Peer to Peer with JOE MUGGS

Peer to Peer is a brand new interview series on the Weekly Review of Dance Music where I chat with writers in the music industry who are all very much on my level. I'll be knocking about with the great and the good dance documenters in much the same way as Elvis Presley might have had a drink with Muhammad Ali, or The Beatles might have shared a recording studio with Pablo Picasso. Know what I mean?


On Saturday morning, I lounged around smugly in the foyer of The Connaught with one of the worlds best dance music writers and shared more than three bottles of Veuve Cliquot yellow label posh booze, several bags of prawn cocktail crisps and one really long conversation. If you've bought a copy of Mi**ag or the Guardian Guide in the last few years, or read any online dance music magazine you'll be aware of the name, Joe Muggs. If you still haven't got a fucking clue who he is, go straight to the first question and find out. He's up there with the likes of me, Philip Sherburne, Thomas Cox and Kristan J Caryl at the very top of a very small mound of very good international music writers.

What is this not? Peer to Peer is not a cynical plan for me to associate myself, and WRDM, with more established and critically acclaimed writers with a view to securing PAID work with larger organisations and selling myself down the canal; it is simply an educational tool and a reference for all of my younger readers who are looking to get into music journalism. Peer to Peer is a bit like the RA Exchanges, but without the brown-nosing. Read on and think on, kids.

Here is the transcript of our conversation, transcribed by Joe's personal assistant, Pauline.

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Q. For anyone unfamiliar with the name Joe Muggs, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A. I'm Joe, I'm 40, I listen to brostep in the kitchen while eating crisps, because I haven't really grown up.

Q. Was establishing yourself as a music journalist really hard or easy peasy?
A. It was really, really hard. Even after I'd started getting regular jobs for national papers I still had a part-time day-job at a GP surgery for several years - so I'd be flown to New York to interview Sean Paul or Vienna to spend three days hanging out with Basement Jaxx, then the next day I'd be on the phone to a district nurse about an OAP's louse infestation. Gave me a sense of perspective I suppose.



Q. At the moment, I feel like the Mad Rapper in Life After Death compared to a few other certain dance writers. How long did you feel like the Mad Rapper before you stopped being bitter and started working harder to get recognised for your writing genius?
A. Actually, because I didn't start taking journalism seriously until I was about 30, I've always felt pretty fortunate to get ANY work when I was surrounded by people who'd been hustling away and honing their skills from the age of 16.

Q. You write for loads of different on and offline magazines and papers now. Who's cock/pussy are you sucking/licking for you to have so much work coming your way?
A. Standard Faustian pact. I'm going to be George Osborne's helmet polisher in hell for all eternity.

Q. Clap or snare?
A. v v v v v v v



Q. How did you come up with the moniker, Joe Muggs, as a writing name? Did you ever toy with prefixing your name with initials, like a proper writer, or suffixing it with something more exciting and futuristic like Da Word Masha (Joe Da Word Masha) or Da Sentence Freak (Joe Da Sentence Freak)?
A. Rather prosaically, I was performing at a spoken word event many years ago, and the promoter found "Mugford" too long for his poster, so shortened it, and it stuck. Only later did I discover that I was now a chain of coffee shops in book stores in America. I do have some other aliases though - you may have seen my work published here and there as 'Caitlin Moran' or 'Simon Reynolds'.


Q. Talk me through your working process, from a practical level. How do you write your articles? Are you an all day note maker like me or do you dedicate blocks of time to whatever you're working on and plough through? Or are your methods secret?
A. I spend all day acting a berk on Facebook, and then write everything in double quick flurries of panic.

Q. What equipment do you use for your work? (E.g. I use an Apple iPad2 and my Nokia 100 mobile phone for notes before transferring to my black Samsung laptop for completion in Microsoft Word. All artwork is done using Google Images, YouTube, Snipping Tool and Microsoft Paint.)
A. I record interviews on my iPhone, then type everything on my Macbook Air which is covered in smudges and banana-scented scratch-and-sniff monkey stickers which the kids put on, and has the "r" and "fn" keys falling off. I never meant to be a Mac geek but the distribution company I do A&R for bought me a computer in lieu of a raise one year, and then I succumbed to getting an iPhone because "they work well together". And I use GIMP to draw think-bubbles onto photos of Kanye West.



Q. I was on a panel of speakers at this year’s LEME discussing the future of music journalism. I embarrassed myself by being drunk, zoning out half way through, not being funny and not being able to articulate myself in any way compared to the other people on the panel. What is the future of music journalism?
A. I have done much the same. I would like to think it's theartsdesk.com - a co-operative of specialist journalists, trusting one another to represent their particular specialism to its best advantage. I strongly suspect that if paid journalism in any specialist fields is going to survive at all, it'll be through some kind of enlightened corporate patronage - Red Bull and Bandcamp being good examples of people who are sponsoring good and more-or-less independent music writing - but honestly: fuck knows.

Q. Nine times out of ten, the DJ will look incredibly serious in press photographs whilst their personality off camera is usually properly fucking ecstatic about life. Are the media demands for moody looking DJs appropriate given that the DJs and the people who actually go to clubs get high, play/listen to their favourite music and have some of the happiest times of their lives? Know what I mean? We're not talking grunge or emo. It's fucking dance music.
A. So you'd prefer magazines full of Fatboy Slim then?


Fatboy Slim, enjoying his job.

Q. Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A. Well, my wife and I did once invent a cocktail called The Peckham Nosedive: 50ml cornershop vodka and 50ml Benylin, stirred well, over ice.

Q. As a professional writer, do you see yourself sticking around music or do you have ambitions to progress in other fields? If so, what fields are open to you?
A. Oh I'm in it for the long haul, but as I get the leeway to be more indulgent, I'll inevitably cross over more into other arts, I'm very interested in culture/tech/science crossover, and I'm definitely up for doing more on broader social context for music & subculture as in this podcast I did with a friend: unevenlydistributed.net/joe-muggs 



Q. Me aside, what other writers are you into at the moment?
A. Always love reading David Toop and Philip Sherburne, been greatly enjoying Lauren Laverne's insight and turn of phrase recently, and I do like Alex Macpherson: I disagree with him as often as I agree but I love his singular voice and sometimes bloody-minded sticking to his guns.

Q. What advice would you give to any young readers of WRDM who are looking to get into music journalism?
A. Well other than the obvious "have a day job" - pay very, very close attention to how your work is corrected by editors. That's the only way you really learn. If you're lucky you'll find an editor who will dissect your work giving you very detailed notes on what works and what doesn't, which bits are not suited to the publication's house style etc. I had this with Andrew Harrison at Word and Mixmag, and it was probably the most valuable single contribution anyone's ever made to my ability to earn in the long term.

Matthew Wilcock, crossing the Mersey.

Q. Is there anything you'd like to plug on here?
A. I'm managing a couple of guys:

Jabru, who did this beautiful song soundcloud/k7-records/church has a track on JD Twitch's Bucky Skank label boomkat.com/jd-twitch-d-jah-clark-jabru and did this outrageously great DJ mix soundcloud.com/ninja-tune/solid-steel-radio-show

Matthew Wilcock who's an outrageously talented sound designer, now making glitchy beats and deep ambient stuff:



And here's some of my DJ mixes:
GRECTRO MIX

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What a lovely young man! Please join me in wishing Joe Muggs all the very best for all of his future endeavours and, if you have a heart, get behind the two lads he's managing these days.

FYI: Joe will be playing a DJ set of ambient filth, fambient dub, dreampop, droning chill, sub-industrial hip-hop-electro and the deepest ever house at the Ace Hotel on Tuesday 21 October. Lads, it's supposed to be brimming with European model type birds down there so DIARISE it, stock up on Lynx Africa and go along: acehotel.com/lobby-tuesday-joe-muggs 

NEWS JUST IN: Joe Muggs is also playing some tunes at The Ace Hotel next Tuesday (23 September and all). He must have a monthly residency or something.

In a fortnight, Peer to Peer with Julie Birchill will see her answering the questions: 'why haven't there ever been any good lady guitarists' and 'if someone had a gun to your head and you HAD to suck off one of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony whilst the other four members take turns to smash your back doors in, which one would it be and why?'

Stay tuned...

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Some More Brilliant Hilarious Lookalikes

Fuck me, here's some more Hilarious Lookalikes! LOLoutLOUD. If there's one thing that makes me laugh more than anything else in the world, it's looking at people who look like other people. LOL. Honestly, I'm fucking cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West as I write this because I'm thinking about the second lookalike in the list that I'm about to present to you. PISSMSL!

Here's one that will make you laugh though:


Can you imagine if that bloke out of The White Stripes soundalikes, The Black Keys, went on Pointless? I'd tune in and watch it if only to see what it would look like to see the bloke out of Pointless stood next to the one off of The Black Keys who looks just like him! Hahahahaha.

This is the best one. Check this out here:


Michael McDonald was a singer in the eighties who specialised in singing songs that were used in colourful,eighties beach films in America. Whenever people talk about DJ Falcon they always mention Daft Punk in the same sentence. See, even I just did so then. I'll tell you what though, you're more likely to see Daft Punk supporting Dave Clarke down Atomic Jam in Birmingham on Friday 14 November than you are seeing DJ Falcon doing a vocal French Touch electro duet with Michael McDonald in a 1980s Brat Pack film about misunderstood students in Miami. They don't half look a like though! ASL!!!

A joke a day keeps the gloom at bay, that's what I always say. So, you'll forgive me for laughing my eyes out at this next lookalike. LOL.


Get yourself down Thunder on Friday night for their 3rd birthday. Guess who's playing? Only Paul Trueman out of Eastenders!!! ROFLOFL. Only joking, it's 'dope Marcellus Pittman, a member of the 3 Chairs supergroup' (not my words, the words of The Guardian Guide who have chosen Thunder's 3rd birthday as the Pick of the Week. I'm very dear friends of the bloke who runs Thunder so this lookalike also acts as a plug for his night - BUY tickets for this event here: rsn-tickets.com/thunder unless it's sold out. In that case, get down the Dance Tunnel early doors).

I think Marcellus Pittman looks a bit like Paul Trueman. Get well soon, Patrick (Paul's dad). FOFL!

Getting topical on this next one! Look:


Guess who's got a new album coming out soon that everyone won't stop BANGING on about? Rob Da Bank? No, mate. He's too busy with his Bestival Festival to worry about knocking out glitch trax and sub-reversal ambient hoover breaks for people who are now pretending to have been into Aphex Twin since day one. It's Aphex Twin who's got a new album out but I'm sure Rob Da Bank won't mind if everyone in music journalism gets their tongues stuck up his arsehole by mistake. He don't half look like Aphex Twin so I bet he's rubbing his hands together right now! Can you imagine having EVERYONE wanting to rim you for releasing some tunes you've sat on for ages that might have been relevant about ten or fifteen years ago? Must be fucking brilliant. Fill your boots, Rob ;-) ;-) ;-)

Actually, Kristan J Caryl off of Teshno and Resident Advisor looks a bit like Aphex Twin and all so, Kristan, get yourself out on the town - any over 30s night will do - and tell the birds that you're Aphex Twin. You'll be guaranteed at least a rim. Winking smiley face.

Look at this one now:


If you squint really hard and quickly shake your head from side to side, minimal house and minimal techno DJ babe Magda looks a bit like Billy Casper off of Kes! Doesn't she? It's funny because I actually think that Magda is properly fucking fit...but in Hilarious Lookalikes nobody is off the hook! LOLoutLOUD. Look at her! LOL. She looks a bit like Billy Casper!!!! Just keep squinting and tha'll see it too, thee will tha know.

That was all dead funny, wasn't it? But, I'm afraid that's all I've got time for on the Weekly Review of Dance Music tonight. Next week, Anne Savage will be answering my MASSIVE QUESTIONS so until then, keep refreshing this page until the post appears. Keep refreshing the page and continue to share WRDM around the internet like sweets in a shop full of hungry children. My moral levels are low, WRDM ratings are even lower and I need YOU to help me spread the Truth.

TOP TIP: last week's Tonka's Week on Ransom Note was a cracker, so have a look at that and all. Proper filthy: theransomnote/tonkas-week

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MASSIVE QUESTIONS with NICK MONACO



If you'd not heard of Nick Monaco before opening up today's edition of the Weekly Review of Dance Music, you will have (heard of Nick Monaco) after you've finished reading this sentence. On Bank Holiday Monday morning, I was flown across the Atlantic Ocean on a big private jet and ushered directly into America by Soul Clap AND Wolf + Lamb, all of whom were desperate for their handsome young charge to be associated with the coolest website in the UK, the world famous Weekly Review of Dance Music...my blog.

The private jet was coloured black and red and had the legend CREW LOVE splattered all over the sides in green Chiller font, and on the wings bore the 2D smiling faces of Wolf + Lamb on the left and Soul Clap on the right. It was almost as if they were all smiling into the sky, towards the Heavens, smiling directly at God and Jesus. If those 7' faces of Baby Prince, Wolf, Charles and Eli could talk, they'd say, "we're jus' smiling, guys."


Upon arrival in America, I was met by all of the Crew and whisked off in a long pink Limo to a nearby American Presidential suite at the local hotel where Nick Monaco was waiting for me. Champagne, slags and candles everywhere. He looked understandably nervous to meet me so I started with a joke to put him at ease.

"Fuck me, Nick, it looks like you've seen a ghost! We'll have to call you Casper from now on, mate."

This prize piece of banter set the bar high for the rest of our time together AND put Nick into a state of relaxation he'd not experienced before. Baby Prince stayed silently by Nick's side throughout (like the proper Prince in an interview he did in the 90s when he wore a mysterious white mask and let Mayte do all the talking) whilst the rest of them went for Big Macs, French chips and brown sauce.


Here is the transcript:

Q. For any of my readers who are unfamiliar with your work, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A. Greetings young world and may I first say thank you for having me on your show Sir Tonka, what a treat. I’m a Butterfly by day and Stalker by night. Full-Time professional (whatever that means) DJ and Producer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Music is my mating call, just waiting for the response. 

Q. Has establishing yourself in the dance music industry been really hard or really easy?
A. Initially hard, I started DJing and making music when I was 13 so it’s been 10 years of grinding and honing my craft, I’ve only been touring and doing music for a living the last 3 years. Once I found where I supposed to be in the music world, everything else sort of figured itself out.



Q. Your new album, Mating Call, is fucking brilliant. What's it all about?
A. Why thank you Tonka, means a lot coming from a man with such exquisite taste. I think it’s best summarized in a poem that a man on the streets of New York wrote for me when asked to ponder Mating Call:

Natural to life
From Birth is a feeling of attraction
Related to being
As fluent as sight and breath
It is without control
Until rules are stored
Making us think more
More than others would want or need
We work backwards
To learn to be
And when we discover ourselves again
With others we share in 
That which we have worked toward 
Since first sight
The great white light

Q. 4 bar snare roll or a crash on each of the last four beats before the start of a new bar?
A. Both! You really paid attention to the album, I’m impressed. May I just say, this interview is going really well so far. Let’s keep going.



Q. How did you come up with the moniker Nick Monaco? Did you ever toy with the idea of prefixing it with 'DJ', like a proper DJ, or suffixing it with something more exciting, like 'San Fran Baller' (DJ San Fran Baller) or 'Bosh Bosta' (DJ Bosh Bosta)?
A. Nick Monaco is my REAL NAME believe it or not! I’m the son of Antonio Monaco who’s the son of Giuseppe Monaco. San Fran Baller is what they call me on the basketball courts though.

Q. Have you ever been to Monaco?
A. Never been to Monaco but I’ve always imagined that I could walk into any bar, show them my ID, and they would greet me with a free drink since I share the country’s namesake.

(TRIPLE NICK)


Q. Have you ever been in the nick?
A.What an existential question, I’m intrigued. I have my moments where I feel like the external socially constructed nick coalesces with the internal primordial nick, those moments are like nirvana but they are usually fleeting, then it’s back to the perennial existential debate of “who am I really?” which gets confusing as a Gemini, we have such fluid identities.

Q. Who does the artwork for your current singles and albums? They remind me of Jean-Michele Basquiat’s graffiti, but a lot less bleak, mixed with the colourful early album artwork of Grace Jones.
A. The artwork is done by a London-based Lynnie Zulu. Do your senses a favor and explore her work, she is one of my favorite artists of all time, I’m so honored to be working with her. LynnieZulu.com - she’s done all of my art since my Stalker EP. If I could paint I think my art would look like hers. And yeah, you’re right on the money, there’s definitely some Basquiat in there. Grace Jones is a huge inspiration to me, we were definitely inspired by early Grace Jones album art.



Q. If you had a gun to your head, would you choose Wolf + Lamb or Soul Clap?
A. I’m sitting next to Baby Prince from Wolf + Lamb right now so I’m going to say Wolf + Lamb. But they would have to kill me, both of them are my big bros 4 life!

Q. I don't tend to talk about the charity work I do with my WRDM Foundation for the kids of Northolt, but would you like to tell my readers about the wonderful things you do (for charity)?
A. I just started a new line of lipstick, to which all of the proceeds will go to help pay for gender-confirmation surgeries and other causes to support the LGBT community. It’s my way of challenging hyper-masculinity in the dance community and giving back to the community who formed this music that we cherish.



Q. What is Claude Von Stroke really like?
A. He’s a big teddy bear. He’s really honest as well. He really helped me out in the early years. I would send him like 3 demos a week and he would tear them apart, which pushed me to be better. I really respect his opinion and taste, when he likes something you know it’s good.

Q. Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A. Chocolate milk drunk! It’s actually pretty hard to tell when I’m really drunk, I hide it really well.




Q. Do you have any words of advice for any young readers of WRDM who are looking to get into dance music?
A. Listen to everything going on in dance music and do the complete opposite. Listen to other kinds of music and let that be the inspiration for dance music. Make music from a core value, make something you believe in, be radical!

Q. What are your plans for the rest of this year? Will you be playing in the UK any time soon? If so, I’m in London, so be sure to let me know when you’re around because I’ll buy you and your mates at least one pint of beer.
A. If you buy the first pint I’ll buy the doner kebab at the end of the night. I’ll be touring my album pretty heavily the rest of the year doing my live set, just wrapping up visuals to accompany it so that’ll be something I’ll be perfecting over the next coming months.

We’re doing another Crew Love in London in October at a place most Londoners are very familiar with. Me and Baby Prince from Wolf + Lamb have a punk-influenced side project called Prince Monaco that may see the light of day in the fall. I also have a few art projects in the works not to mention my lipstick.

Thanks for the interview Tonka, hope to see ya in London soon!


What a lovely young man! Please join me in wishing Nick all the very best for the future. You can financially support Nick Monaco's playboy lifestyle by spending YOUR hard earned money on the music that he makes and by dishing out YOUR hard earned cash for tickets to all of his future concerts. I'll be on guest list after this but will still send him a few quid here and there when I remember.

Mating Call is out on 9 September on Soul Clap Records. I won't buy it because I got a promo copy in exchange for this interview, but I strongly suggest you do.

Follow Nick: @_nickmonaco
Like Nick: facebook/nick.monaco.music
Listen to Nick: soundcloud.com/nickmonaco
Go and watch Nick: residentadvisor/nickmonaco/dates

I'll be back next week with THAT Anne Savage interview, an exposé that will rock dance music's online charting system and the very first post of a brand new viral video charity nomination game called TONKA TIME for Mencap. For more details on how you can get involved in TONKA TIME, contact my mentor Kristan J Caryl off of Teshno and Resident Advisor. He'll tell you all about it.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm
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Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com

WRDM37


Think Ricardo Villalobos, think Club Fabric. Think Club Fabric, think Ricky V. Think Ricky V, think WRDM. Think WRDM, think the Weekly Review of Dance Music. Think the Weekly Review of Dance Music, think Tonka. Think Tonka, think Ricky V, Club Fabric, class A party drugs, strobe lights, green lasers, well-written opinion pieces on dance music culture, MASSIVE QUESTIONS with dance music celebrities, Hilarious Lookalikes and loads of credible dance music reviews every fucking Tuesday ONLY on the Weekly Review of Dance Music, and Tonka's Week on the Ran$om Note almost every Friday.

Tonka, you're saying, you've hardly banged on about Ricky V and Club Fabric since the summer of 2011 when nick-naming Villalobos and Fabric was your only successful gimmick after escaping the RA message boards. Why then, you're still saying, bring up Club Fabric and Ricky V again after all this time? I'll tell you now.

I'm writing this week's WRDM post to celebrate a Ricardo Villalobos set at Fabric that will live longer in the memories of all who experienced it than the extinguished mind-dust of their first ever blow job/licking out (given OR received). I'm a MASSIVE supporter of Ricky V - not that he ever thanks me - and I've even flown across the world to see him play a live DJ set. The first time I danced along to Villalobos in a nightclub was at Fabric, July 2007. I honestly can't remember a thing about that night because I was absolutely fucking terminated off of ecstasy E tablets and poppers all night, but I distinctly remember thinking that I was having a brilliant time when a handsome young Italian drug dealer told me that it was Ricardo Villalobos I was swaggering along to, not Terry Francis who, awkwardly, I've always got mixed up with Terry Farley out of Farley, Heller and Faith.

               

I was so impressed with Ricky V at Fabric that when I went to Sonar in 2008 I resolved to grin and bear the entire SebastiAn set between the hours of 2am and 4am (Spanish time) that preceded Ricky V's sensual, sumptuous and sensual minimal Balearics techno set in order to get down the mosh pit for when Villalobos came on to deliver his special brand of sumptuous, sensual and storytelling house music between the hours of 4am and 6am (Spanish time) to a crowd of Spanish people, Europeans, Pan-Global festival entities and Brits abroad like me, Draper, Micky John and Evil Eddie.

I can hardly remember a thing about his set at Sonar 2008, to be honest, because I made the mistake of asking for a leg up and a crowd surf in the mosh pit during his first song. Before I knew it I was at the back of the Sonar Pub licking MDMA off of the palm of a sexy Argentinian drug dealerette, whose name I forget. It was half past five and I'd had a thousand fists in my worn out lumbar. I fell on her when the crowd surf finished and she fell for me, if you know what I mean. It must have been the debonair way I rolled my jaw around and rubbed my back and sides like Leonard Rossiter as she tried to get up off her arse. I helped her up that last bit and immediately got off with her. That free dab of Mandy really gave me the kick up the arse I needed though and I didn't stop dancing until the Spanish bouncers were calling "Drink up, lads, it’s chucking out time now", in Spanish. I fucking love Ricky V. As I said, I’m a massive fan.


I'd not seen him play out since then so when I saw that he was down on the Fabric flyer for Saturday night just gone, I promised myself I'd get down there and have it for a bit. As it turned out, I had to be on Mersea Island for an emergency offsite WRDM finance meeting but I kept up with developments from Fabric through Twitter, Facebook posts and the Resident Advisor event message board. al_cud off of RA said that he played Dogfish, Who’s the Mac?, Drinkin’ and That Acid Track (which acid track, al_cud?! LOLoutLOUD). hamishcam said that Ricky V was solid, a little unspectacular, with not many W (what) T (the) F (fuck) moments but the music was spot on all morning. I haven’t got a fucking clue what he means by all that but he makes it sound like it was shit AND perfect at the same time. He also calls for a ban on flash photography which, in my humble, honest and final opinion is a mistake. How the fuck are you going to take selfies with your mates on the dance floor without a flash on your camera? I’m not being funny, but etc etc.

On Facebook, one of my friends said that there's a reason he's called The Boss, and that set on Saturday night was the reason. Other commentators on that status agreed with her wholeheartedly and I 'Liked' it. Amateur online reporting and social media is so thorough and immediate these days that unless you really need to be at a gig, you don't have to actually spend any money and go because there are always people who'll go and describe the event in an accuracy only bettered by the experience itself. Know what I mean?

   

Long time WRDM fan, James Winfield, even wrote a post like this one about the night, except he was actually there. Look: jameswinfield.blogspot.co.uk/ricardo-villalobos-fabric James reckons the sexy blonde barmaid who served him a smile and a massive pint of beer deserves a pay rise so, come on Fabric, get your hand in your pocket and stick a ton on top of her annum, you stingy gits! Winking smiley face.

So, in summary then, Ricky V at Club Fabric was what you'd expect it to be. He played with panache, he played non-stop house music and techno until chucking out time, sometimes back-to-back with Craig Richards who, believe it or not, I sometimes get confused with Eddie Richards AND Carl Craig, and he played with a tempo sitting anywhere between 110bpm and 140bpm during some periods of his set. The long, drawn out queues around Farringdon to get into a Villalobos night at Fabric are a deliberate metaphor that he and the team employ, and it is one that fits perfectly with what, essentially, Ricardo Villalobos has always done in that large underground dream hole, in so much as and in as much as, he draws you into a friendly conflict betwixt brain, feet, legs and a singular, cryptic, robotic and cybotic emotion for not just one hour, not just two, but sometimes and usually between four and six hours, not counting the occasional six to eight hour all day messy sessions that, in a way, has become his London trademark.


If nothing else, Ricardo Villalobos is the only DJ in the world who knows what every single button does in the Fabric Room 1 DJ booth and that, and that alone, is reason to celebrate his residency. Fuck knows how frequently his residency is - I think it's every three months - but make sure you join me down the front of the DJ booth for his next one.

I'll be back next Tuesday with a very special MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage or Nick Monaco and, following that, there'll be my ground-breaking dance music exposé I've been working on with my industry mole. Keep those lids peeled, lads.

You can also read about my week, Tonka's Week, every week, every Friday, ONLY on the Ran$om Note.

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Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com








WRDM36

I felt dead guilty after rattling them two sisters down the back of Flan O'Brien's on Saturday night. They must have been in their mid-sixties AT LEAST, and there I was getting off with them, putting my hands down their gold lame hot pants, pushing my hands up their gold lame boob tubes to have a feel of their boobs before putting my hands back down their pants so I could get to their nipples. At one point I was smashing one of their back-doors in whilst getting tea-bagged off of the other. At another (point) I was getting gagged off by one whilst the other was giving me a love bite on my neck. They were both about 65 years old, sisters. I felt fucking ashamed of myself after I'd exploded all over their faces down the back of Flan O'Brien's. It was only 11.30pm.

That's the gift and the curse when it come's to a night out in Walsall; there are slags everywhere but they're all either looking like:


Or like:


Or like this:


After I'd finished with these two...


...I went down Yate's Wine Bar and pulled a bird who looked like Sophie Ellis-Bextor. We shared a jug of Woo Woo and talked about indie music for a bit. After filling her front box in the bogs I left her in the cubicle to clean up and sprinted out of the door, pulling my jeans up as I ran. I still felt guilty so I went for a walk up Glebe Street and pulled a woman called Donna for five pounds. She had a slab for a backside and her tits looked sad so I just asked for a blow job. She made me put a Rubber Jonny condom on though so, although I came, it was through a semi. I walked away, past Donna's colleagues, past Donna's boss, up through Caldmore and down the hill towards Joseph Leckie. I felt so guilty. So ashamed. So lost and so guiltily ashamed of myself.

- Why did you feel so guilty, Tonka?
- Because I knew there was something more important I should be doing than shagging birds all the time.

Here I was, on a weekend trip to Walsall, feeling sorry for myself when I should be properly buzzing about life. I'd been with at least four women in one night, for Christ sake! Something wasn't right.


I called Manu from Beats and Beyond. I told him about my evening and that I still had an empty feeling inside of me. Quick as a flash, he reminded me that I hadn't updated the Weekly Review of Dance Music for almost a month. He joked that if I'm not careful, people will call WRDM the MONTHLY Review of Dance Music and that everyone will forget that I'm the premier alternative voice in dance and finally move wholesale to Wunderground or Resident Unvisor. That thought alone, the dozens of people who still read the Weekly Review of Dance Music moving to read the shit on every other fucking dance music website instead made me throw up outside the chip shop on Delves. I returned to our phone call and promised Manu to write WRDM36 as soon as I got back to London and that I'd plug his website more than I've ever done before because, to be honest, after WRDM, Ran$om Note, Teshno, Minimal Messages, Resident Advisor, VICE, Attack, Don't Stay In and Zap! Bang! Magazine, Beats and Beyond is THE best music website going. Bar none.

- Manu, you're right. Once again. I need to concentrate on what I'm good at; writing about dance music. I spend so much time writing about my week on the hugely popular Tonka's Week on the highly functional Ran$om Note website, that I've forgot that WRDM is what I'm best known for.
- Tonka, it's ok. Stop drilling chicks up the arsehole so much and start writing about DJs, producers, nightclubs and drugs again on YOUR website, not that Dalston-centric, arty-farty multi-faith, multi-genre white-washed webzone every Friday morning. Don't let people forget WRDM, ok? OK?
- Ok, I'll see you on the fifteenth for the Ran$om Note drinks down Haggerston, ok?
- See you then, Tonks. Sweet dreams, hun. Text me when you get home, when you get to bed. Ok?
- Will do. Just one more thing.
- Yes?
- What shall I review this week? I've not got a fucking clue what's going on in dance music at the moment.
- I've just got fifteen words for you. You should review the new EP on Them Records called The Run by Hiroaki Iizuka.
- Sorted. Cheers, Manu. See you on the fifteenth.
- Night, Tonka.

The Run by Hiroaki Iizuka is fucking brilliant. It's been released on a record label called Them Records, which is great for doing jokes like: what record label is The Run by Hiroaki Iizuka on? Them Records. What records? Them Records. No, which label is The Run on? Them Records. What fucking records? Them. Them what? Them Records. No, what label is The Run on? Them Records. No, not them records, one record: The Run - which label is it on? Them Records. It's a hilarious joke that you can only have with people who aren't as up on dance music as you and I.


I've not stopped listening to the double A side and B side of The Run since it was sent to me by a very dear friend who, coincidently, is performing a super PR job for Them Records at the moment. The A side is The Run, which sounds like a mechanical mantra repeating itself over a really cool techno beat. The B side opens with the heralded dirty, raw and driving J.Tijn remix which sounds like a tool. After that you get a brand new Hiroaki Iizuka song called Dot. I won't write a spoiler on that one, you'll have to buy the whole EP and listen. Just trust me when I say every track on The Run is fucking brilliant.

Hiroaki Iizuka - The Run
Them Records - OUT NOW
9/10


It feels so good to be back on WRDM. I'll be back next week with a very special MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage and an exposé that will rock the very foundations of the dance music industry.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm
Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com

                               

WRDM35


"There. Blocked. I'll make sure that fucker never works in dance music again", is what I imagine Seb Wheeler - his face as gasping and red as the crevice of a baboon's arsehole - harrumphed at his desk as his sidekick; basketball-vest-cap-on-backwards and bedecked in sweat, paced slowly up and down behind him. Mouth-breathing and nodding, smartphone in hand and ready to deliver another lazy aside in my direction, Chubby Funster giggles and seeks authorisation.

- Are you ok, Seb? Shall I send him another meme?

- … … …

- Seb? Mate?

- … … …

- I’ll tell him that no one reads WRDM again if you want?

- … … …

- I’ve actually met Tonka, Seb. He’s alright in real life. Bit more handsome than you’d expect, but he’s humble with it. He’s actually alright actually.

- … … …

- Seb?

- … … …

- I’ve got a new Gesaffelstein song we can listen to, Seb.

- … … …


- Seb?

- … … …

…is what I then imagine happened at Seb’s desk in the immediate aftermath of one of the bloodiest Twitter spats ever witnessed (by people on Twitter).


Last week, I was blocked on Twitter by Mixmag’s Head of Bass for daring to question the weight of a Mixmag article and then eloquently defending myself against a barrage of unrelated criticism from their office. The article was a 188 word piece of puffery about how Hardwell has called Seth Troxler’s comments (which he made in the month of MAY) about Avicii “bullshit”, an article which in itself was a glorified rework of an inthemix article that was no more than a glorified advert for Hardwell’s new album and potential new tour. I fucking despair, I do.

I responded to the @Mixmag Tweet in an aggressive, CAPITAL LETTER-STYLE manner...


...a manner in which I unreservedly apologise for now, whilst not apologising in any way whatsoever for the content of my Tweet. I stand by the fact that this is not news. One DJ disagreeing with another is not news and I’m sick of seeing my Facebook and Twitter feeds filled up with wank from MASSIVE organs like Mixmag. Shouldn't a cash rich and established magazine like Mixmag have the best writers writing for it? Shouldn’t they publish the best articles? Am I naïve in thinking they shouldn't have to tout shit like this or is it all about selling ads and building stats nowadays? I don't read things like this on Resident Advisor. I don't see Attack Magazine peddling gossip. Teshno is full of articles and reviews of things and people I've never fucking heard of but I enjoy reading it because I can tell that the person writing has a passion for what he's writing about, and a heart. I can't say what the Ransom Note is like because the only thing I read on there is the excellent Tonka's Week every Friday, but I'm sure it's a good website.

All of those websites, and many more I haven't mentioned, are worth ten of Mixmag in a creative, literary and culturally significant sense but you'll only get to know them if you seek them out and ask the right people. If you have even a passing interest in dance music, Mixmag are in your face like a cock in a blowjob scene and YOU are the ones getting cum in your eyes every time you log on to your Facebook or Twitter feed.


'it'll get more traffic in a day than your blog gets in a year'

I don't know if Chubby Funster represents the soul of Mixmag these days when he defended the Hardwell article by saying it'll get as many views in a day as WRDM gets in a year. It's a bit of a rubbish come-back however way you look at it. No thanks to YOU, my viewing figures are fucking atrocious and Mixmag could Tweet an article about a piece of rained on cardboard that would still get more clicks than an entertaining and unique WRDM interview with Soul ClapPerc or Tim Sheridan (amongst many others), but at least it's ALWAYS original content on WRDM. Every post on here is made with love. I write not with a PR company or influential artist in mind, I write with YOU in mind: the loyal readership of WRDM, the ever-expanding family, the men and women who carry on through endless Hilarious Lookalikes, MASSIVE QUESTIONS and occasional reviews. The men and women, young and old, who laugh, cry and spunk with me every Friday on the Ransom Note, I write these words for you. Because we are friends, you will never be alone again so come on and cast aside your blinkers and see Mixmag, Pulse and the rest of these online click-bait fishermen for what they really are. If you can carry me to greatness you will therefore carry yourselves, and there will never be an opportunity as open as this to brush aside the tired old something something of the tired old something or other.

Or you can carry on reading gossip and participating in the biggest online masturbation party in the world...ever. I'm preaching to the converted in here so as soon as you read this week's WRDM, please share it. Please Tweet it. Please spread it all over your Facebook like lemon curd on toast. Please email people with the link saying, 'Have you read this?!' Please talk to your missus about it after a red hot love-making session like what Ethyl does.


I've had a number of prominent DJs/producers email and Twitter DM me in confidence after last week to say that they agree with me 100% but would rather not get involved publicly because of how influential Mixmag are.

Thank fuck I don’t rely on traffic or ads to make a living. Thank fuck I make more money in three months than an online electro/bass editor makes in a year. Thank fuck I don't have to care about the influence of Mixmag to stop me from piping up online about how shit SOME of their output is. Thank fuck that I’m Tonka. Thank fuck that I can write freely and am not obliged to copy and paste and share all of the PR shit that gets emailed to me every fucking day. Thank fuck that I can use discretion. Thank fuck that my job is not to hype hype hype the fuck out of whoever my boss has told me to hype hype hype. So, fuck Seb Wheeler. Fuck Chubby Funster. Fuck all the PR people who send me impersonal, badly written emails with spelling mistakes all over the shop and fuck Mixmag. Fuck anyone who hasn't got the confidence to say what they want to say about dance music because it might compromise a future job. Fuck you, learn some balls and then be nice about it.

If it's your job, and you work at one of these big magazines for a living, please try and bring up the quality of writing and shape an agenda not based on gossip and tabloid-style bite-sized snippets of what dance music is really about. Follow the lead of people who write and run websites and blogs for the love of it. Subvert the PR that you receive and create something new, something worth reading and stop selling the whole world dud pills when we could be licking pure mandy from the palm of your hand. Know what I mean?


I'm not an angry militant blogger. I'm not a keyboard warrior. I'm the nicest man in dance and I'm all about spreading the truth from behind the safe disguise of a shepherd JPEG, millions of words and an online personality Chubby Funster at Mixmag may describe as military-like and warrior-ish. I wouldn't describe it like that though and neither would you. Would you?

Poor old Chubby Funster, after I gave them both a good hiding on Twitter and Seb Wheeler blocked me, Chubby Funster stuck around for a bit and he now reminds me of the Bee Gee who didn't storm off of Clive Anderson's talk show. However, that is now by the by and, funnily enough, I now bear him no grudge. He know's I'm alright. He knows deep down that I'm right.



In summary then, Mixmag's article about Hardwell was lame, Chubby Funster's put downs of me on Twitter last week were lame and Seb Wheeler blocking me on Twitter for giving some back was lame. No offence.

I'll be back next Tuesday with loads more news, reviews and interviews. MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage is coming up and I also have a WRDM Special Report I'm writing with one of my industry moles about labels and producers buying up spots on the Beatport and Juno charts in order to gain gigs and more exposure in prominent on and offline publications. I really do fucking despair at it all.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm
Like me: facebook/tonkawrdm
Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com

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Oh, before I forget. I really, really, really have to say this. One of the queens of pop, Kylie, is set to play three nights at The O2 on 29 and 30 September and 1 October as part of her Kiss Me Once tour.

As well as performing material from her new album she will also showcase a host of her classic hits. The new album, which is her first studio offering in four years, sees her team up with a host of hot artists including Pharrell Williams and HAIM.


Look At These Hilarious Lookalikes!

I'm so, so glad that you agree with me when I say that looking at people who look like other people is hilarious. I'm really glad about that because he's another collection of Hilarious Lookalikes for you to look and laugh at.

LOOK:


Fuck me, have you ever seen the king of children's telly, Justin Fletcher, in the same room as his rival, Mr Tumble? These two giants of CBeebies fight it out for laughs metaphorically every day at 9.45am and 2.45pm on the same programme, Something Special. Justin Fletcher also acts up on a programme called, proudly, Justin's House at 11am and 4pm. If Mr Tumble didn't have a red nose and freckles I'd swear down that he and Justin were the same person! ROFLOFL


Billionaire philanthropist Adam West bumbles around Gotham City and bores horny, money-grabbing Russian birds by reciting poetry before getting ambushed by super villains in fancy dress and eye-masks on a weekly basis. If he had the moody confidence of the person I think he looks like he'd not almost nail the sexy Russian birds, he'd most definitely be bell-end and cock shaft deep before you could say, Kapow! I think Adam West looks like Batman without a mask on. LOLoutLOUD.


Have you ever noticed that Christopher Reeve, the bloke who played Clark Kent in the film Superman, actually looks like that superhero, Superman, from the films, Superman I, Superman II, Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace? I have, and that's why I'm including the above picture in this week's Hilarious Lookalikes. They've even got the same kiss-curl fringe. The only difference is that Christopher Reeve works on a news desk instead of whatever whatever whatever, this is a properly fucking shit post, sorry. PMSL.



I do wonder why I carry on churning out Hilarious Lookalikes sometimes. Those three were fucking shit and the conceit was tired after the first Mr Tumble joke. By the time it got to Superman I knew the legs had gone on it. The next one was going to be Fake Blood and Theo Keating out of The Wiseguys. I was going to end the post on Richie Hawtin and Robotman, so it's best I stop this now.

I'll be back shortly with more dance music reviews, news and interviews. MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage will be online before you know it, the second MRDM podcast will be on the airwaves somewhere soon and I'll probably be doing some World Cup stuff over the next few weeks. I've already bought my face-paint and plastic bowler hat with a St. George Cross on the top of it (the plastic bowler hat). I can't fucking wait to see Roy Hodson lifting that World Cup at the end of the World Cup Final in Brasil next month. Can you? My mate's even done a blog about it: iamnotzlatan.blogspot

Speaking of hilarious lookalikes, I wrote some EXCLUSIVE reviews for The Sabotage Times over the weekend. You won't find them anywhere else so get stuck in by clinking this link here (they do look a bit like last week's Tonka's Week on Ran$om Note though. ROFLHARRIS): sabotagetimes/hot-mix-5-tonka-special

Discover more about me:

Twitter : @tonkawrdm

Facebook: facebook/tonkawrdm

My electric CV: linkedin/tonka

Please return, WRDM will definitely get better. Definitely.


MASSIVE QUESTIONS with SOUL CLAP


Pixies. Cheers. Boston Red Sox. Cheers. Soul Clap. Cheers. Albert DeSalvo. Fuck off. 7L & Esoteric. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. Uma Thurman. Cheers. The After Dark nightclub. Cheers. Tea parties. Cheers. Ben Affleck. Cheers. Gang Starr. Cheers.

- What do all of those things that you’re saying “cheers” to have in common, Tonka?
- They all come from Boston.
- Thanks.

The above list is a something for something that proves beyond doubt that Boston does not do things by halves. They do things to the max, full blast and to the nth degree; meaning that if you don't like to party hard or do things to an unbelievably mad level like that bloke who strangled everyone, get the fuck out of Boston and go home to wherever it is you live because Boston won't want you if you're a half-measure.


I’m not a half-measure, I’m a yard. I’ve got the words ‘Always Partying Hard’ tattooed on the palm of my left hand and I do things to an irresponsible level at all times, so I could see the city of Boston salivating as I approached the runway. Whilst Jeremy the Jet Plane touched down at Boston Logan I put my X-ray specs on, gazed out of the cockpit window and grinned at the sight of Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine in Arrivals, hurriedly scribbling my name on an A4 piece of paper and making sure their hair was straight. Eli even did that thing where you lick the tips of your first and middle fingers and trace your eyebrows flat.

Here I was, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, America to meet my favourite (if I had a gun to my head) DJ and production duo. After high-fiving one another outside WHSmith, we were whisked off into what looked like a taxi and sped off to Deuxave on Commonwealth Avenue for a delicious slap-up meal…on the Soul Clap company credit card.

I clicked 'Record' on my little Dictaphone and set about grilling Soul Clap like two rounds of cheese on toast.

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Q. For anyone unfamiliar with the name Soul Clap, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A. We do what we wanna do, we say what we wanna say, live how we wanna live, play how we wanna play!

(At this point, Charles opened up my white iPad2 and made me watch this video)


Q. Has establishing yourselves in the music industry been an uphill struggle or a piece of piss because of how good you are at your jobs?
A. It's taken a lot of work to get where we are. Maybe not uphill, but a long ravey adventure.

Q. I'm writing these MASSIVE QUESTIONS whilst waiting for a grade 3 round the back and sides and tidied up on top at Sergio's in Northolt. Where are you writing your answers?
A. We're getting fades and line-ups too!


Q. How did you come up with the moniker, Soul Clap? Did you ever toy with the idea of prefixing Soul Clap with ‘DJ’, like proper DJs (DJ Soul Clap), or suffixing it with something more exciting like Boston Stranglaz (DJ Boston Stranglaz) or Cherry MC and Captain Techno (DJ Cherry MC and Cap…no, ignore that question – it doesn’t make sense or work if there’s two of you.

No, hold on. If you can answer it, do. If not, don’t worry about it and just answer the first sentence of the question. Cheers, Tx.
A. LOL. You stoopid.

Q. Clap or snare?
A. Triangle!


Q. Dancing on the Charles Volume 2 is out now. How representative of the party is this CD? I.e. Did you select the songs that got the best reactions at your party in Boston, wrote down which ones they were and then compiled a list when you got home, scoring each track by audience appreciation and then whittling them down to a 13 track final cut to be released as soon as possible or was it compiled in a different way, a way that you’d like to tell the readers of WRDM about now?
A. Well, the party got shut down 4 years ago and at that time there weren't many producers making good electronic music in Boston. So at this point the party and the compilation are pretty unrelated, it's just a cool name!

Q. Does Dancing on the Charles mean what I think it means? Winking smiley face.
A. No, it means it was a gathering of people that got together and took turns stepping on Charlie (one half of Soul Clap).




Q. Bosq is involved on the album. He knocked out my favourite podcast of 2013, by a fucking mile. I even went down the shops and bought his album for Christmas! Are Bosq’s multi-culti songs influencing your sound now or is he starting to play more traditional house stuff in his sets like what you do?
A. Bosq is truly original. He's from Boston so he can play everything. His multi-culti sound continues to influence us for sure.

Q. Fans of mine know how much I love Sónar; I partied down, hard and on in 2007 and 2008 with Draper, Mickey John and my former gang; 'Da Ultimate Ketamine Krew'. The Crew Love tour terminates near Sónar in June. Will you be staying in a beautiful apartment in Barcelona that might cost a lot of money but is a place and time you'll look back on fondly in years to come (2007) or will you be spending as little as possible on accommodation and end up existing in a dirty, cramped little shit hole for the weekend deleting ketamine (2008) and regretting the financially-influenced decision for at least six years down the line?
A. We're most likely going to be sleeping in a gutter on La Rambla.


Q. What are Wolf + Lamb really like?
A. A bunch of dicks.

Q. Did you ever play anything that wasn't released in the 1990s at one of your 90s Jam parties? Are there any more planned?
A. That's insulting. Of course we only play 90's music at our 90's parties. Except when we screw up and play a song from the 80's or 00's that we thought was from the 90's, but actually wasn't. When that happens the crowd boos you and throws beer cans. Yes, we will 90's Jam someday.




Q. Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A. RoboCop bro.

Q. I came up with a name of a track called Nuthin’ But An E Thang about seven years ago but never capitalised on the great idea by creating anything for it. Would you be interested in making a track called Nuthin’ But An E Thang, sampling Leon Hayward and crediting me on it? Nuthin’ But An E Thang (Tonka’s WRDMDMA Dub).
A. Yes.


Q. Soul Clap (you) look like genuinely nice people and I would happily buy you BOTH at least one pint of beer next time you’re in London. How have you managed to steer clear of persuasive magazine editors and photographers who seem to insist on DJs being portrayed as dark and mysterious arseholes who frown a lot and crouch down in corners looking properly fucking moody?
A. Well we're a couple goofy idiots, it's pretty hard to hide that.

Q. Do you have anything else to say in your defence, or would like to plug?
A. We did a track with Robert Owens that's coming out on our label Soul Clap Records this summer. It even has Louie Vega remixes. We're very proud to have worked with 2 legends on one record!

Thanks Tonka, keep up the good work!

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What a lovely couple of young men! Please join me in congratulating Soul Clap on a stellar career so far and wish them every success for all of their future endeavours.

Dancing on the Charles Volume 2 is out now on Soul Clap Records. You MUST buy it: FROM HERE

Soul Clap are on Twitter: @soulclap
Soul Clap are on Facebook: facebook/soulclap
Soul Clap are on after Lovebox with PillowTalk and Mark Farina in July: afterdark/fierce-not-shady

I'll probably be back next Tuesday with lots more dance music news and reviews, MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage and etc, etc, etc, etc. Nuthin' But An E Thang (Tonka's WRDMDMA Dub) will be out in the near or far out groovy future on Soul Clap Records.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm

"Like" me: facebook/tonkawrdm

Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com

Look at my electric CV: linkedin/tonka