24.01.2013, Words by Karen Chan

House Of Trax 1st Birthday Mix

House Of Trax, the east London based party run by Fools and Rushmore otherwise known as the head honchos behind the semi-legal underground rave Rhythm Talk, are set to toast their first birthday with a night of serious grime beats on Saturday 26th January. Digging deep into the sounds of UK Ghetto, they have invited Pay As You Go Cartel founding member Slimzee – a former Rinse FM DJ, and a man who has left an indelible mark on the history and evolution of grime music in its early days, to play at their birthday party. Slimzee will be joined by House Of Trax regular and Rhythm Talk favourite, Mr. Charizma, a Night Slugs associated guest whose on-point, seamless mixing and impeccable selections never fail to deliver.

Within one year of operation, their focus on juke, footwork, vogue, ballroom, house and electro has offered a renewed sense of perspective on the early 90s NYC ball culture that can only be matched by their “Come dressed to dance” ethos and the special Werkout dance competition hosted by Ciara Leone. Rapidly becoming one of the UK capital’s most thrilling and distinguished parties, for 2013, Fools and Rushmore have confirmed early bookings with Detroit Ghetto legend DJ Assault and Chicago Footworker DJ Earl. While in the past year, they have brought us a clutch of impressive lineups and established names such as Tyree Cooper, Traxman, MikeQ, Venus X, Zebra Katz, Fatherhood, Vjuan Allure, and various Night Sluts affiliates like Jam City, Kingdom, and bossmen L-Vis 1990 and Bok Bok.

The duo have also recently revealed details of Rushmore’s debut EP, due out at the end of January as the first instalment of the House Of Trax EP series on their recently launched Trax Couture label. It’s a hard-hitting, quick-stepping five-tracker of straight-up fierceness, constructing something between acid house and vogue, with a rush of unhinged drum patterns that hint at footwork and juke without being overly referential. A ghetto fabulous influenced seasonal clothing collection under the same brand name will also be launched. So, to those fashionable types, keep a close eye on it as more details will be unveiled soon.

We have caught up with Fools and Rushmore recently while they told us more about their new label and capsule range. Fools has also delivered a bowel-loosening grime mix, which is a pretty good approximation of what we’ll be dancing to at House Of Trax 1st Birthday this weekend.

Hey Fools and Rushmore, how’s it going?

Already and grinding into the new year! Busy, hyped and ready to party!

What did you want to achieve in this mix? What’s it gonna do to our head?

It is an ode to our guest for the birthday party coming up. It should give you a grime lesson from Fools, who is pretty deep in the game with some serious rarities 😉 He mixed it 8-bar style too, for proper grime realness. It should definitely make you want to dip, drop, pull one leg up off the floor, and get your showerface on too! It has been made for you lot to get excited about seeing Slimzee at House Of Trax.

Your first birthday is upon us, exciting! What can we expect at your birthday party?

Yeah, that’s come around fast! We’ve had such a fun year, achieved a lot of personal aims with the party and hope everyone has enjoyed it. Slimzee is a booking we’ve been looking at since last year but the birthday felt right, bit of a personal present to Fools. Alongside him we have the very capable and House Of Trax favourite: Mr. Charisma. If you’ve been to our House Of Trax or Rhythm Talk parties over the last two years, he’s frequented the bill and never ever fails to do an outstanding job. For those that don’t know, just head over to the Night Slugs website and start to guess who it is!

Your flyers look ace, what’s the idea/ aesthetic behind those designs?

Fools is the talent behind the flyers and artwork. Totally hand fashioned to give a proper old school look, he couldn’t get it quite right on the computer so went back to the letraset basically. They’re mainly inspired by the very early Chicago/ NYC flyers from the original House parties, block parties and so on, plus a healthy dose from the old UK Acid House & rave scenes, with an added House Of Trax twist of course…

We’re feeling your label’s first release, can you tell us more about it?

Glad you like the first release! It’s been a while in the making. We thought it would be a good time to launch at the start of this year and it co-incides with our birthday too, so a multitude of celebrations. The aim for the first year is to do the white label series that you’ve started to see now: House Of Trax EP series. We’ve gone for a real rugged import style aesthetic. Each slab is packed ourselves into proper US sleeves. It’s a limited run of 300 with strictly no repress policy. Only after that sells out we will do a digital release, unless you buy the vinyl direct from us, then we are totally generous! Each record and sleeve is hand stamped and numbered. There will also be an info sheet/ artwork insert with each vinyl too.

We thought it would only be right to start form within our own team, so the first release is from co-boss/ resident, Rushmore. He’s been hard at it over the last year refining his production and testing it on the House Of Trax crowd. It’s a clear, bold first release covering his favourite styles with two ballroom type tracks, one on a deep, more house vibe, then two tracks inspired by juke/ footwork. One of them with a tempo drop from 150 to 128 to transition from juke to house tempo in sets etc.

What do you think are the most important qualities of a really good party/ clubnight?

The people first and foremost! And there are some other obvious things like venue, sound system, residents, entry price. The things that stand out a mile to us is the integrity of the promoters, which will then have a knock-on effect to which DJs are booked, music policy and how they communicate to their audience and followers etc. I think another great start is making sure you have a point of difference from other parties/ nights/ labels. For us it seems pointless if you’re just doing something that somebody is already doing. That might be fun for awhile but it has no longevity. Well, that’s the way we look at it anyway, we could be wrong.

House Of Trax is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting clubnights in London. How do you feel your party fits into the local clubbing scene?

Oh thank you! We would like to think we’re exciting but it’s always nice to hear us achieving what we set out to do. We think that the party fits well into the local surroundings, while still standing out of course! We want to stand for our favoured styles of music that we didn’t think had a full enough presence at other parties and we like to have fun and so does our crowd, so that always helps. There are too many parties where the balance is wrong, either people are going to nights to being snobby about fashion and not dance, or they’re going to trainspot the DJs and just stare at the decks all night, we want to get right in the middle, all the fun of getting dressed up for a big night out, maybe shaving the name of the night into your head or something 😉 and then a night of properly sweating it to the tunes until your hair is fucked and you’ve got to buy new shoes.

Are there any remarkable House Of Trax moments you would like to point out?

There’s always the beginning, that’s always a remarkable moment with MikeQ, and the first one was amazing just for the reaction of the crowd. There were some seriously vibes at the Tyree show we did last year, everyone singing along to I Fear The Night when he dropped it, which I think he was pretty blown away by. We had the pleasure of hanging out with that legend and what a dude he is. Traxman’s set was absolutely mind blowing too, Shadow hasn’t got anything on how future that guy is. We’ve also had some epic dancing moments with the sporadic Werkout dance comp we host with the lovely Ciara Leone, we’ve had splits, dips serious competition with highs of champagne popping.

What else is going on in the world of House Of Trax? We hear you might be launching a clothing line?

Ah-ha! Wonder who told you? Hehe! Soon as we’ve completed the release phase we can then start to produce the capsule range, which we will release seasonally. It’s a very tight collection which is four T’s one shorts suit and an art print too. This has been mutually discussed but designed and executed by Rushmore. Every item will be a seriously limited run, available from our website which will be relaunched beforehand. We have collabs in the pipeline, after the first season launches with the amazing London menswear fashion label Cottweiller. You need to check those guys work out it’s seriously good. And we’re also going to work with the very talented Michael Magnan of House Of Ladosha/ Fatherhood NYC.

And finally, what’s next for you guys?

Well, forthcoming guests for the parties include a Detroit Ghetto legend, an emerging Chi-town Teklife star, and more old and new house heros too, plus MikeQ will be back with us, naturally! And that’s all you’re getting for now. We have to finalise the second release too. We think that’s enough to keep us busy in 2013 and establish ourselves even more so. I’m sure we’ll talk to you again as the year unfolds and future projects come to fruition. Thanks for the chat!

House Of Trax 1st Birthday will take place at east London venue Birthdays on 26th January, 2013. More info here.

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