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by Kieran Mallon, May 01, 2017
Paul Budd has his fingers in many, many musical pies. Starting out as a humble resident DJ back when Patterns was Audio, he now resides over a sell-out promotions company, a stacked artist agency that hosts the likes of Late Nite Tuff Guy, Nick the Record and Llorca, and has built a loyal following DJing under the alias Pablo Contraband.
Disco Deviant is one of Brighton's most esteemed promoters and this is reflected in the patrons you'll find at their parties, With an audience comprised of musically-conscience individuals, not only do Disco Deviant events consistently sell-out, but when you're in there you're lucky enough to be surrounded by like-minded and gracious party-goers.
Catch Disco Deviant's next event on Friday 19th May, where they will be teaming up with Phonica Records to deliver an absolutely tremendous lineup of DJs and live acts. Session Victim (live), Jane Fitz, Fort Romeau and Pablo Contraband will all be playing, accompanied a special guest yet to be announced. Limited early bird tickets are still available only through Radar.
Listen to Pablo Contraband's guest mix and read an exclusive interview with entrepreneurial selector below:
I started Disco Deviant with a lovely friend of mine, it's how we bonded to be honest. Great guy called Danny Webb he used to work at Piccadilly Records and had also persuaded a certain Greg Wilson to play his first gig in 20 years at his Music is Better night in Manchester. We threw our first party on Good Friday 2009 at The Loft as we sold out the smaller basement venue, The Jazz Place, sadly the venue was sold in 2015 and remains closed. Naturally Greg Wilson was our first guest. Before starting Disco Deviant I was a resident at Audio playing under a previous moniker 'DrkHrse' as well as doing a lot of well paid private and corporate gigs to pay the bills. I was also involved throwing a couple of other parties, Inside Out (all nighters) at Al Duomo and Upside Down (3am - 6am) at the Funky Buddha (now Mono) and working with other collectives such as Go Bang! -
We were DJing as a collective hurriedly dubbed 'Contraband DJ's'. It soon proved to be a totally ill-fated mismatch of characters and musical styles, in hindsight I managed almost single-handedly to alienate, undermine and eliminate the other members of the group that were deemed (in my mind at least) surplus to requirements... all done in the nicest way obviously! I'm still very good friends with the one guy that actually made any sense to me and we went on to run some excellent pop up parties and a label together. I adopted the name Pablo Contraband as a prize once I had killed off the other members so to speak .
I think a lot of us had been reading Last Night a DJ Saved My Life by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton which seemed to almost resurrect the spirit of Larry Levan in a few of us. I immediately started researching Mancuso, Siano, Krivit and Grasso for musical guidance and inspiration, I found all this great music that needed to be played somewhere suitably loud at once. We were also going to Lowlife pretty regularly and there was definitely a gap for something similar in Brighton's night time landscape at the time. I felt we could put a musically astute night on and program it by Danny & I using our friends and contacts to bring in guests for the DD the line ups. There was a disco edit scene taking shape in the UK and it offered something different to what I had been into beforehand, loads of vintage music that sounded new to my ears and really captured my imagination. There was a lot of enthusiasm about the night which was focused completely on the music, it immediately attracted a slightly older and musically switched on crowd. The decision I made early on which separated Disco Deviant from the similar nights at the time was to book guests, install big, high end sound systems and lighting which naturally meant we would be charging for entry and acting more like a business than a hobby. I'm glad I made that decision as it's meant we could deliver the type of quality I demanded, from the sound and venues, to the equipment and guest bookings - we had high standards and complete control. Opting for venues that were not club spaces needed a lot of work from my end, loads of installation and de-rigging of kit but totally worthwhile, so many compliments and positive conversations on the night and messages afterward from happy punters really spurred me on. Looking back I can see my DJ sets had started to bring a following and local fanbase that were prepared to support the night almost regardless of the guest bookings, the best result I could ever have asked for.
The Unity Agency is a booking agency featuring an array of my favourite talent including Late Nite Tuff Guy, The Reflex, M.ono, Luvless, Dr Packer, Art of Tones, Fé Vargas and loads more.
It's still a constant struggle, venues come and go, agents can be a headache, artist themselves occasionally behave in an unexpected way on the night.
We continue to look outside of Brighton and have a few dates in London, Coratia and Berlin lined up - it's a nice combo being able to program Disco Deviant night or boat parties using the Unity Agency roster exclusively
I loved Kate Tempest at The Dome, really enjoyable and a source of inspiration.
This one coming up with Phonica this Friday at the Arch is pretty special. I'm playing with Session Victim who'll do a live set, Fort Romeau, Jane Fitz and Phonica residents. MCDE was an amazing one to finally pull off. Todd Terje x LNTG would be a great one to put on somewhere.
Andrew Weatherall's set from last weekend at Disco Deviant.
Continuing last week's theme of rising talents at The Unity Agency, for our 25th instalment we welcome Sumerian.
Few DJs have a busier schedule than DJ Faro - and the ones that do usually have a PA.
Veterans of the scene, Schtumm, have been throwing parties since Myspace was culturally relevant. Get to know.