Kiwi aka Alex Warren is the New Cross based DJ and promoter behind London based club night Orlando Boom. This mix was recorded live from The Nest for A/Y/A and features the slomo grooves of deep disco house that build up to an epic Whitney laden ending. I caught up with Alex to chat about the mix, his thoughts on the current dance music scene and the music that influences his sound.
“The mix was recorded in the closing hour so I got the chance to bring the tempo down and have a bit of fun” says Alex, “Essentially that’s what I see dance music and club nights being about – fun. I think sometimes people in the industry forget that. I think dance music, and the house scene, is amazing right now; more and more people are going clubbing and having a great time. Too many DJ’s take themselves and their music too seriously though, and forget why people are actually there and listening to them.”
Alex first started DJing when he moved to London to go to university and he admits his reasons were not purely based on his dedication to his art. “I bought myself one of those awful midi controllers to plug into my laptop and I thought I was king!” he laughs, “I managed to pull my girlfriend though so it worked pretty well”.
Dance music constantly evolves and often attracts people who, growing up, were into all sorts of different genres of music – Alex was no different. “I went through all sorts of phases, my parents weren’t real music fans… well my Mum liked classical music but it just reminds me of long car journeys and feeling sick. I went through a Brit Pop phase, then I was a bit of a skater, and a goth for a while before shaving my head and going to hardcore shows. It was around that time that I discovered John Peel, I used to listen to every show of his until the early hours of the morning, not missing one for 2 years up until his death. My schoolwork suffered a bit but I really learnt the value of music and what it meant to me.”
Making the step from laptop enabled bedroom DJ to actually getting gigs in clubs always requires a bit of ingenuity in the saturated London market, Alex used contacts he made whilst working as a club photographer to get his foot on the first rung of the ladder. “I was working as a photographer for Durr and a few other club nights. When Durr stopped I was a bit bummed out but I saw it as an opportunity to start something fresh. I found out that The Queen of Hoxton was about to open and got in contact with them about hosting a pre-launch party to road test the venue. We called it Orlando Boom and it was an absolute road block and an amazing night. We’d promoted it by wearing Orlando Bloom masks and running around Shoreditch topless… the rest as they say is history…”
Alex took on his Kiwi alter-ego when he first started producing his own music, a necessary evolution for a DJ with real ambition. “I decided that I wanted to take my DJing and my DJ sets to the next level. In order for a DJ to progress in this day and age, they really have to release their own music. I left a promotion job I was doing at The Nest to concentrate all my energy on music. The problem is I’m not really interested in selling music but it’s almost becoming a necessity. I’ve been making music that I want to play out; edits and cuts, chopped up acapellas, DJ tools essentially. I’m really starting to knuckle down now though, I’ve just finished a remix for my good friends Peace, and then I will focus on my debut EP. Creatively I’m skilled but actually turning ideas into music is another matter altogether. I find it easy collaborating in the studio, I made a couple of bootlegs with Joe & Will Ask and we had so much fun. I get bored working on my own and working with producers that are more experienced is great for me because I can learn a lot.”
Kiwi’s top 11 artists at the moment (in no particular order):
Drop Out Orchestra
10/3/12 – Yacht Club Disco w/ Jacques Renault and Justin Miller
30/3/12 – The Nest w/ Prins Thomas + Disco Bloodbath
8/4/12 – Kitsune party @ Heaven,
5/5/12 – The Nest w/ Punks Jump Up
29+30/5/12 – Blissfields, Hampshire,
5+6/8/12 – Stopmakingsense festival w/ Durrr – Croatia
11/8/12 FourFour Day Party, Cargo outdoor terrace
Words: Paddy Hughes