<b>Steve Bicknell - Addicted Podcast #16</b>
Steve Bicknell was one of the first people we tried to reach out to with a podcast request. Not only were we amazed by the musical side of things that seemed to be a perfect match with what we wanted our series to turn out to be in the end, but we were also struck with the ethos behind Bicknell’s charismatic figure. He is co-running the LOST club night which is being heralded as the most influential and respected techno event in UK, not to mention it being the most long-running one. With the likes of Juan Atkins, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Basic Channel and so on making their [arguably] most memorable appearances in Britain while hosted by LOST, the event itself has been successfully operating for more than 20 years. With big pleasure we present to you the podcast that took us 15 months to arrange and was definitely worth waiting so long.
- You have been running Lost events for 20+ years. For those who haven’t had a chance to attend any of those, how would you describe the event’s main features? What marks out Lost among many quality regular club nights London is famous for and has made it so influential for lots of techno personalities?
- LOST is run by Sheree Rashit and myself, the parties are very minimal in the way of a dark room, excellent sound, nothing should distract from the music. The whole night is programmed on a production level in the same vein as a theatre performance, we had been running parties before Lost but my sound was heading deeper and deeper into the world of techno which many people at the time did not understand, i.e early UR, R&S, Djax etc obviously before that there was Transmat, Metroplex, KMS, etc..... But UR was taking a diffierent path, it was decided we would create an invronment for this sound to be heard.
Around the same time there was a night, Knowledge which was held on a Wednesday run by Jane Howard, Colin Faver and Colin Dale. Knowledge took place in a club, this is probably the closet night to Lost at the time, we (LOST) wanted to create the environment rather than holding the night in a club using a clubs sound system and lighting. We looked for spaces to hold LOST where we could take full control and create the environment, the first two parties were held in a photographers studio, the second being closed at 2:30am by the police. From that moment we had to make sure all licensing was in place, we found another space in Brixton (The Vox) which had a small club in the basement with three empty rooms above it , perfect ...... This is really where LOST was formed, running monthly nights at that time.
- Although Lost is known to be the pioneering event within UK techno scene, there must have been something to appear as an influence for it. What parties were you attending prior to starting Lost and what finally made you put efforts into having your own event?
- As i mentioned previously, I'd pop by Knowledge, Heaven on a Friday and Trade, all were playing Techno but a slightly different sound to LOST, these nights were leaning more towards the Belgium sound, Trade was an after hours party with Daz Saund and Trevor Rockcliffe, I would go to Trade sometimes after playing.
- Apart from last year’s remix you did for Hauschka, you’ve been on a production hiatus for quite a while – word on the street is this will change soon. Can you please shed some light on this if possible?
- In the interim I produced music for theatre projects and documentaries, I also remixed Plastikman last year, Richie Hawtin is responsible for getting me back into the studio, Richie asked me to produce a remix for the Plastikman Arkives release, my studio was in pieces, I produced the remix in a friend’s living room, On completion I realised that I had been missing the process of producing music for the dancefloor and decided to set up my studio, yes i took a break from producing music, longer than expected. I stopped producing music as i was just not enjoying producing anymore, there was a shift in the sound that i really did not like. Techno was becoming a production factory in business and sound, distributors would be planning the release shedule which meant meeting deadlines for productions, this was never my take on producing, I found myself sitting in the studio thinking I have to get this EP finished today, this was so far removed from my rational of making music, I was not enjoying producing music to deadlines so i stopped, plus as i mentioned the sound of Techno was changing and becoming more of a noise than music with no feeling or spirit. I was playing a lot in Europe at the time, sometimes i felt like I was playing R&B as the Techno a lot of others were playing was very harsh in sound and BPM, this was not for me.
- On a cover of the podcast we have a photo of you playing records while sitting on the floor. Apparently, this one was taken at the Lost event with Jeff Mills, am I right?
- Yes, correct, this was the night of The Sleeper Wakes, held at LOST.
- How did it feel like to DJ this way? Can you please tell the original story behind this photo for those who might not have heard it before?
- How did it feel? Mmmmm much better than i had anticipated and really right for me personally at the time, as I wanted to present Techno on another level, very deep and hypnotic. Sitting on the floor playing really cemented this sound, it was almost like sitting at home playing records with friends ...................... The original story is simple, we were at the location during the day setting up, Jeff was sound checking and making sure all was ok with the projections, the production guys were setting up the area for me to play, with that Jeff ask me "Hey Steve would you play on the floor?" my answer yes, why not. And actually I preferred it, I've never been very comfortable standing in front of an audience.
- Describe your mix for Addicted podcast. It’s a big honor for us to have you in the series – we would like to know the idea of this mix.
- I almost described the mix above, actually this mix would fit into the concept of sitting rather than standing, it is a pure techno, the sound of the LOST dancefloor, hopefully deep and hypnotic ....................................... oooohhh .......... I should mention the next LOST is Easter Sunday 31st March, Jeff will be presenting Something In The Sky : Taken....... also myself, Moritz Von Oswald and Plaid, info: www.lost.co.uk