DISCOISM - THE

FUNK-BRINGING DISCO DUO

James Otter and Luke Terry O’Brian are providing disco and funky house to clubs and pubs across Leicester. 

I spoke to both of them over the phone and asked how Discoism began, James said: “So basically it started off, I was DJing techno, and Luke here was already DJing disco, he’s got a cute passion for it. I’ve always loved it but, it was never my, it wasn’t my forte. Then I bought some technics and some vinyls.”

Their love for disco created Discoism: “Because the vinyls provide a classic disco sound, and then we just kind of fell in love with it from there really. Just kinda vibed together, and yeah, go for it.”

Discoism run a vinyl only series, so I wondered whether their live sets are done on vinyl: “Mainly vinyls to be honest, but we do digital as well. I’ve got a big vinyl collection on USB but mainly vinyl.” 

James explained whether they do solo performances: “Yeah sometimes, if one of us is otherwise engaged, you know sometimes either one of us might sometimes have another gig, one of us might have to go to see a family member, all night things like that. But yeah, like we both  know how each other plays and what kinda style we play together, so we’re both happy for the other person to take the reign on the night.”

After seeing On The Menu incorporate disco into their next event, the disco scene seems to be on the rise, Luke added: “Yeah people are trying to incorporate it a lot in house and tech nights as well. It brings a good vibe and everyone kinda likes it. If you like house and techno then disco kinda fits as well.”

James continued: “I mean you’ve got like lots of festivals which cover a wide range of genres like Gottwood, you’ve got loads like Field Day in London, there’s loads of them dotted around and they all cater for everyones needs. There are a few sort of disco and house specific nights here in Leicester, I think if people try and cover too much in one night, it can get a bit confused, and people don’t really know what kind of sounds we’re trying to push. A lot of people who just put a name or a genre on an event just to sell tickets and that’s kind of a little bit, not what it’s about. But you don’t see that much of that in Leicester so it’s all good.” 

In discussion of arguably the most atmospherical club in Leicester, Sub8ten, I asked them on their experience of playing there, Luke said: “It’s a good laugh, it’s different. It’s because it’s so small.”

James elaborated: “Yeah, it’s a bit more intimate than the big Music Cafe, for example. Yeah like it’s low down, it’s dirty, it’s grimey, but you know that’s what brings the whole crowd to love music.”

Luke went on to say about their first live set together as Discoism: “Yeah it was at The Donkey, it was like a day thing, we had a BBQ and a hoola hoop teacher, and that was our first ever set together to the public. We’ve recorded a bit but we didn’t really call each other Discoism back then. It was just Luke Tob (House & Disco) and Enjun (Techno) which are our separate solo names.”

Every Tuesday at 7pm-9pm, you can find Discoism’s livestream Music Is The Answer, James told me how it began: “So um, I used to do a radio show on Leicester Community Radio, and we did a livestream at bit of a dead time on 10 till Midnight on a Friday, so obviously people were going out and you know, partying or whatever, so it wasn’t really ever profitable.

“One day we sort of thought you know what, let’s just do a livestream. It happened on a Tuesday night, and we thought it looked pretty good but we did it on a crappy web cam, that was sort of, like literally a VGA, remember those old mobile phones cameras, a VGA, had about 1 pixel. Then we sort of Luke went and bought, cos he’s happy to spend money on this stuff, cos I’m a bit of a stingy bastard but Luke went and bought a nice webcam, that’s much better quality and we thought you know what, we put our mixes on Soundcloud, so let’s do a livestream version and showcase some of Leicester’s and surrounding area’s talent.”

I went on to say how disco can be seen as a more transferable genre compared to others, Luke added: “A lot of older people enjoy it as well. So we’re all together, obviously students like disco and older people like disco, like tech-house you can’t see like 40/50 year olds partying in a techno house.”

The two DJs have a busy end of the year, James told me where you can catch them: “We’re doing the pre-party for Detroit Swindle, at Nine Bar, and the next night is on the 11th of November? And that’s a night called Khloo in Hinckley, which is run by Aaran Hall who is DJing on our livestream right now. We’ve got a few bar gigs but that’ll be chilled out, we’ll play at Nine Bar probably every other Friday or so we’ll be going down just spinning a few tunes.”

For more info on Discoism and their whereabouts check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Discoism/

For music: https://soundcloud.com/discoism

Matthew Knight
October 18th 2017
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