WRDMonday Night Telly Review

I don't know, one minute you're watching Question Time starring Russell Brand and Nigel Farage on BBC2 on a Thursday night with a few cheeky pints of Pinot Grigio and a massive packet of prawn cocktail crisps, four days later you're watching Russell Brand doing a programme, I think, about how everyone needs to stop getting square about the drugs on BBC3 HD, and then the minute after that you're watching Nigel Farage on Channel 4 getting absolutely fucking paralytic with a couple of posh celebrity try-hards who are only famous for getting terminated in front of the telly on the fucking telly! I love the telly, me.

I'd never heard of Steph and Dom before being asked by Vice to write about them and Nigel Farage doing a programme togetherSteph and Dom Meet Nigel Farage was on last night and, SPOILER ALERT: it was fucking shit. The only reason I'm writing about it is for more digital exposure and some money. I guarantee that I’ll never watch Gogglebox ever again.

I initially offered to write this piece as an essential critique and examination into what could be a dark, purple-nosed heart of currently the most noticeable member of our political class and a potential future Prime Minister. Everyone loves Nigel Farage: I love him, my parents love him, my in-laws love him, all of my English neighbours love him (none of the Poles or the Asians in Northolt have a fucking clue what he’s saying so they don’t have an opinion on him), my Nanny Kath absolutely fucking loves Nigel Farage and she hates everyone, especially “the Muslims” and “the gays”, my plumber loves him, my sisters love him, The Sun loves him and my mate, Draper, loves him but I thought there must be more to him than appealing to the pissed-off English and being photographed drinking people under the table in newspapers. All of my friends and associates on social media reckon he’s properly fucking evil and I’ve always agreed with them in print whilst also thinking, deep down, that he actually seems like a laugh and it’d be funny if he got into power so I thought that something sinister and overtly racist might come out if I watched him on the telly being egged on with seven or eight pints inside of him.

Having now watched Steph and Dom Meet Nigel Farage twice in one sitting, I don’t love him anymore BUT I like him a lot more than the two actors who hosted him at their luxury B&B in Sandwich, and they are actors.


There was a bit at the beginning when Steph and Dom have a fake argument and Steph calls Dom a tit for coming back drunk after a mid-morning wine tasting and spitting event. She looks at the camera crew just before she says the word, "tit". That look, and the millisecond of hesitation, just before the word, “tit”, plops awkwardly out of her blow job hole made me angry for reasons I’m not able to fully explain. It just really fucking narked me off and it summed up the rest of their performance on the show. If Steph and Dom represent Gogglebox as a whole then I reckon it’s just half an hour of fake bollocks by fake people for an audience who think calling a telly a ‘gogglebox’ is funny, but that’s for another boring article.

Steph and Dom are filmed researching some Nigel Farage pictures and YouTube clips on the internetbox. "He looks like a frog that's sat on a nail" barked Dom, who, if you squint, looks a bit like George Clooney so he’s alright to have a pop. Nigel Farage then rolled up at The Salutation in a big black Land Rover car and was immediately offered a drink by Dom, who then hilariously spilled beer everywhere and acted (ACTED) a bit tipsy. The red-faced, silver-haired piss-twat then takes him out back for a general chit-chat about politics in front of his fake missus.

“We won the (European) election”, chortled Nigel, “So did the National Front in France”, smirked Dom with a fag and some booze spread all over his smarmy lips. I’m not clever enough to figure out if that is a really good come-back to a bit of bragging or just a dead lame remark re-filmed after one of the shooting crew had thought about it half an hour after the original conversation was caught. After that, they fuck off to Dom’s local pub for a conversation I switched off on.

"What brings you to Sandwich?" asks Steph when they come back, handing Nigel a glass of pink champagne. “Money, the producers of Gogglebox and the opportunity to push a party political broadcast through the televisions of the many millions who watch this shit every week”, I sneered at my gogglebox with a 25cl bottle of Tesco’s Biére D’Ornonchalantly swinging from the fingers on my right hand. All three of them go and sit down on the steps in the back garden as Making Plans For Nigel by XTC winks over the top of some shots of Steph and Dom’s costumed slaves preparing a dinner table. On the steps, they press Nigel over his private life. We learn that he worked long and hard to get to the top of UKIP. Steph asked him what he’s sacrificed and the first thing he said was “money, mostly”. Apparently, he earns half of what a local headmaster earns for doing politics. He then said he’s sacrificed time, but we all do that though don’t we? Nothing you can do about time slipping away.

Steph then asked about children and, for the second or two before answering, I honestly thought he was going to say that he sacrificed children. Disappointingly, he continued to say that he has regrets about his children. He had some boys in the 1990s, saw loads of them, got divorced, didn’t see much of his girls and was very coy when Dom asked him if it was just politics that played a part in his divorce. He’s married to someone else now and he was adamant that she had nothing to do with busting up his first marriage. He also talks about being dead fucking sick of the media taking snaps of his new missus. I would be and all, to be honest.

Soon after making a corny speech about wanting to do something in politics, rather than talk about it, he spilled pink champagne all over his trousers. After daring one another to offer him a pair of leather replacements, Steph and Dom gear him up in a pair of stone-washed, ripped denim jeans, and I think he looks fucking cool. Nigel then takes things up a level. Beat this, David, Ed and Nick:

Over dinner, he downs a gigantic glass of red wine, necks another pink champagne and lies through his teeth about not finding Adolf Hitler funny (he is) before saying Mussolini can be quite funny and that he knows Mussolini’s granddaughter AND Sophia Loren’s granddaughter. Very impressive. Not as impressive as the bit I’m about to tell you about now though: He then went on to tell them about how he’s almost DIED three times. He famously nearly crashed that plane a few years ago but at the age of 21 he fractured his skull and almost bit the dust in a massive car crash before following it up shortly afterwards with some ball-reducing ball cancer. He’s a proper hard man.


Steph said to be in politics you need to have balls of steel and followed it up with, “no pun intended”, a wave of her arms and another look at the camera crew for validation. She seems to me uncomfortable and unsure of what she’s doing there, in life. What she should have said was: “Hitler has only got one ball? Farage has only got one ball, lads. Know what I mean?”

A night cap of Irish coffee and port, I think, set them up for a boring climax to what was a boring programme about a couple of boring, fake cunts and a boring politician who only seems different because he’s willing to say “shit” on the telly and get hammered for our entertainment. He probably wasn’t even drunk though, was he? Politics and the telly is all smoke and mirrors.


Fake cunts, and I can talk; I'm just a fucking pseudonym.

I might be wrong, but Steph and Dom behave like they’re in control of the evening, and of the show, but Nigel plays them like Carl Cox plays about six pairs of Technics 1210s at once. Nigel Farage is the posh one, not them. He’s the rich one, not them. (We know he’s not, but) He’s the one who comes across as natural and honest, not them, and he knows it, and if Dylan Wilby jumps on the comments underneath this to nail me for writing a totally insubstantial article, he can fuck right off and read the Weekly Review of Dance Music instead.

  • Pint of beer
  • Another pint of beer
  • Pink champagne
  • Another pink champagne
  • Red wine
  • Irish coffee with port, I think

Fuck me, what a palaver. It's a bit weird, having a television show review on the Weekly Review of Dance Music, out of the blue, isn't it? I wrote it because I wanted to write it and publish it on here though, definitely. If any of you hear about this original article being canned by a major website and magazine because I got the angle and tone wrong, don't listen. That story is BANG out of order.

Right, I'll be back next week with a heart-warming Christmas story: The Christmas Dance Music Miracle.

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Shh! They're coming up the WRDMHQ garden path. Turn that fucking light off!


- Boxfresh! Good to see you, come on in.
- Where do you want all this free clobber and guest list + 1 for the private view of our 89:14 - A Street Style Journey exhibition at Londonewcastle Project Space on Thursday night, Tonka?
- Just bring them through to the kitchen.
- Hang on a minute, what are all these people doi...


Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Boxfresh,
Happy birthday to you!

For they are jolly good fellows,
For they are jolly good fellows,
For they are jolly good feeeeeellowwwwwws,
Aaaaaaaaaand so say all of us!

And so say all of us!
And so say all of us!
For they are jolly good feeeeeellowwwwwws,
And so say all of us!

That was a scene imagined by me on the tube whilst stood up in the middle of the carriage, looking down forlornly, swallowing hard, hanging on to the scratched red pole with my inside elbow, cold fingers all over my white iPad 2, waiting. Waiting for someone to offer me a seat. The central line is an unforgiving, hoary old bitch at rush hour. I wonder if any of these fuckers have even heard of Tory Turk. Probably not. He definitely hasn't, look at him. Head like a bounced tennis ball and a face like a sat on...great, he's getting off at Holland Park. I can write up this Boxfresh 25th birthday thing properly.

89:14 - A Street Style Journey is a three day exhibition that starts on Friday 5 December and knocks off on the Sunday with a talk by Ewen Spencer and a special screening of his Open Mic film. Open Mic is all about grime, so get down to the venue at exactly 2:59pm and 39 seconds to take advantage of being able to loudly remark that you've got "21 seconds to go" before Ewen Spencer is on. I'm laughing out loud inside of my head right now as I picture how amusing that would be for everyone.

The exhibition itself sounds fucking brilliant. They've got the largest magazine collection in the world on show, The Hyman Archive. I've got a collection of Viz magazines that date from the late nineties to present day so I'm looking forward to chatting with whoever Hyman is about collecting magazines. Also there is football fan/stylish man, Cass Pennant. I'll probably have a pop at him for supporting Chelsea and tell him about the time I went to Stamford Bridge with my dad to watch West Brom lose 3-0 in the FA Cup third round. It was January 1997. Paul Peschisolido signed my programme during the warm up and it went downhill from there. It was cold, it started to rain, we were played off the park by a team of full internationals, taunted by the Shed End and the back of my head felt like it was being caved in very slowly by little bits of metal hail stones.

Pennies from Heaven? No, pennies and two pence pieces rained down on us from the Headhunters in the upper gantry.

Vintage label enthusiast, Rhiannon Barry, will be banging on about the 90s garage scene and Fiona Cartledge will be showcasing some of the clobber she used to sell in her Kensington Market shop, Sign of the Times, that defined the acid house era. I'm very interested to see how she stretches out smiley face t-shirts and smiley face vests into a whole exhibition piece. What I'm buzzing about the most though is the Olaf and Su Parker bit. Olaf and Su were designers for Boxfresh at the beginning and did loads for the early nineties Acid Jazz scene. I'll impress them with my encyclopaedic knowledge of Jamiroquai's first three albums, my green and white hound’s-tooth flared Farah slacks and a pair of brand new box fresh black Adidas Campus. I'll probably wear my black skinny Acid Jazz t-shirt with yellow piping around the neck and sleeves to get them both into a real lather.

There'll be loads more stuff going on around what I've already mentioned. At a guess, I'd probably say there'll be workshops, in-store live music events, radio take-overs, club nights and, hold on, I'm reading the wrong bit now. That's the bit where the PR woman was telling me about the Boxfresh 25 Series. That's all the stuff that Boxfresh have been doing throughout the year to celebrate one hundred seasons of life.

They'll start calling this the DAILY Review of Dance Music soon, won't they? Eh? The will, won't they? Eh?

I’ll be back next week with loads more dance news, dance reviews, dance opinion pieces, dance features and dance promotionals.

FOLLOW ME: @tonkawrdm
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Peer to Peer with ANDREW RYCE

YOU have a lot to thank Resident Advisor for.

- Why, Tonka?

- Well, if it wasn't for Resident Advisor there'd be no Tonka, there'd be no Weekly Review of Dance Music and there'd certainly be no Peer to Peer with Andrew Ryce (the new North American editor of Resident Advisor): an interview that's EXCLUSIVE to your super soaraway WRDM, only in this week's Weekly Review of Dance Music, ONLY today on the WRDM website lovingly crafted each Tuesday by me, Tonka, for you and you and you and you this Tuesday, on the first Tuesday of the week, each week, every week. Forever.

For the few of you who've not yet read the unauthorised biography of me by Wolfgang Müller, Tonka: The Nicest Man In Dance?, I started writing about dance music on the RA message boards in the late noughties - coming to prominence on the forum where Fabric was almost going to shut its doors around 2010. Unfortunately, during the upgrade of their site last year, most of the threads I won were shredded so there's no longer a record of the time a bedroom DJ in Detroit said that I should start a blog.

I don't post much on their message boards anymore because I'm too important to get involved now. I still love Resident Advisor though. It's a website I frequent on a daily basis, still. I'll download their podcasts on a Monday morning until I'm dead and, although I never listen to the RA Exchanges, my ambition is to be the subject of one before the year 2020. Tonka and Resident Advisor share a potted - sometimes tumultuous (but not like the relationship I have with Mixmag - see WRDMs passim) - brotherly history, and I look forward to watching the business grow under their current management structure. RA is a modern company, an ethical one (I think) and a cool one. They have an ace new North American editor who has agreed to give his first interview since accepting the job to the Weekly Review of Dance Music.

Anyone who thinks that I'm only interviewing Andrew Ryce in order to gain a stronger foothold in the currently lucrative American dance writing circuit can think again. Anyone who thinks that I'm only interviewing Andrew Ryce in order to secure more appearances for WRDM on the RA Feed is BANG out of order. Anyone who thinks that I'm only interviewing Andrew Ryce for reasons other than to highlight his spot-on reviews, to shine a light on his illustrative and engaging features and to celebrate his promotion within the greatest online dance magazine in the world deserves a Function One monitor swung at them.

On Sunday afternoon, Nick Sabine chartered a Dassault Falcon 900B private jet for Andrew and I to conduct the interview on. It didn't fly anywhere, it just parked itself up at RAF Northolt and we hopped aboard for what turned out to be a terrifically in-depth chat about Andrew's life, career so far and ambitions. Here is the transcript:


Q. For anyone unfamiliar with the name Andrew Ryce, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A. For the past few years I've been a full-time Staff Writer at Resident Advisor, where I helped to spearhead our move into North America via editorial. I've just taken on the position North American Editor to have a bigger hand in managing the site, but for the most part my average day consists of planning and writing reviews, full-length features and editing the news section. I also do some freelance work, which these days mostly means the occasional review on Pitchfork.

Q. Was establishing yourself as a trusted voice in dance music journalism really hard or the opposite of really hard?
A. Aww, shucks at the implied compliment. I'm not sure if I'd say it was hard once I got my foot in the door, but I will say that I did work really fucking hard. When I first started writing I produced as much as I possibly could - not even for any strategic reasons, really, but just because I felt like I had a lot to say and there was a lot of interesting music about. But my high work rate seemed to get my name around and, over the course of two heavy years, I became established at some point, I guess.

Considering for a while I was working 20 hours a week at a coffee shop, going to university full time and contributing to about five different websites at once, I suppose it wasn't easy, no.

Q. How did you come up with the moniker, Andrew Ryce, 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 Word Worshiper (Andrew Word Worshiper) or Da Kanadian Komma King (Andrew Da Kanadian Komma King)?
A. My name seemed distinctive enough on its own thanks to that befuddling y in Ryce, which has never been explained to me and probably never will. My middle initial is M and "Andrew M. Ryce" just doesn't have much of a ring to it, now does it? Seeing as I was a young writer trying to make my name, I didn't see any point in disguising it or obscuring it, but now that I have seen the full spectrum of creepy hatred the internet has to offer, sometimes I wish I came up with a pseudonym.

Q. Talk me through your working process, from a practical level. How do you write? 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. Seeing as I work full time and from home, most of my day is spent at my desk (or in some coffee shop somewhere), thinking about music, processing music, listening to music and writing about it. My methods have shifted over the years, but right now I am definitely the all-day note-taker type, with a notebook to scribble my thoughts about whatever I'm listening to throughout the day. It's handy to both remember clever observations but also just remember anything about the volume of music I have to plow through every day.

My average day as a whole, however, consists of keeping an eye out for breaking news throughout the day (and writing that up whenever necessary), managing the news section in a more general sense and manning the social media accounts during my workday. I usually allot the afternoon (which is slower in terms of news and emails) for writing longer form stuff like reviews and features, though in an ideal situation I can hack away at them gradually all day.

Q. What equipment do you use for your work? E.g. I use an Apple iPad2 and my Nokia 100 mobile phone for making notes before transferring them 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 have an iMac desktop in my home office, and a MacBook Air for when I'm out and about or traveling. Sometimes I wish that I didn't have the tiniest laptop possible, but I think my back and shoulders are grateful. I used to make notes on my phone but I found that process frustrating and fruitless, and only do that as a last resort—I much prefer paper and pen for notes, not to be a hipstery asshole about it. I write most of my editorial in Evernote and then export it to a Word Document to file. I use Photoshop to crop images for the news section, and that's about it.

Q. I was on a panel of speakers at this year’s LEME discussing the future of music journalism. I embarrassed myself by not being a proper music journalist and not being able to articulate myself in any way compared to Terry Farley, Naomi Williams and Ian McQuaid, and by drinking too much to combat nerves. What is the future of music journalism?
A. The future of music journalism is uncertain and hazy. Democratization has done a lot to essentially pull the bottom out from under everything, but as someone who only really emerged to 'the scene' as this was already well underway, it seems more exciting than anything. Yes, there are a million shitty blogs out there with badly written editorial, but easy and instant access to everything, including what the writer is covering, probably means that if you're going to write something about a piece of music, it better be fucking good, observant, sharp and enlightening.

For most people, there's no point in reading lengthy descriptions of music when they can just listen to it at the click of a mouse, which is something I've been trying to keep in mind lately, even if, as a certified muso, I can enjoy the occasional belaboured metaphor. But yes, the future is pithy, intelligent and informative discourse that reveals something about the music the listener might not catch on the surface level.

Q. Do you make enough money to live well from what you do or do you have to subsidise from side jobs? Where does your most regular income come from – if there is one revenue stream you can call regular?
A. Well that's none of your business, Tonka, but I am extremely lucky to say that I can live quite comfortably. I know many people would kill for this sort of situation so I try to remind myself of that every once in a while when I might be feeling down or frustrated about something.

Q. 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? Every DJ/producer I've met through WRDM has been fucking sound and full of life.
A. Sounds like you've met a better group of DJs than I have - because I know plenty of miserable old dudes - but you're right. Across the board from the most underground of techno producers to the shittiest of EDM sellouts, press pictures are almost always moody and sullen, even the big name DJs who plaster their faces all over their ugly gig posters. Nothing says "let's get fucking mashed and dance for six hours" like a dude staring off in the distance while looking like he's trying to remember whether or not he left the stove on.

It's exactly this silly preoccupation with image and looking cool or aloof that really bugs me about "underground" music and how it's often compared to more image-conscious, purposefully-marketed music; it's all the fucking same, really. But that's a rant for another time, I suppose.

Q. Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A. As my colleagues will tell you, there have been some wild times. Stuff I can't even print here - not even because it's inappropriate, but I wouldn't want to shake anyone's perceptions of reality or what partying really means. Over time, tens of festivals and countless hangovers later, however, I lean more towards the sober situation. It's tricky when you're meant to cover a dance music event, though: it's not really fair to what you're covering to approach it like the bored old dude in the corner not dancing or enjoying himself. So maybe I can just say somewhere comfortably in between.

Q. Growing up in Vancouver, what local nights/DJs/promoters inspired you to get into dance music and then start writing about it? Or did your inspiration come from further afield?
A. My inspiration came mostly from the internet, when I was around 12 or 13, the usual path of discovering IDM and then working backwards (and forwards) from there. I didn't have much experience with going out when I first started writing, and to be honest with you, by the time I was meeting people in Vancouver and going out regularly I was already well under way with my amateur and soon-to-be-professional writing career. Going to small-scale raves and seeing people so hungry and grateful for good dance music definitely gave me a good perspective of how this stuff functions internationally, and what it means to people, and my first events were generally bigger, dirtier raves, which has given me a distaste for antiseptic nightclub settings.

Q. Is there much of a scene in Canada to get excited about at the moment? If so, who's leading it (please don't say Turbo)?
A. Canada has a fantastic scene. Each city has its ups and downs, and almost nowhere in the entire country has good, reliable venues, for all sorts of reasons (but this is a larger problem in North America). You've got the Hifi Club in Calgary, Open Studios in Vancouver, a handful of venues in Montreal and well, nothing in Toronto at the moment.

But the artists are there: Vancouver has a healthy crew of bass lovers who have been doing their thing for well over a decade, and the new breed of house lovers who operate in the Mood Hut sphere. Calgary and Edmonton both have growing scenes with killer DJs (Dane, Lorne B) and rising producers (Khotin, Sergio Levels), and sometimes land better international DJ gigs than Vancouver. Toronto is in transition but there's some interesting folks there: Gingy, Bwana, Kevin motherfucking McPhee and a handful of others are some of the more exciting young'uns, and there's a raft of cool parties like Mansion and Box Of Kittens, even if they don't have permanent homes.

I feel like I don't know Montreal's local scene well enough, but it's given birth to enough amazing artists to speak for itself.

Q. Me aside, what other writers are you into at the moment?
A. I've always held Philip Sherburne in high regard: he's easily the biggest influence on my writing, with the perfect balance of occasional florid prose and matter-of-fact, clever observations (this is a balance I think my colleague Jordan Rothlein has a very good grasp of too). He also has a wide-ranging, on-the-nose taste, which is something I've tried to establish on my own: Sherbs always knows what's cool, regardless of genre. Hiring him as an editor is one of the best decisions Pitchfork has made lately. Craig Jenkins is probably my current favourite hip-hop writer and Meaghan Garvey is up there too, especially when it comes to picking apart local scenes and presenting them in an easy-to-follow, intriguing way (she's also just a badass person all around, really).

My editor at Pitchfork, Mark Richardson, has a fantastic way of making music writing feel emotional and personal, while pretty much everything Jess Hopper touches is fire. In terms of writing about techno, Brian Kolada and Angus Finlayson are two of my favourites for different reasons: Kolada is wonderfully matter-of-fact which suits what he often reviews, among the most repetitive and unfriendly music we cover on RA. Angus Finlayson, meanwhile, is fantastic at contextualizing music and making even a simple 12-inch review feel holistic and educational. I have to shout-out my Associate Editor at RA, Will Lynch, who is obsessed with The New Yorker and The Economist and writes with the unpretentious breeziness you would expect from that pedigree, and then there's my former RA editor Todd L. Burns, whose terse, no-bullshit analytical skills are probably the biggest force in my ongoing development as a writer (along with current Editor Ryan Keeling's similar approach). Even if I don't work with him anymore, his influence tends to hang on my every thought (and he has that elusive, killer middle initial that I just can't match up to).

Q. What is your ultimate ambition in journalism?
A. My ultimate ambition...I'm not sure, really. I'd love to be the editor-in-chief of something someday, but I'd also want to be in a position where I can still write regularly, because writing is really what makes me happy. Sometimes, even when I'm off work, sitting down to organize my thoughts into words is just a comforting exercise, and I would hate to lose the opportunity to do that. I'm focusing more on longer-form writing and I'd love to have something that becomes canonical (whatever that means these days) or at least influential.

Maybe one day I'll coin a stupid sub-genre and then there'll be a Wikipedia article about me.

Q. What advice would you give to any young readers of WRDM who are looking to get into music journalism?
A. The common answer when people get asked this question is "don't bother," which is horrible and cynical and honestly, fuck you Mr. Gatekeeper. I have no time for gatekeepers. The world always needs new talent to keep the old guard on their toes, but my advice would be just don't count on it. It's not an easy world and it's less favourable than ever. I never planned to be a music journalist, I was set to be a teacher and was just writing on the side - never thinking I'd even make a little bit of money off of it. After a few years I accidentally ended up with two full-time job offers while I was still in school, but I'm not going to pretend like that's a normal thing you should expect.

So, really, work hard; make sure everything you submit is your very best, because people won't always give you second chances; don't let anyone take advantage of you (if anyone tries to make you work an unpaid internship, run the fuck away), learn to take criticism and accept it as a valid critique of your work and not your personality. But most importantly of all, don't lose sight of the fact that getting paid for writing about music is extremely fun, privileged and ridiculous when you really think about it. The minute it stops being fun, you should probably just quit, because we don't need any more of that shit.


What a lovely young man! He don't half rattle, but what he's got to say is worth listening to. Please join me in wishing Andrew all the very best in his new job and let's all look forward to a time when he's interviewing me on one of those RA Exchanges.

I'll be back next week with the following:

  • ...
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...

...I don't know yet because I've not got anything planned. I'll probably do some Hilarious Lookalikes or review some records. I've not done a Remix of the Week for almost a year so maybe I'll do one of them.

FOLLOW ME: @tonkawrdm
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FYI - I bought a pair of Adidas Campus the other day.

I'm still the coolest fucker in Northolt.



This week's Weekly Review of Dance Music is coming at ya (you) live from the insides of my mind, and it's inside my mind where you'll come (not cum) across things like my memories and bits of brain (my brain). Can you imagine what it's like inside of my brain? I can because it's my mind and everything inside of my brain is just for me, except for when I share selected items from my brain mind and transfer it on to the cyber pages of the world famous Weekly Review of Dance Music. I love telling you about things that have happened in my past because, in a literal kind of way, I'm indulging in nostalgia, and nostalgia is a big market at the moment.

A big fucking market, and I'm getting paid fuck all for anything lately; that Mixmag job offer didn't come to anything, my quarterly Google AdSense cheque isn't half as much as I expected after the DJ Harvey interview, the WRDMHQ boiler needs fixing, we've got damp under the stairs and Meoko still owe me seventy five quid for something I did for them a year ago.


To be honest, ladies and gentlemen, WRDMHQ Capital Holdings Ltd. in Northolt is currently in a state of regrettable restructure. I've had to let go of three of my red hot teenage German bisexual lesbian typists as part of the first phase of cost-cutting exercises and I can see more job losses on the horizon. Maybe I need to clean my act up so that I can get paid to write about the clubs YOU need to go to over the weekend in the Friday edition of Metro, or something. The other week I had a PEER to PEER with a Guardian journalist slip through my fingers because of a blue routine I performed on the Ran$om Note. She didn't like the anal sex/mint choc chip condom anecdote any more than anyone else did and reneged on our interview. I don't fucking blame her. Who's going to throw money at me and fly Tonka off to LA to chat with the two remaining Beastie Boys after reading about me shit stabbing a wench I picked up in Walsall back in the day? Who's going to buy a feature on early noughties hard house anymore? Who wants to read about how I can ecstasy E tablet ANYBODY under the table, even Shabs off of Channel 4 Drugs Live?

This website (I can't even say its name right now, I'm that angry) is a fat and greasy receptacle for all that's bad about dance music journalism (sometimes). It's ramma-jamma full of crap stories, needless swearing, excessive use of brackets and capital letters, total disregard for ANYONE else in the music journalism universe, shameless promotion of people I'm friendly with on social media and desperately transparent, long-winded 'articles' about how I want WRDM to be taken seriously alongside pseudo-intellectual-bum-tonguing-sub-cheeky interviews with artists I want to associate myself with and, lately, PROPER journalists I'm cynically shining a light on in order to have a larger light shone back on me in my PEER to PEER series! It's a fucking shambles, to be honest, and I'm embarrassed at myself. Who'd fucking read this, eh? I'm not being funny, but it's fucking rubbish and I'm quitting being Tonka as of today. Somebody else can do it from now on because I'm finished. As of now!





Only joking! LOLoutLOUD. The Weekly Review of Dance Music is fucking brilliant and it always will be. PEER to PEER with the brand new, and very well deserving, North American editor of Resident Advisor, Andrew Ryce, is coming sooooooooooooooooooooooooon.

My nose is fucking filthy.

And it stinks of shit.

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You’ll be pleased to read that I've not got any more MASSIVE QUESTIONS or regional features in the pipeline because, for the first time in ages, I've run out of friends to plug and events to get free entry to. So, back to what the Weekly Review of Dance Music SHOULD be about, eh? If there’s one thing this website is good at, it’s independently reviewing dance music on a weekly basis, and it’s on that basis that I, Tonka, after three and a half years of non-stop quality output, have been offered a job at Mixmag!

Yes, I received a phone call from someone called Konrad at Mixmag at twenty three hundred hours army time last night to see how much I charge for dance music reviews. He spoke in a ridiculous, faux-Jamaican-faux-capital-faux-embarrassed accent and littered his request with exactly a quad of unnecessary accoutrements like, “vibes”, “bro”, “hype” and “hashtag jingle jangle.” I told him, crisply, “No one writes like I do in dance music. No less than ten pence per word, mate.”

He snapped my fucking hand off and I suddenly felt undersold. I said, “Steve, let’s not commit to anything before…” and he rudely interrupted with a whisper, “My name’s Konrad.”

Konrad and I then entered into a lengthy negotiation about how and where I'd fit into their organisation (should I accept their offer of employment). I strongly advised that I would be best suited in a managerial position, possibly overlooking the magazine's editorial direction, with an overlap into HR where I could be assigned the role of restructuring their current music/event review teams and their Friday afternoon Boiler Room thing promotions and programming sub-team. To this, I was offered 1 x house single review with Joe Muggs, 1 x techno single review and 1 x event review on the online edition of Mixmag on condition that no contracts are signed and payment for my services could be paid as and when the employer remembers.

Like James off of The Apprentice, I took up a smile, went a bit cross-eyed and told my sub-team team leader - who'd been standing meekly next to me the whole time - to shut up and came back hard with the same demands as before plus recommendations of my own for at least two members of staff to be offered a sensible redundancy package which I would be willing to process and sell to them both as a magazine cost cutting exercise in person. Quick as a flash, the negotiation was ended when I accepted 1 x set of trial dance music reviews, unpaid, on the Weekly Review of Dance Music prior to anybody at the magazine agreeing to authorise the publication of anything written by me being associated with Mixmag. This is all with a view to see if I fit in with their editorial mission, or vision. I can't remember if he said mission or vision.

Here's some reviews in the style of a top Mixmag reviewer. Wish me luck, guys!

Tensnake feat. Jacques Lu Cont
Feel Of Love - remixes

Tensnake is no stranger to bigtime collaborations. On his debut album Glow he called in Nile Rodgers, Stuart Price, Jamie Lidell, MNEK and Jeremy Glenn, and on the Feel Of Love remix EP he’s enlisted more huge names. There’s the German power-unit of Boys Noize & Djedjotronic, whose edit features shining synth flashes, big bass stabs and a staggered drum pattern that gives the cut a playful edge. Kaytranada’s edit fuses wild drum-fills with jazzy interludes and a vibe that Pharrell would be happy with. Strong.


Berkson & What
Make It True feat. JoJo De Freq

Berkson & What are next up to release on Seth Troxler’s legendary Play It Say It with Make It True feat. JoJo De Freq; an elastic, fantastic, bright green plastic radiant house jam with sharp kicks, an acid tinged bassline, sultry nag nag nagging female vocals and the smoothest synths this side of your little sister's legs. Dance hero Luke Solomon delivers a ‘Remix 4 Turnings’ version which turns it into an almost new track (!) with a deeply grooving bassline, funky melody, spoken human vocals and very, very, very, very noticeable hats. Dance legend Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers heads up the B-side on the other side of the record, with his ‘Psychedelic Jungle Mix’ and ‘Smooth Mix’ doing just as they say, being both psychedelic and smooth.


Springblade/Chain 2.0

Korma is from Seattle and part of a wave of international producers giving UK bass guys a run for their money (see also: YNGN, Moslem Priest, Air Max ’97). Fans of that WTF?! sound that first emerged around the turn of the decade thanks to Bok Bok, Untold, Ikonika et al will dig these unpredictable tracks. ‘Springblade’ is a mechanical riddim shot through with warped bass and glocks being cocked; ‘Chain 2.0’ is mutant ghetto house music sheathed in sheet metal FX. See also Korma’s EP for Car Crash Set sub-label Ice Rink. Pure fire.


DJ Pierre
What Is House Muzik (Ricardo Villalobos What Is Remix)

Major big time riddim fire here from not just one maestro of the scene, but two. This stretched out, panoramic snapshot of a house past is brought right up to speed, and into the present day future, by way of a K-hole inducing trip via a minimal dance floor circa 2006 and into your eyes and ears today on a YouTube near you. Those trademark Ricky V slow-mo snap-claps and fizzing hi-hats sit perfectly alongside DJ Pierre's sultry "What Is House Muzik?" vocal line and that cheeky bass line in what is a sure fire Christmas minimal banger. 32 minutes of pure, absolute TUNEAGE that is sure to make your hashtags jingle jangle.


Kingthing & Jamie Grind

Here’s a split EP from two underground producers who know how to twist bass music inside out. Kingthing delivers ‘Waking Up’, a monstrous acid techno squelcher, and ‘Cold Diss’, a pounding juke run-around. Flip it over and Jamie Grind brings ‘We Still Play 140’ and ‘For You’, two warm, melodic future garage cuts with cosmic tendencies. Bliss.


Daft Punk

This is the track that would have been in Tron Legacy if the film featured an illegal drugs rave. Reminiscent of Rinzler, the contrast between modern synths and classic string and drum sections works beautifully. Expect frantic drum fills and a cheeky flute section that carries the song all the way to the abyss.



If I'm not getting the drinks in at the Mixmag Christmas party this year, I'll smash WRDMHQ up even more than I did last Christmas when I got my hopes up about a freelance writing job at Resident Advisor that never materialised and Meoko stopped paying what they promised me.

Either way, I'll be back next week with loads more FREE content on the internet. You can read all about my week on the Ran$om Note every Friday too. Join me.

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Clubbing in Birmingham. Check. Desperate attempt to expand my readership beyond the tiny pocket of eyes in east London. Check. Minimal techno. Check. Techno. Check. Industrial techno. Check. Chubby Funster and Seb Wheeler. Check. Making zero pounds from writing about dance music...

Aww fuck, there he go again. Talking about hoes and dough again.

A rap reference. Check. Ricky V. Check. Hard house. Check. WWF. Check. MASSIVE QUESTIONS with a DJ or producer I've become mates with on social media. About to check.

Chris Finke is a man. He's also a DJ, producer, male model, and planner/programmer for one of the longest standing, and most respected, techno nights in the UK. If you've never heard of Atomic Jam you've either not been reading WRDM or Tonka's Week for the last month or you're new to dance music, and I forgive you. I met up with Chris at the weekend for a chat about his life, a drink of steaming hot tea and a play on the big boy swings at Roxeth Park in South Harrow.

Here is a transcript of every single word we breathed at one another:


Q. For anyone unfamiliar with the name Chris Finke, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A. Chris Finke is now officially dead. He was a techno DJ and producer. He was a bit of a wanker. Bodyjack and He/aT seem like cool guys though. They are much better looking than him, and make really good music.

Q. Has establishing yourself in the dance music industry been a pain in the arse or the opposite of a pain in the arse?
A. It's has been what my mum would say “a fun pain in the arse.” I've done things, seen things and met people I never would have ever had the chance to do so that's great and I'm so appreciative of all that. But I could have saved myself a hell of a lot of hassle by getting a normal job years ago. So yes, a fun pain in the arse.

Q. Clap or snare?
A. Clare or Snap. Both together are fun. Like most things.

Q. Atomic Jam starts celebrating its 19th birthday this week. How long have you been involved and what's your job?
A. I've been resident there for the last 12 years (as Chris Finke) and now under my He/aT alias. I also do the planning and programming with Danny the promoter too now, but that's it. My promoting days are long gone.

Q. I’ve not stopped banging on about House of God since I accidentally went there in 2012 because I was, patronisingly, surprised at how great it was. Do you see Atomic Jam and HoG occupying a top table in Birmingham's underground nightlife universe?
A. When Birmingham is on form it can be the best place for clubbing in the UK. But it's a really odd place. It goes through massive ups and downs when it comes to nightlife – it has recently come out of a massive slump and things are really picking up steam which is great. There are some great little nights popping up too.

Although I do think it suffers from too many promoters trying to do the same thing at times...if a few of them clubbed together (pun intended/no apology) then they could do really well.

Q. Ive just checked my stats and it says that most of the people who read WRDM in the UK live in London. HoG and Atomic Jam parties are rare. Can you recommend any other nights in Brum that people outside of the Midlands can go to? Or don't you give a fuck about anything other than Atomic Jam?
A. Well, the great thing about that is Atomic Jam is now bi-monthly! The first one is sold out but the next one is in January and we are doing every other month right up to the 20th birthday after next Summer. So I would absolutely recommend buying tickets for future parties on sight, as things are about to “go off” as they say...

Q. Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A. People do stupid things when they are drunk. I do stupid things when I'm sober. So, I'm going with absolutely fucking terminated as it's more fun.

Q. What's your favourite Fabric CD?
A. I haven't listened to all of them, but the last ones I heard and really liked were the Pangaea and DJ EZ ones. Fun for all the family. Aside from my uncle, who is deaf.

Q. How many pseudonyms do you have and what’s the difference between them all?
A. I've been called every name under the sun, but for music I use Bodyjack, which is for fun stuff and He/aT which is for techno. I did He/aT for a year totally anonymously when I killed off Chris Finke as an experiment to see if people liked my music without knowing who was behind it, and it was better received than any of my Chris Finke stuff, which is interesting. Bodyjack is just a completely new audience for me and its really good to be doing that. He's a character, I can tell you.

Q. What kit do you use for a He/aT live performance? Synthesisers and microphones? Is it just you?
A. Yes, it's just me. I had never played live anywhere before or even used Ableton before I played Berghain in May. That was a scary experience, but I couldn't have been happier with the way it went. I've only done it once since and I'm only pulling that out on special occasions. I much prefer DJing really, and I'm banned from using a microphone in most major cities in Western Europe after the 'unpleasantness' when I filled in for Wogan at an after-dinner for Comet last year, so that's out I'm afraid.

Q. The Atomic Jam 19th Birthday Party Part 2 is in January. Are you planning many other parties for the rest of 2015? If so, will you be staying with Next Door, and do you have any names lined up?
A. Yes, as I said before (if you were bloody listening and not staring at that girl in Greggs) that we are doing a full on schedule next year. Joining me and the new resident Stephanie Sykes in January we have Shifted and Truss & Tessela doing their TR//ER live thing, which will be wicked.

I can't say who we have booked for the following parties, but we have some killer line-ups and a load of acts that haven't played for us before. It's the 20th birthday year so we are looking at some tour dates and another really exciting project I can't talk about, which will really push things on for us. So, it's an exciting time for all concerned.

Q. What is Stephanie Sykes really like?
A. For legal reasons, I can't say much other than she is a very good DJ and is a really good laugh. Oh, and she picked up a broad Manchester accent when she lived there for a few years up until this year. But that is really all I can say until the courts make a decision.

Q. I'll be attending the first part of your birthday party this Friday night. I might have a mate with me who doesn't have a ticket. If he turns up, could you "sort him out" on the door please?
A. I'm sorry...what? The line went fuzzy then and I couldn't hear you...

Q. Is there anything else you'd like to plug, mention or say in your defence?
A. Yes. This month I've got two Bodyjack releases: my remix for Chambray on Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic and my next BodyTrax EP. Next month the 4th He/aT EP (Helping the Police With Their Enquiries) drops and also my split EP (with new guy Soundbwoy Killah) is out on the Bodyjack label. All of which I'm really happy with. So please go and check them!

Finally, thanks for the questions...as I said before, it's great to chat with a music journalist who clearly has absolutely no agenda and is doing it for a laugh. Big ups, breadbin x


What a lovely young man - even though he pretended not to hear my request for one potential freebie on the door! I never knew half of what he told me before so I'm glad we met to clear those things up. Please join me in wishing Chris all the very best for all of his future endeavours and then support his various pseudonyms and Atomic Jam. If you're going to Atomic Jam on Friday, contact me on Facebook, Twitter or email (details below) and I'll gladly buy you one pint of beer at the bar.

BOOST Chris Finke's moral by joining him on his various social media outlets:

He/aT Facebook: facebook.com/heattrax
He/aT Twitter: @heeaatt
He/aT Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/he_at

Bodyjack Facebook: facebook.com/thisisbodyjack
Bodyjack Twitter: @chrisfinke
Bodyjack Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/bodyjack

Next week, there's a special PEER to PEER with a proper print journalist! There'll also be MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage, loads more Hilarious Lookalikes and my cheeky, inimitable thoughts on the week in dance music.

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FOLLOW ME NOW: @tonkawrdm
EMAIL ME NOW: tonkawrdm@gmail.com
PAY ME TO WRITE NOW (LOLoutLOUD): linkedin/tonka


Next week's WRDM was supposed to be a PEER to PEER with a Guardian journalist but she pulled out on Friday afternoon after reading my Tonka's Week opener where I told an amusing anal sex/mint choc chip condom anecdote. She, understandably, did not want any association with a writer who writes about 'impaling' a sexual partner with his willy - and it will teach me never me to pick up the Profanisaurus instead of the Thesaurus again when trying to write creatively. The bit was eventually censored by the powers that be at R$N Towers who received a record number of complaints. My words were deemed 'too hot' and 'dangerous' for publication.

I'm not bitter at all, but I know for a fact that in 20 years time Ransom Note will have an influential chat show hosted by Joe Europe and he'll introduce my 76 year old mother onto the set to read that banned anal sex bit out to a live studio audience on the tenth anniversary of my death, followed by an insincere apology for not publishing such an important piece of writing at the time. That said, I'll be playing it very safe this Friday, lads.