From Queen to Miami Sound Machine - it's B-Boy Discoteque
Author: Michelle Pirovich
Friday, 16 May 2003
"I was listening to a CD and on it was practically every song made between '87 and '94 in ten second breaks and my friends and I ended up trying to guess the songs. As we had such a good time doing it I thought about extending the playing time of each song to 2-3 minutes to keep it flowing. Now I know that this is not new it is after all the origins of hip hop, so the idea was for us to take 80's, funk and disco and play the breaks a la Grandmaster Flash and everyone has reacted really well to it."
Concept understood, I asked Jason for a few examples of what we can expect to hear in a typical night.
"You could hear 'Good times' being played into 'Rapture' into 'Another One Bites the Dust' into 'Last Night a DJ' into anything by 'Miami Sound Machine' who I absolutely love, and then there's another of our DJs Bish, who plays real soul music from the eighties."
Without wanting to put a negative slant on the concept it crosses my mind that the novelty could wear off rather quickly, an issue that Jason has not only considered but taken action towards as well.
"Naturally we don't want it to get all the same as that has been happening too much in the club scene already. Firstly there are a lot of very good 80s tunes out there, we won't be running out of new material for some time and if I play a popular tune like 'Billie Jean' I tend to flip it onto the instrumental side for variation."
"We are also bringing in a live element; I have a guitarist who plays riff solos over the top of instrumental tracks, Danny our congo player and on occasion I'll have some freestyle rappers who work similar to 'The Sugar Hill Gang' in that they talk about the vibe in the very room they are in."
Naturally, one can't have a complete B-Boy experience without the break dancers.
"We are introducing locking and body bopping into the room which will totally amaze and entertain everyone. I actually met the break dancers at the train station who are really living back in the day and when I told them what I was doing they were like, 'sick, we are into anything to further the cause'."
The music of the seventies recently underwent quite a revival and it's now highly obvious that the eighties are next to take centre stage, but why the fascination-
"What makes a good pop track is the familiarity of it, even if people haven't heard it before they think they have. There are people out there who are very open to new music but generally people are more comfortable with something they know and can relate to, it makes having a dance and enjoying themselves a lot easier," Jason explains.
As an ex Brit one thing Jason does miss about the UK are the house parties and for Jason capturing the house party vibe has been essential to the success of 'B-Boy Discoteque'.
"Remember the old block parties- You would have 4 flats together and everyone comes and you walk in and out as you choose, there's the guy with his cans of lager selling them for a pound and people are in the corner having a joint. Back in those days too you didn't have a DJ just the stereo and peoples mixed tapes and CDs that they would bring. That's the vibe I want to emulate, a party vibe as opposed to a club vibe."
"Its not necessarily a dance floor orientated night either, we want to create an environment where people are happy to sit around listen to the music and even meet new people. These days you go to a club and the music is really loud, everyone is off their heads and you can't meet anyone."
Jason even has hosts to ensure everyone feels welcome.
"I have always thought the key to running a club is to make people feel a part of it, so we have a few hosts who me Tags