With his forth annual Boat Party on the Thames and an after party alongside Supatronix at Brixton Jamm on 13 July, we managed to talk to workaholic Elite Force in between time with his family, the office, touring the US and Australia, Glastonbury and the studio
GS – 2013 sees the Elite Force boat party return for a hugely impressive fourth year in a row. Every year it sells out and seems to be bigger and better than before. How did this party become such an institution, and what makes some events like this become fixtures in the calendar?
EF – It’s grown nice and organically, I think that’s been a key factor. We started small as an experiment and it’s just built up momentum. I think people love it because of the location and also the scarcity value – I only do one of these a year and have no real plan to do any more than that.
GS – What can we expect on board this year, and what have you got lined up for the afterparty which will be held at Brixton Jamm?
EF – Well this year we are building a bespoke LED DJ Booth for starters, which is awesome – it kind of evolved out The One Series party I hosted back in November last year where some friends built a similar thing and we decided to do something similar in the UK. I’m not sure how often we’ll get to use it right now, but certainly the Boat Party will be the first time we roll it out. I’ll once again be summonsing the Sun Gods – we’ve been very fortunate in each of the previous years that the clouds have parted and the sun’s shone bright.
The After-Party gets bigger and better each year, and this time around we are bringing breaks legend Columbo over from Spain for his first
full length London set. I’m also doing the first proper back2back set with Meat Katie that we’ve ever done in the UK (as far as I can remember), and on top of that I’m doing a sunrise set under my Simon Shackleton project name, as well as adding Mike Hulme and Lowdown and Dirty into the mix, alongside the Supatronix crew. Meat Cassette will be video-mapping the main room this time around, so we’re looking at an all-round ramp up!!
GS – You took the Elite Force boat party concept to Hungary last year. How did that go, and are there any plans to continue expanding the concept?
EF – It was amazing actually. We had an *enormous* Boat in Budapest, way bigger than I felt was wise to be honest, but then on the day well over 800 people showed up which made for a truly memorable night. I’m in the process of trying to arrange a similar thing on Lake Balaton in Hungary this summer, so fingers crossed that comes off. I’m constantly looking at other options for Boat Parties elsewhere and there are a couple of irons in the fire …
GS – This year you have toured the US, and done Glastonbury. Your diary closely resembles that of a rock band than a traditional DJ calendar. Is it strange rocking up to a club on a Monday and finding a gaggle of Elite Force fans hyped up and ready to party?
EF – I know, it’s been kind of weird, extremely exhausting but really exhilarating at times. When you get sleep deprived and exhausted, nothing much makes sense any more and flight delays & suchlike and bend you right out of shape, but bar a couple of ropey nights it’s been a great trip so far. What’s interesting is that there are some towns like Portland, where Monday through to Wednesday are the biggest electronic music nights of the week – I played there last week and the after-party was still raging at 8am the following morning.
GS – The Burning Man festival in the US has obviously informed the way you make music hugely. Can you tell us a little bit about its creative impact and explain why the festival has made such a difference to your outlook and attitude?
EF – Wow. Where to start really. Musically speaking it’s certainly been a complete Gamechanger for me – it’s an opportunity to completely re-evaluate music, a bit like pressing a massive RESET button, creatively. It’s such a blank canvas out there, I love the fact that all the differing times of day, night, weather conditions, crowd sizes, afford you the opportunity to experiment with almost any style you choose, as long as it strikes the right chord. I’ve tried to take a healthy dose of that expanded range into my production work and the longer DJ sets I’ve been doing recently have been born out of what I’ve learnt from Burning Man. I played for 7 hours in Berlin the other night. I love the scope of that!
GS – You’ve recently added the Simon Shackleton moniker to your burgeoning array of musical personas, joining Elite Force and Zodiac Cartel. What was the thinking behind this? Is there a difference to the beats you make under this new name? And how on earth do you find time to produce enough music to please three fan bases?
EF – Haha – well I’m not altogether sure that I *do* keep everyone happy. When I dropped Gamechanger a couple of weeks back, the first comment
that came back was a suggestion that I make more breaks. I gave away 18 of my biggest breaks tracks last year for free, but you clearly can’t please everyone … not least the purists!
The thinking behind the Simon Shackleton stuff was really just that I found myself making a good deal of deeper, techier and perhaps more melodic music, and I wanted to be able to do that without carrying the baggage of expectation that comes with known names. It’s been really fun and as it’s grown in confidence as a project, I’ve been stepping up behind the microphone again, as well as playing some guitar, which has been really enjoyable.
GS – Speaking of which, you’re known as something of a workaholic. Can you describe an average day in the life of Elite Force for us?
EF – Well, I’m usually up at 5.30am. Hit the gym for half an hour then sort out getting the family up & running and my daughter to school. I usually hit the studio / office from 9 – 6pm, grab a couple of hours of family time and then put in two or three hours usually on business stuff in the evening.
GS – Give us three tracks that will almost certainly be in your set on board the good ship Shack on Saturday, July 13 …
EF – Elite Force – GamechangerAdam Port, Lana Del Ray, Beltram, UNKLE, EF – Black Video Noise Game Lucky Force Invader Squad – Towards The Sun
FULL INFORMATION AND TICKETS FOR THE BOAT AND AFTER PARTY IS AVAILABLE HERE – http://www.brixtonjamm.org/event.php?event_id=423