But since then, many have wondered what’s next for Secretsundaze. What’s next for this chapter? Sharon Andrew interviews James to reflect on times of change…
Secretsundaze has been a London club facility for 20 years. In the beginning, did you dream that you might be where you are now? Did you have big ambitions or was it just for fun?
“No, we didn’t start out with big ambitions. We simply wanted to create an environment that we thought would be welcoming, first friends, then other people we wanted to join and music we love. I just wanted to share.” It refreshed me to some extent. “
Are your musical tastes any different than they were 20 years ago, or are they fundamentally the same? What does groove mean to you today compared to 20 years ago?
“Yes, on the other hand, there is a lot of the music that I liked and that I was playing when we started in 2002 that I still love and play. The early 1990s was kind of the golden age of deeper and more electronic house sounds.I’m not so into the broken beat side these days, I feel like the genre hasn’t progressed that much. And while other influences permeate it, it feels pretty old and outdated to me.But many of the more progressive, electro, Italo-leaning records I loved at the time are still great. It’s ringing with sounds and it’s great to share them with a young audience that probably didn’t know them in the first place.”
You are known for playing all-night sets. What is special about you being on deck from the moment the door opens until the end?
“It’s just a chance to express yourself more broadly and help create a mood and atmosphere. If you’re playing short sets with peak times, you can’t do much. Also, pace yourself a little more.” It also gives you the opportunity to pursue your vision a bit more about adjusting your Since then, I love it.”
You’ve joined the Secretsundaze party and marathoned around the world, from Glastonbury to Gotwood, from Tokyo to Berlin’s Panorama Bar to Frankfurt’s Robert Johnson. How does your international gig feel compared to Pickle Factory or Color Factory? Do you think audiences will understand Secretsundaze in the same way?
“The content varies, but often it translates well. When you tour as a DJ, you take your music to different places to see what works and is received by different people. But at the same time, you bring your own vibe and message, and I think the positive music we play helps that, to recreate that vibe and vibe. When I do, the atmosphere can be more exciting than playing in London because there’s more anticipation and opportunity, but obviously that’s the more common occurrence, for example I was at Pickle this Saturday. I played a 6 hour set and it was great and the crowd really went with my flow but the vibe is a bit more deep and down rather than really rocking headlines during the trip to set.”
You always have loyal and devoted fans in London. Are there people in the party from the beginning?
“Oh, sure, they still don’t come to every party, but they still have a good force to represent. That said, the pandemic has played a big part in changing people’s lifestyles.” Okay, for quite a few people in the early days, the resets we did were enough to change their habits, and many stopped partying.It’s a shame.But we We value diversity, and for us it is as important to us that young people are interested in what we do, as is their balance, and the older heads make for a truly mixed crowd. It’s very important that you don’t see it on London dance floors very often these days.”
The new party line-up is very important to the life of the event. Secretsundaze has managed to keep one of London’s longest-running parties fresh and relevant. Why do you think so? How were you able to continue to evolve?
“I think it strikes a balance between having a strong musical backbone but also moving with the times. First and foremost, we are music lovers and fans and a desire to share the music we love. excites us, so as long as our tastes twist and change, things will remain interesting to us and to those who come to the party, and especially dance music these days. It goes so fast and things move so fast that I think sometimes people look for something a little more solid and I can see why, curiosity about the right people leads them to our door and After that, they tend to like what we do and how we do it…”
The next evolution of Secretsundaze’s global club body is the Spirit of Sundaze Ensemble. When did this idea come to you? What is your vision?
“Well, originally about 13 years ago, as a way to mark our then 10th anniversary, we hired a group of musicians to rethink, record and perform the music that has been the foundation of Secretsundaze over the years. It was an idea to collect, it didn’t happen at the time, but a decade or so later, during the lockdown, the idea resurfaced, and with the help and support of the Southbank Center and the Arts Council, we First I set out to bring this idea to life, with me I got on board with the MD (musical director) who brought together different band members etc. At the same time I also started the curation aspect of the music, Secretsundaze I chose tracks that were important to the music, but I also chose tracks that I felt had some effect on the possibilities in terms of reimagining them, and taking cues from other styles and genres, and how I approached each track thinking about how I could rework it in a way that would not only be respectful but also interesting.”