Q&A 002 – The Organ Grinder
“like Fun House Meets Saw…”
After beginning our interview series with Work Them Records’ master Spencer Parker, we now present Cardiff’s own ‘The Organ Grinder’. The Welsh artist has got releases under his belt from the likes of Gerd’s 4Lux, Catapult Records, Heist Recordings, Ten Thousand Yen and has just been featured on Poker Flat’s “Four Jacks Pt.1 – 15 Years of Poker Flat” with an incredible remix of Boris Dlugosch. After his incredibly well received ‘Obsession’ (played by the likes of Move D, Ryan Elliot, Steffi and Jackmaster) The Organ Grinder has been invited to play in some of the best clubs in Europe including Berlin’s famous Panorama Bar and is now travelling the continent. Luckily we found a spare moment in his busy day and got him to answer some questions.
First of all, as we will be talking about ‘downstairs’, what’s the first thing that comes in to your mind when you hear that word?
Talking about music and your work, tell us about your favourite downstairs venue you’ve played / been to, whether in London or elsewhere. Why was it special?
As far as downstairs venues I’ve played, it has to be a night called Brunnen in Wedding, Berlin. At the entrance to the venue we were greeted by security and a man in a pink cowboy hat and pink nightgown. He then proceeded to a lift shaft, closed the shaft and took us underground before opening the lift shaft back up, then we were smack bang in the middle of this venue, for me this captured the essence of Berlin perfectly.
My other favourite downstairs venue has to be when Backroom had the vaults in Cardiff by far the best line-ups Cardiff has seen in a long time supported by thumping Funktion-One’s with a low ceiling and sweaty walls. A nice clued up and intimate crowd who loved to have a good fucking party. I didn’t realise this at the time but it inspired me to create the new moniker for the output of my music.
What differences would you make to your set for a basement gig compared to an outdoor / terrace / festival one? Do you get a different feeling whilst playing in such different venues?
Basement gigs are cool for me, as I like to test a lot of new stuff that I couldn’t elsewhere as I can feel the reaction. I think in concert style ”big room” venues the Dj tends to lose touch with the people watching. I’ve seen it many times but if you’re up close and personal with a Dj the vibe is much more intense.
Could you tell us about three of your most essential ‘downstairs’ tracks?
Roman Poncet –Cerate(Truncate Rmx)
Donna Summer-I Feel Love
Talking a little bit more about yourself, what’s the most unique or interesting experience you’ve ever had while below ground level?
One of the most unique and weird experiences I’ve ever had underground was at the Renate Labrynth in Berlin. There was a group of about 8-9 of us and we all had to enter the labyrinth approximately 10 minutes after each other. But you were blindfolded at the entrance of the labyrinth, so by time you got to the actual entrance you were either calm or plain shitting yourself. My heart was beating like an African drum, but the kind lady who walked me to the entrance told me that everything inside is for fun and nothing will harm you. So as I entered into the pitch black I had to find the next room/entrance which was a really small hole down towards the floor. Intrigued to see what’s next, still pitch black and I couldn’t see my hand in front of me. I’ve never felt so vulnerable and intimidated ever… This carried on for another couple of rooms till you enter this hub which was like a massive egg with veins but this place had other offshoots of different spaces and different rooms and so I kept on going round in circles and ending up in this hub. It was really confusing as you’d enter another part and think “yes I’m out of here” but you’d always end up in the egg room… We finally made our way to a white room where you can hear a weird atmospheric dubby techno track faintly playing. On the way there you were surrounded by a maze of brick walls with light bulbs flashing light every 10-15 seconds and you could hear pigs squealing which was quite intense. So we all made the white room, now bearing in mind we all just been in the darkness for about 10-20 minutes and we were all a bit out of sorts… the only way I could describe the whole experience was like Fun House Meets Saw… Whoever thought of it is a genius.
And finally something that involves your creativity. Could you draw anything that comes into your mind when you think about ‘downstairs’?
I’m shit at drawing so I’d rather leave you with this……this Is white room we ended up in the labrynth. this will stay with me forever.