August 03 2016

Felix Dickinson, Acid House Child

New York-Le Bain
We chat with UK's new disco-house hero before he rocks Le Bain's skyline on Sunday, August 28th.
LE BAIN: Resident Advisor said 2015 has been your most successful year to date. How is 2016 looking so far?
FELIX DICKINSON: Thankfully all the big bookings from last year have decided to have me back, so it's a case of continuing where I left off and adding a few new ones. In the last few weeks, I got to close the Genosys stage for Block 9 at Glastonbury and play at Barbarella's at the new Love International Festival in Croatia. Last weekend, I played at Panorama Bar for the first time, and I've had a few other new big ones that will hopefully turn into regulars. Gottwood was bloody amazing last month, and I'm looking forward to coming out to America again as I didn't manage to get out there last year.
"A lot of things make me want to act like a punk."
Your own label is called Cynic Music. Why do you think we should stay sarcastic or cynical about the dance scene?
[Laughs.] Hmmm, I'm not sure. When I started Cynic, it was pretty much how I felt after getting a bit disillusioned about how some record labels and artists conduct themselves, so decided to do things myself. I think I may have softened a bit now and am more open to working with other labels. I don't think it's that helpful to have a me-against-the-world attitude in what is quite a small scene, but I do still think it's good to not be too naive to how some people do business. I think when I first started raving, I kept my rose tinted glasses on most of the time, but I'd say it's probably best to leave them at home when you start trying to make a living doing what you love.

Deep in your heart, do you feel more punk or hippy? 
Depends on what side of the bed I get out of. It's nice to feel like a hippy some times, but there's definitely a lot of things that make me want to act like a punk. I'm a child of the acid house scene, and that was definitely as much if not more to do with a punk attitude of sticking two fingers up to the man (or woman) as any kind of hippy thing.
Felix Dickinson

Felix Dickinson

A lot of DJs have a deep love for Japan, specifically the Japanese attention to detail and their love of dance music. What would you say makes your own relationship to Japan special? 
I love Japan, and really appreciate that I have had so many opportunities to play out there. When I was going there regularly for the Lifeforce parties, I made a lot of good friends, some of whom I started the Dedication project with. I would stay in this coastal town called Kamakura and get to record with a bunch of musicians out there. I've since released some of the music I made with them on Cynic, DFA, and Golf Channel, and later this year I will have a couple tracks on Claremont 56. (It's actually gonna be Claremont's 56th release, which is pretty cool.)

How is Kamakura?
Not much really happens there, which I like, so when I'm there, I kind of just record music and hang out. It's a really old town, it actually used to be the capital of Japan, so it's got loads of temples, but other than that it's not too crowded. There's a really nice café in the vegetable market that has good bread and soup, and the master baker who runs the place is a bit of a genius and makes beautiful bread. One time he made me a loaf of bread which was rolled out and twisted up to spell my name like some kind of edible bit of 3D graffiti. 
 "A Day's Reality" by Felix Dickinson feat. Robert Owens 
(Classic Mix)

You’re obviously a key player of the UK club scene and you’ve got a big connections with Japan, Croatia, India, and SF with the Wicked Sound System. What about New York?
I love NYC and I've got a lot of good friends in the city. Although I don't play there as regularly as some of the other places you mentioned, I've done some really fun gigs out there. PS1 was the first time I played in NYC, which was quite a debut. I've played Beats in Space a couple of times (and will play again this time I'm out). I've released on DFA, Golf Channel, Rong, and more recently M2M, and Justin V will be releasing a remix he's done of one of my tracks on his label My Rules later this year. So when you look at it, I've actually got a fair few connections with your fair city!

On Sunday, August 28th, Le Bain presents Été d'Amour
featuring Felix Dickinson (Cynic Music, UK) and Kenneth Bager (Music For Dreams, DK)
The Standard, High Line | 5pm 

Header photo by Benjamin Eagle