Gigantic Is Fucking Class

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Gigantic is fucking class. It really is. I know I’m dead biased, and I always bang on about it, but Friday night made me wile happy. When you’re promoting a club night every week, you never really know how it’s gonna go, and when things happen that have never happened before, then you know it’s been a good one. Here are the highlights for me:

  1. Playing nothing but post-punk for the first hour, and having people dance to it. When people are getting their groove on to bands like !!!, Radio 4 and Friendly Fires, it makes me feel hella good.
  2. The new smoke machine. It’s amazing how much more the lighting in the club stands out with a bit of smoke. This combined with the red lighting in the room makes it come across like the kind of place you might find in Berlin. Which I love, obviously.
  3. Having a plate of digestive biscuits with cheese and butter brought to the DJ box (props to Michael for this!). It’s safe to say this was the first time I’ve ever had blue cheese with digestives while DJing, but I don’t think it will be the last. I even got myself a wee glass of red wine to go with it. Good living.
  4. Miguel and Claire getting their vogue on to Madonna. And Miguel’s moves in general. He’s pretty much the only guy I have ever seen do real life slut drops. Absolute hero.

My own personal music highlight was playing this song in a DJ set for the first time ever. Played the live version too, because it’s immense.

As always, big ups to all the regulars like Stu, Hollie, Debra, Jamie, Beth, Miguel, Ben, Liam, Claire. Chris. Shauna, Davina, Kim, Dave and everyone else who shook a tail feather.

Jonny.

Throwback Thursday: The Knife

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For some reason the Jose Gonzalez version of this song has been playing everywhere I have been for the past few days. It is a great cover version, and one that some may argue is better than the original. It totally changes the style of the track, but to be honest The Knife edge it out for me. I’m just a sucker for electropop.

This used to be a bit of an anthem at Gigantic, with some of the regulars asking for it every week. Totally spoiled getting requests like this. A joy to play.

Two For Tuesday: Ships

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Ships are a slightly mysterious two-piece electropop act from Dublin. If electroclash didn’t seem like such a dated term, you could use that here too. They would put you in mind of Ladytron, with a dash of The Human League thrown in for good measure. There is dark edge, but it’s all moulded with a bit of a funk. These two tracks are from a double a-side single they put out a while ago. Well worth a dash of your chosen currency. Get it here, and get to know them on Facebook too.

Jonny.

FAUX’s Friday Bangers

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Greetings earthlings! As the previous post pointed out the Christmas period was hectic craic, non-stop fun and constant vibes. It was also an absolute pleasure DJing so much with Jonny Tiernan, even more pleasurabe given that he is a jet-setting maverick who could be in any country, at any time. nobody knows (i think he’s in Poland this weekend? driving there, no doubt in a top spec German engineered automobile). Anyway, here’s a selection of bangers to keep you warm on a terrifyingly windy January Friday.

DOOF! As simple as it is savage, like a rhythmical riot. listen to this loud, very loud. Then make rave faces, you know the ones.

The first Spank Rock single in a few years and with production from Boys Noize Records, it does not disappoint. The Baltimore born and influenced artist raps over explosive drums and a womping baseline from the German label head. Punk the base.

Another massive east coast sound was the Philly Soul scene. Teddy Pendergrass was one of the pioneers of this disco inspiring genre and this track is one of the biggies from the time. Dimitri From Paris gave it a rejig 33 years later to keep it fresh for dance floors and the result is beautiful. Rolling vibes from start to finish. Also, DJ Sneak sampled it. So you know it’s good.

Have i posted this recently? don’t care, still amazing. This track has everything, saccharine sweet vocals by Mariah, ODB spitting absolute nonsense (Me and Mariah go back like babies with pacifiers) and an effing chugger of a bassline sampled from the Tom Tom Club. Time to strut whilst dribbling down your chin.

FAUX

Two Weeks, Total Craic

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Maybe it’s my advancing years, but it just takes me that little bit longer to recover from a session than it did in my youth. And given the sheer number of mega sessions I had in Belfast over the Festive Fortnight, it has taken me up until now to feel like a normal(ish) human being again. I tried to cram in as many DJ gigs as possible during my two weeks back in Belfast, and while they were all in the wonderful behemoth that is Lavery’s, each night was completely different. Here are my highlights, and the tunes that stuck out with me for each.

The Vs Battle with Pete Woods

So, it’s the first night that I’m back and it’s a case of starting as you mean to go on. Pete Woods and I were having a DJ battle, playing back-to-back all night, and it’s fair to say things got a little bit out of hand. The club was totally sold out by midnight, and we took advantage of the packed dancefloor by playing some absolute bangers and nonsense. To be honest, I looked over my playlist and was like “Did we really play that?!”, but I guess we did! It was also the first night I got to play this remix, which was about bloody time. Pete played a stormer, and I can’t wait to DJ with him again.

Monday Night Oscillate Insanity

Monday night, yeah? Quite one, yeah? Nothing too heavy, yeah? WRONG. The FAUX boys have taken over Monday nights in Lavery’s Back Bar, and the brief for the night is electronic music, from every avenue with no restrictions. They invited me down to play on the last Monday before Xmas, and given the music policy I was all over it like a sexy rash. It was an opportunity to unearth the kind of tracks that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to air. You know when you’re dropping Dave Clarke followed by Gesaffelstein before 11pm, and some random guy is screaming in your face telling you that he loves it, that it’s all going to go completely off. And it sure did. Couldn’t believe how many people were going absolutely nuts to this track when it was played.

And I must let it be known that Scott FAUX is a true hallion who kept giving me beers, and the consequences were less than desirable the next day.

Monday night raves for the absolute win.

The Gigantic Boxing Night Dance Party

What better way to work off the overeating and indulgence of the holidays than by dancing it clean off at Gigantic? No better way. It was once again another total ravetastic danceathon. This time it was the turn of Mark FAUX to completely destroy the club. I DJ’d back-to-back with him, and the vibe was that we would play nothing but quality dance music all night. And this we did. It ran the gamut from funky house and disco reedits, to outright techno (hello Crispy Bacon!) and silly bangers. The crowd went pure bananas too. By the end, everyone was crowded in the front of the DJ set up, pumping fists and roaring. This got dropped, and it was just ridiculous. It also ended up being a fixture of every DJ set I played after that. Sometimes steaky bangers rule.

The highlight for me though was when Mark played this as the last track. It’s one of my favourite songs of all time, and I wasn’t sure how it would go down at the end of the night, but to my surprise everyone loved it and danced like champs. Of course, we should have left it there, but we ended up playing three more ‘last songs’ instead and really tore the hole out of it. Still, Christmas etc.

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New Years Eve

Ah, New Years Eve, it’s a tricky one alright. On one hand, everywhere is always bunged and people are mad up for the party. On the other hand, everyone tends to go too big too soon, and we all know a night out should be a marathon not a sprint. The Ballroom of Lavery’s is now like a fuppin super club. Massive visuals screen, incredible lights, and a wicked stage set up. When the countdown approached the atmosphere was amazing, and at the stroke of midnight loads of confetti rained down and it felt proper magical. Loved it. It turned into one big party, which also turned into an after-party, which then turned into an after-after-party. I’m not R Kelly, so there was no hotel lobby. It was mega craic all-round. This was my favourite tune of the night, and this one goes out to Paul Dickson, who was doing the lights at the club and dancing on stage like a champ.

Beat Connection Beats

As well as all of the special events over the period, I also DJ’d the Saturday nights at Beat Connection in the Ballroom of Lavery’s. Of course, while these might not be ‘special’ one-off events, they’re still completely incredible. As I said above, the set-up is just so good now and it’s such a good club to play in and be a part of. I tend to play stuff that is a bit more dancey, and it’s great to see people going for it. The crowd has been really good on the Saturday nights too. Each week, this is the track I had been using for soundcheck, and I also dropped it in two of my sets. I was surprised at how much it went off each time, and it really made my night.

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And a final special bonus mention has to go to Oisin DSNT for the last Saturday I played before heading back to Berlin. Oisin and I always have the best craic when we are working together. He does the visuals for the club, creating the content and setting the identity, and also being the VJ on the night when he can. DJing alongside him is max banter, because 1) he is always up for dancing, and 2) he has pretty good taste in music, and 3) he loves camp disco. Every time we are on stage together it just seems to get a bit more ridiculous, and last Saturday was the absolute pinnacle. Paul Dickson was doing the lights on stage too, and both Mark FAUX and Scott FAUX were there too, and on numerous occasions we all ended up dancing together like eejits. For some reason, this song popped into my head earlier in the day, and it turned out I didn’t have it in my collection. I figured I would buy it, and if the moment came then I would have it to play. Well, with five guys dancing on stage it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to drop it. I felt it was a bit of a gamble, and I wasn’t sure if it would work, but to my delight everyone went mad for it.

Big big love to everyone who danced and hung out in the club when I was back. Special mentions for Cat, Suzie, Rosie, Katie, Simon, Teena, Hollie, Tom, Kim, Carly, Nik, Rachel, Nadine, Erin, Pascaline, Aaron, Matt, Robbie, Piars, Mark, Molly, Dave, Lisamarie, Lily, Tracy, Stu, Paul, Samantha, Sarah, Dermot and every other lovely dancer. It was great to see old faces and new folk. 2015 has a lot to live up to.

Jonny.

Saturday Looks Good To Me #2

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It’s time for a bit of dance music. Tbf, it’s nearly always time for a bit of dance music, but it’s especially important to indulge a bit on a Saturday. These are three tracks that I’m gonna try to squeeze into the dancey part of the sets I play on a Saturday night in the Ballroom of Lavery’s.

First up in a nice little groover from Julio Bashmore. He has a deft touch, and this tune bubbles along on a nice little funky bass. Good one for the early part of the night.

Some people out there probably think that Duke Dumont is all about the chart house bangers, but he’s not, as this acid tinged track illustrates.

And finally we have Chris Laker completely turning Prince on his head. Just can’t get enough of this edit.

As always, if you’re in Belfast tonight, head to the Ballroom of Lavery’s for beats, bass and banter.

Jonny.

Friday Bangers #45: Pete Woods Vs Jonny Tiernan

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This evening at Gigantic Pete Woods and Jonny Tiernan are facing off against each other in a DJ Battle To The Death! (Or, At Least Until Someone Cries). Here they pick out there tunes each, engaging in a little sparring before tonights fisticuffs. We’re calling this one a draw so far…

Pete:
I’ve been playing to a bunch of different crowds recently, and one tune that they all go mad for is this one. Young, Old, Really Old, Really Really Old and over 50’s all love it, so they do.

Jonny:
Sticking with the classic theme, this track samples the timeless beauty of Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’, and adds a nice dose of laidback funk. Pretty good way to start the night.

Pete:
Lil Durk bodies this, Dej Loafs original is great also, well worth checking out. The whole Drill scene is really interesting, but Durk is head and shoulders above the rest in my opinion.

Jonny:
Still crushing on the Shamir tip. Fired up one of his tracks on the blog last week, and this one is getting picked out for Rosie, as she has already advance requested it for tonight. The early bird gets the ear worm.

Pete:
The track that broke the internets this week. Everyone going mad about Maya Jane Coles letting Nicki sample What They Say, and forgetting that whenever she’s not talking about Anacondas Nicki Minaj can actually rap. Drake’s pretty sick on this, and Lil Wayne comes through. Will be rinsing this.

Jonny:
This is a bit of a cheap shot, but I know Pete is a fan of Paleman, so I’m gonna play this in my set tonight before he can. Under the belt, yo!

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Pete Woods’ Mixed Up Christmas

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Now that we’re well into December and things are starting to get a bit more Christmassy, I decided to do a bit of a blog post about my favourite Christmas tunes. We’ve our Origin Office Party on Saturday 20th in the Menagerie, with me and DSNTs Seb Munroe going back to back and Chris Hanna headlining! You can also catch me and Jonny doing them decks the night before at Gigantic as well!

Starting off I’ve picked ‘River’ by Joni Mitchell, because I wanted to get the slow, beautiful ones out of the way before things took a turn for the worst.

I love the way you can just about hear the Jingle Bells riff on the piano chords, and Blue is just one of those albums I don’t think I could ever tire of. I remember as a kid my mum and dad playing it once a month, almost like a tradition. The second best Christmas song of all time in my book.

Next was a toughie for me, because every single track on this album is worthy of a mention. I went for this one because I don’t think that out of any of the Phil Spector artists Darlene Love gets enough recognition.

Everyone knows how incredible the Crystals and the Ronnettes were, but her voice kills it differently, it’s a lot less polished and poppy and because of that, the emotion in this song is so powerful. Thank you Phil Spector for that wonderful Christmas gift by the way, 51 years later!

Right, now onto the crap, and boy is there a lot of it. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 songs that should never, ever have seen the light of day, but fuck am I glad they did. Prepare your sides.

We start with some J-pop (or is it K-pop? I’m not sure) with DMX on hype man duties [WHAT?] There’s a video of DMX going hard with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer I’ve included as well, but this is just surreal. WHERE MY ‘DEER AT?!

Large up Evan Green as well with his delightfully witty comment of “X gon give it to ya. Christmas presents, I mean.” that I definitely would have stolen had it not been so high up the page.

Remember crunk? Unfortunately Lil’ Jon managed to rebrand himself as EDM’s “drop alert” man, taking his habit of shouting random shit from Usher songs to DJ Snake’s ‘Turn Down For What’ and continuing to steal a living in the music industry. Fortunately however, his cohorts the Ying Yang Twins have dropped off the face of the planet. We still have this to remember them by however! Undoubtedly one of the worst pieces of music ever recorded.

Noticing a pattern here? Hip hop artists love them some Christmas, as evidenced by Afroman’s entire ALBUM of novelty Christmas music. I’ve opted for the seminal ‘O Chronic tree’ but other highlights include ‘The 12 J’s of Christmas’, ‘Afroman Is Comin’ To Town’, ‘Deck My Balls’, and ‘Violent Night’. Phenomenal.

Full album is here, if you’ve just smoked a 20 to yourself and have absolutely nothing better to be doing!

Again, there’s a pattern here. Crass sexual references aplenty, and another Christmas classic butchered. RIP Eazy!

I put myself through finding this so you wouldn’t have to. I wanted to find the worst remix of any Christmas song I could, and I found some truly horrific pieces of music but none more so than this. If you can make it past the first drop, fair play. Let’s just say I won’t be playing this out this holiday season, or ever again if I can help it.

I will, however, be playing this. Everyones favourite techno tune, Xmassed up. Class video of Surgeon playing this as his last tune in Glasgow on Boxing Night a good few years back included also. Big Jeffrey on this coming Boxing Night as well, bit special.

Pete

Throwback Thursday: Right Outta Space

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OK, it’s time to bring Throwback Thursdays down from orbit. They’ve been off in space for the past while, their absence filled by Friday Bangers. As a tribute to the fact that they have been harbouring in the cold recesses of the universe, today is a space theme.

Kicking the post off, we have the first Space Dimension Controller track we ever heard. It was merely a taster for the galactic funk madness that was to come on his debut album Welcome To Microsector-50. We also wish he’d bring back that dress sense. Outlandish.

We were then inspired by that track to post this one from Antoni Maiovii. It’s from his sort of concept album Shadow Of The Bloodstained Kiss, which we strongly recommend investigating. It’s dark, moody italo disco of the finest order.

And to round off the space theme, there is a remix of the usually untouchable David Bowie. It’s actually pretty subtle, and has a tinge of the 80s in there too, which is always welcome.

Bet you thought we were gonna post up Babylon Zoo too…

Friday Bangers #44

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Kapow! It’s the weekend up in yo face! To get your party started, here is a dose of Friday Bangers. Make sure you take them with plenty of water, OK?

First up is a bit of a throwback banger. This tune came out way back in 2006, but you know what? It never got big enough. It should have been HUGE! Just listen to it ffs – a big clappy breakdown, humungous synths, and sexual bass. What more could you want? Men, Women & Children only put out one album, but you should defo make out with it right now. And just for fun, have a listen to Glassjaw after, then do some research to find out why that is a geg (unless you get the reference already). Also, for an Irish tip, if you dig this you should check out Ed Zealous, who are like the Belfast Men, Women & Children (Paul Irwin, amirite?!).

Credit for this next tune has to go to Kelly Hunter who brought it to our attention earlier this week. It’s proper fresh, just out for a few weeks. Really digging the subtlety in this song, it skips along merry as anything, and throws dashes of texture into the mix when it feels like it. Hopefully hear a new Lonelady album in 2015.

And this tune is inventive dance music that has one foot in the past, and one foot in the present. It is doused in Detroit fumes and Chicago soul, full of depth and kick. And you might think that is a diva singing, but it’s just Shamir and his wondrous falsetto. The whole Northtown EP is well worth your investigation, and there is way more to it than dance vibes.

Tonight, the FAUX DJs are kicking it at Gigantic in Belfast, and if you’d like to head to the club, hit up the Facebook page for guest list.

Jonny.