CLARKEE / Owner
Clarkee has been spinning for 30 years, starting way back in the mid 1980’s and the explosion of Acid House / Chicago House music in America and in particular, the UK.
His time behind the decks has seen him play at some of the worlds biggest festivals including T in the Park, The Redbull Urban Games and the World X Games, as well as residencies across the UK and radio gigs, both pirate and licenced.
His first full time residency was secured at the tender age of 13 in an over 21s nightclub called Co-Cos. Very quickly he went down the DJ party animal route, made some terrible life decisions, took the blue pill instead of the red one and then took the red one too and the red and black.
Having a residency of his own, at that age and knowing all the DJs in the cities record shops it didn’t take long to reaslise there wasn’t a club in town he couldn’t get entrance too. There was always someone around to get him in if needed. Relationships with fellow DJs and promoters very quickly built and this got the gigs he wanted. Being so young made it easy to attract bookings back in the day, almost like a novelty act.
“I have been very fortunate to have had the work I have had but sometimes, the life of a DJ comes with much sacrifice, especially family wise”
His love is with all things deep, a multi genre DJ he plays how he feels and goes through many phases as to what he enjoys mixing. The Sounds of Chicago and Detroit are always prevalent in his weekly sets here.
The HMR Q&A
1. what made you start DJing
A found DMC video. I wish I could remember who was featured but all I do know is i sat watching it, opened mouthed and knowing right there and then “I want to do this” I spent a good many times staring into the window of a local audio store where two shiny 1200 beauties shone at me through the glass.
2. Who would you say was your biggest influence on the dance scene and why?
I am not sure these days, you see I have either met or communicated with some who I have held in high standing, only for them to turn out to be, well, just not nice people. I have admiration for those who work to the ethos of House. When I was younger and hungry for it I would say my biggest influence was simply to “Do It Bigger” than anyone else around me.
One guy I really looked up to during my early days was Trevor Fung, with Aubrey and Trevor Man following. 3 sublime groovers, all of which need no introduction these days.
3. Compare the scene now to how it was when you first started spinning. What differences, good or and bad, do you see. What do you see for the future of the DJ?
Well, could I rant here? Technology is a wonderful thing, I took the plunge and left vinyl around 10 years ago, miss it very much but would not go back to a full vinyl set up. The costs and a whole load of other factors decide that. Sadly, it has let every man and his dog say “I’m A DJ”. Some of these new technologies should be called “DJ in a box” as that’s how some act. We all know skill, talent and dedication have very little to do with success these days.
4. Favourite label, Favourite artist, Favourite track?
Hard, who wrote these questions?
5. To date what has been the best experience you have had as a DJ?
I would like to say a festival crowd in America but it was actually a 600 peeps venue in Birmingham. I had been the sole resident for 3 years and in those 3 year I took it from a wine bar atmosphere, through pop, to underground. it was the place to be and I made many friends. One evening we had planned to close at 2am but the night just went crazy and we stayed open till 8am. The reception at the end of that evening is something that has stayed with me in a real big way.
6. If you could play anywhere, where would it be?
7. Your favourite Housemasters DJ and why?
This question…. I hold all in very high regard here, it would be impossible to pick a single DJ although I am very into JK Rich, Deep Dope & Underground show, he’s a real groover. DJ125er the same but slightly different vibe.
8. Biggest mistake, biggest fail, most embarrassing moment as a DJ at a gig?
Being on a Dove during the Isle of White Treasure Island event 1992, closing my eyes to take in the head rush and not opening them again until the record ran out and the noise of it all brought me back to a very stumbled, embarrassed scramble to get some tunes on.
9. How do you keep check of ego?
Far too busy to get swayed by that silliness, as I often point out, Unless you are DJ Craze, all a DJ does is push play and have a fiddle. It’s not a knock but it’s worth remembering that when you start Jesus posing in your bedroom, or anywhere else for that matter.
10. How do you find Housemasters, we like to call it your home of house music, do you see it like that and if not, how do we change that?
Well, as the creator / owner of the place I’d better like it aye ….