When it comes to celebrating quality electronic music, Secretsundaze has been London’s go-to day and night party for well over a decade now. Providing one of the most esteemed back-catalogues of names within the realm of tech-house and techno, it’s little wonder they are held in such high esteem within the scene in the capital. This May they start their summer with a bang by treating Londoners with two days and two nights of their trademark line up selections. We turn to co-owner and resident DJ Giles Smith to find out what’s in store over the summer period.
ATB: Secretsundaze has been running for over a decade now, what’s been the key to its success and longevity thus far?
Giles Smith: Next year will be our 15th year in fact. There has been a good balance between staying true to what we love, not selling out but embracing new sounds, that is a line that we feel we tread well. We are far more than just a party though and DJ worldwide, have a record label on which we’ve released 3 respected mix compilations and of course own a bookings agency, TSA Artists, that combines nurturing young up and coming talent with representing more established names.
We at About To Blow have always been impressed with the quality of music, clientele and overall atmosphere of venues when attending Secretsundaze events in London. Having been present for the recent party at the wonderfully intimate Bloc in Hackney in February with Ryan Elliot and Shanti Celeste headlining, it was a truly unique and educational experience, a trait that they have mastered through years of successful programming. With this in mind, we arrive at our next question..
ATB: With the likes of Fred P and Martyn headlining the forthcoming London events in addition to Delano Smith and Jeremy Underground in for Barcelona, your programming for the summer could hardly be stronger. How meticulous is the process when curating each line up and deciding on a venue?
GS: We do take great pride in programming our parties. The line up’s are considered very carefully between the two of us (James Priestley). Certain artists only feel right in certain venues. We also like to balance the line up’s musically to reflect our taste. Of course US house and techno, be that deep house, Chicago house or Detroit techno is the root of the party but we are excited by other stuff and you can see that with the likes of Martyn, Livity Sound or young London based duo Nummer who play their debut set with us in May.
Come June 17th, we’ll be heading off to Barcelona for Sonar festival. Top and tailed with Gottwood and Glastonbury, this will sit as the centre piece for our early summer exploits. The week-long event will be wrapped up, for those lucky enough to have tickets, by the day and night party being provided by our Catalan veterans. Starting at the Poble Espanyol Picnic Area and then moving to La Tarrazza, they boast 16 hours of music to send you home with.
ATB: Your Off-Sonar sessions have become the stuff of legend over the week-long event in Barcelona, what can people expect from this year’s day and night party?
GS: Day time, sunshine vibes is what it’s about and we like to reflect that in who we bill in the afternoon hours. Things take on a new feeling when it gets dark around 9:30pm, they get a little more intense and then at midnight we’ll move to La Terrrazza. Line up wise we are are keeping set times close to our chest at the moment but with Hunee and Antal doing one of their in-demand back to back sets, Detroit legend and badman DJ Derrick May, one of the London’s most exciting producers and DJs Funkin Even, Chicago acid freak Amir Alexander, Nick Hoppner who mixed a killer podcast for RA last week, Ostgut Ton and Panorama Bar and Berghain resident Ryan Elliot we think we have what could be the party of the week on our hands. Its really rather splendid way to spend 16 hours.
ATB: Lastly with parties now in Japan, Australia, Italy, France, Germany and the UK –where would you like to see Secretsundaze in a few years time? Is there a plan to develop and expand the brand even further?
GS: For sure its an ongoing process and who knows where we might be playing next year. We still haven’t made it to South America as a duo so that could be nice. Oh and Detroit at some stage..
The Opening party on the third of May ensured the season got off to a successful start, with Oval Space playing host to Fred P for the daytime portion. With 20 years worth of experience behind him the New Yorker was joined by Joey Anderson, Jane Fitz in addition to residents Giles Smith and James Priestley. By night the Laundry in Hackney saw Sterac AKA Steve Rachmad, Peverelist, Kowton and Linkwood take to the decks.
Fast forward three weeks to May 24th and its Martyn, Jeremy Underground and Delano Smith with a Bank Holiday special at Studio 338 in East London.
As previously mentioned by our friend Giles, Secretsundaze is now a truly international franchise. This is personified through Jeremy Underground who is headlining their party in Barcelona. Jeremy’s journey is a long one, both musically and geographically. Before arriving in Barcelona, he will have toured the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Germany and then Back to France before finally arriving at the picnic area.
When we take a step back and look at the artists involved with the Secretsundaze events this summer, the planning and organisation required by the people that make it all happen, the venues that will provide the setting for what is set to be one of the best series of parties this year, we can only sit in anticipation. We can only wait for all these elements to fall into place, for the music to start and the summer begin.
Bank Holiday Special 24th May – http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?675425
10 Years In Barcelona Party – http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?695155
Further dates for the diary:
23/05/2015 Junk Southampton, UK
24/05/2015 secretsundaze May Bank Holiday Studio 338 London.UK
31/05/2015 World HQ Newcastle, UK
06/06/2015 Twitch Belfast IR
12/06/2015 Flash DC USA
13/06/2015 Electric Pickle Miami USA
14/06/2015 Output NYC USA
21/06/2015 10 Years In Barcelona Party Poble Espanyol Picnic Area & La Terrrazza, Barcelona, ES
04/07/2015 Fabric, London, UK
24/07/2015 Passage 46 Freiburg DE Ω
25/07/2015 Tresor Berlin DE
26/07/2015 Pygmallion, Dublin, IE
21/08/2015 Color, Bucharest, RO
Words by Max Bamber