Donald Dust and The Nightlark: The Wednesday Alternative Mix

5 Minute Read

A wild ride through Proto House, Italo, Electro and beyond.

Next up is a wicked all vinyl mix from two Edinburgh based DJ’s – Donald Dust and The Nightlark. Two stalwarts of the Northern scene who have helped pushed forward leftfield electronic music in the Scottish capital and beyond.

This mix demonstrated an enormous depth of understanding as the pair weave between an eclectic assortment of House, EBM, Italo and beyond to craft a hypnotic tape which will sound as wild in the headphones as it would in the basement of a Scottish dive bar on a Friday night. We’re thinking dimly lit, red lights, a lot of smoke.


The pair are fierce record collectors and the process behind delivering this mix was long and complicated. The result was worth the wait as it demonstrates a masterclass in genre fluidity and dancefloor prowess.

Listen and read the interview below:

Please introduce yourself…

Donald Dust: I’m Tom and he’s Giles. We go by the professional producer and/or DJ names of Donald Dust and The Nightlark.

The Nightlark: Yes, similar to what he said but the other way around.

Who are you, where are you and what are you?

The Nightlark: I am a DJ from the grim north, same as Mr. Dust. I obsessively buy vinyl records and then look for parties to play them at.

Donald Dust: I spend a bit more time producing too, but I have my moments behind the decks. I’ve released a few nice records over the years on some labels I like. We both have day jobs, but his is a bit more interesting than mine.

The Nightlark: I get to book some interesting bands, DJs and entertainment at my job.

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?

Where was the mix recorded?

Donald Dust: We did this one in Giles’ bedroom where he has a pretty nice DJ setup and a few thousand records.

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

Donald Dust: Honestly, I like listening to mixes on a long drive.

The Nightlark: Yeah, that or on a train.

What should we be wearing?

Donald Dust: Get some loose-fitting clothing one on for this one, sonny boy.

The Nightlark: You’ll need to source that Michiko Koshino jacket that inflates in my opinion, otherwise a lot of the references will go over your head.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

Donald Dust: Literally anywhere warmer than Giles’ flat.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Donald Dust: The Barbara Harris vocal over the slowed down UK 92 prog thing with the Arthur Baker drums over the top sounds pretty good!

The Nightlark: One of the Freestyle things you found recently, the “I’ll be so true, to you” one, I’ve been humming that for weeks now.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Donald Dust: Bitch Ass Darius – Follow The Sound, either of the I-f Mixed Up In The Hague volumes, DJ Craze Miami Bass Sessions.

The Nightlark: They are all good, I would maybe add Slow To Speak’s “Core 94” mix (I know a previous guest of yours did already say was her favourite mix) and J-Rocc’s “Live From The Sex Machine Pt2”

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

The Nightlark: In a perfect world it would be Mr Dust and I at Gabriela in NYC, on their “Romance” Thursday night with a big pile of our slushiest, sing-along 12” synthpop hits.

Donald Dust: Me, Albert Einstein, Jesus, Kirk Cobain. 45s only, one about.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

Donald Dust: 2 x Numark TT-200 turntables and a Numark DM950 mixer. One of the turntables was broken, later replaced with a £100 1210 covered in marker pen. Now, almost 20 years later I can proudly say I’ve upgraded to 2 x Pioneer XDJ-700s and no mixer.

The Nightlark: I had 2 no-name belt drive turntables and a 3 channel Numark thing. Currently I have a few pairs of Technics, a Pioneer DJM S9 & a Urei 1620.

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

Donald Dust: The choice of ending probably needs more care as a rule for me.

The Nightlark: I’ve had a few occasions where I’ve opened with such a strong track that I can then ride off that high for a whole set, a well selected last track does mean that people in the crowd hopefully go home with that on their mind. With that in mind I would say the most middle record in your set is the most important.

What were the first and last records you bought?

The Nightlark: I started buying records very young, my first was a Primal Scream 7” because I didn’t have enough pocket money to get the 12”. I have bought a lot of cool and very uncool records between then and now, but the last one I bought was Spanish Promo 12” of Race Babbling by Stevie Wonder.

Donald Dust: Yeah, I was probably about ten when I began buying records and I got an all-in-one Bush hifi thing that had a graphic equaliser on it. I used to try to ‘remix’ my records using that, with quite ineffective results. The first 12” I bought was DJ Krust – The Resister b/w Roni Size – Music Box. I think it was 10p and I thought it was supposed to be played at 33rpm. The last one I bought, blind, was a British-Bangladeshi UK Acid House 12” from ’88 for three quid called ’Taj Ma House’  by Joi Bangla Sound which was unfortunately pretty lousy.

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

Donald Dust: We got stuck into this one with the same energy that we have typically applied to demolishing Dim Sum from Imperial Palace in Edinburgh, with a big bowl of the tofu, pork, monkfish hotpot on the go.

If it was an animal what would it be?

Donald Dust: One of those Cape Hyrax things with the fangs.

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

The Nightlark: A lot of those tape edited together 80s records can be a bit tricky, the record in our Bordello A Parigi Mix, what was it called, the synthy one that Bruce Forest is playing in the Better Days mix after he’s had David Cole playing over “No Way Back”?

Donald Dust: Wired – To The Beat Of The Drum.

The Nightlark: Yeah, I see here that this is a Tommy Musto record, I should also probably point out that this is not a record I even own, this is in the collection of Mr. Dust, but we spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to massage that into the mix.

Donald Dust: I should then probably mention I did sell this record.

The Nightlark: Oh right, neither of us own that one then.

Upcoming in the world of… 

The Nightlark: Well, I have my Fridays in the awesome Paradise Palms, plus I am playing the Terminal V festival and a few other things like that. Tom will probably be flying around the world doing his guest appearances no doubt, where you at next?

Donald Dust: I am down south in a few weeks joining the Hand-Made DJs at Jumbi in Peckham, which by all accounts is a dope location. I’m looking forward to slinging some slower records on a nice setup for sure. And yes, I’ll be announcing some Summer dates outside of the UK soon!

Anything else we need to discuss?

The Nightlark: We both play at the Pure Mana night in Paradise Palms alongside our favourite DJs in the city, plus our radio shows on EHFM, I do a show sometimes for the London based Loose FM. I have a mix coming out for the DJ History “Mystery Mix” series, so if anyone wants to have a crack at identifying the tracks, I think there is a large cash prize for the most tracks identified. You put up that cash, didn’t you Tom? What inspired that decision?

Donald Dust: I’m a philanthropist first, everything else can wait.