This Saturday 26th November the Thunder boys are back with their second instalment of jacking bass and deep Chicago sound. Think Chicago and Clink Street, Detroit and Dalston, SoHo NYC and Soho LDN and all under one roof in the old school acid house environs of Visions Video Bar, a sweaty, smoke filled East London basement. Plain & Simple catch up with Thunder promoters Miles and Joe to talk about hottest House DJ on the circuit right now, John Heckle, Wham and…Showaddywaddy!?

This will be the second Thunder party of 2011, the first being back in August with jacking house guest Neville Watson (Rush Hour/Clone) tell us about the origins of Thunder and it’s connection with the disKomatiK boat parties.

Joe: I ran the diskomatik parties along with 3 other mates and both Miles and Rick played at several different parties over the years and became friends. We were into similar music and said at the time that we fancied doing a party together but it took several years until we finally got around to doing it. I think all of us felt that there was a bit of a gap in the market to put on a really high-quality underground house night. We’ve all been DJing for 20+ years and wanted to put on a night that would play the best possible house music, old and new, rather than just following the latest fad and just being another samey night.

For this Saturday’s party you have invited one of the hottest underground House DJ’s of the moment, John Heckle. With recent EP Hard Sleeper Hard Sleeper released on Signals as well as joining Secretsundaze ebullient roster of Artist’s, what do you think distinguishes John from other DJ’s and producers at the moment and why have you booked him apposed to some of the Chicago originators that seem to be popping up all over East London’s trendy hotspots?

Miles: Because Thunder isn’t a retro night. We love old music, you will hear loads at Thunder, but new music is just as important to us and retromania simply does not appeal. Personally, I think it’s a negative force, to stifles the growth and development of house music. At best it takes us down the path of northern soul, albeit with vastly bigger body of work to draw upon, and at worst, it’s the modern day equivalent of Showaddywaddy, just in snow wash denim with a 303.

We chose John because he’s shit hot. He’s an amazing DJ with a fluid, energetic style who manages to present the old juxtaposed with the new in way that makes it exciting to even my tired old ears. And he underpins this with the addition of live music in his sets too. This time next year I doubt he’ll be playing many small basement clubs – how many other 23 scouse lads are signed to Mathematics, the best house label in Chicago?!

Joe: I think it was a decision based purely on merit, we made a conscious decision to try and get artists that are genuinely doing really exciting stuff right now, as opposed to getting names from yesteryear who are potentially sitting on the musical laurels and playing the same tracks they were playing 25 years ago. I also think the music he produces and DJ’s with has a certain rawness and energy to it that really stands out amongst the current crop of generic house/techno tracks.

In your opinion, what is the most prolific 707 track?

Miles: Difficult to answer what my favourite. It’s bit like asking a parent who their favourite child is. – when they’ve got 5000 children! But as for the most prolific, probably something like Wham “Everything She Wants” or Phil Collins, he was a fan too, apparently…

I am always keen to hear party promoters top five tracks – what is hitting the spot in your record bag right now?

In no particular order:
• DJ Nature – Sexual Tension – From the forthcoming ‘Return of the Savage’ LP, which going blow people away.

• Gerd – Palm Leaves (Larry Heard mix) – Heard is genuinely amazing, from The It and Mr Finger 25 years ago to this. Consistently brilliant.

• Marc d’Cantu – How Are We Doing – Deep yet jacking with an amazing bassline.

• Kerri Chandler – Peace Of My Mind – Proper house music.

• Soulphiction – Freerotation – A fine slice of house from one of Germany’s most consistent labels and producers, with a fine remix to boot.

How does Thunder keep its hip and devoted following?

Miles: I’m not sure we’ve got a devoted following just yet but we’re very clear about what it is we want to offer. Four times a year we get ourselves a basement, a smoke machine, one top quality guest, and play loads amazing, genuine, underground house music that drawn from record collections that are the fruits of a combined 70 years of obsessive collecting. It’s a very simple concept; one we hope that appeals to people who love house music and dancing. Hopefully they’ll want to come back. Failing that, we have a massive guest list and sexual favours as a fall back position.

Here is John Heckle’ Pop Your Funk downloadable mix to give you a taste of what to expect on Saturday

Thunder P&S event link

++ Interview by Michelle Hardiman for Weasel PR