☄ DJ Harvey
☄ Red Axes
☄ Sean Johnston
☄ Trevor Jackson
☄ Young Marco
Writing about DJ Harvey is an inglorious task. Don’t get us wrong – it is inglorious in the sense that summing up Harvey’s genius in a handful of paragraphs is as hard as getting him to play an inappropriate record, or showing up to play and not making our jaws drop at least thrice in an evening.
This may all seem exaggerated but presenting Harvey means presenting a DJ loved by his audience, idolized by his colleagues, misunderstood by some but respected by all who want to take their knowledge of dance music beyond commonplace rhythms.
A London native and ex-drummer, it was while visiting New York that he discovered Hip-Hop. From there, he surfed the new electronic tendencies, but not only those. Alongside the profound knowledge he has of all things House, Disco and Techno, his ability to show us some Rock or Soul obscure record is legendary. After all, a career of more than 25 years can’t all be built using the same building blocks. And it’s all these years that make this Green Ray’s boss a unique character behind the decks, with a wild smile and unique qualities. The parties he throws worldwide are highly coveted and widely valued, attended by a heterogeneous bunch that congregates under his spell. Without him, the world would be a duller place. And having him with us is praising all of those who make the dancefloor their second home, music their safe haven. It’s time to surrender to DJ Harvey.
Dori Sadvonik and Niv Arzi are Red Axes, hailing from Israel to the world.
While it’s true that they started releasing music together in 2011, fact is that it was only last year that they found themselves showing up in “new artists you should know” lists. Releases on Correspondant, I’m A Cliché (where they released an album in 2014) ou on John Talabot’s Hivern Discs provide tangible and audible support to what they do on DJ booths. Edits or new songs, Rock sensibilities are paired with House or Disco, with the duo exploring new uses for instruments and fresh rhythms to make us dance. Through their residency in Tel Aviv’s Bootleg Club, they have the opportunity to host global artists, gathering influences and dictating new tendencies. Highly irreverent and psychedelic, Red Axes possess a very personal style which allies strict drum machines, distorted vocals, hypnotic guitars and the just the right amount of percussion. This debut in Portugal will satisfy those who are hungry for a fresh take on things. You’ve been warned.
Sean was here before, and his return to another GREEN RAY is reason for celebration. Last time, he paired with Andrew Weatherall as A Love From Outer Space. Now, he answers the invitation by the sapient DJ Harvey and will show us solo the art of what he’s been doing since 1986.
Born in Hackney, London, he became a DJ simply because of his record collection, and having the records and wanting to play them to others is something that carried on through the years. Some affairs with remixing and producing happened in the 90s, but it was a shoulder lesion that took him away from mountaineering and back into the studio in the new millennium, releasing on labels such as Is It Balearic Recordings or Throne of Blood. Sean Johnston is a fan of dance music that doesn’t rush itself, giving enough space for rhythms to breathe and for details to shine. It’s not that he necessarily plays slow music, but for sure he likes to demonstrate that a night can’t be measured in beats per minute. Disco, New Beat, Balearic sounds, House or Techno, everything goes for this DJ who doesn’t hesitate to mention LuxFrágil as one of his favourite places to play. Sean is one of us!
Trevor Jackson is a multifaceted artist who’s been working for over 20 years in the audio-visual area. He began by authoring the artwork to hundreds of albums and EPs and it wasn’t long until he founded his own label, Output. At Output, artists such as Four Tet and LCD Soundsystem found a home. And Playgroup, Jackson’s one-man band that also goes by The Underdog or Skull, did as well. Most important at a time when dance music was going crazy for what was called “electroclash”, his remixes for Chromeo or his Depeche Mode can’t be forgotten. Past the early 2000s fervour, Trevor Jackson went back to multi-material explorations, playing with light, audio and video and going through venues such as Panorama Bar or Fabric, searching for new ways to reach his audience and build bridges allowing for greater interaction. He recently released (in 12 different physical formats) Format, a compilation in which each copy is unique and different from the others. A true jack of all trades, it’s hard to guess what he’ll bring to this GREEN RAY night. Instead, we should be prepared for surprise.
Harvey’s pick to help take care of our ground floor for the night is Young Marco, the Dutchman that for more than a decade now has helped define the ever-interesting Amsterdam nightlife scenario.
Famous for genre-defying DJ sets, his hunger for vinyl led him to live surrounded by it, digging for hours on end for unique music. Young Marco is not one to play out the run of the mill hits, instead he’s one of those DJs who define the hit records of the night on the spot.
The fact that he worked at the famous Rush Hour record shop certainly helped his musical education, and while he also found on Rush Hour, the label, a place for his music, he later settled for ESP Institute releasing 2 EPs and an album, “Biology”. Obscure synths and broken drum machines, a complete mix of oddball sounds coming together in beauty: something that Marco seems to abide by, be it in the studio or showing off his latest musical finds. He says he feels like the luckiest guy ever to be able to play his weird records. If he’s the luckiest DJ, we’re the luckiest audience.
Words Inês Duarte