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EJ Doubell: I'll Be Playing Trance 'Til The Day I Die

Author: Jonty Adderley (
Monday, January 13, 2003
As Trade's last top dog Resident DJ Emma EJ Doubell is unsurprisingly dedicated to hard dance though for her it's the melodic, trancier end of the genre. Still closely connected with Trade chief Lawrence Malice (the man responsible for breaking Tony De Vit, Fergie, Smokin Jo and others) she remains one of the genre's highest rated DJs, also distinguishing herself through years spinning at London's fetish and girl scenes. However, in common with many other dedicated techno types, she's recently been checking out electro, specifically the electroclash/ disco propagated at Nag Nag Nag and elsewhere.

"I find the electro scene very free; you don't know who's gay or who's straight, it doesn't really matter. I've been snogging men in Nag Nag Nag, it doesn't really matter; I really like that vibe, the freedom to just be yourself,: she told Skrufff's Jonty Adderley this week.

"I think people are so bored of the E (ecstasy) culture, I really do. I don't see any drugs at Nag Nag Nag, it's a drinking crowd and there's such a good atmosphere down there, it's how clubs should be."

Emma was chatting in a basement room of Turnmills, the club where she cemented her reputation spinning a 12 hour set at Trade's New Year's Eve celebrations for 2001. She'd also played at Trade's last weekly event in November alongside Nukleuz Records man BK, with whom she recently collaborated with in the studio.

Ben and I work well together, he's very relaxed and really professional, I've never worked with anybody like that before, he's great," said Emma.

Skrufff (Jonty Adderley): Putting your name in Google, the phrase 'EJ Doubell, a name synonymous with hard house and trance' appears, where musically are you at, right now-

EJ Doubell: "I never really did play hard house, not pure hard house anyway, but in old skool terms I played Euro-trance or euro-techno. I was always into the euro side of dance music rather than British hard house, apart from a few producers like Karim. Though having said that, everyone's going much more trancey in style at the moment, putting melodies in their tracks and now they're calling it 'Hard Dance'. I'm still pretty much first with the European stuff though there is a lot of good stuff coming through the UK hard dance area, especially on labels like Nukleuz. I love what they do."

Skrufff: What's the story with your own Nukleuz release, your BK collaboration-

EJ Doubell: "It's hard trance with a lovely electro snare running through it. Ben and I work well together, he's very relaxed and really professional, I've never worked with anybody like that before, he's great. I've also liked electro for years. I remember going to Japan in 1998 and picking up a CD by Westbam because I'd always liked his stuff which I've been playing ever since. But I didn't know anybody else who was making records like that. But recently the guy who sells me records started slipping electro records into my trance pile. I'd be saying 'Stop it' but I liked some of them I started taking a couple home just for me, though I couldn't play them out anywhere. He then started encouraging me to check out clubs like Nag Nag Nag."

Skrufff: What was your first electro club-

EJ Doubell: "The first one I tried to go to was City Rockers, or Body Rockers whatever it's called, but I couldn't get in. I waited for an hour in the queue but had great fun waiting there anyway, it felt like I was at a Duran Duran concert, looking at all the people and the buzz that was there. So after not getting in I went home, then the next one I tried to go to was Sahara Nights but unfortunately it wasn't on, on the night I went. So I became even more determined to go to an electro club so then I went to Nag Nag Nag at the Ghetto and that was it. I thought, Now, I see what's going on'. It had been coming at me from all angles, from my friend in the record shop to Lawrence Malice (Trade's boss) starting his new club. So I went and bought a couple o