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Colleen meets Ariane V on the "Balamii Club Show"

Updated: Mar 29

Ariane V is joined by Colleen Cosmo Murphy for The Balamii Club Show. The two DJs discuss Colleen's career and play recent finds and timeless favourites!

 
 

PLAYLIST


(2023) Discotecas Smooth & Groove

(2018) Gemini – Take a Chance

(2022) Dobao – Goce

(1988) Turntable Orchestra – You're gonna miss me

(2019) Lou Rawls – You'll never find another love like mine

(kenny summit, frankie knuckles & eric kupper's

all unreleased anthem)

(2009) Horace Andy & Ashley Beedle – When the rain falls (Cosmodelica mix)

(2020) Troy Kingi – Chronophobic disco

(2014) Fat Freddy's Drop – Mother Mother (Cosmodelica remix)

(2024) Ada Morghe – We are one (Cosmodelica reprise mix)

(1992) Danny Tenaglia – Equinox (heavenly club mix)

(2015) HF Frequency – I can't go for that (no can do)

(2023) Jacob Gurevitsch – Elevation in Minor (Cosmodelica remix)

(1984) Gigi Flag – Nymphomaniac (Instrumental)

 

THE INTERVIEW


[Ariane V]

Hello, hello. You're listening to the Bellamy Club show. I'm your host Ariane V and I'm going to be live for the next two hours. I have another very, very, very special show for you today because I'm joined by one of my very favourite DJs. She is an incredible DJ, selector, producer under her moniker Cosmodelica. She's a radio host on NTS, she used to be on Worldwide FM, now she does weekly shows on Twitch, which is very interesting, which I definitely want to ask her about as well. She runs the London Loft Parties. She's the curator of the love dancing tent that we out here, which is undoubtedly the best stage at any festival ever. Again, also something I will definitely ask her about.

I may have missed things, but if I did, we'll have plenty of time to chat about them. So yeah, if you hadn't guessed it yet, I'm joined by Colleen Cosmore Murphy. We'll be live for the next two hours and I hope you enjoy.


(...)

Colleen and I are just saying how amazing this track is. It's Goce, spelled G-O-C-E, by Dabao on their Dobaismo album. Honestly, their entire album, the entire Dabaizma album is incredible. Every single track is a banger. Amazing kind of 80s tinged balleric, extremely dancey records, extremely dancey tunes. Yeah, do recommend, do check it out.


(...)

This track that has just finished playing is actually one of Colleen's. Well, it's one of her remixes. It's Andy Horace and Ashley Beedle, "When the Rain Falls", the Cosmodelica remix. It's one of my absolute favourite. Although she just told me that she almost forgot that she's had it. It was one of her very first remixes and apparently someone reminded her recently of the track when they requested it on a radio show. That's an absolutely beautiful tune.


I will actually use this as an opportunity to finally get Colleen on the mic and officially introduce her to the show and welcome her here. Because I am so, so, so grateful that you made your way down here.

 

[Colleen]

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

 

[Ariane V]

I hope it wasn't too far away. For some people, Peckham, at least when I moved to London, Peckham was, I would never go south of the river. And now this is home and I love it here.

But for some reason, for some people, it's like a faraway land!

 

[Colleen]

It is a faraway land. But I have DJ'd over at that, what's it called? The Bussey building?

 

[Ariane V]

Oh yeah, the Bussey building. Yeah, the Bussey building, it's right next door.

 

[Colleen]

And it's, you know, it's fun because one thing I love about cities is that, I still, I love this about New York and I love it about London. You know, I've been in London for 25 years and I still discover new places. That's one of the things I really love about big cities. It's like, it's just, I never get sick of it, you know?

 

[Ariane V]

It is kind of more like a collection of villages, isn't it? Absolutely. As opposed to one big homogenous thing. It's loads of small pockets of different cultures and different scenes.

 

[Colleen]

It's really cool. I absolutely, I mean, I've been here 25 years last month and it's, you know, people say...

 

[Ariane V]

25 years?

 

[Colleen]

25 years now, yeah. Some people say, don't you want to move back to New York? No, I love it here actually. I really do. I mean, actually London has the most green space out of any major city in the world. And that's really important to me. When I was in my 20s, when I moved, I moved to New York when I was 18. I didn't really care about green space. I just come from a small town, you know? I would go to Central Park and I loved it, you know? But, you know, I was fine with that for like over a decade. But then now, as I get older, I need more and more green space. I need to go hiking and upping forests and things like that.

 

[Ariane V]

Definitely. I do think that when I moved to London, I've always been right next to a park as well without realizing. And it's, especially during lockdown, it's such a treat!

 

[Colleen]

Absolutely. I can't imagine during lockdown in New York.


[Ariane V]

How long have you lived in New York?


[Colleen]

I lived in New York. I moved there the week I turned 18, and I left when I was 30. So I was there just about 13 years. Yeah.


[Ariane V]

So you're more of a Londoner than New Yorker at this point?

 

[Colleen]

I'm more of a Londoner. Yeah, exactly.

 

[Ariane V]

Exactly.

 

[Colleen]

London's the place I've lived the longest.

 

[Ariane V]

We were just saying that I'm going to New York at the end of May.

 

[Colleen]

And I'll be there as well, DJing. Yeah, I'll be over at The Good Room in Brooklyn, which is a great club. On the 24th of May, I'm doing a party with my friends from Love Injection. We do like a Cosmodelica Love Injection party like once a year there. And it's a fun club, a really fun club. You'll love it.

 

[Ariane V]

I've heard amazing. I mean, I'll definitely be there. I'm sure I'll love it if you're playing!


[Colleen]

Thank you!


[Ariane V]

If you, I'm just putting you on the spot, but if you just for someone who's never been to New York properly, if you were to name your three favorite record shops.

 

[Colleen]

Oh, I can't do that. I haven't lived there in 25 years. But A1, Academy Records, and trying to think of names of the other ones. I can't think of another one that's still open. I worked in record shops when I was there. So I worked in Dance Tracks when I lived there. And it's just places have closed since the pandemic and other places have opened. But I would always go to A1 and Academy, and they've been around for a while.

 

[Ariane V]

I'm going to add that to my Google Maps.

 

[Colleen]

Absolutely, absolutely!

 

[Ariane V]

Is that the first place where you worked in a record shop?

 

[Colleen]

No, I worked in a record shop in 1984, hum, in just like in the suburbs of Boston. In fact, I started just in late 1984. I was hired for Christmas help. And then they kept me saying, you know a lot about music. And yeah, "Do they know it's Christmas" was the big single. And they were selling bucket loads of those. But I worked there. And I became an assistant manager, even though I was only 17. And right before I moved to New York, my manager lied and said, oh, she's 18. And I wasn't. And then I also worked at Newberry Comics, which was another shop in the suburbs of Boston. But I had a big one in Boston as well that obviously had comics. But they had a lot of import records at Newberry Comics. It was kind of the hipper record store. And then I started at Dance Tracks in the 90s. I worked there for a few years. And I did work a little bit at Mr. Bongo Records here in the UK.

 

[Ariane V]

That's a great label and a great shop as well.

 

[Colleen]

Great label. Dave Buttle is a fantastic guy. And I learned a lot about Latin and Brazilian music when I worked there. But I was just kind of doing my own thing, like helping reorganize the shop and everything. So it was a lot of fun. But it was like the only sort of job I've had since I moved here. Other than that, I've just been working for myself.

 

[Ariane V]

So you said that you worked in New York in a record shop when you were 18. But that's after you already worked in a record shop.

 

[Colleen]

No, I worked at a record shop in my 20s there. So I moved to New York when I was 18 in 1986. And I went to school. And I was also around the college radio station. It was the biggest college radio station, one of the biggest in the country, because we were in New York City. I became the first women program director there. I did many different radio shows.

 

[Ariane V]

At what age again?

 

[Colleen]

I started when I was 18. And then I left school. Yeah, and then I lived in Japan in 1989 as a radio DJ when I was like 20, 21. And then I produced syndicated radio shows after that. And that's when I started getting into house music and club music and dance music pretty heavily.

 

[Ariane V]

We were also just talking about your trip to New Zealand. You said that you've been invited to Australia and New Zealand several times in the past 20 years, and you could never go.

 

[Colleen]

I could never go. And that was the first time you went? Yeah, because we had our daughter Ariana back in 2004. And going to the other side of the world for a weekend to play just doesn't make any sense. And it's just too far away to go for less than three weeks. And we didn't have the school holiday time to do that. I didn't really want to go in our summer and their winter. That's like the wrong time to go. Why do that? Why have two winters when you can have two summers (laughs)?! And we have loads of friends from New Zealand and friends from Australia as well. So it's just wonderful to go down there. We spent just over six weeks in Australia, New Zealand, and then we swung up to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year. And I played every weekend. It was just so much fun, discovered a lot of great music, met a lot of great people, and just absolutely loved it. Drank a lot of wine because the wine down there is fantastic. I ate a lot of food. And especially, you know, they have such great... And Sydney has some of the best, I mean, some great Chinese food. And then Melbourne as well. And we had Sri Lankan food. So Polynesian. It was just wonderful. Really wonderful.

 

[Ariane V]

It sounds like an incredible place. I've always wanted to go.

 

[Colleen]

Yeah. And then New Zealand is just absolutely beautiful. And, you know, the whole South Pacific culture, I didn't really think of New Zealand in that way. But Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world. And I didn't think of it in that way. I always kind of thought of it, sorry, New Zealand, and this is how Canadians feel with Americans, too! It's like, you know, that country, the other country, the quieter one, the one that's not as brash (laughs)!

 

[Ariane V]

It feels like a little extension of Australia, although they're completely different countries, look completely different, have completely different cultures.

 

[Colleen]

Exactly. Exactly. So that became very apparent. And I just absolutely loved it. But I discovered a lot of great music when I was there. And should we play one of those songs?


[Ariane V]

Absolutely. I'd love to hear it.


[Colleen]

Yeah, this is an artist named Troy Kingi, and he apparently is making one album a year for 10 years in a row. And he's a really interesting artist because he doesn't seem like he really cares that much about fame, which I love. He makes an album. Maybe he plays some gigs in New Zealand. And from what I understand, he just then goes fishing. So he's really soulful. OK, so this one is called Chronophobic Disco by Troy Kingi.



(...)

[Ariane V]

Would you like to do us the honor in telling us what it was?

 

[Colleen]

Another New Zealand band, Fat Freddy's Drop, who are the most popular and successful independent band in New Zealand. And they're friends of ours as well. So the horn players, Scott Towers and Joe are mates of ours. We were hanging out with them in New Zealand. And they asked me about 10 years ago, pick a song from this album and just tell us which song you want to remix. I didn't even know them that well at the time, to be honest.

And we have mutual friends, Kay and Rob. And I listened to the album. And as soon as I heard that song, Mother, Mother, I knew that was the one. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I think the remix took me two days. I knew exactly what I was playing. I was playing the stuff. I was like, I know exactly what I want to do with this. And it was my favorite remix. And it was one that I really started playing out of my favorite remix of mine. Up to that point, I was really, yeah, I don't know. I was just not very self-conscious playing my own work. And I never thought it was good enough. You know, I always could hear something I would change or whatever, you know. And that was the first one I was completely happy with.

And then I didn't do a remix for six years because classic album Sundays was taking off and a bunch of other things were taking precedence. And I was doing stuff for six music. And I was just doing a lot of different things. And I wasn't really that inspired by the studio. And it was just the beginning of lockdown, actually. Actually, it was like right before lockdown. It was March 2020. And I was thinking, I really do want to start to remix again. But just when the song's right and I want to do a vocal. And I heard Roisin's song, Murphy's Law. And I was like, that's the one. That's the one I want to remix! And we asked her and she said, yes. So that was kind of started it again for me. Because I took about six years off doing that.


[Ariane V]

Have you ever asked someone if you could do the remix and they said no?

 

[Colleen]

No, actually, that hasn't happened. Generally, I think I've only asked a few. I think Roisin was the only one I think that I've asked. Now that I think about it, I've never asked. That's the first one.

 

[Ariane V]

Everyone's always just reached out to you. Please remix anything or like.

 

[Colleen]

Or the song. Yeah, they'll give me the song. And sometimes I'll say, can I do that song instead? Like, that's what I do with Lady Blackbird. And that's probably one of my favorite remixes of mine. That one did very well.

But again, they asked Ross Allen, who does the A&R. And he was her manager. And he's an old friend of mine. He's a legendary A&R guy here. And radio personality, radio broadcaster. And he asked me to remix a different song from that album. And I listened to the album. I said, that's the one, Lost and Looking. That's the one I want to remix. It's a Sam Cook song. And I love Sam Cook. And yeah, so sometimes I have artistic license. And sometimes it's just, this is the one. Do you want to do it or do you not?

 

[Ariane V]

I will be completely honest. Because I've been listening to you for ages and ages and ages. But I only knew you as a DJ. And it was genuinely maybe just a year or two ago that I found out that you actually produce as well. I had no idea. Right, yeah. And yeah, I feel like nowadays, loads of DJs feel like they have to produce in order to get out there. And with you, at least from my perspective, it doesn't feel like that's ever been that way. It didn't need to be that way. Because you don't need production to get ahead. You're so ingrained in the entire music industry. You do so many different things. And you're such an eclectic, incredible DJ. There's absolutely no reason for you to do that in order to get ahead. Yeah, it just feels like a natural extension of what you do.

 

[Colleen]

It is actually. And thank you for saying that. That's really nice of you. I mean, the first record I ever did, there was this soulful house label called Suburban Records. And it was owned by Tommy Musto, who put out loads of the productions himself. He was really great. And very soulful. And he still is a great guy. And very soulful, well-produced, great vocals, like Sable Jeffries, and all these great singers they would get. And he came with the dance tracks in the late 90s. And he said, I want to put out your first record. And he had a great recording studio. And I went down there. I had already written a song. I had written a song.

 

[Ariane V]

So you haven't sent out any demos or anything?

 

[Colleen]

No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

 

[Ariane V]

Were you actively producing at that time?

 

[Colleen]

No, not at all. Tommy, just because he was a customer of mine at dance tracks. I sold a lot of records of his. And I was on the radio. And he just probably thought, well, she works at a record shop. She probably has a good ear. But I had just started writing lyrics at that time. I just, I wasn't singing them. But I just started writing lyrics and songs. And I had a notebook. And I was writing songs and, you know, full lyrics, everything.


And the first one I did was with, I had written myself. It was called She, featuring Alison Crockett. And she was on the Silk 130 album. My friend King Britt had an album called Silk 130. And she was one of the singers. Her, Ursula Rucker, was also on it. And I loved her voice. She had a proper jazz voice. She still does. She's a great singer, Alison Crockett. And I got her to sing. And I learned a lot. And Tommy sat next to me and just taught me all these different things. And yeah, I was really lucky. You know, I worked with a lot of great producers and engineers who've taught me a lot. And musicians who have taught me a lot, you know.

So I was really fortunate. But yeah, I don't feel it. I never use it as a way of getting ahead. It was just what kind of came naturally. And plus, it really wouldn't work for me as a way to get ahead. Because I don't have a signature sound. I always feel like I serve the song. So every song is just so different, you know. And I do different styles.

 

[Ariane V]

Your sound in terms of your production.

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, I don't have a trademark sound, I don't think. And some DJs do. And that works for them, especially for their DJ career.

 

[Ariane V]

But I feel like then you kind of get stuck in this, yeah, you get stuck in this pigeonhole where suddenly what you produce has to also be what you DJ, which...

 

[Colleen]

For some people that works. It can really work. And I have certain friends that it really does work. And they do great productions. And their sets are filled with them. And it's great.

 

[Ariane V]

I feel like if you're an eclectic DJ or like if you, you know, if there are so many... I keep saying eclectic DJ. But if there's so many different genres, so many different things, atmospheres, energies, vibes, clubs that you would want to play in, then just pigeonhole. Suddenly, if you start producing and that is what new people get to know you as. And then they see your DJ and it's something completely different, it might be a bit counterproductive. And it just doesn't feel like...

 

[Colleen]

That's true. Yeah, you're right. You're right about that. I mean, with production, I didn't do it for a while, as I mentioned, because I didn't feel inspired to do it. And then I did a book called The Artist's Way. And it's a lot of creative people use this book.

 

[Ariane V]

I think I've heard of it.

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, a lot of people. I've even seen like Georgia Smith talk about it. You know, I mean, from old, younger artists to older artists and filmmakers and all sorts of people. And what came out is that I wanted to get back in the studio. That's what came out of it for me. And because, you know, my DJ career was going fine and da-da-da-da, but I wanted to be creative making music. But I didn't want to sit down and do an album. I didn't want to sit down and just do a whole tracks from like, you know, nothing, you know, originals. I thought remixes are the great way to go because I can, you know, do them in a few days. It's the... There's a kernel of an idea already there. I get that creative energy and that creative kind of input with songwriting, you know, writing different parts and the sounds and all that. So yeah, so I've enjoyed it. I'm only doing like four remixes a year, maybe, which is just enough for me. It's perfect.


[Ariane V]

Do you have any exciting remixes coming out?


[Colleen]

I have a new one I'm really in love with. I can't play it for you because it's not mastered and it's still not coming out. I don't know when it's coming out, but it's been accepted. It's by Bryony Jarman Pinto and she is on True Thoughts and she's a fabulous artist and she's a great singer, songwriter and has a beautiful album coming out. It might be out already, actually. And I remixed a song and it's quite down tempo. Again, it's not house tempo, which is really fun. It's very jazzy. It reminds me kind of like the jazzy boogie records of the 1980s. And that was kind of what was in my head. And I'm really happy with it. And there was a lot of great parts in there and the song. So there was live harps, strings, a horn, a trumpet.

 

[Ariane V]

Sounds like a lot to work with!

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, I love having some great musical parts in there. So that was really fun to bring those out. And she has great lyrics, really positive and really enjoyed that one. And now I'm working on a remix for Joe Goddard from Hot Chip at the moment.

 

[Ariane V]

Incredible.

 

[Colleen]

Yeah. And I finished another one the end of last year for a German woman named Ada Moore, who's more like a jazz bluesy singer. And she's also an actress and a writer as well. And it was kind of a gospel tune. And she had heard my Iso Fitzroy remix and asked me to remix this song. And she has this great backing vocal choir. And I can play it for you if you like.


[Ariane V]

Please do!


[Colleen]

OK, I'll start to cue it up if you want to keep talking?

 

[Ariane V]

I might just put the track underneath us up for a little bit.

 

[Colleen]

OK, that sounds great. Yeah, this is quite a fun one. It's quite an uptempo one. Want me to play it?

 

[Ariane V]

Yeah, sure. Go for it.

 

[Colleen]

OK.

 

[Ariane V]

Absolutely go for it.

 

[Colleen]

This is Ada Moore. I'm not going to play the full vocal. This is the vocal reprise, which is a lot of fun. But it's kind of like a gospel-y house stomper. And I hope you like it.



(...)

[Ariane V]

Another absolutely beautiful track.

 

[Colleen]

Oh, I love this one. This one brings me back to David's Loft on East 3rd Street. And he used to play this. I think it came out in 1991. It's called Code 718 Equinox. And of course, we just had the Vernal Equinox on Wednesday. So it's one of the reasons I'm playing this. It's also a great production from Danny Tenaglia. And he samples E2, E4 here. The Italians, of course, had already done it with Suena Latino. So this is like the Americans sampling E2, E4. And he just does it so well. It's just such a beautiful, beautiful record. And of course, that's Peter Dow on keys. He did a lot of work with him. And he just did some beautiful. The thing with Danny's work is it had a really punchy bottom. It's solid rhythm and drum and bass track.

 

[Ariane V]

I love him so much.


[Colleen]

Yeah. Then you have just this beautiful stuff on the top. Absolutely gorgeous!

 

[Ariane V]

Everything he's done is absolutely timeless. And yeah, just really driving and really punchy. And you can play it at any set. I feel like his tracks are so easy to fit into anything. Yeah.

 

[Colleen]

And he's a lovely guy, too. So I got to meet him. First, I interviewed him, I was writing for Project X magazine, which was kind of like a club magazine in the early 90s in New York. And I did a big feature on his album. And then I was... I don't know if I was working at Dance tracks at that time. I think I started working at Dance tracks right after that. And he became one of my customers, so it was really cute because he would work all weekend. And I also worked on Mondays. And Mondays was a quiet day in the shop. I mean, Friday is the busy day. Everyone's getting ready, getting their records for the weekend. Monday was a quiet day, which was quite nice.

And he would come in when there was nobody else there, like an hour before I would close. And I'd be stashing some records on the side, like some weird stuff from Detroit or like the basic channel stuff, like all that kind of stuff. I'd be storing on the side for him, you know, things that he wouldn't get as a promo, basically. And yeah, he was such a great guy. And he used to say, you're my favorite record shop person.

 

[Ariane V]

I thought he wasn't the only one who said that.

 

[Colleen]

Oh, I don't know. But you know, he was just... It was great! It was just... I met so many cool people there. You know, that's where I met François, really. And yeah, I met a lot of people there. But he was my special customer. That sounds a bit weird (laughs)!!


[Ariane V]

I might just... I might record this a little bit and send that to him and say, Colleen says you're a special little customer. You're my special customer (laughs)!

You just mentioned the Loft Parties and David Mancuso and also François K, which I saw you mentioned a few times that they were two of your biggest mentors.

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, yeah, they were.

 

[Ariane V]

That to me is absolutely mind-blowing. You know, I'm incredibly lucky that with this radio show, I just wrote down a list of 10 of my favorite DJs and producers and people I really look up to. And most of them said yes, which is why you're here!

 

[Colleen]

Aaaw thank you!


[Ariane V]

But thinking that, you know... So I'm sort of using these... I'm very selfishly using these shows to just have a chat with these people and get to hear everything from them.


[Colleen]

That's what I did too!

I had a radio show in the 90s called Club 89 and I had all these people up there. So usually, I would be mixing myself and DJs like the two-and-a-half-hour show or three-and-a-half-hour show. I think it was two and a half hours, 10.30 to one on Tuesday nights. But then I had up people like Rome Anthony, Little Louis, Dimitri from Paris, Danny Krivich, Joe Clausell, François Kaye, David Mancuso came up for one. And I had singers like Sable Jeffries, Kenny Bobian, Joy Cardwell. That was like the big Soulful House kind of singers. And it was great! I really, really enjoyed it. I loved interviewing people and also watching them mix and having a chat with them off mic. It's a great thing to be able to do!

 

[Ariane V]

And then, sorry, just back to David and François. So it's mind-blowing that they're your close friends and mentors. Because right now they're legends and they're undeniably enormous icons and legends in dance music. What was it like having them as mentors? When you met them, were they that huge or did they sort of become that as you were friends and as you knew them or?


[Colleen]

I mean, François had a very big career outside of New York City dance music in the 1980s. And he had done records that I had played as a teenager. His mix of Yazoo's Situation. He worked on, he worked with Craftwork. He worked with Erasure. He did a lot of kind of new wavy remixes. He remixed Jimmy Cliff. And then he also worked on Violator, Depeche Mode. So he did all that before 1990. And then it was around...


[Ariane V]

Before you met him.


[Colleen]

Yeah, I didn't meet him till like mid-90s. And then in the early 90s, he resurrected his DJ career because he had stopped DJing. He was doing these huge productions at a massive studio. He was doing really well. And he went to, I think the first time back, he went with Lara Levine to Japan. And then he started playing and he was playing to small places. Actually, I'd go see him at Reggae Lounge. I didn't know him. A friend of mine knew him well. And it really wasn't...

So he was already a producer icon. And so I knew he was great. And so I knew his work that way. He would come into dance tracks. He was kind of intimidating. I told him that later. He has such a dry sense of humor. I was like, is he making fun of me? Is he serious or is he making a joke? I mean, very dry French and Americans aren't as dry. In any case, the way I met him properly was one day I was gonna go to Body and Soul. It must've been like maybe 1996.

And I was in my apartment in Lower East Side and the phone rang because we still had landlines. And the phone rang and luckily I was there and I picked up and it's François. I'm like, how do you know how he got my number? And he said, word has it, you have a really good record collection and a great disco collection. I said, yeah, yeah, I do, I guess. Well, would you mind playing with us at Body and Soul today? Because I believe one of them, either Danny and Joe couldn't make it or one of them was gonna be late. One of them I think had injured themselves and the other one had a late flight coming back from somewhere. So I was just like, oh my gosh, yeah. That's how I met, yeah. So that's how I really met François. Then it came up on my radio show, our friendship started. But he was already a name that I knew.


David was very underground and David was really suffering. And there was word on the street, oh yeah, David was a guy that inspired Larry LeVan. But it was all word on the street, stories being told, some stories were correct, some stories were not. It's like Chinese whispers are playing telephone. The truth gets distorted each time it gets told. But I just went to his parties. I didn't know anything about him. I knew nothing about the Loft. I knew nothing about any of this stuff. And I just landed at his party once with my friend Adam.

 

[Ariane V]

At one of the Loft parties?

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, one of his Loft parties in his house on East 3rd Street.

 

[Ariane V]

How did you, sorry, so how did you end up there? How did you find Adam?

 

[Colleen]

My friend Adam was a clubber. He ended up being the timeout clubs editor in New York. He went out every single night and he's the one that brought me to all the clubs. So I was like going to live shows.

 

[Ariane V]

So you had a guide.

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, so I was going to live shows and I was still working in music. But he was the one that where I'd go, I got dancing, you know. Oh, I'm going to bring you to a club tonight. Let's go to this place. You know, it was around the corner. And I had lived in that neighborhood and, you know, I had never seen this place because there's nothing on the outside. It's his house, it's a private party. And it just blew me away when I went in and it just really kind of changed me, you know. And I've wanted to go again and again and again and again, but no one knew who he, I mean, people did, but it was a failing party.

David had a huge following in the 1970s and early 80s. And then he moved, he moved from Soho, and he moved to the Lower East Side where no one wanted to go except for ragamuffins like me, you know. They sold heroin all over the streets, heroin and crack, you know, mainly heroin. It was a really dicey neighborhood. That's where I lived. I lived in those neighborhoods because that's all I could afford. And I didn't look like much. So it was like, I didn't really get bothered, you know. But people who had gone to his parties in the 80s, they had grown up, had kids. They're just in a different place in life and they're not going to this neighborhood, you know.

So that was hard. And then his building was stolen from right underneath his nose. He had given his power of attorney to a really shady attorney who sold his building. And he was absolutely screwed. I mean, he had no money, hardly anything, there weren't a lot of people coming to the parties. And so there was just, aside from my own career that I was developing, you know, on the radio and doing dance tracks. And I started DJing around New York City. Then I started travelling around the States. And then I started going to Japan and, you know, I was doing my own thing. On the side, I was helping him as a few others were as well. And we all helped for free. And because he needed the help. And so he was then, he was just like bouncing from spot to spot. Hum. And we were doing fundraiser parties and he'd have me play sometimes. Or if he went away, we do one-on-ones. And yeah, it was just a really rough time.

And what happened was, is in 1998, I was asked by Nervous Records to do a mix CD. I was like, great, you know, I'll do a mix CD. And this is the time I literally mixed the whole CD from vinyl with the A&R guy sitting there watching me. And I did it in one take. Like literally just had to mix it. Two turntables on records. There was no computer, no sync, nothing. It was all done as a DJ mix on vinyl. Just kind of crazy when I think about that now!



[Ariane V]

As they were staring at you.

 

[Colleen]

As he was staring at me. He was a nice guy though. It was this guy, Stuart Upchurch, who was a lovely guy. He had worked at Vinyl Mania before that. So anyways, I thought, I didn't really get paid that much. But I thought, you know, someone like David, I'm sure if he did a compilation, he'd get paid much better. Plus it would help get his story out there. Because there was no, I mean, the internet had started. But you know, it wasn't like all this information was there. There were no, there were some older books. Vince Aletti, who was one of the major music and club dance music writers at the time, would write about him. He wrote about everything. So he is like the historian. But if you didn't have those, if you didn't go to the New York Public Library and look it up on microfiche. You wouldn't see those. There was no place to see these old articles. These books weren't published.

And so yeah, so David's story wasn't known to the world.And the people in Japan knew about him because the Japanese always had their finger on the pulse. But everywhere else, they didn't. Even in New York City at the time. Like when I would talk about the radio, I'd talk about The Loft on my radio show. People would call it, The Loft is still happening. Like that's how it was. So that's when we started the compilations. When we did those for New Phonic. And that's what really got his story out there. And it made me very, very happy. And very proud that it kind of got his story out there. And he started traveling. And he started, he was able to fix his teeth and pay his rent and do all the things he needed to do. So I guess the long-winded answer to your question is, he was a somebody, but nobody knew it (laughs)!

 

[Ariane V]

Yeah.

 

[Colleen]

You know, and he's also a very humble man. He was just a regular guy. I mean, people give him this God-like status. And yeah, he was an extraordinary person. And he was a spiritual person. We connected him that way as well. But you know, this whole like, I see words like Bible and gospel and Jesus and all these words that, a disciple that come out next to his name. And I go, oh my gosh, he would just hate that. You know, it's like Bible, gospel, disciple. And oh, please, you know, it's like, no, that wasn't David, you know.

 

[Ariane V]

Do you, with them two as your mentors, what do you think is, for each of them, what do you think is like the main thing that they taught you?

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, it's interesting. Okay, well, François and then, they both taught me life lessons as well. And they're both alike and different. And I should say, I had other radio mentors. They weren't my radio mentors. I had two great radio mentors. And I've had other mentors in other areas, like in production and stuff. For David, David, the life energy of music is probably the biggest one.

 

[Ariane V]

The what energy?

 

[Colleen]

The life energy of music. He was giving this book to a lot of people called The Life Energy of Music by John Diamond (ed: in three volumes). By the time he met me, he had no copies left, but he would Xerox them. Xerox chapters, especially ones about women, because he was very, very, very pro-women. And François, you know, this is at a time and they're of a generation where there really is a true boys club. And, you know, we didn't have this kind of, the kind of affirmative action we have now with women DJs. That definitely was not happening over 30 years ago. And both François and David have had a lot of women around them that they trust, that they work with. And not everybody did that. So that was really incredible.

David, the life energy of music, it's hard to describe because it's a feeling. It's a feeling you get when you listen to a tune. And I just listened to so many records with David, you know, for four times a year when I lived in London, you know, when he was coming over for our parties, we were joined together for eight years. You know, he was, we listened to music, you know, in our house and listening to records to possibly play for the party and how he would critique them. And it made me a much harsher critic. And he really didn't care if the tune was cool. And this is what's happening now. It was really about, is this music that can heal you? Is this something that's going to truly uplift your spirit? Or is it negative? Or is it just bringing you down? You don't even realize it. That is one thing I really learned from him. And music is a healing force. And that's how he played music. You know, there's certain records that I would never, I can't tell you what they are. And I wouldn't anyways. But there's certain records I would never play at the loft, just because it just wouldn't work for whatever reasons. You know, I might play, it's not like every song has to be happy clappy. It's just more about, even if it's a sad song, it still gives you an emotive feeling, like a warm hug, I suppose.

He didn't like Kraftwerk, for instance. You know, I love Kraftwerk. There's some differences too. And also, I think he and I, we connected on a kind of a spiritual level. I had already been traveling, studied Zen Buddhism in Japan. I had already been in Japan. I had been doing yoga. And one of my majors was comparative religions, but all the mystics and things. I was heavily into that stuff anyways. And so was he. So we would talk about kind of deeper, deeper things.

And, you know, François is my pragmatic side, and also the production. So David didn't produce. All he did was his party. He did his party and that was it, you know. That's his life's work. You know, he did play out. I'm just saying that was his life's work. Whereas François is a bit more, you know, we're alike in the sense he does a lot of different things. And François' production style is a massive inspiration. But also as a human being, you know, he's managed to have a career in music. He's 70 years old, and he's still future-forward-facing, you know. And so he really inspires me in that way. And he's just there for me as well. They were both there for me as people. They're good, dear friends. I mean, David used to call me his daughter, you know.


[Ariane V]

Aaaw...


[Colleen]

Yeah. And I always say François is like my uncle because he's only 15 years older than me, but my uncles really were teenagers when I was born. So, yeah, I'm lucky to have him in my life. Yeah, I'm lucky to have had David in my life for sure.


(silence)


[Ariane V]

I'm just thinking about what you said and I have nothing to add!

 

[Colleen]

Well, should we play a song then?

 

[Ariane V]

I have one I'd like to play.


[Colleen]

Okay, let's play it.


[Ariane V]

It's one that I stole from you.

 

[Colleen]

Ooh, which one is this one?!

 

[Ariane V]

It's I can go for that no can do by H.F. Frequency.

 

[Colleen]

That's on my second Balearic Breakfast compilation and you didn't even know that there was one!

 

[Ariane V]

Well, I heard you play it at We Out Here, not last year, the year before that, when you did one of your Balearic Breakfast sets at the Love Dancing Tent. It was one of my favourite sets because we all started just laying down on the beanbags and it was very relaxing and you played beautiful music and then very, very, very, very, very slowly, I was there with my group of friends, and me and my friend Kian just had our shoes off and we just were like, you know, because you were ever so slowly bringing it up. We were like, I think it's time. I think it's time for us to stand up and get going. I think nobody else was dancing and we stood up and we just started to like bop around with our shoes off and then as the music progressed, more and more people were standing up we were just dancing around with our shoes off and it was absolutely amazing and I think we did go up to you to ask you what this was and I do think you did mention that it was coming up on your compilation but then I somehow completely missed that (laughs)!

 

[Colleen]

You were at a festival. I think you had other things on your mind or you didn't.

 

[Ariane V]

Well, I remembered the important thing, which was this track.

 

[Colleen]

That's all you need to know, exactly!

 

[Ariane V]

So this is HF Frequency. I can't go for that (No can do).



(...)

[Ariane V]

So this one is coming out on the next compilation.

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, the remix came out digitally. It's Jacob Gurevich Elevation in Minor. It's my Cosmodelica remix and it was such a wonderful one to do because it's so different. It's not house tempo. It is beautiful, gorgeous guitar work. He did another part for me because I wanted to do a key change. Got a live percussionist in so I really enjoyed doing this one and it's just very dreamy and floaty but I want to play it on vinyl. So luckily, because I did my third Balearic Breakfast comp for Heavenly. I was like, oh, let's put that on.

So that's going to, it's two remixes of mine coming on that, which will be the other, the Cosmodelica instrumental of the David Holmes remix that you really like, yeah. And then it's a double album. There's a bunch of other great stuff coming out.

I probably don't want to advance too much of what's coming. We're going to be announcing it in a few weeks, but it's coming out the first week of May. So I'm looking forward to that.

 

[Ariane V]

How do you come about finding, you know, obviously if they're new tracks and they're new tracks, and it's easy to license them and sign them, but how do you come about, how do you go about, you know, old tracks that you really love, kind of signing them again to re-release them on your compilation? How does that work?

 

[Colleen]

It's really difficult because the stuff, you know, there's so, there's been so many compilations since the 90s, really, you know, so many things have been dug up and put out and, you know, even with the Loft compilations, we couldn't do that now because everyone knows those songs now, but at the time they didn't and you couldn't get a lot of them and people didn't know them, but, you know, there's been so many. So it's hard to find things that haven't already been out. So the few rare things that are older things, I have a couple incredible "coups" on this record, I'm so happy.

And it was down to Jeff Barrett at Heavenly that got these couple classics that are really hard to find, are very expensive, one that never came out actually. So it's really digging a bit, trying to think what do I love in my collection that is very rare and can we license it is the next thing. That's the big part, can we actually license it?

So I think there's like three or four songs on the new comp that are older tunes that were just very rare on vinyl or never on vinyl. And the rest of it is a lot of newer artists or newer releases on Bandcamp where people can't afford to press vinyl because it's so freaking expensive. You know, it's expensive, the whole production's expensive and, hum, so it's nice to be able to do that.

So it could be all different artists, you know, young, old, whatever, it doesn't make a difference but they are putting stuff out themselves, it's independent. We're not dealing with any majors, this is a third comp, not one single major label license. So it feels really good.

And yeah, I have so much respect for Jeff Barrett of Heavenly Records because he's been running an independent record label for over 30 years. He was one of Andrew Weatherall's managers and he's a legend in the music business and he's still so passionate about music. He has a great team around him, people who love music and I just love working with them, they're just great. I just absolutely love it. Plus they take us out for nice lunches (laughs)!

 

[Ariane V]

With the tracks that you picked for the compilation, are they just songs that you've just been playing out and so naturally, organically, you found them or do you go, right, I've got maybe half a compilation ready and now I need to find the other half and I just go digging?

 

[Colleen]

It's all from the show. So basically the radio show, so it's the radio show without a radio station. I started this show called Blurred Breakfast during the pandemic on Worldwide FM and then a year later Worldwide FM went on pause or was it, no, it was two years later, I'm sorry. So I started the show, I started the show as Summer Staycation in the summer of 2020 then had to change the name because it was autumn, and that was September 2020 and then two years later Worldwide FM went on pause, and I had built up this community because it's a live stream with the chat group and plus a lot of it is a request show.


[Ariane V]

Was it always a request show?


[Colleen]

I always made a request show because it started during the pandemic and I have so many thousands of records. I thought, wouldn't it be fun to have a request show and I'll rediscover my record collection this way.

 

[Ariane V]

Just assuming that people are going to request things that you are bound to have.

 

[Colleen]

Some of it was. In fact, I didn't even have a CD player, a Pioneer CD player for months into the show so everything had to be on vinyl that I would have but then I was like, I got to get at least one of these CDJs. So I did. But the community is great. We have people that request songs week after week that have great ears. Sometimes I'm getting them now to do guest mixes for the show when I go away. It's great. So I'm still streaming live when I'm away but the work's already done.

So yeah, some of it's from the community as well. Some are things I get sent. You know, I get sent quite this one thing coming out on the next compilation. Never heard of this guy. He sent me a bunch of tunes. Never heard anyone else playing them. It was only digital. And I was like, I must have that. And I started playing it out a lot. So there's a lot of some discoveries that I get people sending me stuff. Older stuff that I already know that I would love to have on vinyl or I don't have on vinyl or other people don't have on vinyl. And then, yeah, newer stuff that people have requested. So it's, yeah, it's a really, it's fun. And it's all different kinds of music too. So like there'll be this kind of folky stuff to house, to psychedelic, to jazzy. So it kind of ticks a lot of boxes.

 

[Ariane V]

Exactly what Balearic means, isn't it?

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, it means anything (laughs)!

 

[Ariane V]

I think it's so special that, you know, your radio show without a radio station (laughs)! It's, well, but it's, I think it just, it just highlights the best thing about community radio. It doesn't, it doesn't need to be a physical space. It's all about the community. It isn't, it isn't even about the radio show. It isn't about the mix. It isn't about the, like, I mean, obviously the tracks should be good, but it isn't, yeah, it isn't just about the mixes. It's all about the listeners and all about the community and all about the people actually actively, you know, talking to each other during the show as well. It's, yeah, it's all about the community.

 

[Colleen]

I started on the radio in 1982 when I was 14 and I'm 55. So I've been on, I've basically almost always had a radio show, whether it's community radio or whatever it is. I've been on lots of different radio stations, online stations, terrestrial stations, but I've almost always had a radio show for over 40 years.

So when Worldwide FM said we're pausing, I'm like, I think I'm going to still go (laughs)! Because that's the beauty now. I mean, you can go on Mixcloud and stream live and have it archived there and have your own platform. You can put out your own music through Bandcamp. So there's some great ways that you can remain independent. You know, I mean, maybe one day it will move somewhere else. I don't know. But right now I'm happy. So I'm happy with it now.

 

[Ariane V]

We're coming to the end of the show. We only have three minutes left, apparently (laughs)! Is there anything that you would like to, any final words? Is there anything you would like to highlight that we didn't manage to cover?

 

[Colleen]

Yeah, well, we still have the London Loft parties here in London. It is a private party, but you can probably find a way to reach out to me. I'm sure you can figure it out if you're really interested. As we're doing those parties three times a year, I'll be the Bitches Brew compilation. Oh, Bitches Brew, that's my old label. The Balearic Breakfast compilation is coming out in May. Next remix will be Bryony Jarman Pinto. I always get the hyphenated last name mixed up. I hope that was the right way. And, yeah, just we have Love Dancing. I hope people will come along to that. We out here, I'll be at Houghton, bunch of festivals, Gala Festival.

 

[Ariane V]

Love Dancing is one of the main reasons why I go back to be out here every single year.

 

[Colleen]

Really?!


[Ariane V]

It's the best stage.


[Colleen]

It's just so much fun.


[Ariane V]

It makes me out here to me.


[Colleen]

Yeah, it's a party. It's a party. It's not a performance. It's a party. And that's what I love about it. And everyone's just hanging out, having a good time. Yeah. Well, thank you for having me!

 

[Ariane V]

Thank you so much for joining me!

 

[Colleen]

Oh, pleasure. It was amazing to meet you. It was really, really lovely to meet you. In stereo (laughs)!!

 

[Ariane]

Thank you to everyone who tuned in. That was two hours of The Bellamy Club show with Ariane V and Colleen Cosmo Murphy. I hope you enjoyed that. And I'll see you again next week!

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