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Q&A: Boogaloo

One Step in the Old School, One Step in the New…

In the run up to Boogaloo’s upcoming party with Rush Hour’s San Proper; I caught up with promoters Jack and Alex to chat about their love for Disco and the Liverpool dance scene.

The recently turned One party aims to keep things simple, by bringing the freshest House and Disco producers and DJs down to our beloved 24 Kitchen Street. For their next instalment the Boogaloo crew have invited an all Amsterdam affair to join the Sunny Side Up residents this Saturday. Masalo (Local Talk, Brighter Days), Kamma (Brighter Days) and artist (in all sense of the word) San Proper will be spinning an eclectic mix of House, with a likely and healthy dose of Afro, Acid, Boogie and Funk.

San Proper’s love affair with music is clearly deeply engrained (a quick watch of his Dekmantel set makes this hugely apparent). Following his remix of Ricardo Villalobos track ‘Electonic Water – It ate my Quarter’, Proper soon earned a place on the pedestal amongst music lovers world-wide. Perhaps not on the lips of everyone when picking headliners, Proper’s releases on Perlon, Dekmantel and the aforementioned and widely renowned Rush Hour has cemented his name as a real ‘DJs-DJ’.

Image: Hannah Metcalfe Photography

What was the music/event scene like when you both arrived to Liverpool? What made you want to start throwing Disco orientated parties?

 Alex: When we arrived to Liverpool as Fresher’s the dance scene seemed to be pretty tame, especially in regards to Disco. There was not a clear space away from Concert Square that students could come and dance to music that they wanted to hear. I got involved with Boogaloo at the start of last year as I soon realised that the guys shared the same vision of wanting to showcase upcoming talent    to the Liverpool underground community.

Jack: Exactly, there used to be a small event space called 2 to 4 Kitchen street, that hosted some of our most memorable nights at Polka. It was in September 2015 when myself and Rob formed Boogaloo, since we wanted to create a brand that offered an Afro-Disco-House night away from the big headliners, set times and cameras that you see so often in big clubs. I think our night with Hidden Spheres (which came about before his releases on Bradley Zero’s Rhythm Section) encapsulated very early on what we are all about.

How has the collaboration with Hustle come about?

Jack: We initially got involved with James Morgan and Jimmy Allen, the minds   behind Hustle, through our now resident DJs ‘Sunny Side Up’ who had a relationship with Hustle by playing at the Magnet together.

We met them properly at our first night at Kitchen Street, where we hosted Fingerman. We soon found a common passion in house and disco music,        which inevitably led to this collaborative show with San Proper.

Alex: The Sunny Side Up guys quickly became our residents. Their incredible musical knowledge and incredibly diverse record collection gained our attention. The boys never fail to impress and have become integral part of Boogaloo.

You guys base your night at 24 Kitchen Street – in light of developers plans to build student accommodation within the area, how important is a place like the Baltic Triangle for the wider Liverpool dance culture?

 Alex: It’s a shame to see a multi-million-pound company once again undermine the ‘little guy’. Kitchen Street for the last three years has been a base for the   development of culture within the area and has hosted everything from the best grime and bassline nights to smaller and personal arts exhibitions. Especially considering that Liverpool was awarded ‘European City of Culture’ in 2008, it would be gutting to see this one go.

Jack: Yeah, I mean you only have to look at the European scene to see the stark contrasts. Recently, the Berlin super club ‘Berghain’ has been recognised as a venue for ‘high culture’.  It’s disappointing that the UK government and local councils do not share the same appreciation for underground nightlife. Although there has been a growth of nights being held in Liverpool’s North Dock it is important for us to support what is on offer within the Baltic Triangle. 

What has been the highlight for Boogaloo so far?

Jack: The highlight for us without a doubt was our first Birthday with Al Zanders and Jon K. Yes, the party was a near sell out, but it was a sell out because of Boogaloo – it just felt right.  We booked two relatively unknown artists but the mix of records that the pair of them played captured the sound that we were trying to showcase.

Alex: The whole night was a pretty funny story actually. We hosted our night on the same date that Ben Klock played at the Underground, so understandably we struggled with tickets. Our mate Curtis stood out the front of Kitchen street getting people through the doors.  Eventually we had over 100 people enter on the door, and although people might not have known the DJs when they arrived, they certainly were in no rush to leave.

What made you guys want to book San Proper? What are you most excited for?

Jack: We are both big fans of Rush Hour and what’s going on in the Netherlands at the moment.  After flirting with a few names, myself and the Hustle lads decided to book San Proper. James Morgan suggested we also booked Kamma and Masalo, who both share a studio with Proper. In fact, Masalo has just signed for one of our favourite record labels: Local Talk. (Along with Jamie 3:26).

 I’m excited to see what antics Proper brings to Kitchen Street. He is notoriously eccentric and I am sure there will be a couple of surprises. In the past we have had a few funny requirements on the artist’s technical riders. Ruf Dug asked for a vegan energy drink called ‘Club-Mate’, not only nearly impossible to find; after a day of looking he was fine with a Red Bull. Whereas Detroit Swindle asked for some Liverpool Gin which they barely drank! So we are sure Proper will bring a few surprises on Saturday night.

Image: Official artwork for Boogaloo

The Artwork that Boogaloo produces is not only class but is also starting to find continuity – who is the mind behind the new posters?

Jack: Yeah he’s sick. We got in contact through a friend of mine at Cardiff Uni, and since then he has produced our Al Zanders, Ruf Dug and San Proper artwork. Go check it out at http://www.benarfur.com/. 

And finally, can you give LSRadio the inside scoop of what to expect from Boogaloo in 2017?

 Alex: We are constantly discussing things and toying with new ideas. Right now we are focusing on growing what we are doing at the moment. We want to bring a  sound to the Baltic Triangle that focuses on lesser known but still incredibly talented disco and house producers. We are both fans of Labels such as Lumberjacks in Hell, Mood Hut and Delusions of Grandeur – so only time will tell who our next booking will be.

Jack: Boogaloo are going to be involved in the Abandon Silence x Kitchen Street Baltic Weekender. Liverpool’s music promoters are joining forces to bring an incredible party to the Baltic Triangle this summer, which will run across several venues between 2-4 June.  Unfortunately, we cannot say exactly who will be performing, but expect some hugely talented individuals to be making an appearance.

Get your tickets here for Boogaloo’s next party on Saturday 11th February.

Cover Image: Hannah Metcalfe Photography

Rob Thomas
Rob Thomas is a student at the University of Liverpool


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