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Alan Thompson- Ignorant Journalists Are Damaging House

Author: Skrufff
Friday, September 7, 2001
'How do they have a right to say that a particular genre of music is not happening, when every weekend thousands of people go out to clubs listening to it, and loving it-" Former Trade resident Alan Thompson sighs as considers the UK media's typical knock it down posture towards hard house.

'I am getting defensive here but, at the end of the day, this is my livelihood; and my career and my livelihood lie in the hands of people who know nothing about the scene whatsoever. We all have our own taste in music. If we all liked one thing it would be a pretty boring world."

After 10 years learning his craft at Trade's infamous London weekly Alan Thompson is a globally recognised DJ, producing records for the likes of Nukleuz and his own label SUN-lime Records UK and playing a weekly radio show on Ministry Of Sound's growing online radio station. Benedetta Ferraro caught up with him recently, just before he set off for Australia, his virtual second home.

Skrufff: How would you describe the music you play-
Alan Thompson: "I play house music. Hard house as a genre in itself is pretty wide. DJs like Nick Sentience, Andy Farley or even Lisa Lashes are at the harder and driving end of the scale and might go up to 150 bpm, whereas I fit into the other end, an earlier night hard- house style that perhaps has some vocal; it's a bit more bouncy and uplifting. Hard house is not just one thing. There is another side to it that has a lot of funkiness going on, great producers and great labels… and it will be a shame for it to disappear, just because of a backlash incited by the English press."

Skrufff: What made you decide to go harder-
Alan Thompson: "In a sense I'm getting more recognition for it. I usually play a broad section of house music, but recently I've started to get more bookings for my harder house sets."

Skrufff: You recently signed a record deal with Australia's Central Station Records, why did you choose them in particular-
Alan Thompson: "I've built a relationship up with them over the years. I first met Morgan, one of the directors of the label, while I was out touring in Australia five or six years ago. We became friends and have kept in touch ever since. Whenever I go touring there I always meet up with them and I always go to the offices to say 'Hi'. Jamie, who's one of the A&R there, asked me if I wanted to do a track just like what I had been doing so far, in fact a hard house one which goes down really well over there, and that was it."

Skrufff: Does this mean that Australians will be seeing a lot more of you in the near future-
Alan Thompson: "I hope so. I go at least once a year, working mainly. It's one of my favourite countries in the world without a doubt. I love the lifestyle, the outdoors, the people… it's just great. Any opportunity I get to go over there, I'll grab it. Everybody should go, if they get the opportunity. It's truly amazing."

Skrufff: Your career started at the beginning of the '90's. How much of an easy ride has it been-
Alan Thompson: "It has been tough. After six or seven years, there have been moments when I thought 'Is it all worth it-' when my only satisfaction has been when I play my records in a club and get a good response. When I watch the people on the dance floor I say to myself that it doesn't matter what happens, because I can still make them dance. That's why I am a DJ. I'm not a DJ of the late nineties, where they do it for money or stardom. I got into it in 1990, when nobody wanted to be a DJ. I did it for the love of music and nothing else."

Skrufff: Was it easier to become a DJ back in those days-
Alan Thompson: "I wouldn't say it was any easier than now. I had opportunities to play out at parties because I was amongst a certain crowd of people. I was part of a certain circle in London who were bringing house music to the forefront of the club scene at the time. It wasn't considered to be a career stepping-stone or anyt