FMB010 | JOHN CRAIG

Marquis

Back to our roots with one of our homegrown DJs, introducing John Craig. Very much a “DJ’s DJ” around the local Belfast scene, currently a resident in Yello nightclub in Belfast and ex Shine/ Stiff Kitten resident. This mix showcases his versatile style bouncing across from classic italo disco to funk to straight up house. For those unfamiliar we asked a couple of questions;

What was your inspiration behind the mix, do you draw much from the Belfast disco scene or is it steeped in Paradise Garage and Hacienda memories?

I wanted to do this mix in a “Back To Mine” style showcasing some music that I love but don’t usually play out in clubs. My dj sets are predominantly house and techno.  I tried to include a variety of styles and fuse them together as well as I could. The mix consists of songs that I enjoy listening to at home and you would be likely to hear me blasting quite a few of them at house parties! There are plenty of classics on the mix as well as some stuff I’ve been diggin’ from recent years.

I think there is a healthy disco scene in Belfast and I’ve been inspired by going to night’s like Automatic Revolution/Belfast Music Club. At these nights I’ve been exposed to some great original disco alongside the contemporary stuff. I believe the disco scene here draws inspiration from clubs like Paradise Garage/the Hacienda and I think this is a good thing. Its always good to look to the past for inspiration as long as you are also looking to the future and striving to create something new. It is important to get the right balance of old and new which I think nights in Belfast have.

I remember hearing that many djs such as Laurent Garnier and Dave Clarke regarded Belfast as one of their favourite places to play…..But do you feel the whole vibe has dropped over the past few years or what’s changing? what do you think the future will hold for Ireland, Belfast in Particular? Do you see yourself staying there

I believe the clubbing scene in Ireland has took a hit in recent years. Whether this is due to financial reasons, licensing laws or a resurgence of live band music, I don’t know but the scene is great here at the moment and I’m excited about the future. There is heaps of talent coming from Belfast with guys like Jet Project and B.U.B.B.A. knocking out some fantastic stuff which I regularly play in my sets. Other quality dj’s/producers from Belfast include Miniminds, Scope, Space Dimension Controller, Dibby Dougherty, Phil Kieran, Dale Hooks and Psycatron who are all doing really well on the international stage. There is also more young, talented producers coming through the ranks so its exciting times!
I’ve had the pleasure of being a Yello resident for just under 2 years now and the club is going from strength to strength. There are plenty of acts booked that I am very excited about (Radio Slave next month in particular!). I’ve no intentions of leaving Belfast in the forseeable future, life here is good – my wife and I are having a baby in January so Im here to stay!

We played a gig at Belfast Music Club recently and the more soulful disco went down extremely well. You play mainly techno and house, do you ever slip in an italo disco number, clear the floor and get a bottle launched on stage?

Haha, nothing quite that drastic – I haven’t had to get chicken wire put up round the dj box just yet!  I would drop in the odd Italo Disco track in my sets when and where it fits. I find the crowd in Yello can be very open minded and its great to sometimes throw a curveball into the middle of a House/Techno set (within reason of course!). There are some headline acts that I have warmed up for such as Aeroplane that allow me to play on more of a disco vibe. I recently supported Retro/Grade and played my all time favourite Italo disco track Alexander Robotnick- Problemes D’Amour which got a great reception – there were no bottles launched at me thankfully!

Where you always into this kinda music…? or did Danny Dee ever find his way into your cassette player back in the day?

I’m not gonna lie and say I’ve always been into this style of music. Just like dodgy hair styles I’ve been into some dodgy music in the past. I was partial to a bit of QFX and Scooter in my younger years (we’re all guilty!). Thankfully when I got into my mid teens and started buying records my taste had improved! The first records I bought were by artists like H-Foundation, Peace Division, Slam and Swag so my record collection is reasonably respectable (Im sure there’s a few dodgy one’s in there though!).

We’ve done our fair share of Shine afterparties. Any funny moments you care to share?

One morning I was partying in an apartment beside the Lagan River. My mate and I decided it would be a good idea to strip to our boxers, run to the far side of the river and swim the whole way across. Anyone that lives in Belfast knows that the Lagan is not the cleanest of rivers (and it was worse back then!). People were out on their balconies cheering us on. When I got halfway across I thought to myself “what am I doing?!”. I’m glad I’ve lived to tell the tale. Please don’t try this at home kids!

FMB010 | JOHN CRAIG (DOWNLOAD)

1. Gwen Guthrie- Seventh Heaven (Larry Levan remix)
2. BWH- Stop
3. Nick Chacona & Anthony Mansfield- Slow n Low
4. ESG- Moody (Spaced Out mix)
5. Toby Tobias- Macasu
6. Max Berlin- Elle & Moi (Joakim remix)
7. 6ix Toys- Sisters Of Soul, Brothers Of Funk (Greg Wilson version)
8. James Brown- Give It Up Or Turn It Loose
9. Rockers Revenge- Confusion/Walking On Sunshine
10. Cybotron- Clear
11. Afrika Bambaataa- Planet Rock
12. Alexander Robotnick- Problemes D’Amour
13. Mr Flagio- Take A Chance
14. Daniel Moloso- Ritmo Especial
15. Kebekeleltrik- War Dance (Greg Wilson re-edit)
16. Smith N Hack- Falling Stars
17. Ellen Allien- Your Body Is My Body (Kiki remix)
18. The Beatles- Tomorrow Never Knows (Leftside Wobble edit)
19. Playgroup- Behind The Wheel (Electroclash mix)
20. Black Science Orchestra- New Jersey Deep
21. Session Victim- Memory Lane
22. INXS- Need You Tonight (Dog n Duck edit)
23. Rhythim Is Rhythim- Nude Photo
24. The Chaplin Band- Il Valeiro

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