22 May 2017
Veterans of the scene, Schtumm, have been throwing parties since Myspace was culturally relevant. Get to know.
This Saturday, Schtumm celebrate their 10th birthday - a decade which has seen them book names from all over the dance music spectrum, including Brighton debuts for Kink, Todd Terje and others. In short, the city owes a lot to these dedicated party people. We caught up with founder, Neal Schtumm, in order to rummage around in the history books:
Can you give me a brief timeline of Schtumm? The best and worst moments?
Schtumm started in 2007 as a secret party ran in pop up basement spaces. Me and a couple of other friends (one being Maxxi Soundsystem) wanted to create something a little more intimate that retained a sense of mystery so we wouldn’t release any details online, and we'd send everyone venue details on the day, and had guest DJs that wouldn’t be announced before the party. We started in a place called Nou Nou in Kemptown which was only 80 cap, but outgrew that after 3 parties before moving to Al Duomo, and then by NYE that year Audio asked us to host their NYE party.
We moved around a few venues before doing regular parties at Audio from 2009 until 2012/13. We had some epic parties there and brought lots of acts to Brighton for the first time including Todd Terje, Cajmere, Kink, Eats Everything, Tensnake, Maya Jane Coles, Art Department and of course Ben Pearce (who is part of the family now). I’d say one of the best moments was the Futureboogie party in 2012 just after our 5th Birthday - a label run by friends of ours so lots of people we loved in town, and it was Eats Everything’s stag do. It was a bit crazy.
Worst moment was the first party - when we had pretty much no idea what we’re doing - from speakers popping to the door girl going missing half way through the night only to be found up the front raving, and the cloakroom collapsing over the leaking drain from the loos. That was fun!
Is there an official music policy for Schtumm?
Not officially, we probably lean more towards disco and house but if a DJ wants to take it off somewhere all together different and the crowd are up for it we’d never stop them.
Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background in music and events?
My background in music started with a classic early years parental influence, and then I learnt to DJ when I was 14/15 and started playing out at 18 at Drum & Bass events in Sussex. When I moved to Brighton in 2001 I played at Legends of the Dark Black a few times, before going to The Escape (now Patterns via Audio) and Ibiza in summer 2001 and discovering house. I blagged a few sets at Every Day People at The Escape and then Stompafunk, started a night called White Fang with Sam (Maxxi) before starting Schtumm in 2007.
Who are your musical influences?
That’s a hard one as it changes all of the time, but I have to mention Marcus Intalex / Trevino today who sadly passed away a couple of weeks back. I’d never met him, never even seen him DJ, but his music has been in my record box consistently through Jungle to Drum & Bass and then House from 1994 until this current day. I felt so sad when he died and couldn’t work out why, but I realise now it’s because I’ll never get a new Marcus Intalex or Trevino track again. He was a true pioneer and loved by many because of that. R.I.P.
What have been some of your favourite events over the years?
Some favourites would have to be the Futureboogie party as mentioned, the 5th birthday with Cajmere & 6th birthday with Kink, David August’s show with us where he managed to get a full sit down in Audio, twice, our 1st birthday at Al Duomo where we transformed the place into an indoor festival complete with campsite (one tent) and a full marque across the dance floor, and of course the early days at Nou Nous. More recently the last show with Ben at MONO was pretty epic too!
The 10th birthday is 'a family affair', who are the people behind Schtumm and how have they contributed over the years?
It was originally started between myself, Sam 'Maxxi Soundsystem' Watts and a few other friends. We’ve always involved friends from the door staff, to sound and lights and most of DJs (who we booked as friends or became close after). It’s not a business to us, it's done for the love, so a family affair is important!
Grab a ticket to the 10th birthday here, and listen to the 75m minute mix below: