15 March 2011

do not involve phallocentric manoeuvres

Mark Sinclair and Derrick Patterson
20 years of Pendragon
Pendragon was formed in 1991 by Mark Sinclair and Kate Pendragon, a unique partnership of creative talent and energy who were both inspired by Celtic mythology and a vision of spiritually uplifting trance parties for all to enjoy.

One of the first and longest running techno-trance parties in the UK, Pendragon had nine successful events at Brixton Academy — including the infamous 10th birthday party — as well a plethora of events at Tyssen Street Studios, before moving to the Fridge after Tyssen Street sadly closed down. Brixton’s Jamm is the perfect choice for their new home.

Jamm said; The line up in the main room consisted of 7 DJs that have been revolutionary in creating what people called, the Pendragon sound. Mark Sinclair leads the charge. This pioneering DJ and producer has helped mould the sound of hard uplifting trance, and as the promoter of the legendary Pendragon parties, his place within the chapters of party history is fundamental.

Room 2 contains 6 very talented DJs playing a variety of sound. We have in this room, Derrick Patterson the only DJ on the flyer to play alongside Mark Sinclair at the first ever Pendragon party on that mountain top in Wales. So there you go.

The Kent Posse was well represented...
Was somewhat of a surprise to find my slot was from 4.30am till 6am as I stood in the club at 10pm wondering how many times I would do, what we had hilariously named, “the circuit”. This consisted of beer at the bar, lean on the bar, chat to friends, listen to the music, bit of a dance, bit of a drink, into the big room, push through the crowd a bit, listen to the DJ, dance to the DJ, shout at friends over the tremendously loud and clear rig, sweat a lot, as it was very hot, push out to the side door, go in the garden, find a spot, smoke a cigarette, finish off the beer, back in the venue, to the little room, to the bar, buy another drink, lean on the bar, cool down, have a chat with friends and new friends just met, into the big room and so on. One can of course vary the order one does things or the places one stands but essentially in the tiny club that the Jamm is this doesn’t leave much room for variety. I pop over to see Si during one of them. “How many time have you done the circuit?” he says. “About 10”, I reply.

Pendragon is far better than most club nights. The pervading empathy and friendliness is truly exemplary so I exempt them from the following comments. 

Every club, or so my female clubbing friends tell me, has these strange, lonely men who, for some reason, think it the ideal place to meet new 'lady friends'. It’s not. Try cultivating a real friendship or just enjoying female company for the sake of it with no sexual agenda. Women really appreciate that. Once you’ve actually got to the stage where you can remember their name and suggest activities that do not involve phallocentric manoeuvres you may be half way to actually getting a woman to like you a bit for the friendly, funny considerate person you are potentially capable of being.

I suggest, during one of my conversations during ‘the rounds’ that “it’s all about pacing oneself when you’re out for an all nighter in order to maximise staying power and enjoyment?” “Fuck that”, says Tanya. “It’s all about shoving as much down your neck as quickly as possible and sustaining that level if you want to dance all night”. Fair enough but in them two statements and the vast area in between we have a dichotomy of ethics. If you are a pace yourself or even a drug free person you cannot deny the fact that most clubs are full of men, and women, who are pissed up, drugged up, drug dealing, talking to you till your ears bleed, toilet cubicle hogging, dance floor puking, drink kicking overers or nickers, crowd generating, under age, over age, sweaty night owly insomniacs who, it seems, but is not true,  rarely dance or appreciate the music. And I’m not just talking about the Brewery Bar in Whitstable. 

At Pendragon on Saturday night one female friend said “...so anyway, this guy came up to me and just stood in front of me. Staring.” Another; “within four lines of ‘chat up’ dialogue he asked me if ‘I wanted to go to the toilets’ with him? I said ‘what about asking me out for a drink, a meal or a visit to the cinema first?”

Oz and Derrick Patterson rip the little room to pieces...
 So I’m playing in the little room and we had some great music going on there from funk and soul to house to techno and a live band to boot. What was there to not like? Some buffoon kept leaning over into the booth and shouting ‘techno’ at me in a strange accent I couldn’t quite place then running away before I could reply. Someone later told me he was French. The first time he did it I had a Carl Craig tune on the deck. Little to his knowledge I has actually been playing a nice mix of house and techno throughout my set but it was all fairly laid back and chilled out. Now I thought Carl Craig was a Detroit-based producer of techno music, and is considered to be one of the most important names in the Detroit second generation of techno producers and DJs. A legend indeed; and one would have thought that any decent techno head would be aware of his music or at least the Detroit sound. If the buffoon had actually stayed a while and had a little chat with me I could have pointed this fact out to him but, alas, to no avail. All I got was his spittle and tobacco breath suddenly looming out of the dark. Indeed Carl Craig's album Sessions is one of my favourite techno albums of all time and is always close to my CD player in the car; especially on long journeys. Some of his tracks are considered the best in the whole history of techno; his influence more incremental than incendiary, always about reform more than revolution, more redrawing electronic music borders than of waving flags, a man of considerable influential legacy no less. 

So you, dear reader, can perhaps understand my initial conflagration as his head pops in the booth again and he shouts “techno” in my ear. Maybe he was actually acknowledging the Detroity concise beats, the distinctive warmth, the fluency with all the different subtleties and nuances of the Detroit techno "soul" sound? This arpeggiated emotive delicacy as Craig piles on sci-fi strings and a hissing beat that creeps until it cracks into a crevice burrowed between a spirited house-y saunter and robotic techno drive. Maybe?

“Techno!” my French chum shouts.I get it now.

"Damn right", I shout back.



Pendragon 20th Birthday Party! Jamm, Brixton - Saturday 12 Mar 2011


Uplifting nu-energy psychedelic techno trance

Mark Sinclair - Chris Liberator - Oberon - Beamish - Choci - Kevin Energy - Nik Sequenci - Juno


Filthy dirty deep down house, electro, funk and eclectic beats

Derrick Patterson - Dan Bizaro – Sylvie - Micky Vespre - Oz tVC - Yoms -Priceless live
Transformers; Trance Orbital - Madam Blagatsky - Kate Pendragon - Paio’s Flowers - Shine AV - Dedicated to the memory of DJ Jace