Mixed Bizness Presents…The Final Thursday W/ DJ Food: Preview
Whether you agree with the refurbishment of one of Glasgow’s most iconic venues is irrelevant this week. As the Art School as we know it prepares for closure on Saturday morning you have but only a few hours to experience the true meaning of ‘alternative’ student clubbing – the protesting and petitions are now useless – it’s time to dance. We’ve been documenting the impending closure for some months now as many of it’s resident nights bid farewell individually; but only now with two events to go, and the final fling for Mixed Bizness’ Thursdays a mere day away does it truly hit home.
It’s hard to explain the excitement you feel when climbing that great hill from the glaring vulgarity of Sauchie Hall St, knowing you’re headed to a musical sanctuary of like-minded people and booming bass – the sound of the rattling exterior sheet metal was enough to give you butterflies. After a friendly greeting on the door, you would always meet at least one person you know on your ascent to the cloakroom – usually someone who was off their tits and fell down the stairs at the end of the night. As a venue, it’s hard to think of another club with such character as the Art School, but it was Mixed Bizness’ Thursday nights which will always hold our fondest memories.
Benny Boom and his gang of bass-fanatical chums were always there to start your weekend that little bit earlier. When you eventually grew out of (or instantly despised) your own student union, they would welcome you with the type of underground beats and party-charged action you had always longed for. Resident Benny has a very special relationship with his dancefloor, catering for that cross section that sits somewhere between cutting-edge dub and get-up-and-go Hip Hop, sometimes we would actually arrive early just to hear forgotten classics on a big system. We might also mention that before the mainstream ravaged it, Thursday night at the Art School was the first place we heard Dubstep at a student night, and back then it was more wide-eyed appreciation then moshing. Either way, what we experienced on a weekly basis was truly unforgettable - always pushing boundaries and never compromising quality, Mixed Bizness has always been there for us…
This Thursday will be their last party at the venue and as you would expect they ain’t leaving quietly. Inviting the massively talented DJ Food to provide a full A/V set as well as Mixed Bizness regular Point To C and legendary MC, Profisee (no rhyme intended), you can expect a night which will bring together all the best Thursday night flavours into one – a musical journey through all that made Mixed Bizness at the Art School special…
Check out a full A/V mix by DJ Food & DK below as well as an in depth interview with promoter, resident and all-round amazing human, Benny Boom below…
Synth: You've spent three incredible years holding down Thursday's at the Art School, arguably promoting Glasgow's most popular and innovative student night. Looking back over the years, are there any special moments that stand out?
Benny: Sheesh, that's a hard one. There have been so many great nights and not only that, there have been so many, so constantly that they all sort of blur into one big ball of fun in my head. The first ever one was amazing. I was apprehensive as to how it would go down with the crowd and whether or not I could fill the massive shoes left by Dema & Nice but the response was fantastic and I really felt I nailed it from the off. From then on in it was go time.
In terms of guest DJs, I loved it when I invited Parker up to play with me. He's one of my favourite DJs, he's got so much skill and class and party rocking beats for days. He smashed it and we went back to back for the last hour and it was a real frenzy on the dance floor. Since that fateful night he's made some changes to his DJ and production style and upped the bass factor somewhat. It's a great compliment that he's written a fat as hell dubstep track about that very night and called it 'Boom Monk'. It's going to be on his new album, out this year. What a guy.
Speaking of which, it's always a pleasure when I have been joined behind the decks by my mainest of men, Hint. He's rocked it with me a good few times and we always go well together. He's also written a track about Thursday nights at The Art School, seeing as he likes it so much. It's call 'Rabble Rousing' and is just for me to play on Thursday nights. It's almost reached anthem status now and yet no one knows what it is and who it's by. They can just tell it's just for them!
Another special night was when Mungo's Hi-Fi joined me for an impromptu sound clash one night. The place was packed out as standard and we went back to back with some dubstep and ragga bass scorchers and the place went nuts. That was one for the memory banks for sure.
We have such a loyal and enthusiastic crowd so we tend to keep guest nights to a minimum but over the years we've welcomed some amazing talent to join us. The great thing about it is we don't have to rely on big names to pull the people in so we can be brave and book people that we know will smash it but might not be the most famous DJs out there. Massive thanks to Hint, Parker, Cheeba, Mr Benn, DJ Moneyshot, Jackmaster, Playdoe, Thunderheist, Kazey, DK, sixAM, Kormac, Ruckus Roboticus, SiBot, S-Type, A La Fu, Ali Ooft, Astroboy, Killer Kitsch, Point To C, NoFace, MGCK, Mungo's Hi-Fi and Djamba for spinning the platters that truly matter when called upon. Also, huge props to Visual Aids and Grampian Mountains for supplying us with one of the very best visual identities, flyer artwork and artistic direction I could ever hope for.
My very favourite nights have always been the ones when I have played all night, giving them what I know they want and the ever brilliant crowd responding in kind. They have always been the best nights but there's been so many of them I don't know where to begin.
S-Type get's live on a Thursday
Synth: You have DJ Food playing this week's final event who we understand was one of your biggest influences. What can people expect musically, visually and energy wise from your last guest at the Art School?
Benny: Yes indeed, we have the one and only DJ Food joining us to help see us off in style. DJ Food & DK, the men behind Ninja Tune's Solid Steel radio show and DJ squad, were basically the inspiration for what I do as a DJ and the approach Mixed Bizness takes with our events. Their 'Now, Listen' and 'Now, Listen...Again' mixes are two of the very best DJ mixes you will ever hear and set the bar in terms of free flowing, genre blurring, parry starting DJ sets. They are truly brilliant. We've been lucky enough to have DK join us on a Thursday night but as yet DJ Food has been waiting in the wings. We hoped to get them both up to do their 4 deck A/V set but DK is unavailable so DJ Food will be rocking it solo for us all. In terms of what to expect...he'll be twisting melons with his fantastic A/V set, mixing visuals and music at the same time, cutting up classic breaks, upfront bass music, plenty acapellas and slept on gems from across the left-field musical spectrum, all the while mixing the music videos, pop culture titbits and many a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. I can't think of a better way to see us out. Here's a sneaky preview of what could be in store...
DJ Food & DK - Now, Look & Listen - http://vimeo.com/8073574
As well as DJ Food, I will be joined by Point To C on the decks and Profisee on the mic. Between us all I am sure we can start a party for you all!
Synth: The Art School has obviously been home to many incredible club nights over the years and became somewhat of an iconic building in Glasgow clubbing. What does the venue mean to you and what effect do you think its closure will have?
Benny: We've done Mixed Bizness events all over Scotland, UK and into Europe but I will always consider The Art School as our home. It was where we kicked things off in March 2004 and has played host to some of our best ever nights in the years since then. It's like home to me, albeit a grotty, party trashed home that I'd never want to sleep in. Home none the less. It's also played host to some of my very favourite club nights that I've been lucky enough to attend. I've been seen throwing shapes and getting away with more than I should have at many an Optimo, Freakmoves, Numbers, Mungo's Hi-Fi and Divine night over the years. From DJ Premier to Modeselektor, Miss Kitten to Mr Scruff, Jahtari Riddim Force to Andy Smith...
The closure of the venue will leave a massive gap in the Glasgow clubbing land scape. It will be near impossible to replace in terms of it's character, vibe and approach to music. In many ways it's the most adventurous and maverick club in town and it's overall ethos and vibe is so unique. Let's hope they can recapture the magic when it re-opens in 2013 / 2104 or whenever it is.
Benny does what Benny do best
Synth: As we're sure many people will be wondering, what do Mixed Bizness have planned now that your weekly Thursday night spot is closing? Will you be taking it to another venue or starting something completely new?
Well, we won't be starting a weekly Thursday that's for sure. The venue is an integral part of what we do and why we do it. It's as important as the music, artwork and visuals as well as the ever reliable crowd. The plan is to start a small monthly night to keep them keen and take it back to grass roots. It'll be myself for four hours, once a month in an up coming venue in town. I won't say where but you can rest assured, the sound system is right and the vibe is what we need. We'll announce our plans in due course. Let's see the old gal out in style before we starting looking up fresh skirts, eh?
We'll still be doing a few special events here and there but on the whole Mixed Bizness is set to do less club nights and focus more on our artist development and agency side of things. We want to provide a platform for exciting, young electronic music talent coming out of Scotland to be heard by the rest of the world. More on that to follow!
Synth: Finally, when you started Mixed Bizness Thursday's at the Art School were you expecting it to be the great success it became and why do you think it's stayed so popular with students over the years?
That's a tough one. Undoubtedly a big part of our success is down to the venue. Thursday nights at Art School have always been a big thing so we were very lucky to hit the ground running when we started. I think we play the right blend of music for everyone to get down to. We cater for the heads who want to hear the latest dubs and upfront scorchers but we make sure that your every-man and every-lady is seen to as well with some classics and stone cold dance floor botherers in there to shake things up. It's pop music for the real heads but also for those that just want to party. Everyone knows they'll have a party up The Arty on a Thursday. It's got that community vibe and people feel at home. We also quite good at mixing as it happens. That tends to help. Of course, I'd say it's mainly down to the good looks and charm of myself. What else could it be?!*
*£1.50 pints most likely.
WHAT: Mixed Bizness Presents...The Final Thursday
WHO: DJ Food (Solid Steel), Benny Boom, Point To C, Profisee (MC)
WHERE: The Art School, 167 Renfrew St, Glasgow
WHEN: Thursday 9th June // 11-3am
TAX:£3/4 (GSA students free before midnight / £1 after)
VISUALS: Visual Aids