You probably know this already, but this weekend marks the tenth birthday of a Bristol clubbing/dance music institution: Futureboogie. They hardly need the praise, but we thought we’d take a few minutes to give them some props.
These days, Futureboogie trio Joe90, El Harvo and Steve Bongo are perhaps best known as globe-trotting party-starters, DJ bookers and label managers, yet a decade ago they were newcomers to the Bristol scene with a passion for forward-thinking electronic music.
After decamping from the Midlands, they provided Bristol with a monthly broken beat, nu-jazz and, well, ‘futureboogie’ party called Seen. Capturing the zeitgeist perfectly and championing music that hardly got a look in elsewhere in the city (or, outside London and Manchester, the UK), Seen became a go-to event at its first home, the now sadly departed Level nightclub.
Since then, they’ve been inspired by various forms of music – disco, now house – but Steve (Joe90), Dave (El Harvo) and Steve (Bongo) have continued to put on parties that have become legendary not only in our fair city, but throughout the world.
Between them, they have a good eye for spotting a trend, record collections to die for and a collective ear for knowing where dancefloors are going next. Joe90, in particular, is also a fantastic DJ and an all-round hive mind of musical information. He might get the party rocking (and he almost always does), but he’ll do it with a mix of tunes shot through with a soulful and futuristic bent. El Harvo, meanwhile, looks natty in a cape and is a real party animal. If there’s a party or afterparty going on, he’ll be the first on the dancefloor.
Last year’s launch of their Futureboogie Recordings imprint was a logical next step. Aside from getting on board fast-rising house starlet Julio Bashmore – a real coup – and pushing him further towards international superstardom, they’ve also used the label to push forward other Bristol-based producers with a lot to offer. Everyone has their favourites; personally, we can’t get enough of the slo-mo house of Behling & Simpson and the loved-up goodness of Lukas & Christophe (an old mate of ours from the Tricky Disco days, where he was also a resident).
Soon, they’ll release a tenth anniversary CD featuring tracks from the label’s ever-expanding roster. That’s notable for including plenty of unreleased material, including something from Luke Type – one of Bristol’s most underrated musicians and possibly the next DJ/producer from the city to achieve international recognition.
Tonight (Friday 27th January), they kick off their celebrations with a party at a “secret location” in Bristol (thought to be the old magistrates court building, but don’t quote us on that), before heading up to East London in a few weeks time for a warehouse bash. With Bashmore heading up a stellar line-up, you can guarantee both will be memorable events. Incidentally, tonight’s bash sold out yonks ago, so if you’ve not got a ticket (and we haven’t – doh!), you’ll have to make do with the compilation CD.
Here’s to another decade of Futureboogie goodness.