From the heady highlights of 90s Manchester to future seasons in Ibiza, the tracks might change but DJ Paulette always goes bang.
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A DJ who grew up, literally, around clubs and DJs in Manchester, DJ Paulette went on to a residency at the Haçienda and a musical journey that has taken her to Paris and now Ibiza. 2013 is about new UK residencies and a change in creative direction for our Paulette, who’s keeping everyone on their toes.
Hi Paulette, are you in transit?! where are you right now, what can you see and what’s your mood?! Hello hello! I’m on the Eurostar red-eye at silly o’clock on my way to London and Manchester for meetings with record labels, radio, clubs and a couple of parties too. I am buzzzzzzzzzing louder and brighter than Buzz Lightyear, if that’s even possible.
First off, you DJed at the legendary Hacienda in Manchester, which night, which era?! Ah, the Haçienda in the early 90s. It was all about the crazy walk up and that utz-utz-utz that vibrated the entrance as you stood shivering in the queue. Then there was the stark but super cool Ben Kelley designed neo-car park, industrial, neon kitsch design inside. Seated cubicles, bollards and hazard signs on the main floor, possibly the worst club toilets in the world, camp neon lights hanging over the cramped bar upstairs and sweat running down the walls downstairs in the Gay Traitor where I held my monthly residence (in the cheekily named Pussy Parlour) at the Flesh Party. They are without question four of the best and happiest DJing years of my career. It was pure ghetto hedonism in my room, I span vocal house, disco, soul, hip hop and rare groove to a fashion crazy, fun loving and adoring crowd. Everyone planned their outfits for the month before and made sure they had a suitably glamorous change of clothes for the journey home. Madness.
And isn’t there a history of DJing in your family? My mum joint owned a ground-breaking, integrated club called the Ebony Club in Manchester. I was only tiny then but I remember hiding under the tables and watching people’s legs as they danced. Then my brother Robert used to DJ at Pips in the late 70s. I was mesmerised by his 7” record boxes, his slick suited style, the colourful enamel Phillybusters badge and ankle length black crombie. Those dudes had style for days.
Isn’t there an i-D connection to how you started DJing? That’s funny. I’m not even sure whether she will remember this but Princess Julia gave me my first professional DJ lesson. I’d DJed many times with Julia in the Pussy Parlour (Flesh Party, Haçienda) and there was one evening when, after gushing about how much I had appreciated her set and asked her advice about dj’ing, she taught me how to beat match by counting the beats with her feet and clapping and making me copy her. We were standing in the middle of a load of tops-off-tits-out gay men at the time. Hysterical really but also absolutely spot on.
On to 2013 as you’ve got lots of stuff cooking, tell us about your new residencies… 2012 was a year of ‘balls on the line’ transition for me. The idea came to me in a dream in January, and it was so vivid that the residency had to become a reality. I registered my PAULETTE GOES BANG brand last February and after an island scout started a monthly party at Hotel Es Vive, Ibiza, out of the safety net of clubs and people I had previously worked with and away from the big room sound that I had become well known for. I found three new monthly homes, two in Paris (Les Agités in the Marais and Bar 4 Elements in Republique) and one in Manchester at 2022NQ. I’m confirming London as we speak…
What’s the musical vibe? Musically it’s a deep house affair, down tempo enough for everyone to catch the beat but not a lounge snoozefest. I play music with full-phat, anaconda sized basslines, quirky cut-up, time stretched vocals, and amazing singers like Bobby Womack and Claudia Lovisa. And my set wouldn’t be my set without producers like Julio Bashmore, Maxxi Soundsystem, Kant, Thomas Gandey, Ben Pearce, Duke Dumont, Dixon, Hot Since 82, Maceo Plex, Finnebassen, Nice7, KORT.
Tell us about this mix… It was recorded live in one take so what you hear is what you will get on any given evening when you hear me in a club.
Tell us your musical and clubbing wishes for 2013!
More Paulette Goes Bang appearances and residencies around the world.
A real radio show and not just a mix show, that sees me showcase new talent.
That I see more people upfront Shazamming at the Paulette Goes Bang deep house sessions.
That people lose their inhibitions and remember how to truly dance to great DJs, great music and great sets again.
That I make deep house and main room house tracks of my own that I can be super proud of.
That club nights and promoters take more risks, seek out fresh talent and burrow deeper underground.
That people seek out more nights, more talent and more music than they are spoon fed.
That my Ibiza season – and in fact my year – surprises everyone in the best way – including me.
Thank-you Paulette, bon voyage… It was a real pleasure and thank you !!!
Text: Sarah Hay