Subfactory asked rave pioneer, jungle and drum & bass legend, Radio 1 DJ, promoter, innovator and nice chap Fabio a few questions about life, the Turtle and everything.
SubFactory: Purple Turtle is one of the last independent venues standing in Reading. Why do you think this is and how do you think that things have changed over the years?
Fabio: Purple Turtle is a famous spot now. I think it is a landmark in Reading, over the years so many places have closed down, a lot of places that I used to play back in the day are not in Reading anymore. However, Purple Turtle has kept its reputation intact. Any place that has been going for that long, it has to be run well. Me and you have been playing there together for years now, it’s the go to place in Reading, it has a cult following all around the country.
SF: How has the music changed over the last 30 years?
F: Dance music is a phenomenon now, it’s changed so much! The biggest change now, is that we are living in a time where you have to be serious about it, you used to be able to do it as a hobby. Even after about ten years, it was still a hobby to me. I looked at it as a fun thing to do at the time but it has become more like work. It doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of it, I still love it. However, you can’t just be a DJ anymore, not a successful one anyway. There’s so much extra you have to do now, like social media and branding your name, becoming accessible to people. If you’re coming through as an artist and you’re not Andy C and you’re just a middle range DJ- you’re now going up against someone with 35,000 followers, it’s not about who is a better DJ, it’s about the branding. I saw it happening and it’s across the board now, everybody accepts this, they know it’s what you need to do. I would say this is the biggest change.
SF: Last year, you relaunched your leg- endary Rage nights and this fits in well with the Purple Turtles Febtazia month where we are doing events throughout the month, which are 90’s Rave related, is there a standout moment in your career which is Rave related?
F: Rage, would have been the biggest change for me. Rage was a game changer for us. We were so young when we started it and we changed the game and I didn’t realise this until last year, how much it meant to people. When I speak to people and they are like, it has changed my life and thirty years on, people have gone onto become multi millionaires and gone onto to do amazing things with their careers because of it, it’s crazy! Looking back now it was the best thing that could have happened to me and Groove. Don’t get me wrong, we were big acid house DJ’s and we did have a huge following and played all the acid house events but we began Rage when acid house had just come to the end of its life span, everything was going back into the clubs. We were looking for the next big thing and it was Rage and it came at a point in our lives, when we really needed it to come along. We went from playing to around 150 people to it becoming one of the greatest club nights across the world, that’s what’s satisfying. The legacy it left is amazing, we couldn’t have asked for more.
SF: SubFactory has represented D&B in Reading for over fifteen years, what is that you and Fab & Groove love about Subfactory?
F: I absolutely love Sub Factory. I have played for you for many years now. Everything about the Purple Turtle is great for the kind of music that we play. It’s got a good booming system and the people coming, they have been schooled over the years! They don’t want to hear any non- sense. The great thing is, is that you guys don’t always have to book big names, it’s a good mixture. People know that you are going to get a certain sound, when coming there, people don’t ask requests, they trust the DJ to make them dance and you don’t get that in many places. Subfactory has its identity, it’s a family too and I see that in every Subfactory event that I ever go to and you need that solid foundation. I would actually rather play at a place like the turtle, then most festivals, festivals are great but it’s not a challenge, you’re never going to clear the floor, it’s always going to look rammed. There’s nothing like a grimey, sweaty club where people are on top of you. I have played the Turtle so many times now, I can go in there and I will never have to compromise, the crowd is always up for it. It’s such a big part of my year now, I feel part of the Subfactory team, there’s a real closeness there and it’s a bond that we share. Subfactory is one of the best nights around, without a doubt.
I would like to give a special big up to you guys and the Purple Turtle and we’re really looking forward to coming down at the end of February to play. It’s always a no brainer for us and we are really looking forward to it.