Tendai interview + mix

Tendai interview + mix


Tendai never sleeps: the long-term Swerve resident (and surely the only living human to have ever successfully dropped a New Jack Swing segment into a Liquid Funk environment) voraciously consumes culture, with cinema a big, big, BIG part of his life. As you will see (advance warning: some films will necessarily not be for the squeamish).

He’s also delivered a summer-themed mix at end: the perfect soundtrack to absorb some of his omniscient outlook, musings and goings on around town.

Hey Tendai: what is in the mix?

The mix is a collection of tunes old and new which are an embodiment of the summer… although it’s been pretty rainy this week. Some tunes from Dave Owen, Alix Perez, Ivy Lab, Calibre, Satl, Redeyes and more…

What shifts are you feeling in D&B in 2016?

There are a lot of newer producers like Satl releasing some great new music and labels like Fokuz Recordings and Critical are going from strength.

The main shift I am feeling though within D&B are the parties themselves – D&B is appearing at more and more festivals and outdoor parties is moving from strength to strength; I was at Glastonbury last year and it amount of D&B there was way higher than I ever anticipated and I guess it was the same this year.

There are some other great outdoor D&B parties too – Fabio and Grooverider were at Wireless Festival, the Let It Roll Festival in the Czech Republic saw 25,000 ravers party for three days to a 100% D&B line up; Soul in Motion have their rooftop party coming up this week, Hospitality have their outdoor party in Finsbury Park in September and of course SunandBass as well – it’s good times.

What spots do you like going to/playing/both?

One of my new favourite places is the Hootananny Brixton. I DJed there recently alongside a load of live bands and have been back quite a few times since as the vibes are so good.

Brixton is a melting pot of cultures and this venue is an embodiment of that. The venue is dedicated to live music but they also have DJs and comedy performances too – they are really diverse in their programming with everything from hip-hop and jungle to afrobeat, ska and roots they do everything. In addition they have a back bar with loads of pool tables and a huge outdoor area that also have a Jamaican, Mexican and Italian food stand, and you can drink out there all night which is perfect for the summer months.

There’s a real diverse group of people that go there too. Great music, food and drinks, good vibes and open until late – what more could you ask for?

North of the river it has to be the Lockside Camden… it’s another multifaceted venue. Overlooking Camden market, it has a perfectly-sized dancefloor, great bar, Mexican eatery and during these summer months they put their terrace to good use and have a host of terrace parties with a BBQ.

In fact this weekend I’ll be playing there at 12 hour Snoop Dogg tribute party which runs from 3pm to 3am – it’s going to be sick.


If you could time travel to any point in D&B where and when? For me I feel like The End was a dream now! And that’s not even ‘back in the day’!! What thoughts have you?

Yeah it’s crazy how fast things are moving; The End only closed seven years ago and feels like aeons ago.

If I were to travel to any part of D&B history it would have to be 1995 to 1997 when Fabio & LTJ Bukem’s Speed night was at it height of infamy – it would be amazing to have been there! The popularity of their return to Speed night at XOYO recently shows that I’m not the only one who thinks that way.

What films you been feeling? Always love discovering your picks and knowing your POV.

Neon Demon: Nicolas Winding Refn is one of my favourite directors at the moment – I’ve been following his movies since before he did Drive. His movies like a journey through acts that take you through a set of emotions rather than a normal narrative – hence a lot of films are sparse on dialogue and high on the more visual – and violent – side.

You can see from his interviews and his movies that he doesn’t care so much about doing things in his films to that will make huge box office sales but rather things about the themes and emotions he wants to portray which makes him quite unique – a lot of genres of the arts could benefit from the way he handles his art.


Neon Demon is his first film with female protagonists where his other movies have been very guy heavy and is a representation of the fashion industry told through a sort of horror movie – it was great.

Green Room: This film is something special without being over top with its action. It stars Anton Yelchin – RIP – and is directed by Jeremy Saulnier who also directed the great Blue Ruin. His films are always low budget and minimal. He chooses to concentrate on the characters and the eventual build up to the explosive scenes makes his films more hard hitting.

It follows a punk band who witness to a murder by some skinheads in a venue they are performing at and become stuck in the green room and have to fight for survival to escape. Much of the action is held within the green room itself and it has some great performances – especially from Patrick Stewart who plays the leader of these skinheads. It’s a pretty intense film.

Bone Tomahawk: Westerns are not the first genre that I normally go to. There has been a recent explosion with films like The Revenant and The Hateful Eight and this is another addition to it – it’s a really underrated movie. The best way to describe it is a western horror movie.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot but it follows a group of deputies who travel across county to save a rancher’s wife who has been kidnapped. It’s full of great dialogue and light touches of comedy and then develops into a horror movie which is brutal and hard to watch. This film will definitely reach cult classic status in the near future.

We Are The Flesh: This Mexican film is not for the faint of heart – I needed a stiff drink afterwards. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where two siblings in search of food come across a weird hermit who gives them shelter if they work for him. The film then descends into the extremes of humanity in intense, extreme and beautiful ways.

It’s a confusing movie without a normal narrative and becomes a hallucinatory horror movie which is a sort of mix between David Lynch and Miike Takashi. The cinematography and sound design are really great. Again it’s not for the faint of heart – it contains some of the most extreme scenes I’ve seen in any movie recently – quite a few people walked out of the cinema!

What about sci-fi this year? I saw Midnight Special

I really want to see Midnight Special – it’s on my list for sure. The main sci-fi movie I’m looking forward to had to be Rogue One – it looks like a darker look at the Star Wars saga. I have a lot of faith in Suicide Squad which comes out this week – lets hope it doesn’t fail me. I’m a big David Ayer fan.

In terms of TV series – one show that I absolutely love and is really underrated is 12 Monkeys. I just finished the second season and its great. I wasn’t convinced by the show when I first heard about it as I’m such a big fan of the movie, but its taken the premise of the film and made it its own animal and it’s a big one.

What films from time are you re-discovering?

A film I keep re-discovering is The French Connection – I would definitely be in my top 10 movies of all time.

The movie is so raw, not in a brutal sense, it’s just real – lots of handheld camera shooting that really puts you into the scenes and it also has one of the best car chases ever filmed, whoever idea it was to have a car chase after a train was genius. It deserved all the Oscars it won in 1971.

TV-wise it has to be Generation Kill – it’s based on the true stories of a Rolling Stone reporter embedded with the 1st Recon Marines during the 2003 Iraq war. It feels so real it’s like watching a documentary at points. It gives a real insight of what it was like for the marines during the war like no other.

Any album from time… which do you wish you could be in studio for?

Recently I went to the Royal Festival Hall to see Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.2 Resurrection which was written in the late 1800s – its one powerful piece of music performed by a more than 100-strong orchestra. I would have loved to be there in the “studio” as he was putting this whole thing together and his process. For one man to write the entire movement for all those instruments is something truly amazing.

Tendai’s Summer Drum ‘n’ Bass Mix

You can follow Damian B on Twitter, @DAMIAN___B
D&B for some time now; studied at institution of Fabio & Grooverider.