JOSH DAWSON

Hen

Hen Page is one of the most pioneering members of the Cambridge dance community. They set up XD with fellow hard dance fanatic Tom Andersson, as well as being involved in Plant!, a 3 year old experimental and hard dance night in London. XD has taken Cambridge by storm, filling spaces from Cindies main room to Pembroke Old Cellars with sweaty students, high on life and gabber (read more about it in Hen & Tom’s Varsity interview). Listen to Hen’s hand selected mix of the super-fast and super slow, from Blink 182 to LOFT and more beyond. This is unique in every selection, every creation and every transition. Not one to miss.

What were you trying to do with the mix?

I just so wanted a chance to do a mix of stuff that I’ve been listening to loads and a lot of stuff that I wasn’t sure I could play out? Also jumping really fast between very very fast and very very slow tracks and a mix of ambient and club. Especially pop edits and super heavy percussive tracks!!

You have helped introduce Gabber, Donk and Hard Dance to the Cambridge club scene, genres that haven’t been in the mainstream of electronic music since the '90/'00s. How did you come across it, what was your route in?

"Because XD has so much music that isn’t taken as seriously in a club, it becomes a really special space for genuine enjoyment."

I’d been super into PC Music for a while and artists in that group started putting on nights with super fast super fun dance music—like Harlecore—that me and Tom [Andersson, XD co-organiser] went to. As well as a huge intersection with amazing queer nights like Tremors. Also, there’s so much cool new music on Soundcloud drawing from that, especially very hard and very fast edits, it’s super exciting!

You were part of setting up XD, which has been renowned as the most original, least self-conscious and most all-round feel-good night that’s been on all year. Was that vibe something you were aiming for and what about XD do you think help achieved that?

That’s so lovely thank you!! Yes, so much, that’s so my dream night! I feel like, because XD is so against self-consciousness and has so much music that isn’t taken as seriously in a club, it becomes a really special space for genuine enjoyment. It feels so much more about sincerity than irony, which creates such a good atmosphere for people to have fun! Also dancing really hard is always perfect for feeling good. Everyone who comes and plays and dances makes XD such an incredible night, I always feel euphoric for So Long after!

What were some of the highlights of those nights? Pembroke Cellars must’ve been a mad one.

The Pembroke cellars nights were so much fun!! I think the wholesome gabber rave was so so beautiful, especially having such a small space, and with the earlier finish it felt like it reached such a high intensity so fast! The floor was wet with sweat at the end !! also how huge a variety of genres and tracks get played, because different DJs bring such a big range of music. Putting it on in Cindies main room was also very huge.

"The wholesome gabber rave was so so beautiful...it reached such a high intensity so fast"X D/Facebook

What is the last song you listened to?

Such a beautiful ‘love at first sight’ remix in the baby blue tank mix (https://soundcloud.com/tank-magazine/tank-mix-baby-blue)! I’ve been listening to it on repeat. I love it so much.

Who is your favourite producer/performer at the moment? 

Maybe LOFT?? or SOPHIE?? or HDMIRROR?? I don't know, there's so much I love at the moment! 

What is your go to tune to bring a party up/banger?

‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ is always perfect, but also ‘Heaven’ by DJ Sammy (chaos 2007 remix) and ‘trance is good, actually’ by mitomoro are my number 1 euphoric tracks in the world. 

What have you got planned for the future?

We’re planning something big at the start of May week, also we’re putting on another plant! night in London in September!!

Bez

Bez DJing at Haze@hunchobezmp/Instagram

Bez is Mr. Extra-Curricular. Before he began manning the decks himself, he could be found on the committees of Bunker, Haze (rip) and KA, among others. After transforming from the booker to the booked, he’s torn it up at avant gardening, third space and rudie with his signature style of tough grime, techno and dancehall. Relentless energy, shifting rhythms and cutting vocals are expertly delivered on this urgent dancefloor statement.

What were you trying to do with this mix?

I knew there were a couple tracks I’ve had on heavy rotation recently that I really wanted to feature on the mix, so I just built around those tracks and ended up with this.

Artists on the series so far have blended different genres, but the variety of speeds and feels here is quite unique. What did you think the common thread was?

Well the couple tracks I really wanted to play were all sitting on the 70bpm range, so I just set off from there. You get a lot of grime, ambient and some techno tracks at that range, then obviously if you jump to 140 bpm you can fuck with a lot of pacier techno & dancehall tracks.

So, I just went with the flow & took a few left-field turns here & there. It was super simple but also quite fun being able to flip between those ranges & explore different moods but there are very obvious spots in which that massively goes wrong lol but such is life.

Who is your favourite producer/performer at the moment?

Probably Marie Davidson, she’s been dropping a lot of whippers recently or BEA1991, she makes me feel some type of way.

Marie Davidson@mariedavidson.official

You’ve been involved in a lot of BME activism in Cambridge, as well as nights like rudie, an event focused on dancehall, afrobeat, dub etc. While both house and techno were born out of black communities in Chicago and Detroit, currently festival/club line ups are criticised for a lack of racial and gender diversity. Do you think ethnic minorities (and the originators of dance music themselves) are underrepresented in the contemporary scene?

"A lot of people booked in mainstream festivals are generic white males but then again, I do think a lot of that is changing at the moment for the better."

I would agree to some extent, obviously there is underrepresentation in so many aspects of life and a lot of the line-ups put out by promoters are not exempt from this. I think a lot of that is probably down to the people curating these nights/festivals though. Club nights are unique in the sense that almost anyone can put out a night, so if you’re lucky enough to have people in your city willing to do something, as we’ve seen in Cam with nights like Rudie/Third Space etc then you can get access to a much more diverse range of music/artists.

Festivals less so, a lot of people booked in mainstream festivals are generic white males but then again, I do think a lot of that is changing at the moment for the better. Having done a bit of booking through Bunker & KA, it’s really refreshing to see that some artists are now requesting a more diverse line-up as part of their riders which can only help to force promoters to be more conscious about the nights/festivals they’re curating.

How do you dig for records/find new music? Do you have a specific process?

Don’t collect records, but I usually discover new tracks online. Lots of frequently updated playlists on spotify by artists, labels, record shops etc. Usual go-to playlists are Phonica’s, Crack mag’s, Bleep’s, Ninja Tune’s and Floating Points’ – stuff kinda then snowballs from there using the algorithms.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

Soulja Boy – 'Kiss Me Thru The Phone'


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Mountain View

Milk & Alcohol: OT:OT and HAH

What is the last song you listened to?

Solange’s album = bliss.

What have you got planned for the future?

The line-up I’ve put together (avec Hattie [a.k.a. HAH, mix #07]) for King's Affair is pretty peng so really looking forward to going & playing there + few other balls in may week.

Also, hoping to headline Glasto before I’m 35.

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