Dan Beaumont

We caught up with Mr Beaumont for his thoughts on his musical upbringing, records he wished he’d made, Jam Factory, Superstore, SMS and beyond. We did do a nice little video interview a few weeks back but I lost my camera… again. So you’ll have to make do with a written one instead. Check his rather wonderful mix he’s finally done for this publication – I’ve only been bugging him for about 6 months to do one! Worth the wait tho…

Dan, you’re a Londoner born and bred which has obviously had quite an impact on your musical education. What was your first introduction to the capital’s nocturnal activity?

A rave called Elevation Reincarnation at the Crystal Palace sports centre in 1994… Fabio, Grooverider, Jumpin’ Jack Frost, Dougal & Vibes! From that point I dived into London’s club scene – things like Strutt at the Cross and Sabresonic.

When and why did you start DJing?
I was always obsessed with music; especially dance music. I used to buy a lot of vinyl and when I was working at the Social in town it was a real insight into the art of DJing – I saw so many different people play and realised that the common thread among the really good performances was that they only ever played music that they truly loved, irrespective of genre, so i started practising on the decks when we were closed.

You used to manage The (Heavenly) Social bar in central london. How big an influence did it have on your musical upbringing?
I think The Social was always about finding a common thread across all kinds of different music and joining it together. The spirit of the place was pure acid house and it was all about connecting different sounds to that ideal.

You were previously part of the Disco Bloodbath collective and played a major part in the Disco revival of recent years. What made you jump ship from DB?
I just fancied a change really. Superstore and Jam Factory were taking up a lot of my time so I decided to move on.

You’ve been recording under the Jam Factory moniker with Ben Rymer for almost a year now. Can you describe your sound, influences and working as a duo.
It’s all about throbbing subterranean basement music really. We are both obsessed with house music and wanted to put out releases that fitted our record collections – labels like Tribal, Emotive, Strictly Rhythm, Junior Boys Own, Warp and producers like DJ Pierre, Tenaglia, Murk, MK plus modern jams from all over the shop. We can both have totally different approaches to making music but one thing we tend to agree on the importance of experimenting with real synths and drum machines whenever we can.

Dalston Superstore has been an unbridled success over the past 2 years. To what do you attribute to its success. Can we expect to see any more Superstores around the capital or beyond in the future?
I think we were just really lucky in terms of the timing and location when we opened. Essentially we always try and move things forward musically and make sure we never take our regular customers for granted and always offer them something special. We’ve got an amazing bar team as well which makes for a really magic place when everything comes together. We are planning our next step but we’ll keep you guessing as to what and where it is.

What have been the highs and lows of running a predominantly gay bar in the centre of East London? Musical highlights etc?
It’s been an amazing experience – I think we’ve been fortunate to have a core crowd of very loyal and musically open minded regulars who help create an amazing atmosphere that makes world class DJs want to play there. Prosumer’s gig in our first year was very special as was Erol Alkan’s set at Disco Bloodbath. Optimo’s visits are always utterly crackers and recently we’ve been lucky to host Marcus Worgull, Rex The Dog, Kim Ann Foxman, Azari & III, Rob Mello, Jacques Renault, Felix Dickenson, Villa, Andy Blake, Mylo, The Magician, and loads of others including local homo heroes like Hannah Holland, Severino, Luke Howard, Jeffrey Hinton, The lovely Jonjo, DJ Squeaky & Rokk.

Tell us about your involvement with Stop Making Sense Festival this year.
We were very lucky to be asked to collaborate on this amazing festival! There’s a massive crew of us going out there including regular Superstore spinners Hannah Holland, Nadia Ksaiba, Rokk, The Lovely Jonjo plus myself and my superstore co-pilot Mikki Most from Trailer Trash. We’re doing a boat party on the Friday night and then hosting the beach bar from Saturday afternoon. It’s a really magical setting and this year’s lineup is super special including our friends Optimo plus all three Body & Soul residents all day on Sunday and loads of other brilliant performers.

This mix is quite a ‘deep’ affair by Mr Beaumont’s standards. Is the Jam Factory sound moving in a similar direction?
It wasn’t really a conscious decision just the way it came together I suppose! Each mix always has a slightly different flavour and this one just came out a bit deep! The next one will probably be full of jacking acid lines and demented cowbells… I never really know how they’re going to end up until they’re done.

Talk us through the mix if you can.
As usual it’s a combination of new music and old bangers. For some reason I always put a Murk in the mix so this time I dropped Outta Limits. The new Levon Vincent is a total monster (although every copy in London seems to be warped so I had a bit of trouble getting in and out of it as you can probably hear!). Julio Bashmore’s remix of ‘Into The Valley’ has been a festival staple for me as has Caribou’s genius Virgo 4 rework. There is also some great music that friends have given me like Fred Palakon’s Grace Jones number and Terry Farley’s ace dub of the Aretha sampling MC1 chugger. The Kenny Hawkes record is in there as a reminder of what a brilliant talent house music lost this year. Peter Richard is the curveball at the end… somehow the drums of ‘It’s A Crime’ seemed to lead into ‘Walking In The Neon.’

You’re a vinyl evangelist, can you ever see yourself jumping ship to Traktor/Serato… if not, why not?
At the moment I can’t ever see myself playing with a laptop in public. I play vinyl whenever I can – If I trust the equipment and the system. In terms of digital I don’t see anything wrong with CDJs – they’re brilliantly crafted pieces of equipment. I already feel like a CD revivalist! It has never been essential for travelling DJs to take their entire music collection to a gig and I don’t see that it is now. We’re supposed to edit, select and curate our music for every gig and quite often a bag of 50 records leads you to more interesting places than your entire library would.

You’ve recently recorded a track with 2 Bears as Bear Factory – how did this come about and can we expect more Bear Factory nights soon come?
We recently did a Bear Factory night (2 Bears + Jam Factory) at Superstore after we remixed Bear HugThey invited us to their session at Red Bull Music studios the week before the show. We all took some equipment and ended up hooking up two Pro 1 synths, a 909, an 808 and an MPC together and making a racket. We came out with two tracks that I think we’re going to continue to work on. We’ll probably do another Bear Factory night at superstore before long.

You’ve also collaborated with Spencer Parker?
We spent a day in the studio together and came out with a track that I’m really proud of – it’s on his new album and if it’s deployed correctly at the right point in the night can do crazy things to dancefloors.

Not meaning to get too political or owt but care to share a sentence or two about what’s been happening in the past few days. What fk is going on??
Where do you start??? It’s tragic. We obviously need to face the fact that we have failed a significant slice of a generation. A bunch of kids have decided that it’s OK to smash up their own communities and go looting. When you see David Cameron and Boris Johnson on TV it’s like they’re on a completely different planet… They have absolutely no idea what’s happening. We need to ask why so many kids have no stake in our society. Why have we allowed the urban poor to fall off the edge?

Top 3 London clubs – living or dead, not an issue.
Disco Bloodbath, 21st Century Bodyrockers and the early days of Faith.

Top 3 clubs, period – geography not an issue.
Womb in Tokyo, DC10 at it’s bonkers peak and a great night in New York right now called Xanadude.

Current weekly expenditure on records.
It varies!!

Most expensive record that you’ve ever bought.
Buying Cappuccino’s Hell Dance With Me just before it was bootlegged was not my smartest move

Records you wished you’d written.
Bottom Heavy by Danny Tenaglia

and High On Your Love by Debbie Jacobs

Current top 5 tracks
Aside from what’s on the mix..
Detroit Urban Gardening Ensemble – Take Root (Out Hear Audio)

T. Trax – Project Piano (Clone Jack For Daze)Harkin & Raney – Workin’ & Steamin’ (Throne Of Blood)

Osunlade – Envision (Ame & Dixon mixes) (Innervisions)
Ame mix

Dixon mix

Carter Bros – Full Disco Jacket (Rush Hour)

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See Dan Beaumont at this year's Farr Festival, more information and tickets here.