Actually really, really nice
“As the popularity of the party has grown, that means new people have come out for the party and have been introduced to what we do. You know, there’s an ongoing challenge in trying to ensure we maintain the spirit of the party, the vibe of the party and what we’re about; and guiding the newcomers through a process, to a certain degree, of behaving in the right way at the party, for want of a better way of describing it. But I think we’re navigating that difficult part of getting bigger whereby you do have to try and sustain what you’ve created whilst more and more people are coming to it. It’s one of those problems I think a lot of really popular clubs and parties have at a certain point. How you get over it and how you come through it is really important so that’s what we’re really focused on doing at the moment, and I think it’s working out okay.” ~Eamon Harkin
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Do you feel that with vinyl, the medium is the message, to some extent?
“I’ve thought about it a lot, especially on this trip when playing with different kinds of DJs – some playing Traktor, some playing CDs. I think the reason why digital music gets hated on a lot by vinyl purists is because it’s a really easy entry point. It’s kind of like the Internet in general: what technology and what computers have brought us is access to an incredible amount of information, but with an incredible amount of information, it becomes hard to process it, right? We all know a little bit about a ton of stuff, right? It’s not necessarily that because you’re playing Serato or Traktor that you’re necessarily going to fall in that category. We had Ben UFO come and play with us in December and he was one of very, very few guests that have come and played with us on Serato, but Ben played one of the best sets that anyone has ever played at our party before, and that’s because Ben has an incredible knowledge of music and he’s also disciplined, and has probably prepared in some way for his set, and is not just standing there in front of his computer trying to remember which one of his 10,000 tracks he wants to play right now. That’s the problem with technology: it’s not technology in and of itself, it’s the way people interact with it – because it’s such a vast world – is really limited.” ~Justin Carter
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On the subject of New York, do you think the sad news about the closure of Dope Jams is symbolic of some kind of wider issue with the gentrification of the city, and if that is it affecting your perspective on music at all?
“That’s the story of New York City, and that’s the story of any metropolitan area, ever. There’s a fantastic story in (I think) New York Magazine when this place called Florent closed down. It was in the meatpacking district before anything was in the meatpacking district – other than meatpacking plants – and it was a diner where if you had been out at the clubs over on the West Side, you would go down, it was open 24 hours a day; this was also when transsexual and transvestite prostitutes were all over the meatpacking, that was kind of a home for them as well. There was a gay men’s centre that was also in the meatpacking district, they would go there as a home as well. There was a real mix of people that were there, it was a really fantastic space. As that neighbourhood changed, the rent went up and they couldn’t afford it anymore. Florent, the guy who ran the place, had this quote in the New York Magazine article that was something along the lines of, “when I found out that this was going to happen, I left the city for a week and cried; and then I came back, I got it together and I moved on. Because this is story of New York City, and this is what makes New York City great.”
There is a limit to everything, and while of course it’s disappointing when you see the things that you love, like I loved Dope Jams, it was a great store, and I wish it was still around. And y’know, this may happen to…in fact, it will happen to us at some point. We run our Sunday parties at this space, there will be a development at some point in the future, there is going to be condos on that property, and we know it. It’s going to sad when it’s gone, but at the same time we all get this window of opportunity to do something. It’s like life: we get some time, we maximise it, and we move on. So, as much as I want to bemoan the loss of every institution that I’ve come to love, I have to take a step away from it and realise it’s life, and it’s the way it happens.” ~Justin Carter
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Sample excerpts above taken from an interview conducted 23/02/13 on behalf of the Pleasure Principle Weekender. Full audio and transcription available on request for strictly non-commercial purposes.