International News

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Jacques Lu Cont kept up his relentless crusade against big name DJs this week, with a ferocious onslaught in Mixmag against his champagne quaffing rivals and peers.

“The glamour side of DJing has no relevance to me. When DJs are more about who they’re hanging out with, who they’re shagging and what champagne they’re drinking, to me that’s the beast of dance music, “Jacques (real name Stuart Price) declared.

“I hate driving round Ibiza seeing DJs posing on billboards. It makes me cringe because it means it’s become more about them and less about the people.”

The credibility obsessed people’s choice made his comments in a feature discussing producing the new album of his close friend Madonna and matched those he made several years ago in an interview promoting his Fabric DJ mix compilation.

“I don’t think DJing is that cool, I don’t like the image of the silver boxes and the hooded jacket and crappy sunglasses,” he sneered, “I don’t like the supposed glamour in DJing and I even hate the name! I’m a DJ? Don’t think so.”

Meanwhile in the Observer, Madonna compared her relationship with Stuart to meeting a new boyfriend and admitted her husband Guy Richie was less than impressed by the fruits of their relationship (ie new album Confessions On a Dance Floor).

“He stormed out of the room when I played him some of these tracks,” Madonna confessed, “He thought it was shit.”

The album has since gone to number one in twenty five countries and already sold over 3.5 million units, Music Week reported.


Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)
Subscribe to skrufff music newsletter at www.skrufff.com

Superstar DJ Steve Lawler contacted Skrufff this week to explain the concept behind his upcoming fashion range Viva and stressed that the collection will be about wearability rather than over-the-top flamboyant club wear.

“I am sorry to say they’ll be no drag or high heels,” Steve confirmed, “though how cool would it be to make Viva wigs- and rubber skirts?”

The Space jock cheerfully admitted his role in the new collection with be strictly hands-off, confessing ‘I haven’t a clue about designing clothes’.

“A certain designer approached me after the summer season ended and told me they really liked the Viva merchandise, and we’re in talks with this designer about them possibly taking it over,” said Steve, “which is quite exciting because this designer actually makes really cool clothes,” he chuckled.

Steve said his favourite designers are bespoke jeans company PRPS and T shirt artist Rogun though admitted his own tastes in clothes are generally conservative.

“I’m one of these people that if I find a pair of jeans that I like or a T shirt I’ll buy two pairs because I tend to wear my favourite things all the time. I have been wearing the same style Adidas trainers for years and years now, but I just have them all in different colours; I’m not that adventuress, at least not outside the bedroom.”

http://www.djstevelawler.com


Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)
Subscribe to skrufff music newsletter at www.skrufff.com

UK DJ portal TrustheDJ.com have added Jonty Skrufff to their online roster of DJs, hosting the Skrufff man’s brand new website JontySkrufff.com.

The new site pools together all Jonty’s DJing-related activities and includes a brand new weekly blog featuring links, radio playlists and record recommendations.

“The plan with JontySkrufff.com is to provide a one stop online location for everything connected to my DJing, whether that’s future gigs, new DJ mixes or pictures and reviews from places I’ve been spinning in,” said Jonty.

“I’m making great progress with the DJing generally, and I’m delighted to be joining a roster that includes Carl Cox, Gilles Peterson, Chris Liberator and Pete Tong. The Trustthedj crew are also a fine crew as well as being excellent karaoke singers,” he added.

“We’ve watched Jonty’s meteoric climb up the DJ ladder with interest bordering on alarm,” said TTDJ’s Cameron MacPhail, “So it feels appropriate and indeed timely to bring him into the fold. And given that through his press agency Skrufff.com he spends half his time bigging up the tunes and producers he plays, it seems a natural fit, both for him and us. Though given that he’s straight-edge, his singing leaves rather too much to be desired.”

http://www.jontyskrufff.com

Space resident DJ Steve Lawler announced this week that he’s rebranding all of his business activities under the banner ‘Viva’ from the beginning of next year as well as closing down all his physical record labels.

“This is the way forward for me as a record label,” the Birmingham/ Balearic producer explained, “Times are changing so quickly, and I want to start 2006 by leading the way with how people receive and enjoy the music I release. I am excited by the proposition of only being online, which is where a lot of my music buying audience tend to live.”

The self styled ‘superstar DJ/ producer/ remixer’ also revealed that he’s ‘in discussions with fashion houses about turning Viva into a lifestyle collection’ though provided no further information about the garments his fashion company might provide. Speaking to Skrufff several years ago, however, he displayed a keen interest in ultra-flamboyant clothes, declaring ‘if you’re a bloke who likes to go out dressed up and in high heels, that’s great.

“When you go to a club, it’s entertainment time, it’s show time, you can let your problems and your worries go and be who you want to be,” Steve continued, “In America, you have five days a week accountants who love to go out dressed as trannies at the weekend and I think that’s fantastic.”

Despite his love of over-the-top clothes for others, he admitted he never dressed up extremely himself (‘I’d look like a complete idiot’), adding ‘image is important to me to a certain extent, I tend to wear designer clothes, but it doesn’t matter if a DJ wears a baseball cap or is covered in gold.

And anyway, being about four foot tall myself, when I stand behind the decks how can I expect people to notice what I’m wearing?”

Viva Recordings launches in January 2006.

Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

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Daft Punk superstar manager Pedro Winter chatted to Skrufff this week about his latest protégés Justice and their upcoming tour of Brazil and confirmed that he’ll be showing off his own considerable deck skills at both ampgalaxy and Rio’s Dama de Ferro on the upcoming trip.

“I don’t consider myself as an artist or only music business guy, I’m an entertainer and I like to see people jumping around when I DJ,” said Pedro, “I want them to dance with me and to laugh at me, I want them to head-bang.”

The wild haired Parisian’s day job managing Daft Punk, Justice and running his own ultra-cool label Ed Banger Records, is one of France’s most influential and powerful music industry moguls though started his career as a skateboard obsessed college drop out, he admitted.

“I went to university and did three months of law school then quit to go partying. I learned my business working day to day with Daft Punk,” said Pedro, “it was all on the job training.”

Often described as the third member of Daft Punk, he’s now applying the same rinciples to building Justice’s career, though stressed the filthy house French pair are very much their own men.

“Sure there’s an easy comparison with Daft Punk- there are two of them, they’re French, they’ve weird names and I’m involved with them but every year the press comes up with a new Daft Punk. There are no new Daft Punks, though Justice are definitely sons of Daft Punk’s era,” he said.

“The Justice boys know what they want and most importantly they know what they don’t want. We don’t say no to everything like we used to with Daft Punk but we’re taking our time, they’re a new band, having been going for just three years and I don’t want to rush things,” continued.

“The Daft Punk boys really like Justice though sometimes they think they’re a bit noisy. Justice generally are getting more and more attention, firstly from remixes (they’ve already done Britney Spears, Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim and Franz Ferdinand) and also for their DJ sets.”

Justice first made waves with their Gigolo signed anthem Never Be Alone, more recently attracting plaudits for their energy packed filthy disco mash-up EP Waters Of Nazareth, as well as acclaimed remixes such as Vicarious Bliss.

“With Justice, as soon as I met them I knew I would work with them, their music is modern and dirty and I liked their energy immediately, I signed them within a week of meeting them. The guys are smart and young, I knew they needed help but not that much help,” he explained. “I need to feel a band from the heart, I like real people  and don’t need a fake shit band.”

Pedro and Justice play Rio de Janeiro @ Dama de Ferro on Friday November 25
and Sao Paulo @ ampgalaxy on Saturday November 26.

Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Subscribe to skrufff music newsletter at www.skrufff.com

A 73 year old Bangladeshi businessman bit off more than he could chew this week, when he took three transvestite prostitutes back to his Bangkok apartment who proceeded to drug him before robbing him of his laptop, money and mobile phone.

The reportedly ‘attractive’ ladyboys confessed to cops that they slipped powerful sedatives down their victim’s throat as they passionately snogged him, prompting Thai authorities to issue a general alert to tourists warning of the sinister new scam.

"Don't rush to kiss a stranger on the mouth, “ a police lieutenant colonel advised, “Or you will end up in a deep sleep.” (AP)

In more bad news for Bangkok revellers, authorities this week imposed a further clampdown on licensing arrangements, outlawing sales of alcohol from midnight at all venues and shops throughout the city. A citywide 2am club curfew is already strictly enforced across the capital with many clubs closing at one, and the new alcohol ban will presumably mean many, if not all, are now forced to shut at midnight.

http://www.misstiffanyuniverse.com/award%20win%20th.html

(Miss Tiffany’s Universe, the world’s leading ladyboy beauty pageant’)

Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Subscribe to skrufff music newsletter at www.skrufff.com

Pacha New York’s host Erick Morillo displayed a surprisingly inadequate grasp of New York’s nightlife history this week, in a revealing polemic about the soon-to-be-opened superclub’s VIP facilities.

“When this Pacha opens there will be opulent VIP areas but I’m sure we’ll see VIPs on the dance floor too,” Morillo told DJ magazine, “There will be a real mixture of people from all manner of different backgrounds, and that’s something that hasn’t been seen in New York since Studio 54.”

The Subliminal chief’s failure to acknowledge subsequent seminal New York nightspots including Paradise Garage, Danceteria, Area and even Sound Factory was compounded by the fact that he was clearly unaware of Studio 54’s perennially naff reputation as being known for just celebrity and its accompanying cocaine culture of the time, instead of music or anything positive.

“Rubell and Shapiro (Studio 54’s owners) were never particularly precious about their music,” says Peter Shapiro in his definitive new book on the history of New York clubs Turn The Beat Around.
 
“They simply wanted someone to play what effectively was background music- music that kept people dancing but wouldn’t get in the way of the ‘scene’.”

The club’s ridiculous door policy also famously inspired disco legends Chic to write their biggest hit record ever Le Freak after Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers were refused entry on New Year’s Eve in 1977, forcing them to return home despite being massive clubland stars of the time.

“Bernard and I started jamming, just guitar and bass. We were just yelling obscenities: ‘Fuck Studio 54 . . .  Fuck ‘Em . . . Fuck Off . . . Fuck Those Scumbags . . . Fuck ‘Em’. And we were laughing, entertaining ourselves,” Rodgers told journalist Anthony Haden-Guest.

“And we wrote a whole obscene song about fucking Studio 54 and those assholes. But it had melody and texture and form. So we recorded it,” he added.


Pacha New York/ Studio 54 Links:

http://www.pachanyc.com (‘PACHA JOB FAIR Saturday, November 19, 2005 | 12pm– 7pm 618 W. 46th Street (bet. 11th + West Side Highway) PACHA IS HIRING FOR ALL POSITIONS, Please bring resume and headshot.’)

http://www.thecityreview.com/anthony.htm (‘Studio 54 was a disturbing and important phenomenon that raised dire issues of duplicity, corruption, immorality and media irresponsibility - issues that permeated and reflected a culture change, one whose notoriety would help fuel the fundamentalist upsurge and the coming conservatism of a Ronald Reagan and the country . . .’)

http://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=1643 (‘I quickly learned why coke was the preferred drug of choice during the 1970's New York, Studio 54 years: coke can be glamorous . . .’)


Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Subscribe to skrufff music newsletter at www.skrufff.com

Berlin rock-electro trio Warren Suicide have become a duo after the band’s singer Lucki disappeared without trace two months ago. The remaining pair of Cherie and Nacht are continuing going without pause, releasing next single Fulford on Monday then their debut album The Hello in January.

Just three months ago Lucki chatted to Skrufff and revealed that he left his birthplace of Transylvania aged just seven, when his parents decided to abandon their East European home.

“We got a visa for a two week holiday in Germany and we stayed, leaving everything behind in Romania; our house, our possessions and the rest of our family and friends,” Lucki recalled.

“It was extremely hard for us in the beginning because none of us spoke German except for my dad, who could just manage a few words.”

Lucki also chatted about the vampire folklore indelibly linked to Transylvania though suggested ‘vampires are just a symbol; the biggest vampire of all time in Romania was definitely Caucescau (former dictator Nikolai Caucescau).”

“Also, we have many bats colonies, I remember when I lived there, bats would always fly into the living room in the evenings, and we lived in the city. I think you’re referring to Count Dracula though, he fought the Turks and he was particularly gruesome and brutal. It’s fascinating how the mystical and mysterious will always grab people’s interest,” he mused.

Fulford is out on Fume Records on November 21.

http://www.warrensuicide.com

Article by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Subscribe to skrufff music newsletter at www.skrufff.com

UK DJ/ producer Ed Real chatted to Skrufff this week about his upcoming compilation CD Hard Dance Republic Volume 2 and distanced himself from the styles of fellow compilation DJs Nick Sentience and Paul Glazby.

“Paul and Nick are known for their styles and there's not a lot of crossover to the trained ear,” said Ed, “I’m more posh than bosh.”

Ed also admitted his decision to include tracks from Vitalic, Benny Benassi and James Zabiela was significant, declaring ‘hard house in its strictest sense has hit the end of a creative cul de sac’.

“The advent of the Pioneer CDJ 1000 (CD player) as the industry standard has allowed people such as myself to include a wider range of sounds and styles in the mix and I'm thankful for it,” he continued, “I've always been into all sorts of dance music and now I have the chance to present that to the dancefloor - if the vibe fits, dance to it.”

The London based jock recently DJed in hard dance’s greatest territory Holland and confirmed that the scene there remains massive compared to England’s relatively moribund hard house club world.

“I played a hardstyle gig on Saturday at the same venue that Tiesto uses for his solo concerts, which sold out to a crowd of 10,000 ravers. This was considered one of the smaller parties to go to in Holland whereas in the UK that would have made front-page news,” said Ed.

“Then after the gig I went to the other side of Amsterdam and attended a party inside one of those round gas silo's which was also hard music- techno- and that had another 4000 people - for the second night in a row. Having said, that, the UK crowd make more noise though,” Ed added.

He also admitted to chilling out on the rest of the trip, courtesy of Amsterdam’s famed attractions.

“My best friend in Holland owns a couple of coffee shops and lives above one. They are a big distraction but when in Rome and all that,” he confessed.

Hard Dance Republic Volume 2- mixed by Ed Real, Paul Glazby and Nick Sentience is out now on Hit Mania.

Article by Skrufff.com

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Minimal techno icon Richie Hawtin unveiled details of his latest high tech compilation album DE9: Transitions this week, with an incendiary press release attacking the tyranny of beat mixing.

“DJing is more about performance now, it’s verging on a live show, and part of the progression towards that is moving further and further away from turntable technology and the idea of mechanically mixing two records together,” said Hawtin.

“We used to spend so much effort on getting records to stay in time with each other. But once you stop having to worry about that, you can really start thinking about what sounds work together and you can get deeper into the structure of the mix,” he suggested.

“The progressive people are thinking, if computer technologies can automate one task, what can I now do better?”

One task it looks like he’s been able to spend more time on is make-up artistry,
certainly judging by the immaculate eye shadow and mascara visage he’s wearing on the packshot of the new disc. Featuring a heavily photoshopped close-up of half of Hawtin’s face, the sleeve presents the unlikely heart-throb in quasi Sven Vath style cyber-punk mode, presented with the kind of precision he’s always been acclaimed for in his music and DJing.

“It’s a picture of my face which is totally made up of these track names, so it shows you that although this is made by me I’m no greater or lesser than the information I’m using, he said, explaining the logic behind the computer generated imagery.

DE9: Transitions is out on October 31 on Novamute.

http://www.novamute.com

Article by Skrufff.com

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