An interview w/ Andrew Weatherall & Sean Johnston ‘A Love From Outer Space’

A Love From Outer Space (Taking its title from an A.R. Kane’s track of the same name) is techno timelord Andrew Weatherall‘s latest venture – an evening and ethos created with first lieutenant Sean Johnston. Launched in 2010 at the Drop (now known as the Waiting Room) in North London’s Stoke Newington, a basement venue for 120 like-minded souls, the evening was billed as an “oasis of slowness in a world of ever increasing velocity” – and underlined how Weatherall and his henchman were out of sync with a modern universe glistening with tablet computers and hollow gestures.

But ALFOS has maintained its 122bpm pace – it is the rest of the aural electronic world which has chosen to slow down and dance in time with them. The nights at the Drop spawned a cultish following, leading to Thursday nights on Church St running over with ravers, students, straight from work dancers and Weatherall devotees, all desperate to hear what part of the pulse his fingers had grasped. This Saturday they bring ALFOS South to Brixton Clubhouse with the guys from Slide... We caught up with them for a quick chat..


What is the musical philosophy behind ‘A Love From Outer Space’ (ALFOS)?
Andrew described it as an oasis of slow in a world of increasing velocity. We just wanted to air some great music that we both liked that we thought wasn’t getting a platform. I guess the sound has evolved since the outset but it’s essentially the pair of us playing music that we find that excites us and doing something that builds in a way that has largely disappeared from the modern discotheque.

Are there any strict rules to the music ALFOS covers?
The speed limit is 122bpm – but apart from that if we like it – it get’s a run out in the mix.

Which ALFOS party’s have been highlights so far?
There were a fair few at The Drop that were crazy for a school night, the Electric Elephant Festival gigs last year, Flow Festival in Helsinki, The first Glasgow ALFOS, The Corsica Studios party with Trickski and The Tunnel Club in Milan.


Have any particular tracks become ‘ALFOS classics’?
I’d say Marcus Marr – Pleasure Moon, the Jon Talabot mix of Cheaters by Teengirl Fantasy and more recently Der Alte by Kolsch.

How did you meet each other and how did lead on to the creation of ALFOS?
I was introduced to Andrew by Jeff Barrett of Heavenly Records many years ago in the crazy days of Acid House. We have been in out of each other’s orbits for the past 20 years. I stepped in to drive Andrew to a gig a few years ago and during the course of CD playing on the journey we realised that we were both excited by the lower bpm stuff we’d been buying and decided we’d better do something about it….

What’s you view on the current state of London clubbing?
In the words of Samuel Johnson “Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Still true to this very day!

What do you think of the so called rise of small and mid-sized clubs in London and how do you think this had impacted on the music being heard in the capital?
I think it’s been a really healthy outcome – it’s given rise to a multiplicity of sounds and scenes and that would would have been crushed under the boot of Clubbing PLC ten years ago.


ALFOS has been to festivals and multiple venues this year, what are your future plans for it? Andrew and myself aren’t really planning ahead types – as long as it’s fun and interesting we will continue to muddle along in the style that folks are accustomed to. We’re looking forward to ALFOS Friday’s at The Berkeley Suite in Glasgow and returning to Corsica at some point though.

Do you believe in the term ‘guilty pleasure’ and if so, are there any ALFOS guilty pleasures?
I think Terje’s mix of M Pop Musik is probably the biggest guilty pleasure in the ALFOS cannon.

ALFOS will be making a voyage south of the river, is this the first time it has done so?
We were last south of the river at Corisca Studios for our Easter party.

How would describe ALFOS to a someone who had never attended an event?
One part new beat, one part disco, one part techno, stylishly presented by stylish gentlemen…

What can Slide expect for the Terrace at Brixton Clubhouse? 
All of the above and more!


Andrew Weatherall, Sean Johnston, Eskimo Twins,
Archie Hamilton, SlothBoogie, Rich Smith, Em Williams

After being regular visitors to Andrew and Sean’s ‘A Love From Outer Space’ events at The Drop in Stoke Newington, Slide are extremely happy to present ALFOS on the terrace on Saturday 28 July.

As mentioned, ALFOS has been running once a month Thursdays at The Drop but they have decided take it out & about more recently, and we are delighted that they have chosen to join us on the terrace, we think the space is a great fit.

The manifesto of their night is to never knowingly exceed 122bpm. Andrew describes the night as “an oasis of slowness in a world of increasing velocity”.

Weatherall played a big part in moulding the UK’s acid house scene in the late 1980s. He also produced one of the most pivotal albums of our generation, Primal Scream’s “Screamadelica” and over the year’s turned his skills to remix some of the most seminal artists around, including Grinderman, My Bloody Valentine, Bjork and Happy Mondays. His Two Lone Swordsmen and Sabres of Paradise monikers were both released on the iconic UK label Warp Records and remain hugely respected to this day.

Support comes from Wax:On residents and Slide regulars the Eskimo Twins, Archie Hamilton, Slothboogie plus residents.

Slide On The Terrace - A Love From Outer Space with Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston