Launching LOFT55 After 10 Years Of Go Bang Brighton

On the Friday of the first Bank Holiday in May this year I will be launching LOFT55. This is coincidently 10 years to the day since I launched Go Bang Brighton as a festival in 2008 at Esca on Preston Street.

Needless to say Go Bang Brighton played a big part in my adult life and the future for LOFT55 carries this forwards using the musical and community aspects of the previous 10 years.

LOFT55 is a project that involves my interest in combining clothing and music but with a positive social message gained in part through my time with Go Bang Brighton and most recently 'This Will Never Work' Both of which I care to think of fondly as 'physical social gatherings' before anything musically related.

LOFT55 wasnt planned, it's evolved freely using an educated appreciation of the physical community that underpins the music that I love and share.

LOFT takes influence from David Mancuso and 55 from Vietnam. Both of which having left Me with a positive outlook on community as we move into an increasingly politically diversive age via social media.

It took a while but eventually after being out of the djing aspect of Go Bang Brighton I understood that my alignment / purpose revolves around provision for a community and not performance in front of one.

Ironically, if You search a few posts down from this one on my blog You'll find a post with the title 'Not Being A DJ' It would seem my foot was already out the door way before LOFT55 became a consideration.

On the evening of Friday 4th of May 2018 I shall launch LOFT55 at Bar Block on St James Street with a night of music reflective of what You will find on my blog.

You know the score by now and I would expect The Loft in LOFT55 will come through the speakers just as much as the contemporary disco and the like.

Another coincidence is that the journey of Go Bang Brighton started with Greg Wilson in 2006 at Bestival. Shortly after I approached Ben Gill who ran The Ocean Rooms to put Greg on. Over 10 years later Ben is hosting my launch of LOFT55 as owner of Block. I never seem to operate too far away from Ben when something outside the norm is starting it would seem.

So, onto the clothing aspect of LOFT55.

Im into my vintage clobber and workwear. Influences come from a variety of sources with Vintage USN and Workwear being my go to. Life after solely djing has been filled with research so Ive got lots to work with moving forwards.

I can gaurantee that achors will form a big part of LOFT55 as well as the music and social message around 'Physical Community'

On Friday 4th May I am offering my new range of LOFT55 Kit (Tote and Duffle Bags to begin with) with my own design. Proceeds are going towards my charity of choice (ALLSORTS) which helps young LGBT people with their mental health right here in Brighton.

Hope You can reach out to get down and be part of the next stage, this time with more clothes and positive impact beyond the dance floor.

This one is also for the people of Vietnam and my friend Louis and His Family who we met on our travels around The Halong Bay.

Take care

Megamix From Breakmastajam

Breakmastajam is breathing some old skool fun into proceedings with this 9 minute throwdown of some classic dancefloor bullets. Probably not far off 50 tracks from the golden era of dancefloor Hip Hop, Electrofunk and Freestyle all crafted into this energetic piece of time piece action

Definitely lifting the spirits and putting a smile on my face as I can't help being transported back to my school days whilst throwing my body around as a failed yet enthusiastic breakdancer from The Boogie Down West Country

Images From 1970's and 1980s New York City

I've started collecting images from the golden era of New York City in respect of its music scenes and people that were part of that special period between the 70s and 80s

Not only are there the more common images from the block parties, vogue balls, discos, clubs and subways there's also some found images of people basically going about their daily business

Hopefully this gives a little more context from a street level perspective outside of the musical references which are well documented and commonly associated with this moment in time

I'm adding more images as I find them and hope to atleast build up an intresting and diverse collection so anyone such as myself can take a look on line

I must admit that my knowledge of the Punk scene around this time doesn't stretch that far so maybe a good excuse to do some online photo digging to see what I come up with

Here's the link to what I've been able to find so far

70s and 80s New York City

Future Islands Full Live Set - Glastonbury 2015

Love the soul these guys have and just wanted to extend the goodness on the blog. OK not the usual thing but good music is good music at the end of the day. Hope You enjoy their full live set from Glastonbury 2015

Watch the lead singer, someone recently said "There's a fine line between genious and insanity"

A Huge Thankyou To Daddy Marcus For Having Me on 1Brighton FM

A huge thank you to Mark Hazelwood otherwise known as Daddy Marcus for inviting me to play on his recent radio show one hot summers Saturday afternoon on 1Brighton FM

We had a really great time picking out tunes to play be it Bananaramma or Eat Static for everyone that tuned in and who put up with us for our 3 hrs

Sadly no recording was made of our banter so I've captured the first bit that was a nod to my days at school investigating US and UK HipHop music as a young music man stepping out onto the dancefloor

There's even some cheeky Go Go in there for The Trouble Funk fans

Not sure when I'll be going back on air but it shouldn't be that long once I pull my finger out

Thanks for tuning in if you were able to and if not this is a sample of what I kicked off with

Raising Money For The Brighton Rocking Horse Appeal - Night Fever At Bikram In The Lanes

A couple of weeks ago my friends BA and Simon who run a Hot Yoga studio in Brighton asked me if I wanted to do something slightly different in aid of our local Rocking Horse Appeal

The charity provides children who are in hospital having a bad time of things a little sunshine and something to brighten up their days. A worthy cause and one that has made be re-think what I would like to be giving back after years of enjoying music as a dj and also a keen dancer in my younger days darting around the country
So, with eagerness and slight reservation having been briefed that I would be playing 90 minutes of music in 34 degrees of heat I jumped in and gave it a shot last Friday as part of my charity fundraising activities here at Go Bang Brighton

To be completely honest, I absolutely loved the experience and the reasons behind what we all took part in as a collective. In all fairness I felt slightly guilty enjoying myself as much as I did on the decks considering we were ultimately there for the kids

However I will definitely be doing more fundraising for The Rocking Horse Appeal with some corporate dates already in the pipeline and hopefully a return back to Bikram In The Lanes for another sweatathon with the guys in the very near future

A huge well done to BA and Simon who put the event on, all the yogies including my Wife who all took part and to all who donated monies so we could make a contribution and start to help give the kids something to smile about

Musically I got to play some lovely Loft Party Mancuso sounds ending up with Bobby Konders "The Poem"  "Love Is The Message" and finally when it was time for the class to lie back on the floor for the unwind "E2-E4" to say farewell and job well done

Here's some pictures taken from the night of all who took part

Doing The Housework To Hardcore Breakbeat 91-93

I’ve wanted to write something regarding breakbeat music for a while now. This has all come about through spending Saturday mornings at home doing the tidying up whilst dipping into Youtube in search of old dj sets from 90s rave parties whilst my Wife has been out of the house in town 

So, some context first and foremost. Having been a keen club dancer up until 1991 and a black music enthusiast from the days of Electro Funk and Street Soul some years earlier, my initial dancing years were spent enjoying all kinds of music geared towards dance floors

For me and as I have come to understand, for anything to positively register there has to be two elements.  A great bassline helps so that my hips get some stimulus and secondly I need to be able to visualise how a piece of music would come across at a dance which is probably why I got into djing and throwing parties 

In regards to dancing I spent many an hour busting moves either on my own or with a dancing partner (shout to Mark Cook on this one) up until the late 90s. Around late 91 I was beginning to realise that the key element in Hip Hop music which I had loved for many a teenage year was beginning to be replaced

The flow and groove on 80’s to mid-90s Hip Hop was beginning to be replaced with a focus on The Gangster Life Style and as such I wasn’t feeling that one bit

Like many breakbeat Djs and dancers who made the move from Hip Hop I followed suit in late 91 early 92 (with my first visit to an all-night rave called Rezerection)
For the following 18-24 months before the gradual demise of breakbeat in Scotland as the ravers opted for a more tougher and harder European sound (Gabber) and in England the split into Darkside  / Happy Hardcore, I immersed myself in the culture of the time 100%

Records were purchased, tapes were collected or exchanged with mates and all- nighters were visited, namely Rezerection (Scotland) where I became a resident DJ for a few months and Fantazia and Universe in England, probably the two most famous of all rave parties England will ever enjoy

Around 94/95 I departed the rave scene and moved into more house based music through the Southwest UK Free Party Scene and the hugely loved Sketch Nights near my home in Somerset where the music was more conducive to dancing and my hips

From then until most recently I’ve ignored those years dancing and listening to Breakbeat but just recently I’ve returned to those days through the wonders of Youtube and with what I think is a more mature and better appreciation of the music than when I was a younger man in search of a thrill

My go to Youtube clips are from three areas. 2 artists/djs and 1 record label that for me have provided my later appreciation of the flow and set arrangement in some of these sets and also that amongst all the speed and harshness of the music there were great moments of musicality although some may scorn at it’s rudimental presentation compared to today’s standards

DJ/artists for Me have to be, Top Buzz and Ellis Dee and in regards to musical output of this brief era Basement Records always were consistent and on point with their ability to combine the darkness of the break with the warmth of the arrangements on top  

Having the benefit of hearing both Top Buzz and Ellis Dee sets taken live from the parties now via Youtube also cements the appreciation once again of why a party is so important and for Me trumps any studio mix recording in terms of actually being at a dance when physically you are not (in my case at home doing the house work on a Saturday with a big grin on my face)

So, which are the Youtube clips that keep me smiling that I would like to share

The Top Buzz one’s are from NYE 91 and Summertime 92. I think 91 has the edge on sense of occasion while Summertime takes the musicality top spot. Both however are superbly put together sets with some superb music topped off with Mad P on the mic for that little extra pomp and ceromony

In regards to Ellis Dee, I was actually at Fantazia’s  The Big Bang which was held in Glasgow. I remember wondering how he would go down considering the Scots love of Bouncy Techno and Gabber. Surprisingly he pulled it off with the help of MC MC and a splendid arrangement of music

The second clip is from a Vision party where about 4 mins 20 seconds in he plays something that sounds absolutely wonderful that supports my view that hardcore breakbeat did have it's more beautiful and less tougher moments

My final clip is from a Basement Records artist called Wax Doctor with the legendary  “A New Direction” which was one of the most loved Jungle Techno tunes of the era

Check out the bassline on this one and also all The Basement Records output between 91-93 to hear why I still hold them in such very high regard within a changing scene at that time that was going in many directions

As MC Ribbz would say “Here We Go Party Crew”


Ali's Backroom Pure Bizzle Mix Vol2

Just over 60 minutes of easy summer time music inspired by my times in the backrooms of various clubs over the years up and down the UK

I managed to get music from the 80s to the current day included from Bristol, London and New York covering disco, funk, downtempo and pitched down house

Even a bit of Rock gets a look in too

Finally a huge thankyou to The Memory Box Boys in London who let me loose on the decks recently with this kind of musical approach which is something relatively new for Me these days

Here's the mix
Hope You enjoy

Not Being A DJ

“Not Being A DJ”

Quite a strong statement to make considering the amount of time I’ve spent playing recorded music (over half my years) and also from someone who has spent over a quarter of their life living in Brighton. A city notorious as a location associated with the noble art of music presentation via the form of playing one piece of music after another

So why now the conclusion that I am no longer a dj or at least not in my mind after spending so many years aspiring to such a descriptive

Well, it’s been a gradual realisation that’s more or less taken around 2 years to go through. Initially it was hard to even consider not having the dj tag let alone hankering after it anymore

I've done a few things that I’ve been extremely proud of whilst involved with presenting music and it was hard at the start of the realisation process having to think that those achievements may not count for that much in the grand scheme of things other than for myself, my family and a few friends who I have made great friendships with over the years

If I'd checked myself as recently as 10 years ago I could say my drive to reach a level of acceptance as a dj was more or less my sole focus having finished a career in Her Majesty’s Armed Services to enable a full on attempt at doing something that was restrictive due to my career yet part of my makeup and personality

Personal circumstance played a huge part as there were many occasions of where I thought I could be doing what they’re doing and would love to do that (djing) that drove me onwards, however  no longer have I any ambition or requirement to do what djs now have to do to remain in the picture

Self promoting, networking, staying up late each weekend, conversations based only on music or having to keep on top of the production output aren't for Me and probably never were

These days a balanced life that includes but isn’t defined by music is the key, a life where the experiences of sharing music with close friends takes precedence over forming associations with people that in any other circumstance wouldn’t see you sat down in the same room together or in some rare instances choice

Of course, a really positive experience playing music to people never goes unappreciated but why all that hassle of having to feed that instead of just letting it happen as and when and of course new friendships are always treasured alongside the old ones that have been formed over many years

I remember asking a respected Newcastle dj for some advice a long time ago and his words remain firmly fixed in my mind years later.

“Its not exclusively about the dj, it’s a combination of the music, the physical environment and the people that fill the space that is the important thing” This being something that I’ve realised transcends the role of the dj as the focus

My hero as You’d expect is David Mancuso who separated  himself from the DJ title in favour of being the musical host

A second person is Sue Tabb who I met when I moved to Brighton

Sue ran a series of legendary private invite parties for a good few years till around the mid 00s. Sue got the spirit of the party right and was able to balance up all the ingredients not just the music and who was playing it to always and without question provide an excellent experience for all her party goers

If there was ever a female version of David Mancuso then Sue would be it in my book

I suppose my ideal situation would be something along the lines of the ethics involved with Mancuso's Loft Party and Sue's Psyclik Parties, invite only, safe environment for all and a soundtrack that supports such a set up

So why write this post now and write it at probably the most important time for me as I don’t put so much weight on djing anymore as I grow older but still love finding and playing music to a dance floor

Well the answer for Me is a simple one having just completed a round of dj gigs (see below) that I feel very fortunate enough to of had recently

Going back to the advice I received from the dj in Newcastle I would now add an extra bit “have fun, and enjoy the friendships that are made" and never take yourself seriously

If You are a bedroom dj reading this I would highly recommend putting on your own parties and enjoying all the experiences that people bring to you. It's not about your social media reach, status or network of music associates. Things run deeper than that and you may even end up settling down with the love of your life whilst also being fortunate enough to bag a few great dj gigs and more importantly life long friendships if you're lucky

Thanks to Brighton Fringe Festival, Brighton Speilgeltent, Cafe 1001 and Memory Box in London
(Sam - English Disco Lovers / Robin, Neil and Paul from Memory Box London) and all my family and friends that enjoyed hanging out these past few weeks

I had a taste of what it was like travelling around with my music and it was good while it lasted however I could never do this every weekend like I wanted to do when I was younger

Below are a couple of pictures taken from the places I’ve visited with my bag of music and the dancers who have danced over the last two weeks as I just accept that there’s more to life than being someone who puts music on in front of people who want to have a dance for a couple of hours

Ali's Back Room Pure Bizzle Mix

Across the board in a backroom style and fashion on this 90 minute string of edge curlers featuring Belouis Some, Barry White, Reverso 68, Marti Caine, Rotary Connection and many more

Brighton Disco Boozer - The Fortune Of War Takes Shape In 2015

I stumbled on the term "Disco Boozer" a considerable amount of time ago whilst considering what type of venues would appeal to a certain age range and within that the musical persuasions of those that would frequent a location that fell into the description. A key aspect was also what situation I would be most comfortable playing music to people as a DJ and as such clubs weren't doing it for Me in Brighton.

At the time there was the beginning of a very healthy local scene surrounding disco music here on the south coast so the connection to playing disco down the pub to people that came to hear such music seemed to fit nicely as an antidote to the local club scene. Plus the music was fantastic and everyone that was slowly picking up on the vibe all came with a lovely attitude and appreciation towards socializing together which helped create something special.

The clubs certainly weren't onto this musical/social concept so fairly quickly places such as The Sidewinder, The Thomas Kemp, The Fishbowl and The Globe became popular locations where groups of people could dance and hear music not played elsewhere whilst in locations that positively encouraged and promoted socializing as part of the attraction.

Sadly, over the last few years things tailed off with the loss of The Fishbowl and The Globe as "Destination Venues" which left things relatively quiet on this scene regarding smaller venues in Brighton that were once popular places to hang out and party on a low key level with similar people.

I suppose to the uninitiated the term "Disco Boozer" conjures up all kinds of connotations be it either a place where old people hangout listening to 70s Disco Mega Mixes whilst dressed in fake afros and 70s get ups or maybe somewhere you can go and hear a host of Paradise Garage and Loft inspired classics mixed up with Nu Disco, Boogie, Re-Edits and the what not?

The key for Me is actually none of the a fore mentioned and to be honest never has been. The real charm lies within a combination of factors that all must complement each other. Without one then the whole attraction is lost and the term "Disco Boozer" completely loses it's meaning and appeal.

So it's been good to see a venue slowly gain some extra interest over the last few months that combines, the right location in Brighton and a mindful door policy that lends itself to a social occasion whilst being complemented by music that goes beyond disco yet never strays too far away in sound or meaning.

The Fortune Of War looks good to reignite something recently lost and is situated on Brighton Seafront but don't let that put you off.

Located just far enough away from the crowds that go for the more commercial dance music experience The Fortune Of War acts as an oasis just like the places previously mentioned did or still do (The Sidewinder with residents Steve KIW and Jeff Daniels) who are holding things down in Kemptown on a regular basis.

There's a string of nights now on the roster that complement the venue extremely well and things are most definitely looking up for anyone wanting something less frantic or troublesome for a night out.

Having been to a few nights and also having played one recently it feels that the "old magic" is returning in a place that for now can attract all the ingredients that go towards supporting a scene far away from the mainstream which was always what made a night down  "The Brighton Disco Boozer" such a good experience on a variety of levels.

Coming Up At The Fortune Of War
Saturday 14th February 

Proper good fun was had at the last one and we are hoping to repeat the same. The resi's Soft Rocks, Tim Rivers (Kalidasa) and Easy Jim will be on hand to smoother you with musical love. And we have a special guest Jex Opolis flying in from far away lands to provide the erection selection. Here is a little bit about our man..

JEX OPOLIS is a Toronto-based DJ and musician with a long n’ painful musical history.

Since morphing his Good Timin’ club nite ( 2010) into a label in 2013, Jex has released three 12-inch EPs of original tunes, designed for the heart and the feet. Blurring club, Balearic and boogie, the EPs sold out briskly & have garnered airplay from top jocks like Ben UFO, Andrew Weatherall and Gerd Janson. When Jex isn’t in the studio or in the DJ booth, you can find him in a cheap rental car, trolling the streets of Buffalo, Detroit & Cincy in search of lost classics from the dollar bin of America.

End Of Night Tunes

Well, it's been a while since the last post on here so it's good to be back

The turn of the year has come and gone and I'm now heading in to 2015 with high hopes of uncovering new music and also some tracks from back in time that have some meaning and still hold up

Of course and without a shadow of doubt, the blog when I started posting back in 2008 was very much focused on spreading the word about disco and boogie alongside the occasional house track. This lead to many things, no more so than the opportunity to dj quite a bit and this is where I'm able to come from with this first written piece for 2015

Tracking my thoughts back over the years whilst remembering some of those special dance floor moments as a dancer from an earlier age, one thing that always struck me as a positive was when the dj would completely "flip the script"

Usually this involved ending their set by playing the last track completely out of keeping with their previous selections

I'm not ashamed to say that once upon a time in a Gay Club in Newcastle I jumped out of my skin when someone played a Spice Girls track at the end of the night

All about the occasion, context and timing over here and less about who's behind the production (well to some degree)

So, with this in mind I've chanced my arm on a couple of occasions over the past 12 months and thankfully I've come out unscathed down the disco so far

I'm probably on borrowed time with all of this but I'm up for it. Guessing how long this is going to last is probably just as much fun as it is deciding on what's going to be played and seeing the reactions

So without delay here are a few tunes that have worked out OK.... More to come over the year on the floors all being well and providing I can still find some of the good stuff that's hiding away

Thinking more Late 80s early 90s Warehouse gear, some good old fashioned Liquid plus what ever comes up that doesn't get played so much from the last 15 years perhaps

Shouts to all the nice and decent folks on the floors keeping their ears and feet open minded 

Mickey Finn - She's Breaking Up 1991

Isotonik - Different Strokes - 1991

Peshay - You've Got Me Burning - 2002

Brighton Audio Nightclub Sold?

Longstanding Brighton club space (Audio) and currently only credible house music go to venue on a week by week basis appears to be changing hands

London based Mothership Group have been mentioned in a tweet as the potential new owners of the much loved and tenacious venue that was formerly known as The Escape or still is to those of a certain lineage

Appears that current and future owners share a strong and agreed vision of the future that should keep the site in keeping with it's long and enduring history in Brighton Clubland

Audio Club retweeted
. is to venture out of London, after the acquisition of , the iconic seafront nightclub and bar.
0 replies 3 retweets 1 favorite

House Not House with 40 Thieves Headpocket Permanent Vacation Mugwump Sebastian Wiekum Tiago KZA Tulioxi BG Baarregaard Neville Watson The Revenge John Talabot and a 70s Porn Star

It's been a marvelous summer this year, so marvelous in fact that there hasn't been that much time to update the blog with new or old music or anything from a Brighton perspective

From secret beach gatherings to checking out live music (Ibibio Sound Machine, Jungle) to djing at some very nice festivals to all dayers playing original disco 12s, some great street parties plus the odd warehouse party it's been a full on monster summer this year either dancing around with friends and family or having a go with the music thing

But as the nights draw in it's time to get back into sourcing some new and not so new music as  we head indoors once again

Recently a friend wanted to know what constitutes house music these days after being all at sea with the magnitude of sub genres that have cropped up over the years. This made me think somewhat

Ask most people and you'd get a myriad of responses, all perfectly valid in the "eye of the beholder" no doubt but varying greatly none the less

So how does one attempt to go about getting to grips with house music these days ? The answer is simple. There's always two kinds of music be it within dance, rock, hip hop or whatever .... good and not so so good

However just picking out what's good and what isn't is just half the story now within electronic based sonics for the floor. With so much on offer the real test is how a track fits in with other tracks, leading to the overall combined output within a dj set and on a dance floor across a period longer than say just 6 minutes (standard 12" duration)

So with this in mind I've picked a selection of tracks that are all good in their own right but somehow all complement the overall mix as a package rather than as a single piece or work

Naturally the selections are all based on personal preference but I would say without any question that each piece is made with soul and passion for music and definitely not as an exercise in going through the motions. Feel free to disagree, it's all subjective and always will be

There's also a throwback to the days of disco and a couple of tracks from a few years back just to check how today's modern sounds fit in with the older gear. From this mix I'd say all's good in certain quarters of the house music community and may that long continue