Another week closer to I Love Hard Beats: Free From Fashion Bash and another week of interviews with one of the artists that will be spinning in our multi genre ‘Remix Room’ at the Siding Warehouse in London Bridge.
Darts, the promoter of ‘Stomp!’ from up in Leeds, is joining us today. Let’s take a seat and get started shall we?
Greg Peaks: Hi, Darts! Thanks for taking the time out to sit down with me for some figurative breakfast and answer a few questions ahead of the next I Love Hard Beats.
Darts: My pleasure Greg, good to see you again mate, nice to catch up over a brew and some brekky. Ha, I’m sure I just saw the lass at the counter putting her fag out in someone’s fried egg!
Greg Peaks: Oh yeah? Better not be mine! Scrambled is not my order for today. First off, having released music on a variety of hardcore labels over the years, you’re no stranger to the hardcore scene and have been producing the music for quite some time now, but what have been your biggest non hardcore influences?
Darts: She’s forgotten to put my mushrooms in! Can you pass the red sauce please? Yeah, I’ve been in and around the scene for a while now, it’s been a proper little journey with parties & bookings so far but tunes wise I feel like I’ve found a good home at Trackmaster Music. Cruze (the gaffer) knows his stuff and he’s quite happy for me to go ahead doing my own thing, which is great. Musically outside of Hardcore I’d have to say my biggest influences come from classic trance… I love loads of different stuff from around the “Kevin & Perry” era but I’d say Ferry Corsten is probably my favourite producer! Non-musically my biggest influences are probably Leslie Nielsen (in things like Airplane, Police Squad and Naked Gun. And also Michael Crawford’s portrayal of Frank Spencer in the old BBC sitcom “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em” – I used to watch them all loads when I was a kid and I can still reel off loads of quotes now…
“We’ve got to get these people to a hospital.” “A hospital? What is it?!” “It’s a big building with patients in it, but that’s not important right now.”
Greg Peaks: The days of classic trance will always hold a special place in many hearts. This egg yolk looks funny doesn’t it? Hmm… Anyway, the theme for our next rave is ‘Free From Fashion’, we want everyone to come dressed as badly as they can. Any ideas as to what you will come dressed like, or will you pull something out of the bag at the last minute?
Darts: I think I’ll probably tweet Demo and ask him where he gets his Hawaiian shirts from, they’re out of this world! Fair play he pulls them off though! Thumpa already did the onesie thing at last February’s ILHB (he made a really cute teddy bear!) and I heard a rumour one of the HBC guys might be wearing a big flowery dress (hopefully proper Hyacinth Bucket style!) so that’s all my obvious choices gone! There’s a good fancy dress shop nearby me so I might see if I can raid them for something a bit out of the ordinary
Greg Peaks: Thumpa was supposed to be DJing as opposed to making teddy bears, we’ll have to make sure his knitting requirements are met at the next event! You also run your own successful event a little further North from London. Can you tell us a little about it?
Darts: Yeah that’s right, “Stomp!” has been running in Leeds for about 2 and a half years now. Leeds has a buzzing underground music scene and it was so wrong that hardcore had totally died a death there since Vibealite stopped doing it’s monthly nights at Club Mission! I’ve always been a big Vibealite fan, and back then Gary had been putting on some really wicked, varied lineups and was thinking outside the box where other big UKHC promoters might not have done – ie. the Freeformation tour night, the 3 hour Brisk and Sy sets, and getting international acts like Uraken over. Great days! So, inspired by that, and Freeformation itself, I thought I’d try to encapsulate the values of Vibealite & Freeformation together with a few ideas of my own and see if we could get the city’s scene rolling again.
It’s going well! We’ve got an established little night rolling now with a reputation for quality, varied lineups covering everything from upfront hardcore and freeform to oldskool happycore, breaks and hard dance! Our crowd are wicked – they just rave their socks off to everything we throw at them! The mental, anything goes atmosphere we’ve got going on is awesome. It’s just a “proper rave” – love it!
Greg Peaks: That “proper rave” atmosphere of no holds barred, carnival nonsense is exactly why we, you and I are here! I once had MC Disgruntled Old Fart on the mic during one of my sets at an I Love Hard Beats… Do you have any memorable experiences as a DJ that you can share with us today?
Darts: Haha you’ll have to tell us a bit more about that disgruntled old fart story I don’t think I’ve heard that one! I had a pretty random experience whilst playing a gig in the midlands once! You know how sometimes when you’re DJ’ing and nice folk from the crowd come up and give you a present, whether it’s a glowstick or some kandi beads or whatever? I’d just been asked to stop the tunes while security dealt with a minor fracas in the club… It was all dealt with very quickly and we’d just got things rolling again (I was playing Pinnacle’s remix of “Penguin” by Randy Mortimer as it goes!) and this lass charged up to the DJ booth and handed me a clump of hair she’d just pulled out of another lass’s head! Lovely. Wish I’d kept it now, it caught me a bit by surprise at the time.
Greg Peaks: How thoughtful of her! I hope my hair stays safe when you’re playing. Spanned across three rooms, the next I Love Hard Beats will be a difficult place to manage time between all the acts to see. Are there any DJs that you would be particularly interested in seeing, and why?
Darts: By ‘eck lad, too many to mention! That main room’s absolutely jam packed with talent and really varied in terms of styles (Lethal Theory, Hardcore Underground, Hard Beats Collective, FinRG… and I’m curious about the Mark EG extreme set!)… It’s brill to see international acts like Grimsoul & Horzi, Kamasutrance and The Beatniq on the bill, too – have to say I haven’t heard a whole lot from the latter 2 but I’ll deffos be checking these out – variety is the spice of life ‘n’ all that! I love a bit of hard dance as well so I think I’m probably gonna end up doing laps of the venue to make sure I don’t miss too much of anything!
Greg Peaks: Lapping up every second of it we shall man. If you could be any kind of item of clothing what would it be, and why?
Darts: Obviously some sort of bra’s the first thing that comes to mind. I could try to think of something else for you but we’re all friends here and if I’m totally honest it would be a bra. Always a chance you’d end up cupping and supporting someone you’d rather not cup and support but I’m a firm believer that with great risks come great rewards.
Greg Peaks: Haha. Excellent choice. Firm is the right word! And our last question, what does ILHB stand for?
Darts: Innovative Leaders in Hedonistic Bouncing! Hope you and the crew enjoy the promo mix! Look out for my solo production album entitled “Put the back!” coming soon to Trackmaster!
Greg Peaks: A man after my own heart! Wicked mate, thanks for your time. We’re looking forward to catching up with you at I Love Hard Beats.
Here is also a mix from Darts to get your ears juicing!
1. Gaz V – Energy (Original Mix) – Trackmaster Music
2. Darts – Pandamonium – Trackmaster Music
3. Weaver & JTS – Phantasy – JTS Recordings
4. Olly P – Come On – Trackmaster Music
5. Miss Special K – My Territory – Totally ‘Ardcore Records
6. Fretman & MC B – MILF Hunter – Sock Puppet Records
7. Cruze & Stompin’ Tom – R U Redy – Trackmaster Music
8. AirCon – Carried Away – CDR
For those of you who want to come and join us at the event you can obtain full event details by following this link:
We have officially sold out of early bird tickets. We have however added a special promotion where you can buy 5 tickets for the price of 4 so get your groups together and save a few quid!
Tickets are on sale here: www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/94719