A founder of Ministry Of Sound in conversation.
Justin Berkmann's legacy is large. He was one of the original founders of Ministry Of Sound, the London venue that set the tone for clubbing in the '90s and later diversified, becoming one of the world's most successful independent record labels.
But none of that was in Berkmann's mind when he launched Ministry. His goal was actually remarkably simple—to recreate The Paradise Garage in London. Berkmann had fallen in love with The Garage while living in New York in the late '80s. His experiences there proved life changing and gave Berkmann the template to build the perfect nightclub. When he returned home to the UK, with little experience, Berkmann set about putting his dream in motion.
Ministry Of Sound opened in 1991. The club didn't serve alcohol and managed to gain one of the UK's first 24-hour licences. The aesthetics of the club and the US house and garage music policy became a huge influence on British dance music. In this wide ranging discussion Berkmann discusses his time in New York, working with Larry Levan and what it's like running one of the world's most famous nightclubs.