Clandestino – Line Out #7


The latest Line Out mix comes courtesy of musical trio Clandestino, taken from their recent live set at Canal Mills in Leeds. Yorkshire-based Clandestino have an EP coming out on the most excellent IsitBalearic on 1st December and have already booked plenty of mighty fine acts for their parties, including A Love From Outer Space, Man Power and many more. The three of them are party hosts with a genuine love for the music they put on. We sat down – virtually, I'm sitting down now actually – to find out exactly who they are and what gets them going.

First up let's get that mix on:

You're pretty new on our radar, fancy telling us a little bit about yourselves? Who are you and where are you from?

Clandestino is a collective of three veteran DJ’s and producers from Leeds, UK. Myself Joe Morris, Nick Smith and Iain Mac. We’ve been around in various guises for years, most notably as Polaroid which was a party we ran in the city for 6 years. We were the first to bring DJs like Tim Sweeney, Simian Mobile Disco, Erol Alkan, Optimo, Joakim and many others to Leeds for the first time, long before they became the established acts they are today. Clandestino rose out of the ashes of Polaroid when it had run its course with a slightly different attitude and sound.

What's the Clandestino sound? Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?

We’ve just made a kind of deep, emotive techno track that wouldn’t be out of place in a Carl Craig set and then there’s a track on our next EP that’s an almost beatless ambient thing so I guess our sound is a little difficult to quantify. We are as comfortable making and playing downtempo, leftfield stuff as we are straight up dancefloor cuts for the club. I suppose we take influences from the great underground dance scenes of the past; acid house, Detroit techno, Balearic and italo and present them in a contemporary manner. At least that’s the aim anyway. We definitely always try and incorporate melodic elemant to the music; its important our music can strike a chord with people in some way and not just be fodder for the dance floor but our sound probably isn’t a specific, press friendly genre.

What does music mean to you?

Love, life, friendship, sex, relationships, happiness, sadness, feeling and the soundtrack to a million more emotions and situations we can’t begin to list here. Music soothes the soul, brings people together and is probably the one constant in all our lives.

What were your original aspirations for Clandestino? How do you think you're shaping up?

We just wanted to put on small parties for our friends and like-minded people to share the kind of music we love. We made a pretty big statement with our first party by inviting Andrew Weatherall’s ‘A Love From Outer Space’ (again a first for Leeds at the time) which was a great success but after that we struggled to find a decent venue so we lost momentum. We’ve since found a new space though which fits into what we want to do; last month’s party with Man Power was rocking and next month we host Craig Bratley’s album tour. Leeds is a funny, fickle place though; it can be hard to put on alternative parties if it doesn’t fit in with whatever is flavour of the month but we kind of like being the outsiders. I should also mention a moderately successful podcast series has sprouted as a by-product of doing parties which has grown into what some of our favourite DJs and producers have labelled their favourite mix series, so that’s been nice for us.

Who got you hooked on electronic music?

Joe: For me I developed an obsession with New Order at a young age and I think that’s where my love of electronic music stems from. Soon after that the acid house thing blew up in the North West where I grew up and there was no looking back after that.

Iain: A mate at school brought a tape of 'balearic' music back from his family holiday in Ibiza in either '87 or '88. I'd love to know who the DJ was, the original tape was unlabelled. From the first listen I was hooked and set about finding more music like it. 

Nick: Unknowingly, my sister. As I was growing up in the mid 80’s, she was always playing New Order. I was fascinated by the melodies and rhythms created by the arpeggiators. Whenever I had the chance, I’d take the LP’s and play them nonstop in my room. Been hooked ever since.

Where was the mix recorded?

It was recorded live at Canal Mills in Leeds, which is a kind of multi-purpose warehouse space. We were booked to play all night and the mix is a recording of the earlier part of the evening so it’s kind of laidback. There are records from Andras Fox, Apiento, Begin, Coyote, Man Power, Rick Wade, Suzanne Kraft to give you an idea of the vibe…

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Somewhere warm and outdoors would be good; failing that it would be perfect to stick on at an after party or if like us your after party days are behind you put it on when you have friends round for dinner

What should we be wearing?

Depending on the above scenarios; some garish pink shorts, fancy dress or a sensible shirt. How about all three?

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Iain: That's a tough one, probably Sasha & Digweed – Renaissance or maybe Radio Soulwax.

Joe: I was going to mention Renaissnace; it’s an impossible question but in the interest of bring forthcoming with an answer I’ll say Lindstrom and Prins Thomas –‘Essential Mix’.

Nick: Can’t really answer that with one mix. It depends on what mood I’m in.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

Joe: The track you start on because if it’s a stinker you could lose the dance-floor within seconds. Usually you can get away with a dodgy last record because everyone at the party is shall we say suitably refreshed by then.

Iain: The one at the end is more likely to be one people remember. It's always good to open with a splash though. 

Nick: For me, it’s the track you start with, preferably with a long intro. It’s sets the tone, mood and feeling a mix. From there you can take it anywhere.

What were the first and last records you bought?

Joe: A 7” picture disc of Salt N Pepa – ‘Push It’. Last one was Talamanca System – ‘Balanzat’.

Iain: Flash by Queen (Don't judge me, I was very young!) The double vinyl of Hallelujah by Happy Mondays. 

Nick: First – Whitesnake – Lovehunter (no comment!). Last – JollyJams 019.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

A tropical fruit salad.

If it was an animal what would it be?

A dolphin; elegant and playful.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Iain: I've tried to play Music For Chameleons by Gary Numan a few times… It's never gone well. 

Joe: I'm not adverse to shoe-horning any records in if it fits the vibe!

Nick: Always had trouble with Black Devil disco Club – Timing, forget the timing. Does exactly what it says on the tin.

Have you got a favourite track of the year?

Iain: Caltrops by Geoffroy Mugwump & DC Salas – It's one of those tracks that gets a reaction wherever I've played it.

Nick: Talamanca System – Balanzat. So good . It captures every essence of what I love in a record. In my mind I can go back to Ku or Cafe Del Mar circa ‘88. Awesome.

Joe: What Nick said with an honourable mention to Mark E – ‘Magazine’

Where do you see yourselves in 5 years time?

Joe: Probably still chasing the Balearic utopia!

Iain: Rehab?

Nick: As long as I’m still making and playing music in 5 years’ time then I’m happy.

What can we expect to hear from you in the next few months?

Our ‘Crack in the Sky’ EP is out on IsitBalearic Recordings on 1st Dec, there’s an awesome remix by San Francisco’s Beat Broker so make sure you check that out. Next year we are doing a remix for El Diablos Social Club Recordings and an EP on Rothmans Music and another EP on an as yet to be disclosed label.

Anything you'd like to add?

Our next Clandestino party is on 6th December at Wharf Chambers in Leeds where we host Craig Bratley’s album tour. The next party after that is something very special but we can't say what yet. Like our Facebook page for details.

Hear more from Clandestino on their Soundcloud page.