Dolan bergin talks
Dolan Bergin is one of the masterminds behind Electric Minds, a series of parties that has rightfully gained the reputation of being amongst the best in the capital. We got the chance to catch up with him before he brings the superb pairing of Motor City Drum Ensemble and Efdemin to East London this Saturday to talk about the night, the label and a little bit about himself too
Hi Dolan, how are you? What have you been up to?
Things are good thanks, just appreciating some time without so
many events at the moment. With my partner Ajay, we finished
the Hydra series on New Years Day, so for 2013 we wanted to map out the year with less London events in the Spring / Summer and concentrate on the festival bookings and also the 2013 Hydra series which starts on the 23rd August. So while we have fewer events for the first half of the year there is a lot to do to get the series in place.
What’s your background in music? How did you end up getting
into the electronic music scene?
Its a bit of a clich but I remember always being interested in
music and when I discovered the rave scene around 92 / 93 and I was hooked, so in one way or another I’ve been involved ever
since. I was very young at the time but I later started working for record labels like Warner, BMG a little later on so the career in music properly started there.
What made you want to try your hand at promotion?
I just always seemed to be the one organising trips to festivals or throwing parties at university or in a warehouse I used to live in Dalston. It just seemed to happen organically and when throwing raves in the place I lived became a little awkward for my flat mates, I started searching for empty spaces so I could produce them myself. Of course once you start having to front the costs of making those events happen, you need to think about promotion to make sure its not just you drinking a beer at the bar.
It’s a really healthy time for house / techno club nights in London
at the moment, what do you think has made Electric Minds so
In one way it is very healthy as there are a lot of talented producers
in London right now but I also think the events side of things is
pretty stale. There is a lack of decent venues, certainly the larger
spaces that can house the bigger events and so many parties taking
place that lack any real imagination when it comes to the bookings
and production. I’d like to think we try and do things differently,
weve stuck to our guns with the music we’re passionate about and
hopefully that shows a level of consistently and a standard that
people can expect.
Of course, you’ve been running a label alongside the promotional
side of things for a few years now. Did that seem like a natural
progression? What’s the ethos behind the label? Any future
releases we should be looking out for from the label?
The main reason for starting the label was to release music from
the artists that play at our events and that is still very much the
case. I had a background of working with labels so it felt like a
natural progression for me but it’s a time consuming project so it
had to be about the enjoyment of working with the music rather
than a tool for promotion or making money. For the new bits weve
just released a great 3 tracker from Echer:
There is a new Move D 12 with remixes from Jay Shepheard,
Endian and Duff Disco on that one. Also hope to develop some
new material from Velvit (Dbridges house alias) in the coming
weeks and a further 12 from Endian.
Your upcoming night with Motor City Drum Ensemble and
Efdemin is in association with Dimensions Festival, how did you
get involved with them?
My partner Ajay worked with Dimensions on their London launch
party last year so they kindly asked us to get fully onboard for
2013. Weve been going to Croatia for 5 years now and its always a
highlight of the summer so after everyone raved about the first
Dimensions Festival last year, were really looking forward to our
first appearance with them.
Have you got any plans to make the jump to a bigger ‘weekender’
style event, or has the failure of BLOC last year made you slightly
Not if it means we have to go down the route like so many festivals
of being a carbon copy of each other, same line-ups, different
site. Bloc were the one organisation that proved you could do
things differently when it come to the bookings but unfortunately
that didnt work out and I can’t imagine there will be an equivalent
any time soon. I think for the time being we prefer to work with
the same number of people spread out over a period of time and
hopefully by doing so continue to have freedom in the bookings we
make. You never know though and as we produced some events
for 2k people last year and there will be a few more on that scale
this year, its only natural we want to progress with that and see it
You’re a resident at the night as well, what’s your approach to
I still really enjoy buying music, I think there is something nostalgic
for me in the process of buying records and playing the music at
home. So to then be able to play the music on a nice sound system
that weve produced for a party and seeing other people into the
music in the same way, its a really fun thing to do. So I guess the
approach is to just play what you enjoy and not too far from what
people have come to hear. Of course it can be so much more in-
depth than that and we could talk about vinyl vs. digital, digging for
music, equipment used ……….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Having been involved with a label and night for so long, have you
considered making the plunge into production?
I’d really like to and I have tried in the past by doing a Logic course
and giving it a bash at home but its so hard to find the time to
commit to it outside of what I already have going on, so I think Ill
leave it in the capable hands of the producers I know are already
What’s been your defining moment from an Electric Minds party
Being asked to do a label party at Panorama Bar has been a
defining moment for sure, it will be one of our first events of 2013
so its a great way to start the year.
If you could book any artists, past or present, for Electric Minds,
who would it be?
By the time we get to the end of the 2013 Hydra series, well have
hopefully worked with them all : )