MASSIVE QUESTIONS with CHRIS FINKE aka BODYJACK aka He/aT


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:

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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

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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.

LIKE ME NOW: facebook/tonkawrdm
FOLLOW ME NOW: @tonkawrdm
EMAIL ME NOW: tonkawrdm@gmail.com
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EXTRA NEWS.

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.