Time Out invites you to a fabulous party at The Lodge. Yes, really. It would be rude not to attend, here's what's happening.
Andy Buchan and James Wilkinson
We here at Time Out like to think we’re on the musical pulse – apart from our statement last year that Timbaland was past it, for which we wholeheartedly apologise. And with the city’s musical scene exploding, we thought it was the perfect time to stamp our musical mark on Dubai. So, in conjunction with Nokia Xpress Music and the rather brilliant Home night at Chi, we’ve curated an event that all of Dubai can be proud of. Spread across three arenas, we have the best in local talent playing for a full five hours before the headliners. And in Masters At Work, Ca$h Money and a world-conquering indie act just about to be confirmed – Bloc Party were scheduled to play but have had to postpone their date – we’ve got some of the finest decknicians in the world. See you on the dancefloor.
The line up
Arena 1 Julian from Abri Juliana Down DJ set and live PA Zahra and Dan from Dubai 92 Twisted Melons Step On Indie-headliner TBC
Arena 2 Shero DJ Bliss DJ Lady Red Label DJ Solo Ca$h Money
Arena 3 Richard Round vs Corky Da:Funct vs Satyen (Ohm Records) Charl Chaka vs Smokingroove Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzales (Masters At Work)
Ca$h Money is, without a doubt, the greatest hip hop DJ in the world. You think that sounds like hyperbole? Then hear this: in 1988, he became the only DJ to ever hold three world DJing titles at the same time – the DMC World DJ Championships, the DMC World Supremacy and the American New Music Seminar DJ all belonged to him. He is so good, in fact, that he was subsequently banned from taking part in the DMC World DJ Championships ever again, simply because no other DJ could possibly compete with him.
Since then, he’s entered the DMC Hall Of Fame as the World’s Greatest DJ, been credited with inventing no less than four scratching techniques, developed the battle-style deck placement, released a platinum-selling album and worked with artists like Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes. He’s also been cited by DJs such as Fatboy Slim and Biz Markie as a massive inspiration, and has been linked to pretty much all major developments in hip hop DJing over the last 20 years. Not that it’s all technique, mind you – for all his skill at scratching and mixing, Ca$h Money knows that it’s the audience that really matters, which is why he’s also renowned for keeping the crowd moving and the party hyped.
And now, thanks to your good friends at Time Out, he’s in Dubai for your dancing pleasure, tearing up the dance floor with an expert mix of hip hop, funk, R&B, electro, breaks, reggae, disco and more. If you haven’t heard Ca$h Money then you haven’t heard DJing.
Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzales (Masters At Work)
Masters At Work is a bold moniker. But for these two beat-freaks, it couldn’t be more apt. Formed a staggering 18 years ago by two New York Natives with an encyclopedic knowledge of music – Lil Louie Vega and Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzales – they have a discography that is longer than Beth Ditto’s shopping list and have covered musical styles as diverse as jackin’ Chicago house, jazz, funk and disco. And they’ve excelled in all of them. Their seminal Nuyorican Soul Project, released in 1997, was a live album featuring world-class acts like Roy Ayers, Jocelyn Brown and members of the Salsoul Orchestra and spawned eargasmically great tracks like their cover of the Loleatta Holloway track ‘Runaway’ and the shimmering ‘I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun.’
They’ve also remixed some of the world’s biggest and best talent – from Madonna to Donna Summer and Michael Jackson and, ahem, The Spice Girls (everyone’s got bills to pay). And their lexicon of work doesn’t stop there; under their house-head guise, they’ve created some of the biggest hits of the last decade – ‘Work’, with its infectious Latino-grooves and shouty-shout vocals was, and still is, dancefloor dynamite while ‘To Be In Love’ and ‘Backfired’ are disco-singed, soul-rammed classics that will have the butchest of men crooning their heart out. But it’s Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzales under his Bucketheads alter ego that will have music lovers of all denominations united in fist pumping, booty shaking fury – ‘The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)’ is quite possibly the finest house song of its generation. Head down to Chi on Friday April 25 and you’ll see a true master at work as he’s playing an extended three hour set.
Festival food As we’re starting the festivities early on, you’re going to need some sustenance to keep you dancing for seven straight hours. So, we’ve got three food counters on the night selling everything from stir fried vegetables, hot dogs, pasta, club sandwiches and schezuan style chicken. Yum.
It’s not enough for us to have pulled in the best line-up the city has ever seen. So, to give our event that real festival feel, we’ve got a troupe of weird and wonderful entertainers on call for the night to make sure your eyes are as occupied as your ears. Andy Buchan caught up the ringleader, Dan Bolton, to find out what’s in store.
What are you going to be doing on the night? We will be adding to the whole clubbing experience by providing a mixture of performers to entertain the customers from the moment they approach the venue. We want to help add the wow factor and give people something to talk about, with stilt walkers, fire breathers, living statues and a few surprises thrown in the mix. We want to bring the carnival into town!
Will it be things that Dubai has seen before? People here may have seen some thing similar, but my aims is to make it look better and different with stunning visuals, costumes and much more interaction with the clubbers.
Clowns are scary – are there going to be any clowns on the night? It’s funny how people think clowns are scary, why make toys out of them then? There may be clowns on the night, I suggest you come down and see….
What’s the best thing you can recommend should a member of the crowd decide they want to get involved in the fire-breathing/stilt walking etc? If anyone is interested in getting involved in fire breathing, stilt walking or performing any other crazy act, then I suggest they email me at email@example.com where I am an events co-coordinator and booker. I am currently looking for more performers and people with talent, and we can take it from there… learning how to stilt walk and fire eat is quite easy, it’s all about confidence, personality and just going for it. Practically anyone can walk on a pair of stilts given practice, but it takes someone with personality to perform!
How dangerous are the things you do? The acts I do such as fire breathing and eating can be very dangerous, but it’s all about practice and learning how to do it safely. I was lucky enough to have learnt at a circus school in the UK so I had some of the best people in the industry train me. People who had performed all over the world for truly massive events. You just need to assess the risks and make your judgment accordingly.
What close shaves have you had in the past? A few times I have been caught out by the wind direction changing whilst fire eating and nearly set my face on fire. Hopefully that will not be as much of a problem over here as it is in the UK. It can be the sunniest of days over there one minute and the next a force 10 gale and torrential rain…. My eyebrows have never been the same since. You also have to be careful of the general public, sometimes they don’t realise if they get too close and are not watching what they are doing that the fire is actually real and they could get hurt. Stilt walkers have it bad. It’s a long way to fall when they are so tall.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen or done in a club? Having come from the UK and worked at some of their biggest nights, nothing seems weird anymore. I have seen everything from body-painted, alien midgets on trampolines to grannies in reception with their knitting on rocking chairs. Everyone seems like they want to push the boundaries and create something out there and different. The list of crazy things I have done is endless but personally the weirdest thing I have been asked to do is to climb into a suitcase and walkabout with just my legs out….strange I know! Followed closely by getting into a gorilla costume and riding a scooter through the streets of Manchester in the UK!
Chi already has four midgets working there – how are they going to be involved in your plans? I’m currently speaking with the venue about what we will all be doing, and those guys are of course included in this. They are such a feature of the venue and have their own little celebrity status… I had been told about them from a friend literally as my plane had landed and I was being ushered out of Dubai airport. We want to work together and hopefully give the people of Dubai something to talk about until the next event.
Local round up We might have got some of the most exciting acts of the last decade headlining across the three arenas, but, as regular readers will know, we’re also about promoting local talent.
How excited are you to be playing the Time Out Festival? Unlike the other acts I can’t actually DJ, sing or play an instrument so I’m more honoured than excited.
What are you going to be playing? Mostly panpipe versions of late 90s R&B classics. I hope you like our new direction...
Will you be doing anything special on the night? Trying to play everything that Step On plan to.
How excited are you to be playing the Time Out festival? I’m really excited about spinning at the T.O event as it’s another landmark achievement for Dubai. Festivals like this and the Infusion Dance tent are what is pushing our future in Middle Eastern dance forward by leaps and bounds.
Who are you excited about seeing on the line up? I’m definitely excited about seeing Kenny Dope; being a beats DJ myself, it’s nice to see a true legend who has helped define a large portion of the House industry worldwide for the best part of two decades.
Julian Symes, Abri
How excited are you to be playing the Time Out festival? Very excited; I haven’t played out in a long time so I’m really looking forward to it.
Who are you excited about seeing on the line up? Well it’s a really great line up. But the highlight for me has to be Kenny Dope. I’ve been a fan of Masters At Work for years, and love everything they do.
What are you going to be playing? I’m going to play some Brazilian music, some reggae, some funk, and whatever else tickles me fancy!
Lady Red Label
Who are you excited about seeing on the line up? What a great line up by the way, well done guys! I’m looking forward to Kenny Dope (MAW), Cash Money, Abri, and I reckon the indie headliners should be interesting too.
What are you going to be playing? I’m going to play a mash up of tunes from old school hip hop and funk to broken beats or jungle. There will be the odd surprise thrown in for good measure.
How excited are you to be playing the Time Out festival? Imagine Michael Jackson could get his nose back, now imagine how excited he would be. I will be about 66.56 percent excited of his excitement.
Who are you excited about seeing on the line up? Kenny Dope is a legend, it’s always nice grooving to his afro beats.
Dan Marsh & Zahra (Dubai 92)
How excited are you to be playing the Time Out festival? Very, very excited-slash-nervous about playing alongside such an eclectic and quality line up.
What are you going to be playing? We’re gonna do what we do on the radio show – take some risks, drop some new tunes and play some quality indie remixes. It’s gonna be mash up. As they say.
Who are you excited about seeing on the line up? Really excited about seeing (and playing in the same room as) the very cool indie headliner I’ve heard rumoured’! That’ll be immense.
How excited are you to be playing the Time Out festival? Very excited. You look at the list of people who are going to be playing and you can’t help but feel there is going to be a slightly competitive atmosphere. Everyone’s going to be trying to find something no one has ever heard that is mind blowing or something that everyone has heard but has forgotten how amazing it was.
Who are you excited about seeing on the line up? That’s a tough one since we’ve been to the club nights, bought the albums and listened to the shows of everyone on the list. but if pushed I’d have to go with Zahra and Dan. Zahra is such a music hound that I know she’s going to surprise everyone on the day. The ability for people to hear music unformatted and presented by true muso-types really is a fantastic opportunity.
Will you be doing anything special on the night? We’re in the middle of recording our second album, so hopefully we’re going to try and get some new material ready for the day and give the crowd an exclusive preview of what we’ve got in store for our release next autumn.