The semi-legal London basement hoppers tell us a bit about how they throw a free party, and make us a mix.
Floating east London night Rhythm Talk is great. You attend the party, have your name crossed off at the entrance (apparently you’re supposed to give a password too but those on the door are always too embarrassed to ask you to do something so old-fashioned), descend into whatever London basement they’ve decided to use this time. The acid house / bass-focussed night has been happening periodically for almost a year now, each time a different venue. They’ve had them in the basements of wine bars, Turkish cafes where at one point you could see ceiling crumbling under the bass weight, kebab shops. The last was held in a low-lit pub that I don’t think saw much in the way of events with loud music and hordes of over-excited people flailing around to Lil’ Louis before that point. I can’t tell you where it’s happening next, because that element of surprise is all part of the fun. But it’s on this Saturday (15th October), so I’d email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and get your name down for it quick.
There are three of them running the night. I can’t give you their real names due to the somewhat shaky legality of the enterprise on occasions, but they go under the mildly ridiculous monikers of Rushmore, Fools, and Ratcatcher (who’s launching an EP at the party this weekend – check it out). Each of them play on the night as well as a guest whose identity remains secret until the event. So far they’ve had Bok Bok, L-Vis 1990, Braiden and Jam City down, playing in the kind of loose atmosphere that tends to illicit some pretty special sets from people.
Since we’ve been fans for a little while now, we decided it was about time Rhythm Talk told us a little about themselves. They’ve done us a mix too, which is a pretty good approximation of the kind of stuff they play out, vibrant house and bass, late-night energy unravelling all over the place. Give it a listen, read what they have to say, see you Saturday.
Why did you start Rhythm Talk?
Rushmore: I needed a way to seduce him and my chat-up line was to ask him if he ‘wanted to start a party with me’. He actually took me seriously, and we’ve never looked back. We both have a mutual love for the music we both play and wanted to give it a home of our own that we could decorate ourselves. Like settling down and getting a mortgage! [Laughs] We wanted a place where all of our friends could come and have good time, without wrecking our own homes.
Fools: Yeah, I wasn’t really doing a regular night and when he said he wanted to do one I was up for it, we chatted about it and both wanted to do something where we focused on the vibe, like a house party but crossed with a warehouse rave. I just wanted a night where you’d just go, ‘cos you knew it’d be good regardless, and of course we could play the records we loved.
How do you want it to be different from other nights happening?
Rushmore: We wanted to set some road rules, that made it different. So we did that and stuck to them. No compromising involved. We decided we didn’t want to charge people to have a good time. We wanted to surprise people with a guest DJ. We wanted to take them to a venue they may have not been to before. We wanted to offer them an affordable bar. There are other things we are working on to add to that list which should be evident throughout next year.
Fools: Well, I don’t think we want it to be like any other nights at all, we wanted a different set up, a different vibe, everything. It’s hard to really do something totally different with a club night, because you know, it is a club night and we still wanted it to be a club night, where you go to dance and drink and have a good fucking time, the fundamentals right? But not in the same old venues and spending a tenner on a drink and all that. It’s a DIY thing too. Hopefully people like the fact that it’s a bit chaotic and wild, because it’s literally just us and our mates doing each party.
How do you go about finding venues for it to take place in?
Rushmore: Hahaha, that would be telling wouldn’t it? Lots of footwork, conversations and an eye and a nose for a good space. It certainly can put you in some interesting situations…
Fools: Basically, he finds them and I say yes or no. But the whole venue thing helps make each party different, ‘cos each venue is different…
It’s a guest list only event, and it takes place in some pretty unusual locations. Do you think the fact that it’s a little bit more inaccessible makes it more special for people?
Fools: Hopefully, we definitely want it to be special after all, and it’s not that we want it to be inaccessible really, but we do want people to have to work for it a bit, ‘cos I reckon that does make it a bit more special. Basically though, we just want to make sure people are there for the right reasons, and that they’re into our vibe, we’re down with anyone coming who’s down with that.
Rushmore: I think by getting people to come to our party in a venue they haven’t been before definitely creates excitement and the guest list hopefully ensures people are a part of that. Not knowing where the next party is keeps people involved and makes it special for sure. Whether its in a kebab shop basement, or a disused wine bar, it’s a place you didn’t think you would be going to party.
Any further plans under the Rhythm Talk name? A record label maybe?
Rushmore: To remain to our ethos of mild secrecy, we don’t want to give away too much until all is confirmed. We will be increasing our workload for next year. But I can confirm it will not include a fragrance or line of hair product, definitley!
Fools: Yeah, there are wheels in motion definitely, lots of good stuff, but you’ll have to watch closely. I mean, we considered the fragrance, but it would basically just be sweat, so we figured people could just make their own at the night.
Are there any other nights from any other times/cities that you think influence how you do Rhythm Talk?
Fools: I don’t think there are many nights specifically we draw from, there are definitely nights that have shaped the way I look at clubbing, and the list is probably too long to get into here, but the biggest influence on Rhythm Talk is probably the whole DIY, acid house scene, that’s the ethos that I reckon most closely shapes the night. Just with (some) different music.
Rushmore: Yeah the culture harking back to the early rave days or NYC loft parties shapes the way we run things. A lot of that rawness has been taken away from parties nowadays, and it’s that vibe which is a big part of Rhythm Talk.