Diskomo Oblast: My House, My Rules ‘Gateway To Zen’ Mix
Re-booting our resident mix series we're poring over the anchormen/unsung heros of dark, smoke filled rooms – sometimes with lasers – that lay the foundations for the night ahead and what draws it to a close.
For this chapter, we've enlisted Diskomo Oblast from Gateway to Zen for a heads down techno workout. Diskomo Oblast, A.K.A. Jim Wright, has been DJing and promoting for almost a decade, originally falling into the Leeds dubstep scene and his love for underground electronics hasn't faded one bit. Now he's teaming up with Nick Craddock, Tom Whatmore, and Charlie Leahy for their new night Gateway to Zen. With a mandate to bring high quality techno to the intimate surroundings, this mix from Jim veers from deep atmospherics to rough, unforgiving techno. Enjoy.
What's your name and where do you come from?
Describe your DJing style
Dark, odd and intense. A mate said that hearing me DJ always made him feel like he’d just dropped a pill when he was totally sober. I’m quite happy with that.
How did you get into this mucky game?
I got dragged in against my will, inspired by an intense love for dubstep and a less-intense interest in minimal techno around 2005. It wasn’t long before I was promoting a night in Leeds (Ruffage) with some mates and going out to clubs pretty much every weekend. The game hasn’t really loosened its hold over me at all in the last 9 years.
Tell me about your new venture Gateway to Zen and how you met the rest of the crew
I met all three of the Gateway To Zen guys through music, going to the same nights and being introduced through mutual friends. Tom I’ve known since we were both going to nights like DMZ, FWD and Transmission/Exodus regularly, Nick and Charlie, more recently, in the last couple of years. We decided to start the night because of what we perceive to be a relative paucity of small techno nights in London. There are plenty of small house-y nights and big techno nights but not much in between. It’s obviously great that you can see DJs like Jeff Mills, Surgeon or Ancient Methods on a relatively regular basis here but big clubs often bring their own problems as a raver: in-your-face security, surly staff, long queues for the toilets, cloakrooms and smoking areas, lots of great DJs being crammed onto line-ups so they end up with 90 or even 60 min sets. Its a bit of a cliche but we wanted to started a night that we’d love to go to as ravers ourselves: a small techno night based around the musical tastes of the residents and not too hung up on booking guests regularly. So that’s what we’re striving for and, hopefully, it will all come together perfectly on 28th November.
What do you get raving in South London that you don't get anywhere else?
There’s a different feel in the air, a sense of infinite freedom and sincere joy which runs through your soul.
What's the weirdest record you own?
I’m not sure about the weirdest record I own but definitely the weirdest one I’ve bought recently is this Gravats – Snares 7” . It’s just 4 minutes of really distorted drum machine grooves at 100bpm. I love it
What's the best DJing experience you've ever had?
My favourite DJing experiences, thus far, have all been playing the last set at the other clubnight I’m involved with, Wifey. We’ve managed to build up a small but incredibly loyal and committed crowd who tend to stay til the very end of the night. Whether it’s been playing a load of techno on my birthday a few months ago, with party streamers strewn across my head and body and having my name chanted by 40+ people, or wildly slamming baseline, grime and garage records together B2B with the other two residents, Ralph LTF and DJ Set, those sets are always a lot of fun. The energy and enthusiasm generated by that crowd often takes my breath away.
What's the worst DJing experience you've ever had?
Probably getting asked to play in Liverpool for a night called Dreadnought straight before Kode9 around 2007 or 2008. He was one of my very favourite DJs at the time and I was really excited about the whole thing but I was promoted well above my station for that. There was a hell of a lot of clanging going on and a lot of people quickly exiting to the smoking area.
If you could go B2B with any DJ in history who would it be?
Ron Hardy. Obviously I never got to see him play but the recordings I’ve heard are just amazing. He constantly pushed things to the outer limits of coherence and listenability (for want of a better term). I increasingly try to be brave with my DJ-ing, to take risks and not be afraid to completely change the pace or tone of a set if it feels right and Ron Hardy is definitely the main inspiration for that.