If you like to exist on the internet, in one of its millions of multifaceted dimensions, chances are you’ll have seen the DJ trio behind Principals DJing. Nic Tasker, Bradley Zero Phillip and Charles Drakeford are all an integral part of the Boiler Room, the revolutionary internet broadcast medium that’s changed the way a lot of people consume music (especially DJ mixes), but IRL they’re just as busy, whether that’s busy physically producing the BR broadcasts, holding down the warm up slots, running their own club nights (Bradley runs Peckham’s own Rhythm Section) or DJing on Dalston radio station, NTS Live.
Yep, in London it seems like everyone you ever meet has some kind of a side hustle, but the sheer scope of the projects the Principals team undertakes is quite daunting when you write it all down on paper; but their club night, which they started last year, definitely feels a bit more focused in its air of understatement. Seemingly born out of a real passion for hosting a club night in the right way - worrying about ambience and sound as much as tune selection and location - the Principals name has popped up in several locations around the city, providing a uniquely personal experience and now the trio behind it are gracing the Room One booth warming up for Hessle Audio on Friday 2nd August.
With that appearance fast approaching we asked them if they’d like to outline a little of the way they’d play, with us shooting them questions about their favourite tracks and the overall music policy to get a better idea of what we could expect. They’ve kindly done all that, doting on everything we asked and in triplicate, by providing us with a verbal justification, a classic ‘Principals anthems’ playlist and this delightfully slow broiling 85 minute mixtape...
You state on your facebook page that you're 3 DJs with strong principles. What are they?
Yes, the brash tagline. There's not a list of principles exactly, it pretty much just relates to how we set about our party. We tend to talk a lot about what makes a party work and what doesn't. In terms of music, venue, the whole thing…
A lot of nights don't really seem to have that sense of care put in. They're more concerned with getting a big headliner or ramming the line-up with more and more DJs, instead of making sure the DJs know what they're doing or the sound is good. We realise that makes us sound self-righteous and we are by no means perfect, but at the same time we could tell you a hundred stories about club nights that got it wrong. Anyone could!
How did you guys all get together? Was it through working at Boiler Room? What made you want to start a party together?
We all met through working at Boiler Room, though we have always tried to keep what we do with Principals a separate entity. We were DJing a lot separately and thought it would be good to do something together. It was also the whole idea of giving ourselves a setting where we could play what we really wanted, at a club night we had complete control over.
A year into it now it's kind of got to where we want it to be, but there's always room for improvement.
What’s the music policy? What can people expect? Does the mix you’ve made for us reflect this?
There isn't really a music policy, or at least it doesn't have a signature sound. If anything maybe we're about integrating a wider musical spectrum than other club nights out there. It can start out with jazz or funk, move into slow chugging house and end up at 135bpm techno. We're always challenging ourselves as DJs and listening to new stuff, and we hope that comes through. Though we would always make sure the club is enjoying it.
The main thing is making sure the last song is a classic, whether people know it yet or not - and make sure the whole night gets to that point in a way that makes sense.
The mix portrays the kind of stuff we would play at a club like fabric, recorded in one take.
Can you pick 5 Principal anthems?
How about 10?
The above playlist is made up of:
Wally Badarou - Chief Inspector
Ruf Dug - Sun After Rain
Errorsmith - Stiff Neck
Donald Byrd - Lansana's Priestess
Marcellus Pitmann - Chicago Nights
Johnnick - Play The World
Talking Heads - Born Under Punches
Rick Wilhite - City Bar Reopen 'Live' Dancing
Theo Parrish - Command Your Soul
Wk7 - Do It Yourself
Principals – FABRICLIVE x Hessle Audio Mix
Not Waving - Battle Mountain
Brother G - Two Nights High
RVDS - Pain
Aquarian Foundation - Mystery Track
Tambien - Robusto
The Revenge - Joy
Robert Hood - Torque One
Scott Grooves - C Track
Different World - Think Twice
Damian Schwartz - Holloway
Mike Grant - The Struggle Of My People (Mr G's There's Hope Mix)
Matthias Meyer - Infinity
Natural Rhythm - For Real
Mood II Swing - Call Me (Mood Remix)
Tim Harper - Eugene Harper
DJ Sneak - Was It All
Slide Brothers - Rush On Me (Vocal mix)
John Ciafone - Thinking Of You
Container - Treatment
Gesloten Cirkel - Hole (Transportation AAD rmx)
Unknown Artist - Lick Dub
Alex Coulton - Point Noire
Vidrio - Excelsior