Princess Julia- London's Clubland Queen (Still) Reigns Supreme
Author: Jonty Adderley
Saturday, March 1, 2003
First coming to public attention as the made-up beauty on her friend Steve Strange's seminal video Fade To Grey (Visage) in the early 80s, she went on to build a career in both fashion and London's elite gay scene, culminating in her latest residency at tribal heaven hothouse Crash.
Always an unforgettable character around London clubland, she's also recently teamed up with Droyds music producer John Taylor in his Euro Trash Boy persona to produce an ultra limited edition electroclash single Eurotrash Boy. With Taylor, she's also remixed Dead Or Alive's massive 80s anthem You Spin Me Round under the appropriately titled name Punx Sound Check Versus Princes Julia.
Chatting to Skrufff's Jonty Adderley in the drawing room of her Bloomsbury townhouse , she's both articulate and enthusiastic about her new record and the electro (clash) scene currently sweeping London.
Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): You Spin Me Round is an absolute disco classic, how on earth do you set about reconstructing it-
Princess Julia: "The project actually all fell into place quite simply, I was approached by Pete Burns because they suddenly had it in their heads that I would be the right person to endeavour to take on the project and immediately I thought of getting John from The Droyds to help. I've been working with him for a while on a different track and I really liked the sound that was coming out of his production. His brashness really suited the tune as well as the brashness of Pete Burns' vocal talents. So when Pete asked me, I said 'Yes but I'll have you collaborate, you'll need to trust me on this project.'
I feel we've managed to keep an energy vibe still coming through the song without going back to the high energy sound of the original. I wanted to keep the new mix simple and almost naïve. That high energy style is complex, and so is electroclash but it comes across in a different way. I've played the new mix out in clubs quite a few times and everyone loves it. Pete is also so charismatic and quite freaky- in one way he's extraordinary then in another way he's very down to Earth."
Skrufff: How much has your paths crossed with Dead Or Alive previously-
Princess Julia: "Well I'm from their era, I'm actually the woman from the Fade To Grey video (chuckling ironically). The first time I met John he was telling me 'You're an icon' and I'd be saying to him 'don't be so ridiculous'. It's quite odd. I've always been involved in the club arena and night life, I used to work in the Blitz club for example. I've always been enormously excited by all forms of dance music, I love it so much so I've always sought out these interesting places.."
Skrufff: You also play at Crash these days which is a long way from electroclash, what's you're approach there-
Princess Julia: "Crash is different, it has its own music policy which is about tribal house with a bit of disco fusion, doodah chucked in- that was it's format so I had to work within their agenda."
Skrufff: Do you feel any temptation to ditch tribal house entirely in favour of electroclash-
Princess Julia: "I always do the back room at Crash and I've always had a policy of playing 'eclectic', to use that tired word. I tend to take risks and play a journey type of set so I've always been able to inject various styles into an overall story of dance music. What I tend to do as a DJ is merge (chuckling and savouring the word). I merge. DJing is an organic experience (chuckling again)- does that sound a bit art schooly- It evolves all the time, it's always growing and there's always something flourishing. I think it's important to make everything grow together, I don't like compartmentalising different kinds of music, I prefer to mesh things together. And hopefully they all work."
Skrufff: Loads of 8 Tags