Rich McGinnis

“When we started Chibuku, we were young, we were bang into what we were into, and nothing could stop us from getting more and more involved.”

So says Belfast born Rich McGinnis who, as promoter of Chibuku, is one of the most important figures in the Liverpool dance scene. Since it was founded in 2000, Rich has been largely responsible for growing the night from a event put on by a bunch of students to entertain themselves, to one of the world’s most respected club brands.

2008 has been another stellar year for the club, and we’ve been spoiled this week with two Chibuku sessions in 8 days. Last week’s Felix Da Housecat headlined event also acted as the closing party for music industry event Sound City, and Rich was pleased with the results:

“It was a good contrast, because pretty much everything else was guitar based, so it was just good to do something dance orientated that was representative of Liverpool. It was in Nation for a start, which is obviously a famous venue for the city, and we also had Futurebound on. He’s a big international DJ now, and he doesn’t play that much in Liverpool.”

This Saturday meanwhile, we have what is unfortunately the last Chibuku of the season. Rich gives us some details of the event: “We’re doing a sort of end of season, end of term event. It’s a cheap price ticket with a decent headliner. We’ve got Boys Noize on who played with us in Liverpool a couple of years ago, but he’s massive now. If you look at his MySpace, he’s literary got two dates left between now and January, and we’ve also got Mary-Ann Hobbs, who a year ago helped us break the dubstep thing in Liverpool.”

It will however be possible to get a bit of a Chibuku fix over the summer, as Rich explains: “Now we’re just getting ready for Creamfields,” he says. “We’ve got the second biggest tent on the site and we’ve got Ian Brown, Erol Alkan, Annie Mac, 2ManyDJs, Luciano, Adam Beyer, it’s just really solid all the way through. It’s a two day event now and people are really getting onto the boutique camping and stuff.”

With Chibuku line ups often filled with some of the most important names in dance music, we have to ask, which has been the one Rich has been proudest to land?

“I think it would be John Peel. We stumbled into it, and we were lucky to get it and we never knew the kind of importance of it until we saw there was three pages on it in his autobiography. It begins with the sentence ‘The highlight of my DJing career was playing at Chibuku.’ And we were like ‘Woah.'”

Quite.

By Kenn Taylor

Saturday 7th June,

Chibuku,

Barfly,

90 Seel Street,

Liverpool,

10pm-3am,

£10 ADV, £8 NUS

http://www.chibuku.com

Felix Da Housecat

The Sound City festival is one of the biggest music events ever held in Liverpool and is attracting some massive names to come and play in the city. But non perhpas as big in terms of international reputation and influence than Felix Da Housecat, the man who spearheaded the second wave of the Chicago House scene.

We catch Felix as part of a big round of international interviews, and he’s a little fatigued by being bothered by the likes of us, but still seems chilled. “I don’t know were I’m going to be next week man,” he says. “Now I just tell my manager, ‘don’t tell where I am playing until like two days before, otherwise my brain just can’t handle it.’”

There’s a reason he’s in such demand. Twenty years ago, a young Felix Stallings Jnr was taken under the wing of acid house pioneer DJ Pierre in Chicago. Their studio tinkering resulted in 1987’s ‘Phantasy Girl’, a hefty underground hit. Despite this early entry into the scene, college and the objections of his parents got in the way of Felix finding early success, but he remained a respected figure on the underground dance scene throughout the 90s. It was the 2001 release of his critically-acclaimed ‘Kittenz and Thee Glitz’ album though, that gained him mainstream recognition, and remix work with superstars like Kylie Minogue and Madonna.

The influence of the electro sounds he pioneered on ‘Kitten and Thee Glitz’ can be now be heard all over contemporary dance and pop.  What does Felix think of the effect his work has had on the music scene?

“Yes, it’s everywhere now,” he says, “but that for me was like seven years ago. Now if I make that sound it seems like I’m copying. It’s like when Daft Punk came out, once everybody started taking vocoders and that stuff, now it sounds like Daft Punk is copying off them. That’s why you got to try and not repeat yourself as an artist, and take things to the next level.”

Indeed, he’s released two studio albums since then, and he’s now keen to get back in the studio to work on his fourth.

“I’ll be starting on the pre-production tomorrow when I get to Atlanta,” he reveals. “I think everybody doubted me on ‘Virgo, Blaktro…’ [Last album] so I’ve got to go back to my roots, where I came from. Because people now they stealing from me, all these hip-hop artist trying to steal my sound. It’s just crazy; I got to prove myself again. I’ve got to get back in that mode.”

Felix has played Liverpool many times, going right back to when we first fell in love with the sounds coming out of Chicago, a city with more than a passing resemblance to ours.  “I’ve haven’t played Liverpool in ages,” he says, “but I’ve got a lot of good memories man. Most of my memories are of Nation back in the day man, and my memories of the first times I was coming over. But a lot of people aren’t realizing that Liverpool and Manchester have a bigger responsibility for the music scene than London did at the end of the 80s when House kicked in. You gotta let that be known man.”

We’ll do our best man.

By Kenn Taylor

Chibuku Presents: Liverpool Sound City Closing Party

Felix Da Housecat, Pendulum DJs, Steve Bug, Phason Vs.Valve Sound System, Lemon D & Dillinja,  Skream, Rich Furness, Yousef, Dom Chung.

Nation,

Wolstenholme Square,

Liverpool,

10pm-6am,

http://www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

Chibuku Ticketline: 0161 8321111

James Barton on Creamfields

10 years old now, Creamfields probably the world’s most renowned open air electronic music festival, and is undoubtedly the biggest credible music held event in Liverpool. James Barton is the founder of both Creamfields and the club that spawned it, and has loomed large over Liverpool’s dance music scene for many years. With the event now established over a decade ago, how does he feel the festival fits in to the Liverpool of today, a European Capital of Culture no less?

“I can answer that quite modestly,” he says, “or I can answer with what I hope it does. The fact of the matter is Creamfields is the only real serious, large-scale music event, not just in Liverpool, but in the North West. The powers that be get excited about Paul McCartney at Anfield, but actually, you know what, Creamfields has sold more tickets than Paul McCartney every year. And I think this year with it being a two-day event strengthens that position as the North West’s only outdoor music event that attracts tens of thousands of people.”

Indeed, Creamfields undoubtedly lands the city more kudos than hosting the Australian Pink Floyd show for the 11th year running at the Summer Pops. But few people outside of dance circles might be aware that Creamfields doesn’t only occur in the shadow of the Runcorn Bridge, but that related festivals are organised by Barton’s firm the world over, and that this Liverpool institution is a real, global brand recognised from Sydney to Buenos Aries.

“Creamfields is a big brand name, not just in the UK, but internationally,” says Barton. “We have events in places like Peru, Czech Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico; I mean we’ve got twelve international shows this year.”

But despite this global presence, Barton feels Creamfield’s Liverpool roots are the foundation of its success: “I think because the company is based and was created in Liverpool, it adds to that quite nicely. From my point of view it is really important to me. I am passionate to the point of frustration to music being central to Liverpool’s cultural life, and I see Creamfields as a big driver of that.”

Indeed, it’s true that the Cream organisation, unlike to many other institutions and individuals in Liverpool, didn’t head for London the moment they found some success.

“We did have an office in London, for about six or seven years,” says Barton. “But we decided a few years ago to close that. For one it was getting financially ridiculous to run, but then secondly we didn’t need to be in London to run any aspect of the business. Then on top of that there is real romance, if you like, that on one hand you’ve got this big massive music industry in London, then you’ve got this festival which is recognised globally and operates globally, and it runs out of this little old warehouse in Liverpool.”

Barton feels that the Creamfields is all about the audience, a festival that despite being one of the most established in the UK consistently attracts a young audience.

“There are a lot of other activities that go on in Liverpool and also Manchester, but Creamfields is a young person’s show,” he says. “It’s about young people and new modern music. We feel really strongly about the show, but we also feel really strongly about the people who come to the show, especially these days when young people are get a real fucking bum deal from the media and the government that alls they’re perceived as being is out of control and all these sort of things. It just winds me up.”

With so much previous success to live up to, what have Creamfields done to build on the event for 2008?

“We felt strongly that the tenth anniversary should be a blueprint for the next ten years,” he states. “It shouldn’t be about a trip down memory land and congratulating ourselves. It should be about saying to people ‘That was the last ten years, and this is going to be the beginning of the next ten years.’ The heartbeat and the history of this festival will always be electronic music, it will always be DJ culture, and it will always be club culture. But, I want to continue with being able to book artists of the calibre and with the genre, if you like, of Kasabian. If that works this year, we will want to step out and find another great band that could do that. But I have to stress if we ever did that, we would still have a massive fuck-off dance line-up.”

To the future then, Does Barton feel that Creamfields might still be a part of Liverpool’s and dance music’s landscape in ten years time?

“We’re one of the longest running festivals in the UK now. We’re not a young festival, but because we can change it or shape it every year, and go in a different direction, or putting a second day on, it makes it really feel like it’s got another ten years on it. So that’s what gives me a lift and that’s what self-motivates us to go on to next year.”

By Kenn Taylor

Chibuku Shake Shake

10 years old now, Creamfields probably the world’s most renowned open air electronic music festival, and is undoubtedly the biggest credible music held event in Liverpool. James Barton is the founder of both Creamfields and the club that spawned it, and has loomed large over Liverpool’s dance music scene for many years. With the event now established over a decade ago, how does he feel the festival fits in to the Liverpool of today, a European Capital of Culture no less?

“I can answer that quite modestly,” he says, “or I can answer with what I hope it does. The fact of the matter is Creamfields is the only real serious, large-scale music event, not just in Liverpool, but in the North West. The powers that be get excited about Paul McCartney at Anfield, but actually, you know what, Creamfields has sold more tickets than Paul McCartney every year. And I think this year with it being a two-day event strengthens that position as the North West’s only outdoor music event that attracts tens of thousands of people.”

Indeed, Creamfields undoubtedly lands the city more kudos than hosting the Australian Pink Floyd show for the 11th year running at the Summer Pops. But few people outside of dance circles might be aware that Creamfields doesn’t only occur in the shadow of the Runcorn Bridge, but that related festivals are organised by Barton’s firm the world over, and that this Liverpool institution is a real, global brand recognised from Sydney to Buenos Aries.

“Creamfields is a big brand name, not just in the UK, but internationally,” says Barton. “We have events in places like Peru, Czech Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico; I mean we’ve got twelve international shows this year.”

But despite this global presence, Barton feels Creamfield’s Liverpool roots are the foundation of its success: “I think because the company is based and was created in Liverpool, it adds to that quite nicely. From my point of view it is really important to me. I am passionate to the point of frustration to music being central to Liverpool’s cultural life, and I see Creamfields as a big driver of that.”

Indeed, it’s true that the Cream organisation, unlike to many other institutions and individuals in Liverpool, didn’t head for London the moment they found some success.

“We did have an office in London, for about six or seven years,” says Barton. “But we decided a few years ago to close that. For one it was getting financially ridiculous to run, but then secondly we didn’t need to be in London to run any aspect of the business. Then on top of that there is real romance, if you like, that on one hand you’ve got this big massive music industry in London, then you’ve got this festival which is recognised globally and operates globally, and it runs out of this little old warehouse in Liverpool.”

Barton feels that the Creamfields is all about the audience, a festival that despite being one of the most established in the UK consistently attracts a young audience.

“There are a lot of other activities that go on in Liverpool and also Manchester, but Creamfields is a young person’s show,” he says. “It’s about young people and new modern music. We feel really strongly about the show, but we also feel really strongly about the people who come to the show, especially these days when young people are get a real fucking bum deal from the media and the government that alls they’re perceived as being is out of control and all these sort of things. It just winds me up.”

With so much previous success to live up to, what have Creamfields done to build on the event for 2008?

“We felt strongly that the tenth anniversary should be a blueprint for the next ten years,” he states. “It shouldn’t be about a trip down memory land and congratulating ourselves. It should be about saying to people ‘That was the last ten years, and this is going to be the beginning of the next ten years.’ The heartbeat and the history of this festival will always be electronic music, it will always be DJ culture, and it will always be club culture. But, I want to continue with being able to book artists of the calibre and with the genre, if you like, of Kasabian. If that works this year, we will want to step out and find another great band that could do that. But I have to stress if we ever did that, we would still have a massive fuck-off dance line-up.”

To the future then, Does Barton feel that Creamfields might still be a part of Liverpool’s and dance music’s landscape in ten years time?

“We’re one of the longest running festivals in the UK now. We’re not a young festival, but because we can change it or shape it every year, and go in a different direction, or putting a second day on, it makes it really feel like it’s got another ten years on it. So that’s what gives me a lift and that’s what self-motivates us to go on to next year.”

By Kenn Taylor

Carl Cox

Carl Cox is a man who doesn’t really need an introduction. But we’ll give him one anyway. One of the world’s most famous DJs and producers, he helped bring about the acid house revolution in the UK, has won innumerable ‘DJ of the year’ accolades, had top 30 singles and several big-selling mix albums, operated several record labels and played at some of the world’s biggest raves.

Amongst his many, many achievements, Carl held a residency at Cream during its 90s heyday. He returns to the Wolstenholme Square venue this Saturday to headline the launch of Circus’ new record label. Cox remembers his days as at Cream fondly.

“Every time I played Liverpool, I had the Courtyard, and I decided I wanted to do a residency,” he says. “And it was always about the music and the crowd for me, and it was where I played some of my best sets. And that was something I was always very proud about.”

Cox talks quickly, eloquently and confidently. This perhaps an outside indicator of the drive that has seen him do so much for dance music over the years. The gig at Circus is one of his first in the UK since returning from working on his fourth album in Australia, and he’s keen to get back on the live circuit.

“I’m looking forward to some good things with this next album,” he says. “So I’m taking my time with it, I’ve got to be happy with what I’ve done, and you know, perform it when I’m done, in the Carl Cox and Friends and the Vital Elements shows. Rather than me just doing my DJing, it will be incorporated into what I do. I won’t be able to do it in all cases, but it will be set up to do it in certain places which allow me to have a stage with the artists on board as well.”

It’s been three years since Cox last played the city, and he’s really glad to be back: “My life has been a roller-coaster, and sometimes I just have to get off it and just think ‘right, I haven’t been here for years, I need to come back.’ Over the last few years, Ibiza has been a massive staple diet for me, and people come to Ibiza from Manchester, Liverpool and surrounding areas on the Easyjet flights, and they’re coming to see me there because I’ve haven’t been able to play at any of these towns. So for me it’s going to be a monumental gig coming back playing at Circus, I’m just going to nail it down shut. Three hours of Carl Cox in the Courtyard, it’s going to be absolute heaven.”

By Kenn Taylor

Friday 2nd May,

Circus Records Launch Party,

Nation,

Wolstenholme Square,

Liverpool,

10pm-5am,

£25 plus booking fee

http://www.circusclub.co.uk

Earl Gateshead – Trojan Sound system

This Saturday, the highly-respected Trojan sound system arrives in Liverpool courtesy of Gold in the Shade, and the event is playing host to some legendary names in English reggae.

Lead selector Earl Gateshead is one of these. A reggae DJ for nearly thirty years, he can also claim to be one of the first non-Jamaicans in the UK to set up a sound system:

“I’m a Geordie originally, which is why I’m called Earl Gateshead, and I got into soundsystems and reggae when I was on holiday in the Lake District. I built my own sound system in London, I started very early on, this is about 1980, and I mixed with a lot of other sounds. We were the first white people to go: ‘F*****g hell, that’s fantastic, I want a sound system’ and to take it seriously. There might have been people in Bristol, but we certainly never knew of anybody before us, white English people making a sound system.”

DJing at clubs and squat parties across London throughout the 80s, Gateshead built up a fierce reputation. In 1986 the Sound Armoury 89 sound system that he was part of played some of the first house records in England, he held a twenty year residency at the legendary Dive Bar in Soho, counted future Faithless’ frontman Maxi Jazz amongst his MCs and set up the world’s first broken beat night at Smithfields.

Gateshead joined the Trojan sound system on its formation in 2004 to represent the legendary reggae label throughout the world. Trojan doesn’t actually tour with its own equipment, but Gateshead believes that they’re still bringing that sound system feel to the club scene:

“We haven’t got an actual physical sound system. But we do take the essence of the system, which is the performance, and we do have the sound effects and the way of personalising a record by performing over it. It’s the same philosophy but without our own bass bins. That way you don’t need a huge crew and a van. It’s hard enough carrying all the record boxes, let alone the bass bins. A sound system is hard work!”

Gateshead is in particular proud to be representing Trojan, the label that he sees as popularising the reggae sound in the UK, and he hopes that the sound system will continue to bring the sound to all of the people:

“We try to show people the positive quality of reggae. Trojan was the record label that brought reggae to Europe really. Earlier labels just reached the Jamaican communities in London and Birmingham, but Trojan took reggae right to everyone. We see that like a personally missionary thing, and we want to spread reggae in that way to everyone. Like Bob Marley said, ‘only them that feels it, knows it.’”

By Kenn Taylor

Saturday 31st May,

Gold in the Shade Presents Trojan Sound System Writing On The Wall Festival Official End Party Selectors,

Magnet,

45 Hardman Street,

Liverpool,

9.00 pm – 5.00 am,

£8.00/£7.00 NUS/£6.00 with WoW brochure before midnight.

http://www.myspace.com/trojansoundsystem

Derrick May

This Saturday, Chibuku Shake Shake will be celebrating eight years at the top of Liverpool’s club scene and, never people to do things by halves, Team Chibuku have assembled an absolutely stellar line up, headlined by one Derrick May. The man who, in short, helped invent the genre of techno

As part of the ‘Belleville Three’ with Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, May pioneered the techno blueprint in the mid 1980s by taking the electropop of Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and New Order and fusing it with Chicago house and his own experimental synthesiser work.

His 1987 release ‘Nude Photo’, on his own label Transmat, helped kick-start the Detroit techno scene. A year later he followed it up with what was to become one of techno’s classic anthems, ‘Strings of Life’. But, disillusioned by the increasing importance of drugs to the dance music scene, and obsessed with achieving perfection, May has not released any original solo recordings since 1993. Though he has produced numerous remixes, worked on video game and movie soundtracks and continues to DJ around the world.

The question has to be posed then, why, with such obvious talent and such an astonishing back catalogue, he doesn’t continue to release his own work?
“A lot of people make music,” May explains, “but not many of them are finishers. Most people don’t really understand what the finishing technique is, but it’s when you honestly tell yourself that you believe you’ve done the best you can and this is the best it can be. I can’t finish a track knowing that somewhere along the line I don’t feel comfortable with it. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t release much music.”

His future projects remain shrouded in a constant air of mystery, a Hi-Tek soul mix compilation he is creating for Ministry of Sound is definitely imminent, and film work is also in the pipeline, but he remains cagey on the details:
“Right now I’m involved in a very exciting project, something that will certainly grab your attention, but I’m not at liberty to discuss what it is. It’s not that I don’t want too, I just can’t mention much more than its work for a film, and an exciting and big one at that.”

Talk then turns to Chibuku. May’s perfectionism might mean we don’t get as much as we’d like from this Godfather of Detroit, but he promises us what he does deliver will always be his utmost, and it shouldn’t be any different this Saturday night: “I’m always excited to be appearing amongst my contemporaries,” he says, “it’s always something that gives me great satisfaction. But either way, I will always give you my best; I will always give you excellence, I don’t deliver halves.”

By Kenn Taylor

Saturday 15th March,

Chibuku Presents: the 8th birthday,

Nation,

Wolstenholme Square,

Liverpool,

10pm-6am

£18, £16 NUS

Tel: 0151 708 5125

www.chibuku.com

Gold in the Shade

This Thursday at the Magnet, Gold In The Shade is celebrating its fifth birthday in good style, with a headline set from legendary musician Roy Ayers. Noel Bent, the night’s lead promoter, explains the ethos behind Gold In The Shade:

“It started with four of us putting the nights on together. It’s always been kind of funk, soul, jazz, and it’s just kind of grown. I think it just got to the point where using just kind of local DJs and bands, it just got kind of stale, so I think that’s when we tried to introduce a few more high-profile sort of people. But still sort of putting on the local talent, because they just kind of complement each other.”

He reveals that Gold In The Shade was founded largely to plug what its organisers saw as a great lack in the city’s music scene. “I’m just a soul boy through and through,” says Bent, “and living in Leeds, living in Huddersfield, there’s loads of venues that push that, and I think Liverpool, I’ve been here five or six years, and I think Magnet’s the only place that really pushes that sort of vibe in this area. I’ve always tried to push that, and just keep true to my soul roots. And it’s been a hard slog!”

Following Ayers’ set on Thursday, the party at Magnet will continue with Noel’s other event, Downstairs Disco, taking over. DD has been one of a few nights in Liverpool recently that have given the much-maligned genre a second look.

“You mention disco to a lot of people,” says Noel, “and they think, ‘oh, it will be all Flares’. But when I think of disco I’m thinking of a lot of rare groove stuff, and the whole kind of Manhattan deep, dirty basement clubs you know. And that’s what disco was about really.”

Despite the continued success of Gold In The Shade, Bent reveals there’s a chance he might quit while he’s ahead.

“It’s been five years,” he says, “five good years. And I think I’m at the point were I’d quite happily finish it this year. There’s only so long you can take something you know? Everything we’ve got coming up is tied up with something else. There’s the Tate, that’s coming up now, we’re doing their twentieth birthday party, and I think things like that are the only way I will probably do Gold In The Shade after this summer.”

Though, if he could get his ideal line up, Noel admits he might be convinced to continue:  “If I could get to put on Chaka Chan, Chic, and probably Gill Scott. If I ever get to put them three on that would be the peak you know? Yeah, I’d carry on for that.”

By Kenn Taylor

Jah Wobble

Teenage friend of Sex Pistols’ John Lydon and Sid Vicious, John Wardle first came to public attention in Lydon’s post-Pistols project PiL. It was here that he gained his stage name, Jah Wobble, apparently from his ‘wobbly’ dub-influenced basslines. Since leaving PiL, Wobble has developed a reputation as one of the world’s most open-minded and radical musicians, collaborating with artists from differing cultures across the globe.

Wobble is involved in two projects here in Liverpool for 2008. The biggest, in collaboration with the city’s Chinese Pagoda Youth Orchestra, which is Europe’s oldest and largest, is Chinese Dub – a mixing of sounds that is intended to mimic the integration of the cultures in Liverpool. A live world premier of their work will happen in the city this summer, as Wobble explains, his thick London accent undiminished by his world travels:

“We’re bringing a load of musicians over from China, and we’re doing a gig at the Carling Academy on the 5th of July. And we’ve already got all the recorded music up online, which was the first part of the project.”

In addition to Chinese Dub, Wobble will be performing live in the city tomorrow, at the first show of innovative Liverpool music collective Hive’s four-part 2008 programme, ‘Twilight City’.  This first event will feature a visual mix of the city’s industrial heritage to a soundtrack provided by a variety of legendary leftfield musicians including dubstep pioneer Shackleton, local krautrock-heads Kling Klang and Wobble himself.

He explains the origins of his involvement with Hive: “It was Gordon Ross at 08 who got the three kinds of music people together, me, the Hive Collective and Hannah Peel. I said to the Hive boys that I would probably like a more left-of-field event and I suggested Jaki, [Liebezeit, radical percussionist known for his work with Can] who’s an old sparing partner of mine, and Phillip Jeck, who I’ve also played with in the past.”

Visitors to the Static Gallery show can expect a totally improvised performance from the trio.  “We’ll just go on stage and play,” says Wobble. “I don’t ever call it jamming, that always reminds me of kind of hippish stuff. All we do is plug into the vibe that’s already going on, which I admit probably sounds like an awfully hippyish thing to say. I don’t ever remember playing a worked out part with Jaki, studio or live.”

In his career, Wobble has worked with everyone from Björk and Brian Eno to Babaa Mal and B.J. Cole, but his next project might see a return to his London roots:

“I’m having a chat with Carl from Madness tomorrow, so you never know. Watch this space.”

Collaborations with nutty boys may be in the pipeline for Jah, but tomorrow and on July the 5th you’ll have the opportunity to come and see something that the Culture Company did right.

By Kenn Taylor

Tomorrow,

Hive Collective,

Twilight City Show 1/4 ‘Industry Versioned’,

Static Gallery & LEAF Warehouse,

Roscoe Lane,

Liverpool,

8:00pm-3am

£8 adv (£10.00 on door)

Timo Mass

Despite buying his first set of turntables in 1982 when he was aged seventeen, it would be some years before Hanover-born Timo Maas would earn his reputation as one of Germany’s finest DJs. His initial gigs consisted largely of him playing top 40 hits, but with the 90s increase in German rave culture, he began to slip in the odd techno track.

Booked to play Circus this Saturday, Maas has DJ’d in Liverpool many times in the past, and, having been initially seduced into techno by the British rave explosion, he’s acutely aware of the city’s role in dance music history:

“When I come to Liverpool, I’m proud of being even just a little part of proper English dance music history, with fantastic crowds and you can’t delete this from your memory.”

Maas cemented his reputation with a residency from 1994 to 1996 at Hamburg’s The Tunnel, then one of the biggest rave clubs in Germany, and it was there that he would produce his breakthrough hit ‘Die Herdplatte’. Maas has since been booked everywhere from Berlin’s Love Parade to the new Pacha in New York, and, having had a few weeks off in January, he’s looking forward to the return at Circus:

“Oh yeah man, when I get chance to be with together Yousef and the boys, I just like it. It’s a really nice feeling coming back to Circus.”

It’s been a few years since Maas released a record. His last was the 2005 album ‘Pictures’, featuring Kelis, Neneh Cherry and Placebo’s Brian Molko. But he reveals he his currently working on a big, new, as yet mystery, project:

“It’s one of Mr Maas’s big secrets. I’ve been working the last twelve months with Martin Buttrich and an anonymous person on a complete new project basically. No Timo Maas, no obvious club thing, electronic music but something really, really different. I consider myself pretty revolutionary,” he says with a wry laugh.

But, despite our pressing, he refuses to reveal anything more: “Not many people know about it, but everyone who knows a little bit about it are freaking out, so that’s good. Let us just say, the needle is in the ream.”

Before he goes, Maas reiterates. He likes playing Liverpool. He really likes playing Liverpool:

“Liverpool is like a stand alone city really, the people up there have their own mentality, I mean they’ve even got their own language. I dig it man, I know many people, all those crazy guys who have got Cream tattoos. Yeah, I like going there, there’s really good vibes and I always have fantastic times in Liverpool. I repeat myself, but I’m looking forward to kicking people’s ass.”

By Kenn Taylor

Saturday 23rd February,

Circus,

Barfly,

90 Seel Street,

Liverpool,

10pm-3am,

£15 adv, £13 NUS

Tel: 0151 708 5051

http://www.circusclub.co.uk