An interview with Dan Formless
Saturday 21st February 2015 | Annalisa
The DJ and producer who made big waves in the scene with his Friday night "Stuck" in Trafik parties, sharing inspirational music with forward thinkers. We caught up with the Hoxton FM presenter about Bruce Lee, changing the world and bringing the party back to Brick Lane.
Where did your Formless moniker come from?
Bruce Lee's philosophy of adapting to your environment like water always made me think of how a DJ should play the right music at the right time for the party. Of course there is always that balance of what people think they want and what the DJ thinks they actually need.
When did you really get your teeth into Electronic Music?
I grew up listening to hip hop during its golden age and then moved to London to study for a business degree. Suddenly my ears were engulfed in Jungle, Drum & Bass and later breakbeat, electro, house and techno. I've spent over ten years swirling round all of these sounds, releasing experimental productions on independent British and German labels as I've centred more on my style of music. I do find I keep coming back to stripped out house and techno with big grooves and bass lines. At times there's melody and the odd vocal, but there are also times when it's purely heads down and getting lost in the percussive rhythm.
How long has Hoxton FM been running and what's its ethos?
We're actually in our fourth year now. We started simply to provide a platform for talent in London to share inspirational music, art, fashion and culture. We've never strayed from that and I think it shows in the vibe on all the shows we broadcast.
You have a new Sunday daytime event coming up, can you tell us about it?
We have a lot of diversity and talent on the station and it seemed to make sense to find new ways to get exposure for everyone involved. Hoxton Forward Movement is a free party launching this Sunday 22nd February at 93 Feet East on Brick Lane to showcase an eclectic selection of music starting off with Soul, Funk and Disco and building through the day to House and Techno. The plan at future parties is to kick off with a house band and other live acts and possibly broadcast or film some of the performances. It will always lead on to the more electronic end of dance music but when you start at 1pm and end at 10:30pm it's great to take people on a real musical journey!
Nane three things you would change in the world?
1. The cream always rising to the top. I would love it if there was meritocracy in everything. The best always being acknowledged and rewarded because of hard work and talent and the charlatans floundering at the first step.
2. Nobody fearing failure. I see so many people convincing themselves they can't do something before they even try. If everybody genuinely accepted that if you want to succeed you are going to get knocked down and have to get back up a few times, I think we'd live in a much happier world.
3. Respect amongst equals. Looking up or down at people can be really unhealthy for the soul. It worries me when so much adulation is heaped on the undeserving and then others are being shunned for things beyond their control. Treating everyone the way you want to be treated
What has the station got in store for 2015?
We've just taken on a dozen new shows and have just launched a new logo. There is a more interactive website and mobile app coming out in March. We're expanding our Hackney road studios and have more video based content in the pipeline. On top of this it looks like we'll have a weekly live stream from a new party in Ibiza throughout the season.
If you were banished to a desert island and had to take 3 famous people who would you take and why would you take them?
As much as I'd like to take Bruce Lee for the physical and spiritual enlightenment, I imagine being banished on a desert island might be a bit of a downer. I'd probably drag Chris Rock for amusement, Bob Marley for musical enlightenment and Leonardo Da Vinci because not only would his artistic creations be soothing, he'd probably work out how to build a craft to help us all escape the island.
Follow @DanFormless on Twitter