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
Like me: facebook/tonkawrdm
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.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm
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