Just to avoid confusion, we’re two different people. This isn’t some Fight Club-esque split personality conversation… is it?
Ha! No – my DJ name’s The Renegade Of Amstrad. I’ll go by that, otherwise it’ll get confusing.
Why The Renegade Of Amstrad? Did you do something terrible to Amstrad bigwig Alan Sugar?
I kind of left his company. They tried to hunt me down, but I fled to Dubai and they never caught me. Just kidding, obviously!
We hope so. Tell us about this ‘Disko Riot’ thing.
It’s going to be every Sunday night at Chi and will play the new-disco genre that’s coming through in Europe – think of bands and producers like Digitalism, Justice and MSTRKRFT. It’s already kicking off in Europe and I want to bring it to Dubai.
It’s a bit of a risky proposition in Dubai, though, isn’t it? It’s a fairly conservative culture in terms of dance music.
Yeah, but it is diversifying. I think the crowd are getting a bit hacked off with everyone churning out the same house music or commercial R&B, and I think it’s changing, especially as new expats flood in here they’re going to be expecting this kind of music. It is a little bit risky but I think once people hear this music they’ll realise that they really like it. It’s not some underground music that’s just droning on, beat after beat – it’s very diverse. Some of the tracks are bordering on happy hardcore others are basically heavy metal dance. It really is a broad spectrum.
So who’ll like this stuff, then?
It’s best to think of Daft Punk and The Prodigy – anyone who likes that will like this. But if you’re into dance and house there’s still that element in there. You really have to hear it to understand it. And anyone who’s been to the indie nights in Dubai will like it because a lot of it is indie mashups of Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs… I’ve got a really good Rage Against The Machine remix. It’s not something you can put into a box and say, ‘If you like that you’ll like this.’
Are you doing your own productions?
Yeah, I’m working on two at the moment: one is called ‘Uzi 9mm’ and the other is ‘Megalomaniac’. I’ll put them out as a download when they’re done. Again, the genres it’s new dance and indie disco, but a bit more rocky, along the lines of Digitalism. I’ll be playing it on the night.
‘Uzi 9mm’? Sounds a bit nasty.
It’s just because a lot of the samples are very hard and aggressive. It’s just vocal samples involved – there’s no storyline about a guy killing people with an uzi or anything. ‘Megalomaniac’ is more melodic.
My friend and I are thinking of producing tracks as The Renegades Of Amstrad. He’s in a British band called Vib Gyor and he just supported MGMT on tour. And I’m looking at getting Vib Gyor out here to perform live, too.
Disko Riot is at Chi every Sunday