NEWS: BEDMO DISCO ON INVADER.FM

bd_invader We’re delighted to announce that Bedmo Disco Radio has a new home – the “best tiny little radio station in the galaxy”, Invader.fm. Our first show will broadcast live from our secret bunker (well, Sell By’s record room) on Tuesday 3rd December 2013, between 8 and 10pm GMT.

We’ve long been fans of Invader.fm, and it has seemed like a natural home for Bedmo Disco Radio for some time. The boys behind the station are old Eat The Beat record shop crew, and the station was founded in Bedminster of all places back in 2008. Since then, it has grown to be an international station, with DJs from across Europe hosting shows that take in hip-hop, soul, funk, disco, D&B, house, techno, bass music and loads more. Our own Sell By Dave played at one of their parties a couple of months back, and we got chatting about the possibility of a new live, monthly Bedmo Disco Radio session. They were keen, and here we are, about to roll live with our first show.

From December onwards, we’ll be rolling live on the first Tuesday of the month, between 8pm and 10pm. You can tune in to the first show, and all future shows, via http://www.invader.fm

For the first show, expect mix banter aplenty between Awon, Five-Stylez and Sell By Dave, good records mixed vaguely competently, and some triple exclusive tracks and edits from the Bedmo Disco Records family. Spread the word!

 

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NEWS: GOOD VIBRATIONS’ BIRTHDAY BASH

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This weekend one of our favourite parties in Bristol, Sean McCabe and Ben Daley’s Southport Weekender-affiliated Good Vibrations event, celebrates its first birthday. Since they specialise in all-dayers, Saturday’s 1st birthday bash is another afternoon-till-the-early-hours affair at their regular home, The White Bear on St Michael’s Hill.

The line-up is, as usual, tasty. Having previously brought all manner of big names to the boozer (Kenny Dope, Groove Assassin etc), this time round they’ve gone for two scene veterans whose contribution to deep and soulful house music can’t be questioned: Phil Asher and Atjazz. Then there’s the boogie bar, where ourselves and Deli-G will be holding it down from 6pm onwards.

Our experience of Good Vibrations parties is that they get a crowd who know their music, are fiercely committed to the soulful side of dance music and treat each all-dayer as an excuse to have a great time from mid afternoon onwards. It promises to be a special event. We’re looking forward to digging deep into the collections and showcasing some gems… as well as some of our favourite disco and boogie party jams.

To celebrate Good Vibrations’ first birthday, and to provide something of a warm-up, our own Sell By Dave has provided a guest mix for the GV blog. You can check it out on the embedded Soundcloud player below.

Should you need more details of the party (flier above), check out their website.

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MIX: PEOPLE LIKE US v BEDMO DISCO WARM-UP

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We’re rather excited about our forthcoming “versus” hoedown with fellow Bristol-based disco-centric party-starters People Like Us at The Looking Glass this Friday (16th August). So excited, in fact, that Sell By Dave has laid down a spontaneous “warm-up mix”.

The party promises disco, boogie, sleaze, Italo, house and “more cowbell”, and that’s exactly what you can expect from Sell By’s party-starting throw down. Tracklist and Soundcloud player (plus download link) below…

PEOPLE LIKE US v BEDMO DISCO WARM-UP MIX by SELL BY DAVE

1. Peech Boys – Life Is Special [Bedmo Disco Dub - previously unheard]
2. Sharon Brown – I Specialize In Love [Vocal]
3. Tiger & Woods/Kers – Bash at Jack/Back at Ya [Sell By Dave Blend - previously unheard]
4. Starvue – Body Fusion [Anthony Mansfield Edit]
5. Charanga 76 – No Nos Pararan (Ain’t No Stopping Us Now)
6. OTP Party Breaks – No Mistake [Kon's 2079 Mix]
7. The Globe – Adventure Party [Sell By Dave Edit – previously unheard]
8. Koto – Visitors [Lee Douglas Re-Edit]
9. Popular People’s Front – Love Itch
10. Jarle Brathen – Italiano Fantastico
11. Mitchbal & Larry Williams – Do Dat Stuff [Dance Mix]
12. Solution – Feels So Right [Victor Simonelli Mix]
13. Candido – Jingo
14. Debbie Jacobs – High on Your Love [C.O.M.B.I Edit]

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EVENT: PEOPLE LIKE US v BEDMO DISCO

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We’re delighted to finally be able to announce our next party in Bristol… a hook-up with the notorious party-starters behind the always excellent People Like Us events at the Looking Glass on Friday, August 16.

People Like Us started life as a night in London, where the residents – led by the lovely Ranks Skinna – would regularly wow various venues across East London. So strong are their ties to the capital that they still regularly do guest spots at roadblocked parties. Since moving to Bristol they’ve proved a hit at their new home, The Looking Glass on High Street (near the top of Corn St). We’ve been down to a few of their parties and they’re always sweaty, upbeat affairs. They get a mixed crowd (men, women, gay, straight), people always dance like mad, and the sounds are spot on. We can’t wait to take to the decks alongside Ranks and the rest and make it a night to remember!

For those who’ve not been to The Looking Glass, it’s a great spot. It has a small capacity, an intimate vibe, a top quality soundsystem and, for this party at least, a 4am licence. It’s the perfect venue for a sweaty little party. You can expect to hear disco sleaze, filthy bass, pulsating Italo, cowbells aplenty, cheeky boogie belters and proper house.

For more info head to the Facebook event page. It will be free to get in before 11.30, and £4 after. Bargain!

 

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MUSIC: BEDMOCAST SUMMER SPECIALS

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This week, we’re heading out to Croatia for Soundwave 2013, the latest instalment of our favourite Adriatic festival. We’ve been heading out there for the last four years, and this will be the third time we’ve played at the event. As way of a warm-up (asides from Awon’s brilliant set at Alfresco Disco on Saturday), we’ve decided to drop a clutch of new mixes inspired by the Adriatic sunshine.

We’ve called it the “BedmoCast Summer Special Series” (snappy, eh?) and the mixes cover a range of sounds and styles. The one thing that draws them all together is their inspiration: a Croatian summer. At present, there are three mixes in the series, all of which can be found on the Bedmo Disco Soundcloud page (we’ve also posted the set below):

Volume 1 – Awon’s Boogie Jam
A fantastic summer-friendly all-boogie, disco and electrofunk excursion from Awon, featuring some of his own tracks (and a couple of other Bedmo Disco-related jams), plus cuts from the likes of Melba Moore, West Phillips, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Status IV, I Level and more. Want to listen? Click here!

Volume 2 – Sell By Dave presents Tisno at Dusk
Sell By reaches into his collection of Balearic gems for a laidback excursion through downtempo beats, dubwise treats, forgotten gems, well-known belters and much more besides. Think head-nodders and feet-shufflers for that moment when the sun begins to dip beyond the horizon. Oh, and old Andrew Weatherall remixes. Want to listen? Click here!

Volume 2 – Dancing Under The Stars
Another mix from Sell By Dave, this one ups the tempo for an all-night session dancing under the stars, either at the festival site or Barbarella’s Discotheque. Disco, afrobeat, house, broken beat, electrofunk… and lots more besides. Want to listen? Click here!

In other words, plenty of fodder for your MP3 player/phone/iPod/iPad (etc) as you make your way out to the sunshine, whether you’re heading to Soundwave or not. Enjoy!

 

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NEWS: BEDMO DISCO GOES EAST

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Yep – a week on Saturday (18th May) we’re starting what we hope will be a series of regular shindigs at our favourite boozer, the excellent Plough Inn in Easton. It’s owned by some good friends of ours, and we couldn’t think of anywhere better to have a party.

It ticks all the boxes – great crowd of locals, nice soundsystem, decent back yard, and a love of a good party. What more could you want? It also marks our debut “eastside”, far away from our Bedminster roots. How times have changed, eh?

We’ll post more about this one next week, but the basics are on the poster. Come down – entry is free, booze is relatively cheap and the sounds will, of course, be righteous. Oh, and Deli G will be joining us again, playing on his “home patch” for the first time in ages. Bring it on!

PS – Check the dates page for updated news of forthcoming parties and appearances!

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NEWS: JOHN MORALES IN BRISTOL THIS FRIDAY!

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It’s not often we get to host genuine New York disco/boogie royalty. You can imagine our excitement, then, about our party at the Big Chill Bristol this Friday (26th April), which features none other than NYC remix/edit king JOHN MORALES of ‘M+M Mix’ fame. Yes, really!

To say we’re excited about it is an understatement. Disco/boogie heads have long held John in high esteem for his many great mixes throughout the late 1970s and ‘80s. Recently, his career has been reignited by a series of deserved retrospective compilations on BBE (The M+M Mixes, volume 3 of which is due out anytime now). These are, we reckon, nigh on essential, not least because they feature many of John’s previously unreleased “session mixes” (those completed for his DJ sets after the official mix had been finished) and unheard demos of classic tracks such as the Universal Robot Band’s “Barely Breaking Even”. Volume one (released a couple of weeks back) also includes John’s brilliant, 17-minute version of Inner Life’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – the epitome of shirts-off disco, and a delightfully uplifting epic.

It’s a bit of a coup to get John (pictured above in his early 1980s heyday) down to our fair city, as his trips over the UK are relatively infrequent. On this trip, he’s doing just two other UK dates, and one’s at Horse MEeat Disco on Sunday. We’re certainly have secured his services.

Even those who aren’t disco and boogie crate-diggers are likely to own some of his productions or remixes. Basically, if you own any disco, boogie, electrofunk or pop records from the late ‘70s and 1980s, it’s likely you’ll have come across John Morales’ work. Alongside longtime studio partner Sergio Munzibai (who sadly passed away in 1991), Morales was responsible for hundreds of remixes of acts as diverse as Inner Life, Odyssey, Jocelyn Brown, The Rolling Stones, Axel F, Miami Sound Machine, The Thompson Twins, Candi Staton and Hall & Oates. Check the labels of those dusty old 12” singles you have tucked away at the back of your collection; chances are, many will feature M+M Mixes.

Born into a hard-working Puerto Rican household in the Bronx in the 1950s, Morales first made his name as a teenage DJ in New York. By the mid 1970s he’d made his first tentative steps into the studio, creating his own medleys and remixes to play in his disco sets. He taught himself to edit on a reel-to-reel machine and never looked back. His now infamous ‘Deadly Medleys’ and ‘Sunshine Acetate Medleys’ brought him to the attention of New York disco producers Greg Carmichael and Patrick Adams who were impressed by the hunger and desire of the self-taught engineer. “My first credited mix was Inner Life’s ‘Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair)’, though I had worked on a few other records before that, but I hadn’t been credited, for acts like the Universal Robot Band and Musique’s ‘In The Bush’,” he recently told BBE.

Morales continued to work as a session engineer, first for Adams and Carmichael and later Bob Blank (at the renowned Blank Tapes studio) until he had a chance meeting with Cuban-born ‘musical director’ Sergio Munzibai at local radio station WBLS in 1982. They hit it off immediately, and decided to do a remix of Mikki’s ‘Itching For Love’. It was the first of over 650 M+M Mixes during the 1980s and early 90s. Such was their prolific work rate that throughout the decade they would often remix 10 different records a month, often offering up both vocal and dub versions.

Morales’ own remixes, and those produced with his studio partner Muznabi, are once again being reappraised thanks to the popular ‘M+M Mixes’ series on BBE. Two volumes of the series, which features both released and previously unreleased reworks, have already been released, with a third – “The M+M Mixes Volume 3” – hitting stores very soon.

If you’d like to get a taste of his DJ skills, he contributed a fantastic guest mix to Deli G’s show, The Touch, on BCFM last weekend. You can have a listen by clicking here and selecting the second part of the two-hour show.

Speaking of Deli, he’ll be joining is behind the decks at the Big Chill on Friday night, playing in the last hour after John has done his stuff. Deli isn’t just a big fan of John’s productions, but has also been friends with him for a few years.

As for the rest of the night, it’s Bedmo Disco in control in both rooms. Awon and Five-Stylez will be bringing a flavour of the former’s fast-rising hip-hop night, Watch Out! (monthly at The Plough in Easton) to The Study (that’s the smaller room upstairs) from 11pm-2am, while warm-up duties downstairs will be handled by Sell By Dave (with, we suspect, some input from messers Awon and Five-Stylez).

All of this, for free. Yes, free. Not bad, eh? Seriously, though, we’re expecting John to play a fantastic set, the kind of which we rarely get to hear in Bristol. Join us – it should be a wicked party.

Bedmo Disco presents John Morales
Friday 26th April at The Big Chill Bristol
DJs: JOHN MORALES (M+M MIX NYC/BBE), BEDMO DISCO
In The Study: INNOFader presents WATCH OUT’s HIP-HOP JAM with AWON, FIVE-STYLEZ and guests
9pm-3am. FREE ENTRY

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NEWS: BEDMO DISCO’S BIG EASTER

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Phew, what a scorcher! Apologies for coming across all tabloid, but that single, silly phrase pretty much sums up our feelings about Saturday’s night’s GIRAFFE BOOGIE party at Start The Bus.

We were hoping for a good ‘un, but nothing could have prepared us for what was one of our most memorable parties for a while. The dancefloor began to fill up at 10.30, and it just got better and better from there. What was most memorable – apart from the ace sets from the Kelly Twins (pictured above) and Legendary Tone – was the all-round good-natured vibe of the crowd, their appreciation for the music and the amount of positivity on display. It was also nice to meet a few new faces (a party from the well-loved Boogie Cartel night in London, some chap who asked us to platy some krautrock, a woman who claimed we were ‘bringing back the spirit of Fruity Antics’ – that’s a near legendary Bristol house night for those from outside of our fair city) and welcome back some old ones (Al Dare, Jimmy The Twin etc). So all in all, a great night – thanks to all those who came down and made it special.

With Easter fast approaching, it’s a busy time here at North Street Sound (that’s Bedmo Disco HQ to newcomers). Because of that. we have a load of things to tell you about. We’ll try and keep it brief, and have used handy subheadings for ease of browsing/because it looks nicer.

MELODICA RADIO SHOW BRISTOL SPECIAL

A couple of weeks back legendary DJ, producer, journalist and musician Chris Coco headed down to Bristol to play at Big Chill Bristol. While there, he recorded a special edition of his popular Melodica Radio Show. The show features interviews with a bunch of Bristol bods – including our pals Suisse Tony, Ben Dubisson (A Hundred Strong) and Chris Farrell from Idle Hands – with accompanying music. It begins with Chris having a chat with our own bearded disco grinch, Sell By Dave, about Bedmo Disco Records.

It’s a very entertaining show, which you can listen to on Chris Coco’s Mixcloud profile

 

BEDMO DISCO EASTER SPECIAL AT BIG CHILL BRISTOL

Yes, we’re back at Big Chill Bristol for another smashing Bedmo Disco bash on Good Friday (29th March). We begin at 9pm and go on until 3am. Entry is free, the whole crew will be representing, and hot Bristol house producer (and all round top man) GramRCY will be playing upstairs In The Study. Poster below.

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GOOD VIBRATIONS AT THE WHITE BEAR

Yep, there’s a second dose of Bedmo Disco DJ action this Easter weekend, as we head to The White Bear on St Michael’s Hill to host the Boogie Bar at Sean McCabe and Ben Daley’s Good Vibrations party. We’re stoked to have been asked along, especially as it’s an old-fashioned all-dayer (starting at 3pm, no less) in one of Bristol’s best boozers. Flyer below – more to come later in the week. Tickets are £10 in advance (a bargain since it’s an all-dayer and the main room guests come from Local Talk Records and Southport Weekender), and have been selling well. If you want to come along, don’t sleep!

Phew! That’s all for now – we’re off for a lie down. Remember, you can read our news first on Twitter and Facebook, so follow or like us. We don’t bite!

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MIX: THE RETURN OF THE KELLY TWINS’ GALACTIC JAMS

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Ahead of the next instalment of GIRAFFE BOOGIE at Start The Bus on Saturday, we’ve got a bit of a treat for you – a classic old skool electro/boogie/space-funk mix up from headliners THE KELLY TWINS.

The mix was recorded way back in 2008 for the sadly departed BYTE blog and party, where Sean and Dan were briefly residents. It caused a bit of a stir at the time, though it’s long been unavailable/lost thanks to the MP3 download link seemingly vanishing from the Internet. It’s such a good mix that we thought it deserving of a five-year anniversary re-post. At this point we should thank fellow Bristol DJ and longtime Kellys/Bedmo Disco friend Andy Clarkson (aka Andy Payback Hifi), who still had a rare CD copy and converted it to MP3 for us.

These days, Sean and Dan are widely considered (and rightly, we think) to be rising stars, not just in Bristol but beyond. In our opinion they’re probably the most versatile and consistent DJs in Bristol. While their mixing is technically brilliant, what’s more impressive is their ability to take sets in many different directions and take the crowd with them. Put them in almost any situation – warm-up, peaktime, late, big club, small club, boozer, radio show – and they’ll get it right. They’re slowly moving into production, too, and recently dropped a collaboration with fellow Bristol DJ/producer Kowton for Red Bull’s Soft Rockets project.

We first met them sometime around 2005/2006 (we think), in which days they were taking their first steps as student DJs in Bristol. They weren’t new to the DJing game, though – back in their native Plymouth, they first started DJing when they were 14, and by 16 were playing all over the city. They were quickly installed as residents at Sell By Dave’s best before: night. They then launched their own party, UFO (which Sell By was also a resident at), and since have held residencies at all sorts of regular parties, including Crazylegs and So Bones. They’re currently the in-house party-starters for our old pal Chris Farrell (another best before: resident back in the day) at his growing Idle Hands empire. We should also point out that they’re rightly the most in-demand DJs in Bristol.

So, back to Galactic Jams. It was recorded at a time when they were indulging their electro/P-funk side and is a near flawless live mix-up of classic electro, electrofunk, P-funk and boogie jams. It’s this side of things they’ll be mining for their set at Giraffe Boogie (though we also hope that they drop in some freestyle, Italo, disco and house, since mixing it up is their forte). If you’ve not heard the mix before, you’re in for a treat. If you have, it’s worth giving it another listen – it really is a beauty! As for the party, scroll down below the tracklist for poster/details.

You can listen to the mix here (download by right clicking and doing something – check your browser’s help file for details):

The Kelly Twins – Galactic Jams

BYTE MIX: THE KELLY TWINS – GALACTIC JAMS (2008)

1. D.St – Crazy Cuts [Long Version](Island)

2. Whodini – Haunted House Of Rock [Vocoder Version] (Jive)

3. Man Parrish – Hey There Homeboy (unknown)

4. Donna Allen – ‘Serious [Dub Version]‘ (21 Records)

5. George Clinton – ‘Scratch Medley: Do Fries Go With That Shake?/Pleasures Of Exhaustion (Do It Till I Drop)’ (Capitol Records)

6. Newcleus – Space Is The Place (Sunnyview Records)

7. Royal Cash – Radio Activity [Vocal Long Version]‘ (Royal Disc)

8. Tramaine – ‘Fall Down (Spirit Of Love) [Dub Version]‘ (A&M)

9. Midnight Star – ‘Operator [Vocal/LP Version]‘ (Solar System)

10. Two Sisters – ‘High Noon’ (I.R.S Records)

11. L.A Dream Team – ‘Rockberry Jam’ (Dream Team Records)

12. The World Class Wreckin’ Cru – ‘World Class [Remix]‘ (Kru-Cut Records)

13. Jamie Jupitor – ‘Computer Power’ (Egyptian Empire Records)

14. Rodney O – ‘These Are My Beats’ (Egyptian Empire Records)

15. Hashim – ‘We’re Rocking The Planet’ (Cutting Records)

16. Chris ‘The Glove” Taylor – ‘Tibetean Jam’ (Ploydor)

17. JJ Fadd – ‘Supersonic’ (DMC)

18. Dynamix II – ‘Just Give The DJ A Break [Club Version]‘ (Cooltempo)

19. Omega II – ‘Sonic Boom [Vocal]‘ (Showroom Records)

20. The League Unlimited Orchestra – ‘Things That Dreams Are Made Of’ (Virgin Records)

21. The Cure – ‘The Walk’ (Fiction Records)

22. Kissing The Pink – ‘Big Man Restless’ (Atlantic)

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SELL BY DAVE’S RANT: SMALL PARTIES ARE WHERE IT’S AT

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As a self-proclaimed “disco Grinch”, it would be fair to say that I like a good moan. I also mutter to myself on a weekly basis when I’m sent a new batch of releases to review and realize that every single deep house, tech-house or nu-disco record sounds the same. In private, I spend far too much time whining about things that bug me about certain strands of electronic music and club culture. On the whole, though, I like to remain positive; after all, there is still much thrilling new music to discover, events to attend and inspiring musicians or producers to talk to (for the uninitiated, I’m a music journalist by trade).

I will, however, never lose my disdain for those who either base their musical opinions on fashion trends or, worse, use a platform in the national media to put forward fatuous arguments about the current state of electronic music.

I was driven to jump onto my laptop earlier today by an article on The Guardian website by a journalist called Joanna Fuertes-Knight. In it, she argues that small club nights have had their day, and that smaller parties are no longer where it’s at. I’m paraphrasing, but the gist of her argument seems to be that in the age of the Internet – and, in particular, Boiler Room – we don’t need to go to small nights to hear new music, hence the re-emergence of “megaraves” in 1,500+ capacity venues. She believes that we appreciate the shared experience more at such big events. As an aside, she also mentions that famous  “small” London parties such as YoYo and FFWD>>, which helped foster new styles of bass-heavy music, were great because it was nearly impossible to get in unless you were a regular or “on the inside”. There are many reasons to celebrate parties at small venues, but the fact that you’re “in” and others aren’t smacks of smug elitism. It was probably this part that riled me most.

That said, what really drove me to start penning this diatribe was the idea that small nights are no longer relevant and that clubbers/music heads do not need to attend them to hear “new music”. Strictly speaking, the latter is correct; you could, if you so wished, spend most of your days trawling through endless blogs, Soundcloud pages and so on to hear new music. Some people do just that. Most don’t have the time, though, and prefer to attend events where they can hear “new music” – ideally mixed in with some older records to put them in context – in the right environment.

Personally, I have always preferred smaller parties and events to gigantic raves. Sure, I’ve had some good nights losing myself (and my friends) in dance tents at music festivals, or in dingy warehouses. But given the choice, I would still much prefer to be in a sweaty little basement, back room, bar or art space, immersing myself in the music in the company of people drawn to the event either through a shared passion for a particular artist, or simply because it is where their mates and similarly-minded people are hanging out.

Take Bristol as an example. The city suffers a little, in my opinion, from a lack of decent club spaces that suit the needs of those wishing to put on small to mid-size events. The club scene is also dominated by events at Motion, a former indoor skating and BMX park that can accommodate up to 2,500 people. For the uninitiated, it is akin to Bristol’s answer to the Warehouse Project. It is hear that you will find huge line-ups of A-list talent, and crowds to match – despite the usual £20-plus ticket price. Some of the line-ups are astonishing, and certainly the promoters have the financial clout to be able to bring ‘names’ to the city that others can’t afford. It has been a rip-roaring success and has, predictably, proved popular with the city’s students.

Yet the atmosphere at times can be a little, well, odd. While a percentage of the crowd is there to appreciate the music and dance to sounds played by their heroes, most are just there for a “big night out”. There is nothing wrong with this, but it does lead to cavernous rooms full of excitable people jostling for position, or wasting valuable dancefloor space gurning to their mates, leaving the most enthusiastic at the periphery. The main room at Motion is serviced by an enormous Funktion 1 rig, but it barely sounds good unless you are in the 20 feet of space, 30 metres back, that functions (no pun intended) as the “sweet spot”. It is clubbing for those who judge their night by the experience, rather than the music itself. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this per se, but it’s not where I’m coming from – or others like me.

Although Motion looms large over the Bristol scene, it has not killed it (as some promoters would argue in private). In fact, it has allowed those who cherish smaller parties and alternative events, those with more of a “special” feel, to thrive. Over the last 12 months, Stokes Croft, in particular, has become a hub for interesting events of every musical hue. Using unusual spaces such as Take 5 Café – a small, slightly odd curry café with a tiny basement space – and The Motorcycle Showrooms – a former motorcycle shop converted into a community art space, enthusiasts have been able to put on some thoroughly memorable events with guests deemed too small, insignificant or left-of-centre to appear on the Motion line-ups (or at other mid-sized local venues, for that matter).

Many of the promoters that use these venues do so because they prefer the intimacy, atmosphere and laidback vibe that generally comes with using them. They can book guests that excite them, whether international producers of note in more underground styles, or local DJs with deep record collections. They can put effort into décor, hire in small but wonderful-sounding soundsystems, and share their passion with less than 200 like-minded people.

A quick look at some of the regular parties, and their guests, should give you a clue as to what I’m on about. There’s the dubwise goodness of Peng Sound, the unfussy but cultured house of Housewerk, the out-there cosmic exotica and grimy release of Dirtytalk, the sound science of Tape Echo and the left-of-centre house, techno and disco of local record shop/label Idle Hands. I sadly can’t recall all the guests who have appeared in intimate spaces around Stokes Croft, but have personally attended nights featuring Young Marco, the 100% Silk crew, Mark Seven, West Norwood Cassette Library, Mudd, World Unknown (OK, I missed that one as I was at a christening, but I would have been there otherwise) and Leif. Soon, I’ll be attending a 100-capacity L.I.E.S label showcase at Take 5. I’ve also seen Ben UFO, one of the most inspiring DJs out there right now, in a pub.

Really, I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are many more attractions – a big shout-out to EFA and his regular events at the Bank of Stokes Croft – and a constant flow of new promoters putting on parties with fresh ideas, or different takes on familiar sounds. To me, this is the essence of club culture; not the idea that music is only of worth if it is new, left-of-centre and fashionable (God forbid), but rather intimate events, run by enthusiasts for the love, attended by people who genuinely want to hear great music, on a good soundsystem, in an intimate space. Ask yourself this: would you rather be in a 100-capacity cellar, surrounded by smiling faces, or in an enormous warehouse, trying not to loose your footing as another young, fresh-faced thing falls into you after a few too many sherberts?

Small nights and intimate parties have always been the lifeblood of the club scene. It is where new DJs and up-and-coming acts get their break, it is where local DJs perfect the art of working a dancefloor, and where local producers meet and exchange ideas. A lot has been written about the vibrancy of Bristol’s electronic music scene right now, and almost all of it is true. All those collaborations between Bristol producers and deals to release new tracks, have largely come about through the friendliness of the scene and open-minded attitude found at the city’s intimate parties. And, to a lesser extent, the hours spent in the back yard of The Bell on Jamaica Street, where producers, label bosses and DJs can often be found drinking real ale and sharing a spliff, enthusiastically discussing their next project or up-coming party.

When I got my first staff job on IDJ Magazine back in 2000, the club scene at large was thriving because of the much-derided “superclub” scene. By the time I left in 2008, it had long gone. Dance music didn’t die, though; in fact, in that time thrilling new sounds and scenes emerged, from tiny parties and small groups of people dotted around the World (whether in West London, East London, Cologne or Oslo). The current trend for massive “megaraves” is just a rehashing of the superclub thing, it’s just that this time round it seems a little less overblown. These, too, will die a death at some point as a new generation of students and young hedonistics are attracted to other pursuits. When that does happen, it will be the small parties that re-invigorate the scene, just like they’ve always done.

Sell By Dave is the DJ alter-ego of experienced music journalist Matt Anniss, former Editor of IDJ Magazine. He currently writes for Juno Plus and provides sleeve notes and press releases to a number of underground electronic music labels

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