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I may live in Vancouver, but my roots are in the British House Music Underground. I started DJ-ing in 2002 after going to parties thrown by Simplicity, a collective of DJs who threw House and Techno parties in Brixton, south west London. Whether it was putting a sound system together for a house party (you could here the bass from a block away and they went all night) or turning a decrepit warehouse into an acid house den of hedonistic excess, Simplicity took the music and the party to a new level. Ivan, James and Sam from Simplicity turned me on to a groovy scene and I will never forget them or their parties. They inspired me to start DJing - and after months of bedroom mixing Simplicity gave me a warm-up slot. Simplicity taught me that clubs in London may be open till 7am and they might have multi-million pound sound systems, but the DIY ethic still thrives; going to a club is fun but it's so much better to do it your own way.
Around 2002 I started going to Peg parties - Jane Fitz's legendary parties thrown not just in London but all over the UK and France. Jane has a no-nonsense approach to music and her Peg parties are the best times I have ever had as a DJ. Through Jane I met countless house heads who are still a potent source of inspiration. Dlay, Justin, Jen, Dean, Luke showed me the way forward- and then there were producers that played at Peg - I was buying their records, Peg was the only place at the time that you could see them spin - people like Phil Weeks, The Bionic Bump Band, Funky Transport and Jason Hodges - their passion, talent and dedication pushed me to be the best I could be.
Jane Fitz arranged a residency for me at Soma, a DJ bar in East London in 2006. For six months I was playing out on an almost weekly basis and I could bring in talented jocks who needed exposure. Soma was a good venue till new management changed the music policy - after that I was back to the underground, helping out when I could setting up Peg parties and making my way to the south of France for two Peg in the Sun parties - a long weekend of non-stop beats and non-stop party at a secluded farmhouse near Marseille. Good job it was isolated cause the place went off!
In 2008 I emigrated to Canada, heading to Whistler for three years. My decks got broken when I ignored my golden rule and took them out for a party, this summer I moved to Vancouver and I am now a weekly fixture at Open Dex at the Anza on Saturday nights - I go to 'spread the house vibe' - as Phil Weeks eloquently put it - and turn people on to some proper underground beats…
More mixes on http://www.mixcloud.com/Johncooper/