The first and last hours of a night are crucial, yet overlooked book ends. The DJ is at their most experimental and brave; safe zones for unhindered selections that set the tone, and often wouldn’t work for a peak-time dancefloor. As bills become ever more stacked and club environments ever more regimented, it’s little wonder DJs of all stripes strive for that freedom – and admire those that use it to the fullest.
We’re launching a new series specifically to pay homage to the Residents. As with our weekly Upfront mixes and daily Debuts, this is an opportunity to not just share good music on a regular basis, but use the audio-only format to cover artists and scenes our video equipment can’t always reach. Most importantly, Residents’ Hour will help highlight the under-appreciated art of the warm-up.
We’ll be inviting some of the finest resident DJs from across the world to contribute; globetrotting from Dubai to Düsseldorf, Tel Aviv to Tokyo and all in between.
For our first instalment we’ve got two of our favourites masters of the form: Ruf Dug, whose Dancers Wanted is the type of red-lit haven that most promoters would dream of; and Mr. Ties of Homopatik, the larger-than-life party at Berlin’s ://about blank, whose philosophy co-founder Danilo Rosato goes on to explain below.
Both played prime time BR slots recently, so we thought it best to welcome them back to display their warm-up wares. All hail the Residents.
♦︎ ♦︎ ♦︎
MR TIES (HOMOPATIK)
[The next Homopatik takes place on October 16th at :// about blank in Berlin]
“We started Homopatik as a radical joke, creating a new space inside the city that would enclose rather than oppose. The way we envisaged it, Homopatik was a pure, free, queer party in which there would be no space for either homophobia or gay separatism. Homopatik had to be a queer party where music and community had a major role, and sexual orientation had no meaning. At all.
Basically, a place where gay men can get fucked wherever they want while girls around are having a sandwich and dancing to the beat. It’s a place where a girl would never be molested or be bothered by a bunch of drunk machos if she doesn’t want to be. A place where heterosexual men can feel liberated from their duty of being machos and finally enjoy themselves without the pressure of a patriarchal role. Nobody gives a fuck who you are, what kind of job you do, which social class you’re part of and – most importantly – who you fuck. Girls, guys, both, whatever.
“People should come to the party not because there is this DJ or that artist playing, but to be part of a community”
It’s first and foremost a place where people can dance, sometimes for 48- or 56-hour nonstop on three dancefloors. We have a classic concept of clubbing: old-school house and techno. The lineup is never released or disclosed. People should come to the party not because there is this DJ or that artist playing, but to be part of a community, a momentum, the zeitgeist of liberation, Hic et Nunc. Name-dropping techniques don’t work for the Homopatik party. If you want people to dance, you better play some good music. Did we have “BIG” names? Of course we did; from the past, present and future. Some of them are legends.
In other words, if you want to understand Homopatik, you better come.”
RUF DUG (DANCERS WANTED)
[The next Dancers Wanted takes place on October 16th at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen with special guests Tolouse Lowtrax (who’s high up our Residents’ Hour hit-list) and Sean Canty of Demdike Stare]
“Dancers Wanted was inspired by the desire to put on a simple club night, focused on the dancefloor where I could invite my friends to Manchester to come and play in a really nice environment.
The Soup Kitchen basement is tailor made for this sort of thing: we keep the lights red all night, fire up the smoke machine and get plenty of incense burning. Optimum dancing conditions!
We don’t bother with set times – it’s just me and the guest all night long. Sometimes we’ll play back to back all night, other times I’ll play a few at the start and then get out of the way and join the dancers for the rest of the evening.
Because I only invite friends to play it makes for a really nice energy that everybody picks up on – we’re happy to see each other, we’ll have been out for a nice meal somewhere and we’re excited to play each other all these records, and that’s before the doors to the club have even opened. It’s as far removed from a day at the office as can be, and that translates to vibes all night…
One of the things that’s great about playing together all night is that you don’t just have to pack a bag of bangers – you can play a variety of music throughout the course of the evening. I think the warm-up is so important.
“Stick on a long record and go for a chat with somebody who just came to your party, whether you know them or not”
Firstly unless you’re rammed from the start it’s likely that at the very beginning you’ll be playing for the bar staff and the security and that’s about it. So many people completely miss how important your music choice is at this point. The bar staff and the security are gonna be interacting with the crowd a fuck of a lot more than you are for all the fancy DJ bullshit about ‘communicating with my audience’. If you piss them off by rinsing it out to an empty room that energy is gonna get communicated to every single person that goes to the bar.
However if you vibe those dudes out with mellow weirdness and don’t hurt their ears, let them enjoy the quiet part of the night before the hordes arrive, well, when the public arrives they are gonna be greeted by nicely chilled and smiley and vibey bar staff. I prefer that instead of people pissed off because DJ Bellend just played banging italo at +8 for the last hour.
And you know it doesn’t end there. The people who show up first at your party tend to be the eager beavers – the heads, the weirdos – these are the folk who made the most effort to be there. How about daring to go out there and say hi to them? Stick on a long record and go for a chat with somebody who just came to your party, whether you know them or not. And seeing as you’re going for a chat, why not play something you can talk over, something a little weird that maybe sets the context for the evening in some weird way? It’s all good man, early days still. Of course it never hurts to have a groove in there, or at least the suggestion of one. Just something you can nod your head or tap a foot to.
Slowly you can build the beat up, maybe even the tempo if you dare, but don’t become a slave to it just yet. Speed up, slow down, disappear completely for a while — take the scenic route.
And then there’s that magic moment where the energy in the room is almost enough to get a dancefloor going; maybe everyone is swaying a little, maybe a couple of diehards are already front ‘n’ centre dancing. Or maybe there’s a little pocket over by the bar. Time for a classy beatmix to just subtly reinforce the idea that we’re at a dance…
Then, from nowhere, you have the floor. The dance is warmed up. Time to go!”
– Residents’ Hour continues in a fortnight. Our next instalment comes from North Africa. Stay tuned. –
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