Rattus Rattus: Hotel shenanigans and the rise of the Nerds
As you may be aware from my previous posts, parties in unusual locations are something I yearn for. Last week one of London’s hottest club promoting outfits, the Urban Nerds, took over a new hotel for a launch night with a twist. Rather than host the standard stuffy get together with mini burgers, free champagne and a boring crowd, the Aloft Hotel in the Docklands hired the Nerds to put on a proper party, bringing a club-like atmosphere into their plush new premises. Sadly, I didn’t make it but one of the Nerds – Rattus Rattus, AKA Paul Mackey – dropped me a line to fill me in on the night and to talk about the team’s set up, his own history and where the Urban Nerds are going in 2012… And he put together an exclusive mix for me, which you can download for free.
What was it like playing somewhere that was quite different from your usual club environment?
I’ve played some very bizarre places but it was definitely up there. Great location and they kitted it out with a Funktion One sound system so, bar the plush seats, it was pretty much like a club.
What’s the strangest place you’ve played so far?
I’ve played out the back of a moving lorry before, while driving around a cemetery… that was fairly bizarre!
What’s your dream location for a gig?
I’d love to play on the moon or another planet – just need to figure out the whole ‘wearing headphones without taking off my space helmet’ thing and I’m set.
How did you get involved with Urban Nerds?
I approached the guys with a mix CD before they even started, they loved what I did so I was in from the start.
What have been your highlights this year? Any low points?
This year has been yet another whirlwind. A constant haze of festivals, clubs, flights, bars and beaches it’s blinking great! The festivals are always the highlight for me every single one is always amazing I’d love to say I’ve played a bad-one but it has yet to happen… I must be spoilt on some level. Low points-wise, it’s more to do with the things I didn’t play, I was gutted to not be at Glasto this year especially considering there isn’t onenext summer.
Personally speaking, which artists have made the biggest impact… And what have been your favourite tracks this year?
That’s always a very hard question. Redlight is still absolutely smashing it. Smaller acts wise Kry Wolf, Pusherman, Mista Men and R1 Ryders have yet to send me anything I won’t play out.
How would you describe Urban Nerds to the unitiated? Who are the people behind it and what are their roles?
Urban Nerds covers all the ‘basses’ for clubbers. Pun intended. Touching as many genres as possible and offering everything under one roof – you can always see up and coming people from the bass-orientated dance music scene up there next to the big hitters.
You have an unusual DJ name, where does it come from?
Once a rat went to toilet on me. It was a very emotional moment!
How long have you been DJing and what kind of music do you play?
I’ve been playing for over 10 years and have put my hand to most styles of music along the way. So expect to hear anything (literally) but always served up with a massive helping of bass.
What do you listen to when you’re not working?
Since Paul Simon released news that he’s going to be taking Graceland on tour that album literally hasn’t left my iPod headphones. Cheesy but true.
What’s the one thing that would improve your life as a DJ?
Being able to DJ off some kind of cloud system would be great. I always worry about lost bags in airports and crashed laptops!
What do you think of the music scene in London at the moment? Favourite places to play/go out?
The whole scene is very vibrant at the moment a lot of people are doing some very interesting stuff sonically and it feels as if we’re close to a new genre emerging. Along with that UK Garage seems to be making a very strong comeback, which can only be a good thing. Going out-wise I try and stick to small venues like The Nest and Camp they always have some great stuff on.
What’s on the agenda for Rattus Rattus in 2012?
There’s a lot of festivals that I’ll be doing, with and without the Urban Nerds team, can’t wait to get back to Snowbombing and Outlook amongst others. Plus pushing forward with my other projects and generally trying to keep as busy as possible.
Can you explain the mix you’ve done a little bit?
I’ve put together a mix of some really new and fresh bass led dance music from the people i think are really leading the way in the scene.Aloft Hotel, Docklands, music, Rattus Rattus, rave, Unusual location, Urban Nerds
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter