Drumstation is firmly established as one of the best, and longest-running, drum n bass nights in Prague, attracting a succession of world famous djs and promoting local talent. In the latest of our Prague Promotor Spotlight series, we spoke to the man behind the Drumstation magic, Jan Novak.
Can you tell us a bit about Drumstation, how you got started and what a typical Drumstation event is like?
The history of Drumstation goes back to the early years of the 21st century. The first place I remember is the Matrix club (which doesn’t exist anymore – now it’s Storm Club) and it was one of first parties there because Matrix opened its doors in 2003. Raw.Full from Ill.Skillz was there.
Drumstation was, from the start, designed as a party to bring the actual drum n bass and jungle sound to listeners for quite cheap entry and an overall fine and transparent party. I think that, right at the beginning, there was Badpoint crew and mainly dj and promoter Beast67 (who also doesn’t play anymore), who is owner of the drumandbass.cz. website. You should ask him for details of this era.
In these days Drumstation moved back and forth from Matrix to Cross Club and invited lots of the world’s best producers to more than 50 Drumstation parties from these years. Loxy, Drumsound, Matt-U, Kubiks, Wildchild, Mathematics, Spinback etc. I was also a often visitor! It was a great era.
Then, Matrix closed and Drumstation found its home in Cross Club. I think it’s the longest club party in Prague! In the years 2009-2012, I had lots of work with my personal projects like DrumiX and VPX, so I didn’t visit Drumstation so often.
It’s really strange for me and I feel a little bit confused that I’m doing this party nowadays 🙂 Not so often, because Drumstation is now more of a platform for small groups of party people/promoters who want to make a drum n bass party in Cross.
Me and my good friend Kamil (dj kamCZa) have been making a podcast for techno.cz for a long time and we wanted to make a party in the name of our podcast. After two parties in Cover Club we found Cross as the best place for making it. The main thanks we dedicate to Kenzo – the Cross Club boss who gave us maximum freedom in everything.
What has been your favourite ever Drumstation night?
I can’t choose one, but minimum three, sorry 🙂 First of them was Drumstation with Wildchild in Matrix in 2005, it was special for me cause I went there from my university city Olomouc and was there with my girlfriend. I think it was our first drum n bass party in Prague together after she moved from a small town to Prague.
It’s always best when you can hear music you really like and see people like it with you. Thats the main reason why these were “the best”.
What tunes are you playing on repeat at the moment?
Muhehe, no drum n bass, man 🙂 Mostly 80s disco shit (Chaka Khan, Total Contrast), ambient (Carbon Based Lifeforms, Boards of Canada, Synkro – anytime) and stuff I heard at Dimensions Festival which inspires me every year so much! For example: Daniele Baldelli, K15, Seven Davis Jr, Kon, Fred P, Petar Dundov…
What makes a great club night?
Lots of imputs, man. Firstly, you need to believe in your music and things you are doing. Secondly, professionalism and humour in promotion, not taking yourself so seriously. And finally, people believe in you, in your music taste and can enjoy the night like no other.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Everyone who is doing anything strange, not in the usual way. Also, calmness and silence is very important for finding ideas. Nature’s calmness and the very personal verbal and non-verbal communication with my girlfriend.
What are your plans for Drumstation in the future?
There are a couple of famous names who didn’t gig in Cross yet and we want invite. To keep the party light, colourful and playful as it was two times and also keep the two headliners playing on both stages two different sets, that is what we see as the main difference from other dj gigs in Prague.
What kind of djs do you want to bring to Prague?
I can’t say at the moment, but we always want to bring actual names and also our all time favs… You will see them in Cross soon, in early 2016 🙂
Which dj would you most love to bring to Prague that you haven’t yet?
Which other promotors in Prague are putting on great shows?
I like mostly small gigs, no Imaginations or Letitrolls or indoor festivals stuff like that. Liquid Flight parties promoted by djane Theya always have a fine lineup. I always like our next project in Cross – VPX parties – reflecting substyles like autonomic, halfstep, drumfunk and stuff really from the corners of drum n bass.
The program in Meetfactory always looks great. The same with parties like Ritual, Komix or Polygon. Pay attention also to our new projects like Inner City in Opposite club – an urban drum n bass party with a special lineup for a few fans and Atmo – an ambient meeting with guys from Radio 1, Cafe Neustadt and Vila in this autumn.
What is your favourite venue in Prague?
Definitely Cross Club and Cafe Neustadt, no doubts. In summer there is Koupaliště Motol which is 500 metres from the subway but you can feel there like in deep nature.
I will always feel great sitting on a skateboard spot at Stalin (the pendulum at Letna) watching skaters and Prague.
Which local producers and djs should we check out?
Lots, mate! Check Touchwood’s production, Rudeboy’s dj skillz, KamCZa’s lightmood/recklessness dj skills, Annita’s courage and Floex’s, AidKid’s, Kapitan Demo’s, Sonority’s and Subject Lost’s music and I could go on and on … 🙂
Where can we find more about you?
I don’t have my own personal website or something like that. I’m not good at self-promotion so, for everything you want to know, check my Facebook, the Shotgun Festival and Volnej Průběh Facebook pages and our podcast for Techno.cz which is also on Facebook.
When is your next night and who is playing?
Next gig is Atmo in Cafe Neustadt on October 10th and my big fav Synkro will be there. Don’t miss it! On November 16th we will have a special Inner City Metalheadz night in Opposite club with Subwave and Dec 5th we have the 10th VPX party in Cross with one special live performance – you guys should be there too 🙂
Big thanks to Jan for taking the time to talk to us. What’s your favourite club night in Prague? Let us know in the comments section!