Giles Smith and James Priestley speak to Clash...
FOUND Festival

FOUND returns this weekend, perhaps London's most potent one-day dance festival.

Taking control of Brockwell Park in Brixton, the event aims to delve into the deepest echelons of club culture, leaving memories that will last for a long time.

Of course, it helps when you have Secretsundaze on board. The legendary DJs and promoters will host a stage at this year's instalment of FOUND, inviting some big names along for the ride.

Secretsundaze themselves will kick the day off, followed by Mr Beatnik, Linkwood, Marcellus Pitman, and Ron Trent.

The headline set comes from none other than Theo Parrish, whose astonishing catalogue has helped re-define that house can sound like on countless occasions.

As a preview, Clash caught up with Secretsundaze founders Giles Smith and James Priestley to see what makes them tick.

- - -

- - -

What provided the impetus to start Secretsundaze? Can you remember exactly what prompted it?
It was for no other reason than to share our love of music with friends and like minded people in a nice space. The Sunday thing was fairly accidental as we were looking at a way to use the old Loft room upstairs at 93 feet East. The venue were not willing to split the rooms up on a Friday or Saturday and we were relatively inexperienced promoters so didn't want to take on a whole venue with three rooms. Sunday was the only day that they would let us break up the venue and use one room only as they had no business on Sunday's back then.

Was it ever supposed to be long-lasting? What would you have thought if someone had told you it would last 15 years?
As a bunch of 25 year olds having the time of our lives we just weren't thinking about things like that at all.

What impact do you think you've made on London's club scene? Can you discern an influence there?
We would definitely stake a claim to having a pretty big influence on many of the parties that have gone on in London over the last years. Numerous Sunday daytime outdoor parties have cropped up since and also musically we like to think that we have also had an influence. House was a kind of dirty word in 2002 and many people of our age were into drum 'n' bass and hip-hop at that time. We definitely got a lot of young people into that deeper more soulful house sound at those early parties.

Is it getting harder to throw these parties, do you think? What's the atmosphere for a day-time party within London's licensing committees right now?
It's changed a lot and it is more difficult. I have to say we do less and less events where we have to get temporary events notices and are mainly working with venues that have full premises licenses such as Oval Space, The Laundry, Village Underground etc. That just eliminates the risk and means that you get an event that runs smoothly. We have burnt ourselves many times over the years where there have been problems with licenses and of course the event at St John was a recent event where we worked with a temporary license and it fortunately went well.

London's a very built up place these days and its just a case of finding somewhere off the beaten track that is not on the door step of other people. Unfortunately that is getting further and further away these days. You are almost always bothering someone and the council seem to place a higher value on the opinion of that one person than the opinion of the hundreds or thousands who go to an event and enjoy it.

The St John at Hackney party was an enormous success, what's it like to play inside that building?
It's a big beautiful space with many special architectural features so it has a fairly unique atmosphere. This is bound to have an effect on how you feel when playing records there.

You hooked up with FOUND for this summer's festival, do you feel a kinship there?
100%. FOUND is a super well programmed festival that pays a lot of attention to the roots of the music we know and love so there is a great deal of crossover with how we see things. It's been really good working alongside FOUND and we are super looking forward to Saturday.

What was the thinking behind your stage line up this year?
Well of course there is a good balance between some bigger more well known names likes Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman against other lesser known but respected artists such as Linkwood and Beatnick. Maurice Fulton should be great earlier on too! We always take quite a lot of care with the actual programming itself to ensure that the music flows well and progresses across the day.

Finally, can you name three great hopes for London's dance scene?
Jon Rust is a great DJ with a very strong London influence. Call Super now lives in Berlin but still see him a UK artist and he can do no wrong at the moment with every release as Call Super or his alter ego Ondo Fudd being a winner. He's been around for a while but Funkineven is both a great DJ and producer very much with a London vibe. His debut LP is about to drop.

- - -

FOUND Festival takes place this Saturday (June 11th).

Buy Clash Magazine


Join us on VERO

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.

Follow Clash: