Paul Louth is a bastion of local London clubbing. Setting out from the start of Prologue, he’s at the core of the party’s 10 year strong success - a time period that has seen a healthy progression of a scene made up of open minded clubbers that push house music to the edge every weekend. Paul Louth talks us through this progression and gets in the mix showcasing his long forged teched-out to the brink style ahead of Prologue and Get Physical's coming to our disco this Saturday.
Were you with Prologue from day one? How did it all begin?
I was at the first party, but I wasn’t playing at that point, I joined about 2 months in. It was started by Harvey as a platform for launching new DJs and developing a sound rather than booking the latest big name DJ.
At the time I was running Wire, the official Bedrock pre-party, in a pub basement around the corner from Heaven. I used to play a mixture of stuff from tech-house to electro and breaks. Harvey was coming down to the pre-parties and it turned out that he needed someone to do a breaks set for room 3 at The Cross and asked me to do a CD for him. So I sent him the CD, which he duly didn’t bother listening to! But he gave me the gig anyway!
From those first days starting out to now being 10 years down the line of a successful club night - has your approach to running the night changed?
I think it’s pretty similar really, we never played the ‘too cool for school’ card. I think the key to its continued success is an evolving music policy and a focus on fresh talent rather than big names.
What’s it been like to see the clubbing landscape change over this time?
I think it’s hard to make a judgement on how a clubbing landscape has changed, because it tends to be interwoven with how you have grown with it. I think ultimately it’s pretty similar, but the whole underground scene seems to me to have become partly mainstream to an extent, it feels like more people are into what I would have thought would be quite inaccessible music these days.
Starting at The Cross which has now been demolished which venues do you miss the most and which do you enjoy playing at the most now?
I really miss The Cross as a venue, it was an amazing place to play and an amazing place for a party. The steps at the back of the main room were great, because from the booth you could just see silhouettes of people’s arms in the air from the light coming through the back of the arch - happy days for sure.
My favourite place to play now is fabric. And I’m not just saying that to kiss arse! (laughs) Everything is perfect for the DJ, the sound, the setup, monitors, crowd, drinks tickets haha. And a mention to a place I played recently in Paris called Zero Zero bar. It is the smallest bar in the world with the best crowd in the world - total fun basically.
You’re also very active online with your forum 4four and now defunct Ubercoolishe site, can you tell us more about those?
It was never meant to be a Resident Advisor, or anything like that, which is basically a catch-all site for all clubbers, it’s quite London centric and definitely focused on the kind of underground music you hear at fabric.
Ubercoolische actually started on 4four – one of the members, Eddie, started writing a piss-take of an article in Metro Times (Detroit based newspaper), where the reporter went over to Berlin to hang-out with Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos and Magda. The article was ridiculously written and full of verbal diarrhoea and was begging to be taken apart. So Eddie started writing these mini-episodes as posts on the forum, and I just thought “these are comedy gold, I need to save them” and the whole thing just blew-up! Luckily Richie, Ricardo and Magda all saw the funny side of it – there were no hard feelings, I seem to remember Magda saying to me that she couldn’t pay for that kind of publicity.
How do you think the birth of social media has affected 4four?
The rise of Facebook has definitely affected the forum, but I think this is the case for most social spaces outside of Facebook across the web. I’m pretty relaxed about it. If it lives it lives, if not, then it wasn’t good enough to.
You have some new production coming out - how do you describe it is there any we can hear?
I’m pretty much a tech-house head with nice stabs, pads and weird noises - but not exclusively, I like so much music I find it hard to just make one style – the only consistent thing is the love of weirdness, which I think is a hang-over from watching the 35 minute version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Dazed and Confused’ aged 8. My first release is out this week, initial feedback has been really good with support from the likes of Paco Osuna and Eddie Richards.
You’re known to be a home boy rather than travelling and touring, why did you make this choice?
I have done the DJ on tour thing a reasonable amount and have come to the conclusion that London is a fucking great place to play music to people, also I think that DJs are far too eager these days to chase the fame and glory thing – my personal enjoyment is not from getting mass recognition, that means nothing to me, it’s from being part of something special here in my home-town.
You’re in room three this Saturday, completing your tour of all the rooms of our club, what’s been your perspective on each room so far?
I’m really looking forward to playing room 3, I’ve had so many good nights up in that room (and a few good days in there too!) and it will be my first non-warm-up set in fabric so I’m looking forward to having a bit more sonic space to experiment with.
My favourite room to play in has to be Room One, mainly because I have spent so much time on the other-side of the decks; the sound in there is off the scale, bass-lines bouncing from the back of the room to the front and through you is an amazing feeling. I make a point of playing on the V6 mixer in there, because it clearly makes the bass so unbelievably lush and warm.
I think Room Two is amazing as well, but it has a different feel to it, much darker and more like an old-skool rave. Initially I wasn’t a huge fan of the heaviness to the sound setup in there, but I think now the wooden floor is in the sound balance is just about perfect.