We continue our round-table-style Question Time interview series with the help of three respected heads with some opinions worth sharing.
A veteran of UK dance music, Neville Watson didn’t just grow up on the acid house boom, but he owned a record shop in Windsor selling the stuff (reports of a newly-wed Prince Charles queuing for a new Josh Wink 12″ still remain unconfirmed). By 2004, Mighty Atom and the shop’s eponymous label were gone, but a collaboration with Kink a couple years later gave his career a fresh lease of life and he hasn’t looked back. Dublin-born Dec Lennon – more commonly goes by the name Krystal Klear – holds down a residency at Hoya:Hoya, heads up the Cold Tonic imprint and has penned releases on Kerri Chandler’s MadTech and Rinse. He also doesn’t shy away from expressing his mind, as demonstrated in his thought-provoking Perspective piece for Boiler Room.
Chairing a discussion between the two is Benji ‘Semtek‘ Roth, DJ producer and label head for the much-respected imprint Don’t Be Afraid. At first acting as a platform to release his own work, DBA has opened its arms to Mr Beatnick, MGUN and, as of this year, Neville Watson himself. As luck would have it, all three are involved in the Don’t Be Afraid x Cold Tonic Alterntive Xmas Office Party in Bristol, so the timing of this round-table just couldn’t be better!
Semtek: You both play regularly at home and abroad. What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a punter?
Neville Watson: “I don’t suppose you know where my friend left her shoes do you?”
Krystal Klear: A punter requested Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen when playing at a rave and when I told the lass I didn’t have it she looked like I had slapped her with a pineapple.
Semtek: It’s a fine line between ‘top of your game’ and ‘top of your lame’ in 2015 with lots of pressure on DJs to earn more money and cross over into the mainstream. Can house music exist in the mainstream without returning to its shady handbag past though?
KK: Of course! It just takes a lot of digging, refining and self control (something I don’t have a lot of when it comes to playing records) because there are plenty of rare or ‘underground’ records that will engage the audience and get them going nuts in the same regard to whatever big room nonsense that they are listening to perhaps in the charts or on soundcloud or whatever it’s just all about presentation.
Semtek: You’re King of the Internet for a day. What changes would you make to your newfound kingdom and why?
Neville: Shut down Facebook.
KK: I’d get rid of it.
Semtek: One mix from the past year you would recommend and why. Can’t be one of your own. Go.
Neville: This one from Krysko. This man is a seriously fine selector and he has that sound all great residents have; pulling out interesting nuggets, rather than all the current bangers, without turning it into a navel gazing snoozefest.
Semtek: Outside of music what has been the best aspect of 2015 and what has been the worst for you?
Neville: Worst was seeing the Tories get back in. Best was seeing Jeremy Corbyn win the Labour leadership.
KK: Worst is the way the world is and all the brutal shit thats destroying it and the best has been the amount of shocks and surprises in my personal life.
Semtek: People have developed a laudable but nevertheless curious desire to take their parents to in 2015. What do your parents think of what you do and have hey ever attended your gigs?
KK: I don’t know If I would necessarily take my parents to Berghain but I am extremely lucky to have two very supportive parents who always want to see me play out and have done on numerous occasions.
Neville: Well, you know my dad was at my album launch, Benji, so that’s a yes. I don’t know if I would subject them to Berghain though. Mind you my dad looks a bit like Patrick Stewart so I he might be quite popular. My mum and dad, bless then have always been wholeheartedly supportive.
Semtek: on a similar note: Claire Danes passed the stringent Berghain door test and ended up on Ellen relating her love of techno earlier this year. Which celebrity dead or alive would you most like to end up in a club with?
Neville: I wouldn’t mind seeing how James Corden would get on in the Laboratory.
KK: Jean Michael Basquiat.
Semtek: Excluding nerdy gear requests and booze, what do you hope to find in your Christmas stocking this year?
Neville: I just want to see peace on Earth. Not in my stocking obviously, but
actually on the Earth.
KK: New York.