South London’s the new cool, have you heard?! Peckham’s the New Dalston and Andy Blake’s no nonsense, lazer and a soundsystem World Unknown parties have quickly become the stuff of legend in clubland folklore. If you’ve been, you’ll know the incredibility of every WU occasion. But this ain’t no media hype… well it is but there’s something very real going on South of the river that some may argue lacks in some of the nocturnal activities in other parts of this wonderous capital. For someone who spent a long time living down South – and deserted it for East, the shame! – there’s something about the place that’s not interested in following the rest of what’s going on in the capital. We’ve featured Mr Blake on these pages in the past but there’s a certain little happening that pricked up our ears we thought you’d like to know about. Field Work presents a GATHERING OF THE CLAN all-dayer this weekend kicking off a regular series of Sunday sessions from some of the South London DJs that make the place so amazing at the moment. Ahead of this weekend Andy stopped by for a chat and dropped us an Ears Exclusive mix (right at the bottom there)… 

Whats the idea behind the gathering of the clans? Why is now the time for a celebration of the south London scene?
I guess it just seemed like the right time for it to happen now. I don’t think it’s a scene as such, it’s far more natural than that. Just a bunch of people doing their thing really.

Things seem to be getting really active in south at the moment, with loads of new raves/djs/ideas popping up, do you agree?
It’s been this way for a while now, it’s just people putting on and going to parties to have fun, hang out with their mates and dance all night.

What are your thoughts on what’s going on in south London? Where’s it come from? What makes it special or different? 
We’ve always done things differently round here, it seems to go with the territory. Broadly speaking this current wave of activity seems to be a instigated by people who loosely coalesce around the World Unknown dancefloor and who all have their own distinct take on things.

It’s probably quite important that none of what’s going on in our little thing seems to be being done primarily for money or career advancement, more to make the best parties we possibly can for the people that come.  

What binds the djs together, is it a similar aesthetic, or attitude or what?
Each of the DJs and parties all seem to have their own individual take on things. Of course it’s possible to see musical links between us all but everyone seems to be putting a lot of effort into playing records that the others aren’t at any given time, both within our little gang and out there in the world in general.

There’s always lots of new and different music from loads of different times and places being played. That makes things a lot more interesting than if we were tonking thru a bunch of new releases and peer-approved revivals, reissues and edits in a linear fashion like so many other people do.

A friend of mine was saying recently how exciting it is that all these obscure records are now anthems to her and a load of other people. At all the parties, you get massive cheers for some really off-the-beaten-track records. Although the records are different, the range of musical ground covered and the way that they mean so much to a small group of people while the rest of the world has no real idea of what we’re up to is very reminiscent of the early days of the Balearic thing in London.

Location wise, how important is it to be out of the orbit of the established clubbing scene of Shoreditch and Dalston?
Massively. it’s also hugely important that it’s a fairly large area of ground that’s covered by the parties, certainly in comparison to the East London postcode scenes of the last decade or so.

All the hip-hunters may be citing Peckham as the ‘new Dalston’, and to an extent they’re probably right, but our little gang’s parties happen all over South London; Brixton, Deptford, Old Kent Road, Camberwell, Stockwell, Vauxhall, all kinds of places.

We might not be covering as much ground as when kids from Croydon were nicking cars to get back from a Tuesday night in Hemel Hempstead in the 70s and 80s but it’s definitely a move in the right direction, and a damn sight more exciting than people just cruising up and down Kingsland road or Peckham Rye looking for some action and not going any further afield.

What are you plans for future parties? Tell us where World Unknown and the Field Work Sunday sessions are going next…
Who knows? We’re all having a whale of a time at the moment so things will just keep evolving out of that I suppose.

One thing I do know is that for the small group of people involved this is probably one of the most creative and exciting times in London since acid house hit like a whirlwind 25 years ago. I’m sure loads of people would disagree with that but if they got themselves to some of the parties they might see what I mean.

Andy Blake plays at the very excellent looking Field Work presents a GATHERING OF THE CLAN all-dayer this weekend kicking off a regular series of Sunday sessions this Sun @ The Grosvenor 17 Sidney Road, Stockwell, SW9 0TP. Full details here.