Intrigue… ‘Deeper Drum n Bass, Bristol’. How many of us had that simple adage bookmarked, that promise of great star-strewn sets straight from the confines of the club from the early 00s mark? 11 years on, the legendary Bristol night has stepped up with a decade’s worth of beats to celebrate. Well, a decade’s worth plus one.
Founder/Insider Ben Payne talked us through the night and dropped two killer lists in the process!
Ben what makes Intrigue different to other nights? I mean we all share the same love of the music/artists but what would you say Intrigue has got that’s special?
Intrigue is about the deep soulful vibe you may not find at many other nights. We use smaller, more intimate venues, reminiscent of nights like Swerve back in the day. We try and represent a lot of the newer artists coming through, as well as established names. Our last night for example had Jenna G doing a live PA, alongside Bachelors of Science and Jaybee from the USA. Our next one features DJ Marky with a 3 hour set, on June 20th.
Is Intrigue always the same venue in Bristol?
Yeah it’s at Dojo Lounge in the city centre. We tried out several venues before and settled at Dojo’s as the vibe there is on point — great sound system, low ceilings, outdoor terrace garden.
And where else have you hosted Intrigue… was it at Herbal in London for eg?
We’ve done nights at several venues over the years, Bar Latino, Arc Bar, Level, Warehouse, Motion. Yeah, back in 2009 we hosted a joint event with our clothing sponsors Aerosoul www.aerosoul.co.uk, ‘Intrigue vs Aerosoul’ at Herbal.
Aerosoul being the originators of a certain ‘Junglist Movement’ shirt…
It was a great night with d-Bridge, Break, Ill Logic & Raf plus a host of others across the whole venue. We’re looking doing something in London again in the coming months, it’s all about finding the perfect spot. My brother Leke Aerosoul is on the case though!
There were always podcasts from Intrigue, killer ones attached to the site. Vibes straight from the club! I have one from about 2004.
I think it must have been one of the sets from Bar Latino where it all started all those years ago. I’ve actually started a new podcast, search Intrigue Music podcast on itunes and www.intrigue.org.uk
Now to this 11th anniversary album: when did the album concept take root? What started it? Were you all in a pub on Gloucester Rd in Bristol and it hatched?
Ha ha, well not exactly: the idea took shape over a long time! The album has been well over a year in the making – it was originally gonna be for Intrigue’s 10th birthday but we decided to wait until we had the best tunes that were exactly right for it. This meant delaying it and making it ‘Intrigue 11’, celebrating 11 years of our club night with 11 tracks.
What are five tunes here you’d talk us through?
‘Wonder Why’ (Break Remix)… Ever since Break delivered this it has been DESTROYING dancefloors all over the world. Such an amazing relick. And true to the vibe of the original, but with added bass pressure. Amazing, very proud to have him on board with the label.
‘Panoramic’ (RoyGreen & Protone Remix)… These guys are two good friends of mine, and killed it with this. They were just here in Bristol actually and we made a few new tracks together.
‘Love Lost’, Bachelors of Science, Collette Warren and myself. Again, good friends of mine, this track was over a year in the making from Bristol to San Francisco and back to Bristol. A transglobal effort, and perfect vibe for both the label and to play at the night.
‘Don’t Call It Anything’, Quadrant. I visited Quadrant & Iris at their studio in Seattle last Summer and they played me some tunes. I signed three of them within days, absolutely big. Look out for their new 12 ‘Pembroke/Sexy Beam’ just out on Intrigue Music.
‘Softly Spoken’, Eveson – This tune brings back great memories. It was Eveson’s first track to be played out at back in the day. I remember Patife dropping it at Intrigue and being really proud of Eveson. We talked about releasing it on the label and it was just about waiting for the right time.
That time is now, on the 11th anniversary album.
You’re not getting out of here until you give us five killer Intrigue moments. Snapshots from the club.
Well this is difficult, but here we go…
1. Andy C tearing up the 4th birthday of Intrigue back in 2007 alongside D-Bridge, Commix and Lynx. Absolutely big!
2. Goldie making a surprise appearance and rewinding our track ‘Meltdown’ in one of Storm’s legendary sets at the club.
3. Jenna G’s incredible debut performance at Intrigue back in 2006, she completely took everyone’s breath away.
4. Launching the Intrigue Music label at Motion in 2009 to a sell out crowd.
5. Our first ever night in January 2003 with Nookie and MC Fivealive, mad respect to them guys, they set the vibe for years to come.
Lastly what plans for 2014, Ben?
Well we’ve got a stack of new music to release, starting with Jaybee next week with ‘Get to Know/Been a Long Time’ on April 28.
Then RoyGreen & Protone have a single dropping straight after that, ‘Wake Up/Seduction’. I’ve got music from Joakuim and Paul T too, plus some more great remixes of the label’s back catalogue from Raw Q, Superior Selectionz and Bachelors of Science.
Check out the Intrigue soundcloud for clips of all the new stuff soundcloud.com/intriguemusic
I’m already starting to compile next year’s compilation ‘Intrigue 12’ too. As far as my own production goes, I’ve been working on new tunes with Randall, Raw Q, Quadrant, Superior Selectionz and Collette Warren, which I’m aiming to put out later in the year.
During the summer we are taking the night on the road to the USA too. Then we’ll do October and December dates in Bristol.