Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Tuesday 7th July: Glastonbury Festival - Record Collection of Gideon Berger, Co-Founder of Block9

Over the years that I have been going to Glastonbury with Block9 I have always marvelled at how despite the varying weather conditions, Gideon has always DJ'd with vinyl.  If its not treacherous mud underfoot then its scorching heat - neither recommended conditions for storing or transporting records.  Yet every year there he is delighting in the crisp sound of his 7" selections.  Its enough for me to wheel my flight case across London without losing my shit, let alone lifting and schlepping a week's worth of wax over the fields of Worthy Farm.  And herein lies the answer to half that battle.  He drives the whole lot onsite in his home.  I've peaked through the port-hole at his collection when its been pitched backstage and dreamed of having a dig thru.  Last week I had the opportunity to get my fingers dusty and stroke the spectrum spines of the multi-colour sleeves.  Gideon obliged to my request for a Through The Keyhole type invasion to document "who could possibly live in a house like thiiiiiiiiiiiiis?".  "Lets look at the evidence.................."  artefacts & literature from the African diaspora, art deco armchair, record collection spanning Disco, Soul, Funk, Acid House, Rare Groove, Reggae, a tape-measure and tools ...............
Alongside Steve Gallagher, Gideon is partner and co-founder of Block9 , responsible for the NYC Downlow.  He's also broadcaster on SohoRadio and their own eponymous Downlow Radio.  Apparently these four walls have hosted some monumental parties, packed so full that you could crowd-surf from one end to the other without touching the floor.  I get a picture of how the Block9 phenomenon might have been first conceived.   My visit fell on a quiet and calm afternoon in the midst of the festival week and month of his stay for the build.  Perfect for a chat about his love for rare black gospel soul, his teenage experience of the Glastonbury Festival and his inherent social consciousness inherited from his activist Grandmother.  I want to know more but there isn't time.  Wallpaper want a piece about the design ethos and The Guardian want to get to grips with the fake moustache ticketing policy.  I forget I'm interviewing and naturally slip into simply hanging out,  whilst sipping on rum and ginger.  I think that's ok though.  I think that's actually what blogging is about and the friendships you form from genuine inquisitive research with no agenda.  It's taken so long to write this up because Ive had such a nice time listening back to an archive of his shows and equally of Downlow's DJ's to get a proper sense of the family sensibility that's the foundation of these set-building blocks with partner Steve.  All of that can be read in the previous post underneath this ................... enjoy.    I did :  )

Follow Gideon's Soho Jams show on Soho Radio here and DownlowRadio here.      

No comments: