By Jonathan Emmins, founder of Amplify.
Everyone has a club that defines their youth, tastes, friendships and much more beyond. My club was the ‘Heavenly Social’. After bouncing around the backrooms of boozers, it found it’s spiritual home at Farringdon’s Turnmills (now luxury flats).
Low key and helmed by the Chemical Brothers (then Dust Brothers), the Heavenly Social threw together music genres with abandon. Fast forward 20+ years and Alexandra Palace attracted a 20,000-strong ‘older crowd’ who congregated to see the Chemical Brothers unleash their latest.
A far cry from the Turnmills days, it was a carefully choreographed two-hours that played to the senses and blurred the lines between music, art, film and technology. Regardless of the music or nostalgia, it was inspirational for event professionals, reflecting how sweaty little nights develop into today’s vision, artistry, ability and high expectations, as encapsulated by boundary-pushing clubs and promoters like the mighty Printworks and festivals like Awakenings or Dekmantel.
After Radio 6’s recent ‘All Day Rave’ and BBC4’s ‘How Dance Music Conquered the World’, much has been made of acid house’s coming-of-age and its mass influence. Other clubs and genres may have had similar impacts, but acid house was my rock, my punk, my hip-hop, my garage, my grime.
Amplify’s new ‘Lost Club Culture’ film celebrates the culture’s unsung heroes. We interviewed a myriad of DJs and producers, from upstarts like Éclair Fifi and BBZ to stalwarts like Erol Alkan and Paul Oakenfold. All describe the influence key clubs have had on their sound, approach and lives.
Clubs come and go, but leave their mark. They live on in their audiences and the cultural influences that permeate beyond. So to all clubs and promoters past, present and future – we thank you.
Watch the film here: