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A Night With...

T Bar's ex-programmer Derren Smart launches a new series of intimate nights after the demise of the London club...

The demise of iconic London clubbing establishments like T Bar, SeOne and Plastic People amongst threats of closure for Fabric (now thankfully out of administration) and Matter have irreparably damaged London nightlife, at least in terms of the loss of the 'superclub'. But thankfully, the continuing trend looks to be massive one-off parties, hosted in 'secret East London locations' or down by the river, often revealed to be dingy warehouses or carparks equipped with portaloos and Funktion One. T Bar's Derren Smart has now focused his energy on building a solid reputation for one of these such events, booking the likes of Kompakt's Michael Mayer and female DJ/producer Cassy who's worked with the likes of Villalobos to Luciano all the way from Berlin for his 'A Night With...' Series. Dazed Digital speak to co-founder Derren Smart and their next headliner Cassy...

Dazed Digital: Why did you start A Night With?...
Derren Smart:
After programming and promoting T Bar for over five years I decided at the beginning of the year that it was time to move on. I wanted to create events that were not associated to a specific club space but offered a new and interesting perspective, events that changed the usual format to what the London club scene was offering.

DD: What makes it different to other London clubnights for electronic music?
Derren Smart: ‘A Night With...’ is just that, one artist playing from start to finish, an eight hour set on a Funktion One sound system housed in unusual spaces from warehouses to art galleries...

DD: How do you choose the artists who play?
Derren Smart: I created Series 1 in a matter of weeks, I chose 12 artists that I had a relationship with, people that played for me regularly over the years and that had become friends. It was very simple and the response was amazing, I was able to programme through to the end of the year straight away!

DD: Who do you have in mind for the next few?
Derren Smart: Future confirmed artists include Steve Bug, Anja Schneider and Magda .

DD: What do you think about the issue that London superclubs are dying?
Derren Smart: I think it is merely a reflection of the current economic situation, some clubs may have had to close their doors but new and exciting projects are being created all the time.

DD: Will this be better for your kind of night or worse?
Derren Smart: 'A Night With...’ is an intimate party for between 350 and 500 people depending on the space we use. It successfully exists in it’s own right, so we've been really lucky that regardless of whether clubs are closing and opening does not have any effect on it. We've already established a really strong and loyal following too, who gives us great support....


Dazed Digital: You've been making music for quite a while now, how do you feel your sound has changed or progressed over time?

Cassy: It develops, but I guess my sound is still my sound. My characteristics have remained the same.

DD: What do you try to achieve with your DJ sets? Just getting people to dance, or is it more about a flow and a structure?
Cassy: Flow and structure makes people dance. especially flow. Structure is only feasable in translation... does that make sense? Techniques have to translate themselves organically. a special technique will make itself only heard, felt, seen if it has a humble objective, a true meaning.

DD: You've just done a mix for Cocoon, was it difficult narrowing down what went in it?
Cassy: It was at first, but then I just went ahead with the music I really appreciated at the time and people should be able to hear on a CD.

DD: You've travelled around quite a bit, what is your favourite city in terms of music culture?
Cassy: There are quite a few places who have amazing music culture. would be very hard to nail it down to one place.

DD: Who are you listening to at the moment?
Cassy: As usual everything. I love listening to the radio in the morning. Like right now. There's this classical music channel in Berlin called Kulturradio. Then I love listening to I don't know be it Mariah Carey, Surgeon, Turkish music, Autechre... everything.

DD: Anyone you want to work with but haven't yet?
Cassy: No, because I don't know what it means to work with certain people. What it means in actual fact. It might not be interesting or productive to work with your most beloved heros or people you admire. It might not work out. Whatever happens happens.

DD: What's next?
Cassy: A holiday very soon!