We love acid. You love acid. Everyone in their right mind loves acid. Luke Vibert definitely loves acid, and we've just been given the live recording of his momentous set at the last ever I LOVE ACID party at Corsica Studios to prove it.
Here it is, hit play, and read our interview with I LOVE ACID founder Josh Doherty, below, whilst Vibert smacks your speakers silly.
How did I Love Acid start?
Who's behind the night? Do you/they have any other background in the dance scene?
I'm Josh, one half of Posthuman and founder of Seed Records & Balkan Vinyl. I'd been running parties with the rest of the Seed guys in London since late 2000 - including the Seed Tube Station parties between 2001 & 2004 (which is how I knew Luke Vibert - he played for us with Aphex Twin back in 2003) and after that, the SOVIET parties at the Coronet.
After I left Seed in early 2007, I wanted to do something on my own. I LOVE ACID was only ever meant to be a one-off: I'd been chatting with Luke and proposed the idea of doing a party named after his track - with a line-up full of people playing all different kinds of acid. I held it at Corsica Studios, and had EgeBamYasi, Mike Paradinas, Doubtful Guest, and loads of others, with Luke headlining. It was a great night, and so I did another one for Halloween...and from there, Ginglik (a venue in West London) offered me a monthly residency - same ethos musically.
It just carried on from there really...after a couple of years I started collaborative I LOVE ACID parties with promoters outside of London as well - Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Malta, Antwerp, etc. and a stage at BLOC Weekend.
In 2013, Ginglik sadly closed it's doors, and after a few parties in a new venue in Dalston, plus a couple more events in Corsica Studios, it became apparent that it was time for a change. I didn't want to compromise what the night was about, so I decided to go out with a bang rather than carry on and dilute the underground ethos - I've seen a few nights carry on past their sell-by date and I'd rather I LOVE ACID be remembered fondly :-)
(Plus, I needed a break, hardly had a month off without running an event for nearly 7 years!)
This recording by Luke Vibert is his farewell set, headlining the last ever party - just like he did the first.
Who have you had play, and who has killed it?
So many people!
Our residents - myself (Posthuman), Placid, and Mark Archer (Altern 8) have been lucky enough to play alongside some absolute legends.
We had Ben Sims and Paul Mac do their Killa Productions show (usually reserved for stages of thousands) to 200 people, which was seriously intense. EgeBamYasi has played a few times and always impresses: his setup is the same kit since the late 80's - true analogue hardware. DMX Krew played on my 30th birthday, back in 2009 - and his set that night was just absolute killer: near perfection, and DJ Food played an amazing show of hip-house & 89-90 acid at our fifth birthday party in Belgium that was a stormer...there's been a lot of good times! and Luke Vibert obviously - the man behind the name. He's played about 5 or 6 times over the years and always is the boss!
What have you got planned for the future?
I launched I LOVE ACID as a record label last month - it seemed the perfect step to evolve to from the parties.
Every release limited to 303 copies only: heavyweight vinyl, no digital, no represses, hand-stamped and numbered. The first one was a collab between DMX Krew and Bass Junkie and sold out in less than 4 days...the next is due in May, an EP of proper analogue acid from Affie Yusuf.
What would your dream line up be?
Aphex Twin & Phuture both doing live hardware acid sets, with our residents in support of course ;-)
And it would have to be by the sea, in summer through the night - so could go swimming at sunrise...maybe in Malta!
I adore Malta, have done I LOVE ACID parties there every summer for the last few years, it's a really special place for me.
Who is making the greatest new school acid?
Paranoid London are probably my favourite current acid producers - Cassegrain & Tin Man, Snuff Crew, and LPZ are artists who's output is also buy-on-sight for me. There are some great labels putting out seriously good acid related music right now as well: Crème Organization, L.I.E.S. and Killekill probably the pick of the bunch
...acid has definitely been on the rise again in the last few years: and musically, people are fusing that original Chicago and Detroit feeling with new techniques and influences from across the years. Personally, I really feel acid is in a renaissance period right now. It's also great seeing artists - and punters - from all different age groups getting into the sound of the TB303.
What do you look for when signing tracks to the label?
Honesty, and originality - and soul!
There's a lot of acid out there that's actually very lazy, or just following a formula. Also, I get a LOT of tech-house and trance demos (albeit with 303 lines in them) and they are fucking dreadful. I'm less bothered about production quality and techniques - you can't polish a turd.
Has anyone ever made a VST that decently imitates a 303?
Audio-realism ABL2. It's excellent - there are some acid tracks out there I've heard people "knowingly" talking about as proof of analogue-better-than-digital - except that they don't realise the tracks are actually written with a VST plugin. But you gotta know how to use it...
Can you - hand on heart - tell the difference between a track made with a 303 and a track made with a clone?
Not if it's done well, or a decent clone. I've got a Cyclone TT303 and I challenge anyone to detect it from a Roland TB303. Same goes for a well built x0xb0x - thought I did have an iffy one of them for a bit, but I sold it as it sounded rubbish!
But none of that matters if you don't have any good ideas for writing anyways - there are people out there with thousands of quid's worth of original analogue hardware, but their music sucks. On the flipside, I've had some artists play at I LOVE ACID with nothing more than a cheap old laptop and some bits of old software - and they've written some total monsters. It ain't what you got - it's what you do with it that counts!