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Broken & Uneven- London Rules (interview)

Reported by Joshua [Trackitdown] on April 20, 2012

“House and techno is the cornerstone of London club-land and is such a broad church that I cannot see that ever really changing. In fact, many of the fleeting new-genre led media obsessions you refer to  (dubstep, post-dubstep, drum & bass) broadly fall under that banner anyway.”

London club promoter Ajay Jayaram chatted to Skrufff this week about his wildly eclectic (and immediately successful) new party Broken & Uneven and said that despite kicking off with a semi-Berlin themed Ostgut party, he remains convinced that London is the world’s number one club capital.

“Berlin receives a lot of coverage and praise for its house and techno scene which is understandable and whether it’s better or worse than our own is of course subjective,” he concedes.

“But if your interest in music takes in other genres too – dubstep, drum & bass, grime or even hip hop, then London is the epicentre; I always find myself comforted by our city’s true eclecticism in that way.”

Proving his point via Broken & Uneven’s booking policy, he’s signed up Omar-S, Kode 9 and Benji B as headliners for their next party (Deviation x Hyperdub Warehouse Session, Friday 27 April), followed by a Panet Mu night 2 weeks later and an outdoor tech flavoured party in June. So what’s the overall vision?

“I guess it’s basically a natural extension of my personal listening habits as well as my own background in programming – at the End and also at Cable we covered a very diverse range of music and for this new project I was keen to continue with that ethos,” he explains.

“It also offers an opportunity to be a little bit more creative with the choice of spaces we use (unlike when we were based at a single venue) and indeed in the nature of the events themselves – no one has ever brought together Ostgut and Sub:stance or Deviation and Hyperdub, for example. So we’ll endeavour to keep things interesting wherever possible, which I hope will help us differentiate and distinguish ourselves from other parties,’ says Ajay.

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Why did you leave We Fear Silence?

Broken & Uneven (Ajay): “It was simply time to move on. It had been three years since I set it up and whilst it had grown and developed (with a degree of success I feel), there was a kind of inevitability about it becoming more of a job and less of a passion because of the framework within which we found ourselves – i.e. a club residency. Cable came at the right time for us and was instrumental helping to take We Fear Silence to the next level, but for me personally programming a nightclub on a weekly basis was something that I had already done (at The End) and whilst still very challenging, was perhaps not as rewarding for me as a result.”

Skrufff: What's your assessment of London nightlife right now: how much is the austerity/ everyone being broke situation affecting things?

Broken & Uneven (Ajay): “I think that the music being made in London right now is as exciting as it has ever been and there are some very talented DJs, artists and bands out there contributing to a very fertile scene which, though arguably lacking cohesion, is a great reflection of clubbing in the capital.

There are probably also more events on than ever too which suggests little impact from the recession, but I suspect that it has more to do with the Internet enabling everyone to become a promoter. Not everywhere is busy and not all of these events are necessarily of any significant scale, but whatever way you look at it, we are not short of options, which is a good thing I feel.”

Skrufff: Anything else to add?

Broken & Uneven (Ajay): “Apparently the average person falls asleep in seven minutes, which has got me wondering how long it’ll take to read this interview . . .” (‘Parties for a nightclub that doesn’t exist . . .’) (Resident Advisor review of their opening night)

Jonty Skrufff: