Felix Dickinson’s roots in dance music go way back. He’s from a by-gone era where it was all about the sound system and not the DJ. Dickinson’s first introduction to dance music came via the Tonka soundsystem crew from Cambridge who threw warehouse parties up and down the country and had their most well known party on a Monday night at the Zap in Brighton which spearheaded DJ Harvey’s long career.
More recently – after a 10-year stint DJing for the Lifeforce parties in Japan – the Bristol based selector and Cynic Music boss has a jam-packed touring and release schedule with releases on imprints including Futureboogie and Mike Simonetti’s and Mike Sniper’s 2MR imprint. Next month, he’s touching down at Liverpool’s Arts Club for Chibuku shake shake alongside a stacked line-up including Mano Le tough and Lewis Boardman. We grabbed 5 minutes with the DJ and producer to talk about some of his favourite records, the last record he bought and what we can expect from his performance in Liverpool next month.
Hello Felix – whereabouts are you today?
Today I’m in Bristol where I live, having a studio session with Christophe and DJ Nature, after such a busy year it’s been rare that I’ve managed to get to spend some time in my studio, so this has been a refreshing change, and our new track’s sounding good!
What was the first record you bought…?
First record I bought was ‘Complete Madness’ by Madness.
What was the last record you bought…?
The very catchily titled #aa00ff B by Ode.
What track do you wish you’d written…?
Any of the ones on my hard-drive that I haven’t finished yet!
What track makes you happiest…?
Two Lips – Got To Get Away.
This track was big for me and my wife when we were getting together, and ended up being our first dance at our wedding, so always brings back happy memories for me.
What track makes you saddest…?
Shawn Phillips – I Don’t Want To Leave You, I Just Came To Say Good-Bye.
This is the record I went to when I got the phone call telling me my father had died. The title fitted the moment pretty well, but it’s also beautifully melancholic and matched my mood. It always brings back that moment when I hear it now.
What’s your favourite club…?
Barbarella’s at the Garden in Croatia. Great soundsystem and club layout, I love it when the sun comes out at that place. I just hope they’ve got the day beds back for Love International next year!
What’s your favourite after party record…?
Tough one, not really sure, been a long time since I hosted or played at an after party. When I was out in Berlin with Futureboogie playing at Wilde Renate a couple weeks ago Chris Stoker (Ess-O-Ess/Not An Animal) pulled this little gem out the bag and we had it on repeat. So I reckon this is probably my current fave.
Barbara Markey – Give Your Dick To Me
What track has had the most influence on you…?
I always find these kinda questions really tough as there wasn’t one moment where I listened to it and decided ‘Ok, I’m gonna become a DJ now and make house music’. I did an influences piece before where I had about 10 records to pick, and that was hard enough. Picking one is harder. Hmmmm, dunno. Maybe ‘My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts’ by Brian Eno and David Byrne, it was the first time I’d heard music like that, using samples and textured loops rather than a band, and so probably had quite a impact on changing the way I thought about music.
Which of your own tracks are you most proud of…?
A Day’s Reality featuring Robert Owens. This has been rattling around my hard-drive in various forms for about 5 years, and I’m really happy how it’s finally come together, this should be out on Futureboogie next month.
Who do you owe a debt of gratitude to for becoming successful DJ..?
I owe all of it to the Tonka soundsystem for teaching me how to party, and I guess Harvey especially as he was the first to sit me behind a pair of decks and teach me to DJ. For becoming successful, I owe a debt to all the people who’ve ever come to my parties, danced to my music, or bought my records; and nowadays to the great team I have around me, my agent Alberto at Elastic, and my wife/creative partner and muse, Jen.
What’s your current favourite record…?
My friend AD Cockx turned me on to this one, actually this could have gone in the favourite after-party section. A beautiful record that I’ve played a fair bit this year, not a dance floor record, but very beautiful.
24 Carrot Black – Gone Are The Promises Of Yesterday
If your studio was one fire and you go back in to save one thing, what would it be and why…?
Probably my hard-drive as everything’s replaceable except my work.
What can we expect from your performance at the Chibuku on the 5th December….?
Certainly none of the records I’ve listed above. To be honest I’m not sure myself yet, I’m just gonna pack some of my favourite records and check out the party when I get there and play whatever I think will get people dancing.
For those who’ve not heard me play before you can check out some of my mixes on my website or soundcloud page and that might give you a better idea: