Intw. with Magic Jase and Zak Frost by Dax DJ (Year 2004)
Nodisko: from Sunday-night to Friday’s hottest new season! tell us…
Magic Jase: “And it all happened so quickly – just two years! Seriously though, when we first started out doing our Sunday parties it was just somewhere for Zak and I to play the records we love, invite down our mates as guest DJs and finish off the weekend.”
Zak Frost: “And it somehow just developed from there. Two years ago there was a real gap in the market in West London for a club that was passionate about fresh-sounding music, run by people who cared about a great party every week. We filled that gap, word got around slowly but surely, and we built from a few people into a guaranteed roadblock every week”.
How you introduce new cutting-edge electro sounds (Italo, nu-disco, electro-house, etc)?
Zak Frost: “We have always just played the music we love, and we’re not afraid to totally change the tempo and style throughout the night. It sounds clichéd but to me there are only good records and bad records – we were playing the best Italo, punk-funk and electro-house records long before they became fashionable, and will probably still be playing them when everyone else has moved onto something else”.
Other Clubs in London? Copy your experience?
Magic Jase: “When we first started doing our parties, West London and Notting Hill was a very dull place to go out: five or six years ago when the area was the hot spot of the capital, deep house, afro-beat and jazzy house were huge, and genuinely exciting. When we started, the clubs were still playing this music and all of the more risky electronic dance music was getting played in clubs in the East End of London. There was nothing going on that was anything like Nodisko at the time. As our night got bigger, there have been quite a few new parties starting where they’ve been playing the same kind of music, booking similar DJs – Mylo, The Glimmers, Tim Sheridan – and tried to do what we’ve done. They never really took off, and those that are still going are only on every month or even less than that. It’s good to know we tried something different – and succeeded!”
Talk about the importance of the sound for your Club night.
Magic Jase: “The most important thing about Nodisko, right from the start, has been the music policy. And it probably took about 6 months to find it’s feet. The Nodisko sound is cutting-edge electronic dance music, which can be anything from the nu-disco of Jacques Lu Cont and Daniel Wang to modern-day techno produced by John Tejada and Tiefschwarz, but always with a fun party edge to it which makes it more accessible to everybody – and gets the girls dancing! It takes influences from Italo, punk, electro, house, disco, rock, pop, even more commercial tracks that fit our sound. Imagine a mix of Berlin’s hypnotic electro and techno, spaced-out Balearica from Ibiza, Italy’s dark, groovy Italo-influenced house, the anything-goes sensibility of Belgium’s club scene and a little Scandinavian eccentricity, plus a decidedly British-born ‘fuck you’ attitude, you’re very close! We really believe it’s unique.”
Coming artists and surprises.
Zak Frost: “I’m so happy with our line-ups – I think we have a very fresh mix of the kind which has never really been seen before in West London, and which will perfectly compliment the sound myself and Jase have made for the club. Personal highlights for me will be The Idjut Boys – who are still in my eyes the worldwide kings of dub disco – as I used to play with them a lot a few years ago but haven’t for a long time. Also I can’t wait for November 4th when Freaks will be taking over a whole room for six hours – Justin Harris, Luke Solomon and Johnny Rock all playing together, for perhaps the first time, I think. Most clubs would be delighted to have any one of them headlining so we’re very lucky to have them all playing together in a tiny room for a hundred or so people. Also look out for lots of unannounced special sets from surprise guests.”
Magic Jase: “We’ve got all sorts of special things coming up, including very rare London DJ sets from Bent and the Rooty DJs, who usually only play at summer festivals, Ibiza or big clubs like Fabric, DJs playing alternative sets like Serge Santiago, who’ll be doing an Italo-disco set, plus loads of big names who never usually play in west London or at clubs of this size. Some of the people I’m most excited about getting to play are Geoffroy, who’s the boss of Hi-Phen Records and works with the Suicide gang in Belgium, Greg Wilson, who’s rightly regarded as one of the first British DJs to champion electronic disco music in the early ‘80s, and Frank Tope, who in my opinion is one of the best leftfield house DJs in the UK right now: he can play everything from rocking house sets to Balearic, soul and disco right through to really obscure Italo… I’ve seen him play at loads of festivals and he’s bloody good at them all!”
Your vision in Nodisko music.
Magic Jase: “A lot’s changed in the last two years in dance music. What was underground – electronic house, minimal dance music, the whole German sound, dance music with guitars and rock influences – is quickly becoming bigger and more commercial, and is even getting in the charts. But that’s not something we think about: as we go on our sound gets stronger and there’s even more amazing music being made now then there was in 2003. I suppose personally I’m getting more and more into techno and the Italian club sounds, the Pigna and Nature sound, which is some of the sexiest jackin’ house being made right now, and the music made by Italo-influenced producers like Serge Santiago… but it’s more than that. We let our ears lead the way.”
Zak Frost: “As I said earlier, we really don’t think about ‘the vision of Nodisko’ or ‘introducing new sounds’ – we just play what we like and what we think the audience will like, and generally it seems to work!”
London now and future of Club Culture.
Zak Frost: ”I don’t know much about what else goes on in London – I’m happy enough at Nodisko and my euro gigs so don’t have the time or inclination to go out clubbing in London. There always seems to be so much on though, loads of clubs with the best DJs and live acts in the world. However I think the future of club culture will feature to some extent the death of the superstar DJ, and I think this is a very good thing. Obviously some DJs are better than others but I think people will start to realise that it’s more fun to go to a good party than to pay £20 to watch some ‘superstar’ in a sterile environment. I also think that more and more people want more variety from a club – most people have very varied music collections at home and don’t want to hear one thing all night when they go out. That’s what we’re doing with the new Nodisko parties – three very different rooms of music, whether it be jackin’ dance, mixed up house party sounds or more cosmic Balearic beats, but all with that special Nodisko vibe.”
Magic Jase: “The East End still seems to be the place where most of the exciting parties, clubs nights and warehouse parties go on, but many of those don’t interest me at all: a lot of them are still very electroclash-influenced, too much punky noise, and the clubs playing the good music are always full of art school types and people taking ketamine. It’s a drug I don’t understand and when you go to a party where people are taking it, the atmosphere’s flat. Nodisko’s already west London’s best party, very soon we’ll become its biggest! As for north and south London? Forget it!”
Ultimo Disko and your Gig @Fabric!
Magic Jase: “As the name suggests, our monthly Ultimo Disko parties at AKA are very European-based: nearly all of the guests are producers and DJs from the continent we love but who aren’t that well-known in the UK yet. We’ve had people like Unit 4 from Clone Records, Guglielmo Mascio of Rome’s Nu Funk Klan, one of Italy’s rising stars and a big favourite of ours, Denmark’s leading underground club and radio DJ Thomas Madvig, and fresh new producers like Fabrizio Mammarella. As you can tell there’s quite an Italian thing going on! We called it ‘Ultimo Disko’ because we wanted the night to be about the energy and madness you get from the audience at the end of the night in Italy’s clubs, when they shout out to the DJ for the ‘ultimo disco’, or last tune.”
Zak Frost: “I’m really looking forward to our gig at Fabric, where we’ll be taking over Room Three all night with myself and Jase joined by my old friend Guglielmo Mascio from Italy. I have played at Fabric twice before as part of the Afro Art Records Soundsystem, and really enjoyed it both times. When I played in 2003 we ended up playing two hours past closing time with Robert Owens doing an unannounced live vocal set in the booth. But my sound has changed a lot since then and I can’t wait to play there as part of Nodisko, which has been our baby from day one, instead of as part of a record label night.”
Your best italo vinyl on your DJ bag.
Magic Jase: “So many to choose from! Some that spring instantly to mind are Jago ‘I’m Going To Go’ and XYZ ‘Can We Go’, which are both quite down-tempo but very groovy music to listen to. A couple of others that never leave my box are Lama’s ‘Love On The Rocks’, Vallery Allingston ‘stop’ and the Galactica Remix of Mike Mareen’s ‘Dancing In The Dark’, neither of which are strictly Italo but are heavily influenced by the sound and made at around the same time. ‘Hand Jive’ by Rinder and Lewis always does it for me, and Gino Soccio’s ‘Dancer’ is a Nodisko favourite too.”
Tell what you want…
Zak Frost: “We want nothing more than your feet on the dancefloor and your hands in the air…”
Having first appeared on clubland’s radar in November 2003, Nodisko has established itself as one of the capital’s most exciting and downright daring little discos.
What started as an outlet for long-time promoter/DJ Zak Frost and new kid on the block Magic Jase to play the new electro-charged ‘post-house’ sounds and lost classics they loved has become a secretive West London institution, an intimate, inclusive end-of-week workout built on word-of-mouth – rather than hype – alone. They’ve also pulled in some of the most exciting DJs from the UK and beyond: Cosmo, Headman, Bjørn Torske, G-HA, Dax DJ, Guglielmo Mascio, Richard Sen, The Rev. Milo Speedwagon, Pete Herbert and The Zookeepers have all graced the club’s decks, spinning alternative sets of glossy Eighties Italo, forgotten disco from outer space, electronic punk, dub and European electro-house – a revolt against the dull deep house and Latin sounds which Notting Hill had become synonymous with.
It’s a delicious dancefloor brew which has seen the night voted one of London’s top nights out and third best night in the land in DJ Magazine. i-D, SleazeNation(RIP), Metro, The Guide and Time Out have also heaped praise on the club: ‘For music lovers, this is the real deal… Nodisko are setting the dancefloor alight!’ said the latter in a review of the night.
In 2004 the Nodisko DJs have made appearances all across the capital, including sets at Fabric, Turnmills, FESH @ The 333, MUZIK XPRESS @ The Cross in July, AKA (they hosted the venue as part of Laurent Garnier’s As One residency in December) and Cargo, where they threw their first NODISKO LIVE event in September.
07.03.2004 Sunday NODISKO
Zak Frost & Special Guest: DJ Dax (Family House, Bear Funk, Italy)
AN ECLECTIC ELECTRIC SHAKEDOWN OF ITALO-DISCO, ELECTRO BOOGIE, SPACED-OUT PUNK FUNK AND FORGOTTEN PARTY CLASSICS.
West London’s freshest night continues to breath life into the area’s club scene.
Resident selectors ZAK FROST, CIRCUS LOVE & MAGIC JASE play dubby space-disco, funky electronic dance, NY punk-funk, retro Italo-boogaloo and forgotten party classics.
Regular guests from London’s leading alternative club scene, plus the occasional wandering international superstar.
@ Woody’s, 41-43 Woodfield Road, London W9 2BA
Weekly Sundays 8pm-1am, Free before 9pm / £5 after