Clive Henry Talks the EDM Underground and His New Crosstown Rebels Record
November 8 saw the release of the Crosstown Rebels label's new three-disc compilation album, for which Henry mixed his own picks from the label's catalog. Fans can also look forward to upcoming solo releases, including collaborations with the likes of Jamie Jones and Dyed Soundorom.
Despite his aversion to interviews, we managed to cajole Mr. Henry into a brief Q&A in advance of his much-anticipated performance at the Electric Pickle with SAFE tonight. We talked about his new mix, his undying love for Ibiza, and keeping the underground alive in the information age.
New Times: You're known to shun interviews and publicity in general.
Clive Henry: I've just never been one to big myself up. It's hard to avoid exposure when you're in the industry that I'm in. It's just that I don't feel the need to be plastered all over the place, talking about what I'm doing now, next week, where I've been, what I had for breakfast, etc. People need to focus on the music rather than the person playing it sometimes.
As a scene veteran, how do you think the EDM "underground" has changed with the rise of the internet, digital distribution, social media and today's fast exchange of information? Is such a thing as the "underground" even possible now with people sharing event invites, DJ set recordings, and photos of last night's party online?
Of course, there's still such thing as the underground (for want of a better word!). I think the digital age has helped the scene grow massively. It's given people in the far reaches of the planet the opportunity to get involved with the music, reach out to DJs that they wouldn't have been able to come in contact with normally. It's just scary how quickly it's evolving and scary how [eager people are] to share their personal info and lives online with total randoms.
Considering your allegiance to the underground, what made you want to jump aboard a residency in Ibiza considering the supposed touristy commercialization of nightlife on the island?
I didn't jump aboard a residency, I got offered it after being a fanatical follower of Circo Loco at DC10. I was there religiously every Monday from when the doors opened. And I helped it evolve and grow in to what it is today. As soon as I walked into the place, I knew it was my spiritual home and what Ibiza was missing. If you've never been it's hard to explain the feeling that the place has. The closing party this summer was immense.
It's difficult to explain what I get out of Ibiza. It's the freedom to be what you want without prejudice and judgment. And after living in a quite bigoted, small-minded area of London most of my life, it was a breath of fresh air to be in surroundings like that. I remember first going there and thinking I can see why people fall in love with the place. Obviously, it's changed quite a bit over the years with the change to the club-party laws, etc. But it's still the same underneath it all.
What is the status of Peace Division these days?
Peace Division went kaput two years ago next January! Mind you, Soul Clap wanted us to reform for one night to do a '90s rave that they're putting on in London this December. But we can't do it due to other commitments, which is a shame.
Which artists and sounds are inspiring you right now, EDM or otherwise?
Caribou, Lee Foss, System of Survival, Maya Jane Coles, Art Department.
You're a family man. How do you balance being married with children and the often hedonistic late-night lifestyle of a DJ?
It's pretty tricky being away from the kids a lot. But I haven't lived with their mum for over 12 years (I was never married to her either), so they're used to me being away. But I try and see them as much as possible. And when I went out with them the other day, my son turned up listening to Jamie Jones's LP on Crosstown Rebels on his iPod! "Summertime" was booming out of his headphones. He's only just turned 14!
What can you tell us about your new Crosstown Rebels compilation mix?
The tracks selected were the best selection of the Crosstown back catalogue of what would be considered my kinda sound and me. My engineer Alex Arnout just gave some of them an update edit wise and messed around with them on Ableton. [I'm] really pleased with the outcome, especially considering we did it way back at the beginning of March of this year.
What can Miami expect during your performance at Electric Pickle?
Eh ... Good groovy deepish techy house maybe? [Laughs]
Clive Henry with Lazaro Casanova. Friday, November 12. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Doors open at 10 p.m. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com