TF Archives

Ade Fenton- Music (& Techno) Sounds Better In Make-Up

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Sunday, November 16, 2003
"One of the main reasons I wear make-up, apart from the fact that I think I look better with it, it is that I don't just want to be another faceless techno DJ, particularly when I perform. I don't want to be another bald, stumpy, fat guy in a tracksuit."

With his artfully smudged eyeliner and carefully considered clothes, Nottingham based DJ Ade Fenton is one of the few characters in techno daring to transgress its codes, something he admits amuses him enormously.

"I like the reaction you get when you're wearing make-up, I like the confusion and doubt it prompts," he laughs.

"A lot of people think I'm gay and some people are cheeky enough to ask me and that doesn't bother me at all. The only time it's ever a problem is if you're in a place where there are arseholes around but in the clubs that I play in, you don't tend to get beer monsters there."

Chatting to Jonty Skrufff this week about his upcoming Christmas tour of Brazil (his favourite place to play), he stressed his image will be a central part of his sets.

"I really like the showmanship side of performing, in techno the only people who really do it are DJ Rush and Green Velvet, there's no-one else I can think of who plays real underground techno who also puts on a show," he says.

"Music needs more of that, especially dance music."

Skrufff: What makes Brazil your number one destination-

Ade Fenton: "(Chuckling) The girls. I played my first tour of Brazil earlier this year and it seemed to me that as a DJ there you don't have to try too hard in the clubs, because everybody seems to go mental. I don't think it's a drug thing, either; OK, there's an element of a cocaine culture out there but there doesn't seem to be much of an ecstasy culture, it seems to be more about an appreciation of the music. I was struck by the incredible friendliness of theBrazilians and their willingness to have a good time. The promoters were fantastic, I was looked after so well and I never once felt under threat from any of the dangers people had pre-warned me about. I didn't feel in danger at all."

Skrufff: Was there no downside at all-

Ade Fenton: "Not really, though I did a rave in the Amazon rain forest which was one of the most surreal experiences I've had, particularly because of my fear of spiders. I was constantly worried about being under attack from spiders."

Skrufff: Did you encounter any scary spiders-

Ade Fenton: "I didn't actually but a guy who played in the same club in Sao Paulo that I'm playing at on this next trip, told me that when they were setting the stage up that he noticed a huge nest of spiders. He said they were 'fucking huge' in his words, the size of your hand, so I'm terrified about that. I have a really bad spider phobia, I've had it all my life though I don't remember having any bad experiences with them. They just terrify me."

Skrufff: Have you come across any scary spiders when you've been DJing in Australia-

Ade Fenton: "Thankfully no because every time I've toured there, it's been their winter, so it's never been an issue. I usually stay in quite posh hotels out there though when I stayed in an apartment in Adelaide I made the promoter de-spider the apartment beforehand. That included pulling the cooker, washing machine and beds away from the walls and checking underneath. I'm quite sad actually."

Skrufff: You're one of the few men in techno to enthusiastically wear make-up, when did you first start doing it-

Ade Fenton: "The make-up links in with my new artist album in a way, because I've got Gary Numan singing vocals on a couple of tracks. I've been friends with Gary for quite a long time now through a previous friendship I had with his wife and my best friend. He's a mate. When I was at school I was Gary Numan crazy and into early Human League, Cabaret Voltaire and all that stuff and I've almost always worn make-up since then. I went through a phase when I stopped