Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Distant Planet >> Louise Plus One & Hughesee

Hello Simon and Louise who run Distant Planet. Thanks for answering my questions and making a mix for us!

From what i gather, you’re both DJs & promoters. Are you involved with other things within the dnb/rave scene?

We also sell records online and at the Clashmouth D’n’B Record Fair, the next one is coming up on 28th October in Cafe 1001, Brick Lane in London. It’s a great opportunity for a get together with other DJs, Producers, Promoters and Label owners, not just for buying records but also to hang out and chat with out being at a rave. We only sell records so we can buy more. Lol.

How did you get involved with the raving scene and how did you end up together (if you don’t mid me asking…)?

Simon: We generally like to go out raving to the sounds that are important to us not to just attend events when we are booked we love the social aspect. We have guested on radio shows on various stations such as Originuk.net, Koollondon.com, Cambridge105.fm and Jungletrain.net to name a few.

Louise: I used to go to the odd rave from about 87, however, it was when I started going to squat parties in 94 that the rave scene took its hold on me. Within a few years I had bought some decks and started co organising events and put my own night on called Re-Rave-All in the Dungeons in Hackney. I used to put on a Sunday all dayer with Jerome Hill at a pub called the Pembury Tavern in the late nineties. I was lucky enough to play in some huge warehouses to massive crowds. Eventually I started playing on Interface Radio which I think was the first Internet Dance Music Station. and became aware of Simon. We would bump into each other at parties and 7 years ago we started to hang about together on a more regular basis, raving, doing radio shows and and eventually forming a relationship. Putting on an event together was a natural progression and we linked up with a few like minded people and formed Distant Planet.

What was the plan with Distant planet from the beginning?

Simon: We always wanted to achieve consistency in terms of quality music with decent sound quality at our events with a friendly vibe and I think we have achieved this. My main ambition for Distant Planet has always been to put on outdoor events in the countryside which is something we are working towards.

What has been toughest in running your own night and what have you learnt along the way?

Louise: The hardest bit about running a night is getting out of bed at 4am to go flyering in the middle of winter. However, I think this is essential to make a success out of an event. Hopefully we now have a fairly decent following so we still flyer but not to the extent we did. I have learned to be more confident about what we are doing. I think Simon and I have learned a lot from each other. He has taught me to be a bit more careful about the financial aspects of putting on an event and he I think he has learned about promotion and putting himself out there.

You’re both ravers I assume – what do you enjoy the most; djing, promoting or raving? How has the raving scene changed since you started going out?

Simon: For me DJ’ing .. simple as! Best hobby ever, I tend to say that quite a lot in conversation. How has the rave scene changed? Seems like it’s the same idea a lot of people coming together through music. The scene has changed in terms of new clubs starting and it seems like so many iconic clubs we knew and grew fond of in London closing down which is a shame. The structure of the more mainstream events seems more focused on digital DJing quick mixes and getting as many DJ’s on the bill but we don’t really go to many of them nights for that reason the nights we do go to seem to keep the core basis about what the raves back in the day were all about, good music, dj’s and great vibes!

I love all three. But it’s fantastic being involved in an event and DJing at it. Putting on events is great as I have something to look forward to. I’ve seen the rave scene go up and down in terms of popularity, however, I am always optimistic and I suppose we are lucky here in London as there is always so much going on. The growing festival scene is a great sign that people do want to get together in a field and dance, which is amazing. I love the fact that festivals are popping up all over the place.

Best rave you’ve ever been too?

Simon: Too many to say one favourite so many parties different for different reasons. I would have to say Rupture seems to come up very high due to the consistent quality of DJ’s that play there and the awesome vibes of so many friends under one roof. There has been so many great free parties back in the day that I went to and helped with sound systems like the Oxford Ridgeway Moots they used to really kick off with sound systems from all over the UK great times!

Louise: Its very difficult to say as I can’t remember. I’d like to mention Rupture here as Indi and David put on probably the best underground event in London, if anyone reading this hasn’t been I recommend you check it out. Castle Morton Common in 92 was amazing. I wish I could go back and do it again.

Lots of clubs are closing down and it seems to be hard to find good venues, what do you think is going to happen with the raving/club scene?

Simon: In London it seems a way different place to rave then it was when I first started going out, so many iconic clubs have shut down or been demolished. It’s becoming more harder to put parties on you really have to go to some lengths to make it work so it’s good to see people putting the effort in. Perhaps a shift more towards festivals? isn’t that already happening?

Louise: There is a venue shortage, however, in London you can always find somewhere if you really think outside the box and look about, especially in London. It feels like I get invited to more things every weekend than ever. Although they might be smaller events there is a raving spirit still there. It does worry me the lack of stuff happening in some towns outside the big cities.

Louise; as a woman, do you think you’ve had to work extra hard to prove you’re a good DJ?

I seem to be fairly well respected as a woman dj, especially on the London Jungle and Old Skool scene, I have always had maximum respect off people. Whether or not I would get more bookings as a man I’ll never know. lol. I do hear about women not being taken seriously on other areas of the scene. Also on many of the lineups at bigger events there seems to be very few female DJs. I think the number of women DJs is increasing slowly.

When are you guys playing out next and when is the next Distant Planet?

The next time we play out will be at the next Distant Planet on September 30th which will be an all day event at The Royal Sovereign in Hackney. We will be focusing on 1992 and previous years musically. We have a treat in store as David Rupture who is going to be doing a 91 Techno set which is the era that he represented, playing at venues such as the Doncaster Warehouse back in the day. Simon and the staff are really behind our events we do there which is nice so thanks to them. We also have Morgan OSL who played on Rinse FM and Format FM back in the early Nineties. He is going to be doing a 90/91 Rave Set. Sharon Taylor coming up from Kent to do an Acid House set, plus Sherrine will be starting of the proceedings with a wicked 2 hour mix of Dancehall, Dub and Roots Reggae. Myself and Simon will be playing too. The pub is really chilled, and as always at Distant Planet Parties the vibes are really friendly. As its child friendly a lot of ravers can bring their kids and have a proper catch up with everyone. There is a big garden out the back and excellent Pizza.

How do you go on about choosing the DJs for a night?

Louise: I’m starting to realise how important it is to book DJs who are really out there doing their thing. It’s important they represent the music style we want and can play a good vinyl set. They don’t necessarily have to be a big name, just play quality music and promote themselves well. Also we favour people who come to our night as they will an understanding of what we are about and what we will expect from them as a DJ.

You’ve done a mix for us as well, what can you say about it?

In our mix we have included tunes that we love and you will hear us play out, many of them are Old Skool from 93/4, however, there is so much good stuff coming out at the moment so we have included some of the more recent stuff.

What’s next for you?

Simon: More Raving, DJ’ing and Production. We are really trying to push ourselves in the production area and we really like old hardware we have a fair few Synths, Samplers, Drum machines and Effects units that can make some really awesome sounds.. lots of fun.

Louise: I want really want to take Distant Planet to festivals. We are going to be knuckling down in the studio over the next few months and putting on more parties.

Any famous last words?
Shouts out to everyone we know, we started to make a list and it got so long and we were so scared of leaving people out.

Big up Jenny for your support.


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More info about the 30th All dayer: Distant Planet

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