lean mean DJ machines are in; plump or steroided DJs are out,” he declared.

“I barely eat nowadays,” the electroclash guru added, “Knowing that hungry DJs are plainly better DJs.”

Tiesto’s embarrassing incident occurred soon after an anonymous satirist taunted him mercilessly in a widely circulated cartoon lampooning trance fans for believing ‘how a record sounds better when Tiesto plays it.’

The cartoon features a grandfather warning teenage girls about avoiding ‘the very dangerous cult of "DJ" worship.”

"Trance has brainwashed peopled into thinking it has the best DJs in the world. It sucked the soul out of the rave scene and replaced it with false gods like PVD,” the grandfather tells his granddaughters, “At the top end of the trance pantheon is Tiesto, the most marketed human stereo ever.”

Evidence of Tiesto’s fallibility also emerged recently when he failed to win DJ Magazine’s latest Top 100 DJs poll (pipped by PVD) and one year earlier, soon after he DJed at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

“Apparently he fluffed his first mix,” DJ’s editor Lesley Wright told Time Out at the time, “Still if you’ve got an audience of four billion, you’ve got a right to be a bit nervous.”  (‘The Truth About Trance’)

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Super spoiled hotel heiress Paris Hilton has turned to Kylie’s original Svengali Pete Waterman to turn her into a pop star, the News of the World reported this week.

“Paris has approached Pete and they are discussing things,” the British tabloid revealed, “She knows what a genius he is and she is desperate for him to get her project off the ground.”

The pointless porn starlet could struggle in the UK, however judging by her imperious behaviour at a recent perfume launch in London where she terminally alienated Coburn star Tim Healey and Anne Savage after hiring both as DJs for the bash.

“Tim and I decided to play the party because we just thought it would be fun to do, she sent through a playlist of what she wanted and I’d borrowed a load of 50 Cent and all this stuff that I would never normally play,” Anne told Skrufff.

“The people that were there were just schmoozing, no-one was bothered about the music, then when she came in we played a few Michael Jackson bootlegs.

“Then at one point she walked up to the DJ box and demanded ‘I want Michael Jackson’. ” I was like ‘OK, I’ve just played some bootlegs’, and she squeaked ‘I want the originals, now’. My other half Jay then stepped in and started speaking to the mother and tried to like get Paris to calm down because by then she was slamming her fists on the stage going ‘It’s my party and I hate this’, throwing a real full on tantrum.

It was all starting to get really out of hand then Tim was like ‘ Quick, put this on’ and pulled out a dance record she’d made. As soon as we put that on she was up on the stage, happy as Larry, dancing around in her own private world for about five minutes. Then she just buggered off and we went back to playing decent music. Hilarious.”

Tim told Skrufff he’d also found the experience interesting and said meeting her had taught him a valuable lesson:

“Never accept invite to party hosted by a vacuous spoilt, bimbette-heiress who cites Barbie as ‘her inspiration’,” he laughed, “What were we thinking?”

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Jazz funk soul pioneer Gilles Peterson revealed a previously unsuspected passion for punk this week in an illuminating feature in DJ Magazine.

“You’re discovering, you’re pushing, you’re breaking through and you’re an ambassador for Britain and for British music. And for an attitude in club culture, which is a British thing,” the Acid Jazz/ world music supremo said, on his role as a globe-trotting DJ, “And I’m proud of it, that punk attitude.”

His surprising purloining of the punk ethos came over two years after he proudly described himself as a former South London soul boy telling Skrufff he had ‘a real problem with this British ‘we’ve got to keep it underground bullshit’, I can’t stand that attitude’. The Radio 1 star went on to praise American bling style attitudes to money, suggesting British notions of ‘cool’ were both ‘spoilt and immature’.

“It’s not just about wanting to make money, it’s about wanting to be successful and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that personally. I believe in that,” he explained, “There’s too much embarrassment here about being seen to be cool.”

British techno icon Dave Clarke also recently spoke proudly of his punk credentials telling Skrufff ‘I still vibe intensely off the music and the ethos’.

"Punk means two fingers to authority, kicking against the pricks, being a spanner in the works, not towing the music mafia whips’ line,” said Dave, “Being independent.”

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Pacha brand chief Danny Whittle chatted to Skrufff this week on the eve of the opening of their new club in New York, and revealed that the clubbing conglomerate are considering rolling out a chain of nightspots across North America.
³I think the next stop will be Vegas and the other places we all love are Miami and San Francisco, so who knows?² said Danny, ³If New York goes as well as we all believe it will, then I would imagine its only a matter of time before we continue to grow.²
The Ibiza based Brit said they see many similarities between New York and London labelling both places as  Œground breaking cities, musically and in terms of image¹.
³There is, however, that little edge with New York that feels like it was the originator of disco and clubbing,² Danny added. ³And having a world class DJ like Erick Morillo onboard as part owner has also made the whole project interesting. Maybe Erick will see what a pain in the arse some DJs can be. Of course; non that play at Pacha, Ibiza; except maybe Erick,² he chuckled.
Danny said they¹ve had few problems from the city¹s notoriously puritanical licensing authorities, and stressed the club¹s success is a vital element of Pacha¹s ongoing plans.
³It¹s our first club in North America and it will provide the first impression a lot of Americans have of Pacha, even though many come to Ibiza and many other Pachas,² he said.
³There are some great clubs in New York and we have to operate on the highest level to compete. It¹s a bit like Ibiza in summer with regards the level of competition; you just have to be the best you can be.²
³To all the New Yorkers who read this, we can¹t wait to be in your city,² he added, ³It¹s going to be amazing to have a more permanent link with such an incredible place.²
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British electro pioneer Gary Numan unveiled details of the upcoming new album ‘Jagged’ this week and confirmed that make-up wearing techno man Ade Fenton has co-produced the new record.

The album sees the Are Friends Electric?/ Cars legend using live drums for the first time in 20 years, courtesy of ex Nine Inch Nails stickman Jerome Dillon amongst others and will be his first studio album in over five years.

Chatting to Skrufff earlier this year, Gary said the record was originally scheduled for a September release though admitted that since becoming a father he’d radically changed his priorities.

“The family side of things has gone from being absolutely depressing – never going to happen – to now the point where now I’ve got a proper family, which is really quite cool,” said Gary.

“And that is having an effect on work, no doubt, because I didn’t really see my dad until I was about four and didn’t really get to know him at all until then and
I know he really regrets that.

“I don’t want that, so my work ethic, since Raven was born has just gone out the window. I don’t want to miss any of it, so the amount of time I spend in the studio working is reduced dramatically, but I actually don’t care. If it takes me five years to make an album, then providing I can survive financially for those five years, then fuck it. I’d much rather go out with my baby,” he admitted.

Jagged is out on 13th March, 2006, on Mortal Records.

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ImageProdigy mainman Liam Howlett unveiled details of his eagerly anticipated Back To Mine compilation this week and robustly defended his decidedly eclectic track selection which includes The Stranglers, the Jam and Electric Light Orchestra’s 70s soft rock shocker Living Thing.

“The idea that a Back To Mine compilation should be mellow makes me laugh,” said Liam, “Surely the fun begins when you get home. Sometimes it’s so good I don’t bother going out. Diversity is the key for me, that’s just what I’m about.”

The compilation includes Public Image’s Rise, The Third Bardo’s 60s Pebbles classic ‘I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time’ and Max Romeo’s reggae standard I Chase The Devil as well as Dolly Parton’s biggest hit Jolene (once covered by Sisters Of Mercy, curiously enough).

“In a time when a lot of modern music is bass obsessed (including me) this record has none,” he continued.

Acid house pioneer Danny Rampling chatted to Skrufff this week on the eve of his last ever London gig at Turnmills, and confirmed that he’s willing to play for up to 12 hours if the circumstances are right.

“If there’s a crowd there at midday, if the club is still full, and if I’ve got the energy, I’ll continue,” Danny promised, “I’m planning to pace myself, getting a disco nap in the evening ahead of the gig, though since I’m going to be bursting with excitement and nervous energy, whether I do manage to get some sleep ahead that’s another matter.  I’m like that with any gig but this isn’t just any gig; this is a historic night. I’ll also be making sure I don’t drink too much at the beginning of the evening; that can have an adverse effect and tiredness can set in.”

The Shoom founder said he’ll be bringing ten, 100 capacity record boxes as well as CDs to the club, sorted into genre styles and periods, though stressed he’ll be completely avoiding the hard trance and techno he used to play in the early 90s.

“They’ll be no Tony De Vit tributes,” he confirmed, “They’ll be some tribal electronic beats in the Star 69, Murk, Tenaglia vein, and some of the more driving British tracks too, but 130bpm is the maximum.”

He also revealed he remains undecided about his very last record (‘I have a couple of tracks that may be suitable though it will depend on the time and who’s there’) and admitted he’s already feeling emotional about giving up professional DJing entirely.

“I feel a little sad, it’s really sunk in now that I’m coming to the closing part of this chapter of my life, it’s not going to be easy for me leaving behind the music that I love,” said Danny.

“A few months ago I wasn’t thinking that way but now things are drawing to a close, I think it’s going to be rather odd next year. It’s about looking to the future and leaving this period behind with fantastic memories.”

Danny spins at Turnmills from 4am Sunday December 4th (though the night opens on Saturday, with his warm up provided by one Frankie Knuckles).

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ImageFunky house electro diva Smokin Jo has confirmed that her upcoming New Year’s Eve bash at Ministry Of Sound will definitely be the last NastyDirtySexMusic party, despite it being one of 2005’s most successful events.

Tim and I have brought it to an end, and after New Year’s Eve NastyDirtySexMusic will no longer exist,” said Jo.

“Tim and I split up and as anyone knows it is hard to split up and to carry on working together afterwards it’s even harder; we both decided we needed to move on in our lives so we had to finish NastyDirtySexMusic. It’s a massive shame as we both loved doing it and had such great responses from our crowd, but at least we will end it on a high, going out with a bang,” she said.

Fil OK from Nag house band Atomizer chatted to Skrufff this week about the duo’s upcoming single Zero Zero and denied that its distinctive breaks style groove and absence of band mate Jonny Slut’s vocals was significant.

“We've never defined our sound, it's just whatever it turns out like, but this is definitely one for the dance floor, inspired by those many evenings down Nag Nag Nag,” said Fil.

“And as for Jonny, It took a huge bribe. No, really; again; it was just how the track turned out-it's just not a traditional  'song' as such.”

Fil also denied B side ‘There's no money on the underground' was an ironic take on the massive wealth Nag’s success has brought them, spluttering ‘you’ve got to be kidding’.

“We put all our earnings into the band, we fund everything ourselves, including recording, cutting, packaging, you name it,” he stressed, “So no, we don't yet own £8million yachts like Robbie Williams.”

He conceded, however, that the duo’s penchant for wearing excessive amounts of make-up and rubber tetish masks has paid off, particularly with his Mum (‘she loves what we do’) and when travelling.

“People have always treated us with either wide open mouths or huge beaming smiles,” he said, “Generally though, the dressing-up aspect does go down well, especially abroad. I guess we're doing what a lot of these kids, particularly males, aren't 'allowed' to do, especially in places like Russia and Turkey,” he surmised.

“Our highlight overseas so far has been the trip to Tokyo, they put us high up in a hotel called the Cerulean Tower, which featured all the Japanese style mod-cons you could imagine,” he added, “It was tough deciding whether to stay in and play with gadgets or go out wandering those crazy streets. We plumped for staying up for 2 nights doing both.”

The lowpoint as either New York, where the engineer kept us waiting onstage for 20minutes whilst he  re-wired the sound system and we watched the crowd shrink from 200 to 20 or Stockholm.

In Stokholm those crazy cats Cobra Killer were on before us, and  poured champagne all over the amps and blew them up. Yes, that was a great
Show; thanks girls.”

Atomizer’s Zero Zero (backed with Atomizer versus Reader’s Wives’ There’s No Money On The Underground) is out in January on NagNagNag Records.
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Britain finally abandoned antiquated licensing laws which forced pubs to shut at 11pm, this week, prompting an estimated five thousand pubs and clubs in London to start opening until midnight and beyond.

“At last grown-ups will be treated as grown-ups,” Labour Licensing Minister James Parnell said on introducing the new changes,” it is absolutely clear that the current system has not worked.” (Mirror)

“Let’s not penalise the majority of responsible drinkers because of the crimes of a minority,” he added, “There should be a clear principle here- that if people are not causing harm to others, the Government should get out of their personal lives.”

The law changes prompted a flood of alarmist anti-binge drinking articles in the media plus one or two more enlightened ones, including another in the Mirror examining Britain’s 1,000 year plus tradition of drinking to excess.

“Most people, including children, drank ale made from malted barley made with hops. They even drank it for breakfast and got through up to a gallon a day,” said Medieval London expert John Clark, describing London in the 12th Century, “At a penny a gallon, only the poorest had to make do with water.”

Britain’s drinking culture was also famously addressed by 19th century author Charles Dickens, who described typically  licentious scenes in a British ale house in his hugely popular novel Nicholas Nickleby.

“Who thought of money, ruin, or the morrow, in the savage intoxication of the moment? More wine was called for, glass after glass was drained, their parched and scalding mouths were cracked with thirst. Down poured the wine like oil on blazing fire,” Dickens described.

“And still the riot went on. The debauchery gained its height; glasses were dashed upon the floor by hands that could not carry them to lips; oaths were shouted out by lips which could scarcely form the words to vent them in; drunken losers cursed and roared,” he wrote.  (Nicholas Nickleby)

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