Dada Masilo

Wiglex Celebrate 10 Years of Partying Hard

25 October 16 words: Eileen Pegg

"It's always been a safe space for all types of freaks and geeks to come and forget about any bother and dance"

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photo: Shaun Gordon

We’ve got Wigflex down as a club night, record label, clothing line, toy/tape producer, meat and hot sauce aficionados. Have we missed anything?
You missed the mighty Wigflex Miners Welfare six-a-side football team. Now disbanded because we were awful.

Who are the other members of the Wigflex community?
The crew consists of Hizatron, Morris Cowan, Metaphi Metske, Bashley, Medicut, Blades, Prole, Matt Woodham and Prefix Studio's wiz Lewis Hacket.

Who played at the very first Wigflex gig?
It was locals and residents playing. I remember being thrown out by the bouncers for skinning a jazz fag in the club, and then having to pay them both £40 each to get back in. I hadn’t even DJed yet.

Who was your first actual booking?
A guy from Leicester called Dubchild. He made mucky garage rollers. Next up was DJ Distance, followed by Max Cooper.

What was the local nightlife landscape back then?
I started raving at Detonate, when it was at The Bomb – best club ever. It's really nice to see them still going strong. My favourite night during the early years was Firefly, a techno night who used to throw some pretty epic parties at the [Marcus] Garvey, and Max Cooper was a resident.

What was the Notts sound like? Do you think it’s changed ten years on?
Not really sure about the ‘Notts sound’ as a whole because everybody perceives that quite differently, I would imagine. But, for us lot, it was always drum and bass, techno, hip hop, breaks, garage and grime. Anything mucky or melodic. There was a lot of house music about as well.

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photo: Shaun Gordon

Your list of hero bookings is endless, with Marcel Dettmann, James Holden, Paranoid London, James Blake, Max Cooper... Whatever you have next up your sleeve must be pretty huge?
Pretty chuffed to be doing an all night back-to-back with one of my favourite DJs, Ben UFO, inside a 100-capacity former Boots laboratory on Saturday 5 November. Got some good bookings in the pipeline for next year as well.

When Wigflex was just a gleam in your eye, did you envision the night turning into the multifaceted techno empire that it is today?
Not really. I created a mix tape and named it Wigflex 2000 with the sole purpose of getting gigs off the back of it. It all kind of snowballed from that; and it's still the main reason I do it to this day. Playing records is my favourite thing – I just love being able to give my mates and myself a gig.

Did you think you’d still be going ten years strong?
To be fair, I didn't think I'd live this long.

And did you think you’d play a Boiler Room show?
I used to think I could see into the future whenever I was off my swede as a youth, but I never once foretold that. I've never been so nervous behind a pair of decks in my life. I remember the first tune feeding back horribly and just as I was going to mix it, the sound engineer ran down and got me to change the needle, which added to the angst. Once I got going, though, I started to enjoy it. The crowd was amazing and really helped me through the start. It was great to have that captured so people who don't know about our great city can see how we get down.

During your ten years, is there a particular night that has stood out as your favourite?
Last New Year's Eve was a special one. We managed to get our mitts on an old car garage in an industrial estate somewhere in Nottingham and threw one of most raucous parties to date. The secret ones in strange venues are always a lot of fun. Watch out for mark two.

Another memorable one was the 4 June, 2010; we had Joy Orbison, Shackleton, Floating Points, Mount Kimbie, James Blake, Deadboy, Alexander Nut, Lone and Martin Kemp all playing. It was a bit of a statement back then, some of those artists have gone on to be huge.

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photo: Shaun Gordon

Wigflex brings all types of people together to worship the techno titans and blow off steam. What’s kept the night afloat?
We don't take ourselves or our parties too seriously, but have some serious schwangers being dropped on the night. I think you hit the nail on the head with the crowd – it's always been a safe space for all types of freaks and geeks to come and forget about any bother and dance.

How will you be celebrating your arrival into double figures?
We're doing a party at the Brickworks and I'm really excited about the line-up. I've got one of my favourite producers of the last few years, Rival Consoles off the Erased Tapes record label, doing a live AV show. We've also got Peverelist and Kowton performing a B2B on the night, all headlined by an artist who has arguably produced the tunes of the summer, Midland. The date falls on Halloween, which is always one of our funnest parties of the year.

You’ve played and hosted parties in London, Manchester, Berlin and you play Gottwood festival every year...
Me and Hizatron played there five years ago, and a year later they asked us back to host our own stage. We’ve been going back ever since. There is something about that place you can't put into words. The location is perfect. For those of you who haven't been, it's like a large-scale house party/art installation in a Welsh forest surrounded by coastline. All the stages are built into the beautifully undulating surroundings, and even if you're not interested in any of the amazing music being played, you can still get lost in the magic. It's also a very intimate capacity. Smaller than some large club nights.

Have you got any other love affairs with music events?
The Bohemian Drips dudes in Berlin throw some killer parties. Hizatron, Metske and myself will be going back to play over there in November. We can't wait.

Best thing about the Notts music scene?
The crowd.


Wigflex, Tenth Birthday Halloween Special, The Brickworks, Friday 28 October 2016.

Wigflex website

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