WRDM Sell Out 1

Hello there, tiddlers.

WRDM Sell Out is a new item on the show. It is a sub-genre of the usual WRDM to sit alongside MASSIVE QUESTIONS, Medium Questions and one-off specials like WRDMini - Hands Across The Water and the hugely successful WRDM @ Bloc 2012. Hopefully, Sell Out will be the first of many posts in that particular fence.

Due to the ever increasing popularity of the world famous Weekly Review of Dance Music I get approached by all sorts of companies offering me material goods in exchange for a mention on here. It seems like every other day I have Dixons knocking down the door to my office at WRDM HQ throwing monitors and printers at me. Last week they even asked me to take a black iPod Nano off their hands! I told them to fuck off because I already have one.

All this brings me to recommend an event that is not only close to my heart, but also close to Matter. I don't care what anyone says, Matter is fucking brilliant. So, get yourself a ticket to Alegria - Cirque du Soleil at The O2 in Greenwich and dance the night away afterwards at Matter.

Click on the MASSIVE link below. NOW.

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"Mustard woolly hat. Check."

"Black leather mittens. Check."

"Sunglasses. Check."

"Wallet. Check."

"Finish cup of tea. Check."

"Keys. Check."

"Bright red Le Coq Sportif trainers. Check, and on."

"Oyster card. Check."

"Small, grey Nokia retro-chic phone. Check."

"Appetite for Destruction on my iPod. Check."

"MASSIVE coat. Check."

"Fuck off out the door and get a move on. NOW."

On Saturday night I braved the ice so that I could get to Fire and watch my old chum, Jeremy Healy, and his pals play music at the Clockwork Orange 20th Anniversary Party. I did about 7 ecstasy e tablets and, once the gig had finished, went back to mine and breathed 2 grams of ketamine up my nose before watching Back to the Future One on DVD. Before I knew it I was mucking about in that car with Michael J Fox and Kramer off of Seinfeld.

What a fucking shambles. I was high, Michael J Fox has Parkinson's disease and Kramer is the wackiest sonofabitch this side of Upper Uptown Manhattan and 69th Broadway so, if you can't imagine this, close your eyes and picture three bell-ends sat inside a time-travelling car called Kit. I asked them where and when they wanted to go but they were too busy wolf whistling at women and licking windows to answer me. I did what any man would do and reached inside my MASSIVE coat, pulled out a first edition of Tony De Vit's Global Underground Tel Aviv tape and stuck it in the deck. As the opening refrain of I Stand Alone (Sharp Vocal Mix) wormed its way out of the in-door speakers, I began to type: 1998. The flux capacitor went all red, I put my pedal to the metal and sped off down towards Crouch End with Michael and Cosmo.

8mph. 18mph. 28mph. 38mph. 48mph. 58mph. 68mph. 78mph. 88mph. As soon as we hit 88mph the car seemed to explode. Me being me, I had my seat belt on so I was able to sit back and laugh as those two cunts flew past me and into a bright orange black hole...I fell asleep and woke up next to Tony De Vit's hospital bed. He had temporarily summoned me down from my drug induced future ESPECIALLY to cover his last ever interview.

We begin...

Q. For anyone unfamiliar with the name Tony De Vit, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A. Let me start by saying thanks for the visit and a big, bouncy hello to all my fans in the future. If you've been living under a rock all these years, my name is Tony De Vit and I play hard house music in the UK and abroad. I also make it…it being hard house.

Q. Why do you do it?
A. What do you mean?

Q. Why do you make and play hard house?
A. Oh. I do it because, in my humble opinion, hard house is the way forward. Hand bag has been and gone, trance won’t last and drum & bass has already gone up its own arse - pardon the pun. Hard house just works for me. It’s easy to play, easy to make and the kids love it.

Q. It's been called "lowest common denominator", "nostalgiano", "Mixmag music" and "junior house" by me. You're a grown man, I know you're gravely ill but why do you still play it? Is there a temptation to walk in Nick Warren's shoes and grow up?
A. No.

Q. When did you get into hard house?
A. I don’t know. It was a natural progression, I suppose.

Q. From what?
A. Disco. Gay stuff. High NRG.

Q. How did you come up with the moniker, Tony De Vit? Did you ever toy with the idea of prefixing it with 'DJ', like a proper DJ (DJ Tony De Vit) or suffixing it with something more exciting, like ‘Bass Droppa’ (DJ Bass Droppa) or ‘Beat Receiver’ (DJ Beat Receiver)?
A. Tony De Vit is a shortened version of my fuller name. That being Antony De Vit. I think it’s been a good name to me. To begin with promoters thought they were getting an Italian DJ – you should have seen their faces when they heard my accent! (laughs out loud)

Q. What did their faces look like?
A. A bit like this. (pulls a stunned face)

Q. What’s it like playing in Trade on a Sunday morning?
A. The 2 Ss and 3 Hs: Sweaty and sexy. Horny, hard and heavenly. Have you ever been?

Q. No. As you know, mate, I’m from the future. In 1998 I was 17 and living in Walsall. It was all about Flanagan’s and Ugly Mug Joe's then. Have you ever played Walsall?
A. Yes. The old Pen and Wig on Freer Street. It was 1990, 1991. I was playing for blow jobs back then.

Q. “Come on!” or “Feel it!”
A. Neither. I’m a “Woo!” man.

Q. Curate your fantasy night. What’s it called? What’s the line-up? Where’s the venue? Is there a dress code?
A. It’s promoted by my good friend, Madders, and I'm calling it Tashion. I’ll have Ian M, Lisa Loud and Mark Kavanagh warming up for your’s truly and, if he’s available, Sasha to close.

Q. Boy George or Freddie Mercury?
A. I’ve only been with George so I have to say him!

Q. Did you, er, you know, er, suck his culture club?
A. No. He wouldn't let me. All dressed up as a futuristic Japanese school girl cyborg, he was. He licked my lollipop and let me go wrist deep up his you know what though.

Q. What was he like?
A. Quite aggressive.

Q. Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A. I feel terminated now. I wouldn't wish bone marrow failure on anyone.

Q. When the readers of this blog read this you will have been dead for a number of years. The legacy of Tony De Vit, you, will have lived on through numerous Sundissential memorial nights and the recordings, remixes and compilations you made when you were, are, alive will be played to new generations of the more discerning hard houser. What would you like to say to your fans in 2013?
A. I have to say again, Tonka, how thankful I am for you visiting me in hospital and giving me the opportunity to have my say one last time. I know my ti...

This is where things started to disintegrate. Tony's bed swam away from me. He continued to talk but I couldn't hear him. I looked towards the ceiling and saw only wooden slats, through which I could see muddy jungle boots and the sight of an old Vietnamese soldier speaking Russian to a couple of barrel-chested bastards torturing Michael J Fox, stripped bare and laughing. I looked back towards Tony De Vit's bed and witnessed a scene I can never speak of on here. Kramer was there. My ears popped and I was staring at Draper in the corner of our kitchen, staring at me. We did some coke, drank a beer and talked about the night before.

I'll be back next week with more TOP news, reviews and interviews.


  • WRDM20
  • A preview of A Night With...Graeme Park at Basing House

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Weekly Review of Art - LICHTENSTEIN

This Tuesday's Weekly Review of Dance Music has been adapted for a brand new market in a bid to break new local and global territories. The review you are about to read is for an audience who couldn't give a shit about Ricky V, Sónar and MASSIVE tunes on a dance floor. I'm, of course, talking about those who like to look at art and then BANG on about it with people they pretend to be friends with at university.

I went to Tate Modern last week and sneaked into the new Lichtenstein exhibition behind Alastair Sooke.

Tate Modern's big show about Roy Lichtenstein opens with a massive splash of paint landing on a canvas. There it meets some yellow paint. That yellow THEN glides across the surface like a slow-moving tear beneath some tiny blue stars caused by that accidental spatter. It's a picture of a picture being made, or perhaps fucked, each mark frozen and magnified in Lichtenstein's trademark style. But it is also a picture – a landscape – of good vibes. 

This Tate retrospective is exactly like taking ecstasy; it's all about uplift and pleasure. Many painters hope to wink at the viewer and lick their lips, but you always sense that they want to end up fingering you. Lichtenstein's paintings are lickable lollies of paint and art. Even when the subject is boring – a textbook, a ball of wool, a car tyre – there is joy in the way he painted them. They have charm almost as part of their content. Like Nicola Adams' face.

Everyone knows what a Lichtenstein picture looks like: black outlines, the uninflected printer's-ink palette, the Ben-Day dots and super-precise images, so condensed and diagrammatic, with their unwavering sense of elegant design. Mid-air BANGS, girls crying in a river, the aeroplane pilot locked on his target – all preserved in Lichtenstein's dotty style. Which, bent on deducing the basic grammar of other people's work, and reprising it in one of his own, has long since become as familiar as the commercial art from which it derived. 

You must have seen them – that big-headed fucker, Brad. That bird up to her eyes in sea water who'd rather drown than call him for help – but how do these paintings feel to us these days, 50 years after Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger invented pop art in Studio 45? Their vitality is evergreen, always exuberant, even in the long phases of cool art about art, but the mood runs all the way from :-( to LOL.

Three of Matisse's goldfish look glum to find themselves in Lichtenstein's bowl. A woman's hand holding a sponge wipes a bright passage through some dots. He even deceives your eyes by painting a transistor which becomes a portable radio when hung on the wall!

Roy Lichtenstein calculates exactly how many black triangles are required to make the twinkle on a woman's engagement ring. He represents the dimples on a golf ball as a calendar of dark moons, waxing and waning in INFINITESIMAL degrees to describe the ball's curve. The see-through bit of a magnifying glass is brilliantly evoked in just the right permutations of dots.

At the end of the day, he just wants to know how to make 2D look like 3D.

The sight and sound of an Alka-Seltzer swooping down through a glass of water is perfectly expressed in the trail of blank bubbles fizzing behind the disc and the spume of white dots scintillating among the black ones upon the surface.

James Rondeau and Sheena Wagstaff at Tate Modern have worked very hard and have even sorted his work into date order – the 60s cartoons; the black-and-white paintings; the mirror pictures; the rip-offs he did on other painters which looked fucking bizarre: Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, and sometimes all three, all get the Lichtenstein dots plastered all over them. It's all in there.

What it BANGS home is how good Lichtenstein was at painting: the stroke, mark and dot of the brush. How to render polished surfaces using liquid swipes, and Bakelite hardness with stipples; how to create light and air with screens of dots that blatantly couldn't give a shit if they look fake.

This is an art of special effects. How to draw a mirror, a thing only fully visible when something is reflected in it, with nothing but variations of dots and dashes. There are five mirrors in this show, each looking deeper than the next, one being his own self-portrait: a mirror above a T-shirt where his head should have been. He was that mysterious that it's still unknown, to this day, what Roy Lichtenstein looked like.

But he didn't just reflect the world. The delight in a pedal bin that opens and shuts with the touch of a toe becomes the rainbow he can't stop adding to his copy of a late Cézanne. For the lads, he did girls crying after being dumped and, later on, nudes. He was fucking brilliant.

Here the Ben-Day dots are beginning to float free like patterns on an Etch-A-Sketch, and these fit birds he was drawing don't seem to be interested in sticking around. In one picture, a rip-off of a Picasso, two naked women are running down a beach but one looks massively pissed off to be left behind while the other is nearly out of the picture! I was, quite literally, laughing my head inside out when I looked at that one! Can you imagine?!

To be honest, the mood in the last room is fucking sad, to be honest. Roy Lichtenstein died in 1997, at the age of 73, one day before James Dean died 42 years previously. Nobody knows if these paintings of China were made as last works. But the famous RL dots are given a new lease of life here, finely graded from misty grey to glowing white to evoke the sea, sky and snow of China. A tiny Lichtenstein boat edges into one of these visions looking like Iggle Piggle after he's gone to bed.

I'm giving this one 9/10

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective
21 February - 27 May 2013

Tate Modern 

Get down there NOW. It's £14 entrance but well worth it.

Who's with me?

I'll be back next week more up to the minute dance reviews.

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