Tomorrow night I’ve been invited down to Shutterbug to play a two-hour selection of tracks for the Colectivo Futuro team. Having only recently met Miguel and Oliver at the Dust & Grooves Book Launch Party back in May, I was a little surprised to get the call up, but I have to say I’ve really enjoyed flicking through the lesser travelled records in my collection in preparation for a vinyl only set of some of my current and past faves on a house, hip-hop, Jazz, Latin and bruk flex.
Since that spring evening by the river, I’ve grown to know the pair a little better and it’s become clear that Colectivo Futuro is by no means a fly by night operation. A lot of thought has gone into the concept and with a staff of six people based worldwide, including an editorial team, graphic designer and, of course, DJs, everyone seems to bring something unique to the table when it comes to the presentation of their website, blog or events. The split themes of music and art are constantly juxtaposed to ensure things go just a little bit deeper than just throwing a simple party, while the knowledge on show is equally impressive. Just a cursory glance at their regular radio show playlists have introduced me to an unknown gem (or five) and their recent Carnival special at the same venue incorporated an expansive soundtrack steeped in soulful tones (the whole night was actually captured in full for prosperity here. Stream it at your leisure).
I presume as you’re on this site, you already have an inkling of what we’re all about (if not, the sidebar should offer up some clues), but if you’re new to the whole Colectivo Futuro family, then I urge you to read on for a little further background on what the crew are all about.
As for tomorrow, if you’re in we’ll see you there. If not, have a great weekend regardless!
SPOTLIGHT: COLECTIVO FUTURO
Q. Can you give us a brief history of Colectivo Futuro, and how you initially came to meet each other?
[Miguel] I started Colectivo Futuro (CF) with a group of friends from Miami in 2006. We had the opportunity to collaborate on some Detroit inclined parties. We managed to book Derrick May, Stacey Pullen, and Bryan Zentz. We came up with Future Collective then. Soon after, I left the US and wanted to keep doing things under that name, although I changed it to Spanish, so I started a forum first and then a blog where I was mainly writing about music. Later on I developed an interest for visual arts and wanted to write about that too, often times writing about the connection between art and music. It was at that point that I started seeing CF as a brand for the future. Luckily, my wife is a great graphic designer and she helped us in creating a strong visual identity for it going forward.
While CF always kept getting involved in different music nights, it wasn’t until we moved to London that we started organizing exhibitions and collaborating with visual artists on different projects. But CF’s growth has also coincided with meeting some great people along the way who are always willing to put in work for any of our projects.
Oli and I met in Madrid, while we were both living there. We started doing a night together and coincidentally ended up moving to London around the same time. Musically, we have a similar taste although we both come from different backgrounds, which is why I think we are able to cover a lot of ground musically at any of our parties.
Q. How did you both get into DJing, and who would you say are your main inspirations when it comes to music?
[Miguel] I started just before finishing Uni out of curiosity really. My step-dad bought me a pair of CDJs and I learned on those. As you do, I then started buying records online, but I never lived in a city with a decent record shop scene. So I’m really enjoying living in London because of the great shops we have here. In terms of musical inspirations, seeing and hearing Derrick May when we booked him in Miami was a game changer. He went through all kinds of genres, which changed my outlook on what a proper DJ set should be. Catching Theo Parrish at Plastic People has been a huge inspiration in recent years too, again because of the way he is able to go through genres and play the right record at the right time. I’d say London is a massive influence for me in terms of music, there are so many excellent DJs, labels, and crews here playing and releasing so much good music!
[Oli] Well by the time I started A-Levels, all my part time job money was going on CDs, mainly hip hop, but also some soul and jazz. My best mate was more into playing house and had bought a pair of decks and encouraged me to make the jump to collecting vinyl and subsequently DJing, so I did just that, and bought a pair of belt-drives and a dodgy mixer.
Too many inspirations to mention, but seeing Theo Parrish on numerous occasions was invaluable, Gilles (Peterson) at That’s How It Is, everything about the Co-Op sessions back in the day, any radio shows/DJ sets/recommendations from Kirk Degiorgio, and hip hop samples – it’s thanks to A Tribe Called Quest, et al, that I first heard Roy Ayers, Donald Byrd, and so on. Radio too was a big inspiration, especially Gilles, and then Benji B and the Rinse DJs, which were like a lifeline to London for me when I lived abroad. These days, amongst an absolute flood of online shows and mixes, I try to at least catch Alex Nut & Josey Rebelle at the weekend. My friends are an inspiration too, whether it be their mixes or just their recommendations.
Q. You host a number of events around the capital, how are you finding London at the moment from inside the booth? There seems to be a really nice vibe of late and perhaps a more open-minded approach embraced on the dancefloor than five or six years ago.
[Miguel] It’s hard for me to say as I’ve only lived in London for almost 3 years. I missed all the fun years, or so I hear. But compared to other cities where I’ve lived London and DJed, London is a blast. I love seeing mixed crowds, both in terms of age and race, getting together and dancing to good music. In fact it’s the dancing element that I love the most, specially when we have proper dancers turn up at our parties.
[Oli] Bit hard for me to say too, since I took a few years out to live in Madrid. However, I have to say that with the community of DJs, dancers, friends and acquaintances around me now since moving back to London I am enjoying DJing more than ever. I also have a lot of good memories from Southport, That’s How It Is, Co-Op etc, at Plastic People, that I probably hold up as ideals, so when I see glimpses of that it’s quite a buzz!
Q. What’s the ethos idea behind Boom Music and how does it differ from your other parties?
[Oli] The idea of Boom Music is that anything goes. Funk, dub, hip hop, boogie, broken beat, house, afro beat, a little footwork or grime even. Soulful music that reflects our varied tastes, and our guests reflect that too. Of course the space itself, the vibe and the timing of our sets, affects what we play too, naturally.
Q. Can you share a recent acquisition that has become a firm favourite in your bag?
[Miguel] On the new releases tip I’m really feeling the Zackey Force Funk album on Hit+Run. Will definitely be dropping some of that at Boom Music.
On the second hand tip I recently picked up the Doug Carn compilation on Universal Sound and I’m very happy about that as I have some of the Black Jazz bootlegs and the sound quality is not great on those. ‘Revelation’, ‘Power and Glory’, ‘Higher Ground’, too much fire on this one.
[Oli] I second Miguel on the the Zackey Force Funk album, but I’m particularly happy with the Samba Mapangala album I picked up recently after hearing one track on it sampled heavily. The whole album is beautiful but ‘Yembele’ is the bomb.
Q. Finally, what have you got in store in the coming months? Are you working on anything worth shouting about?
[Miguel] Coming up very soon we have our third Collective Futures exhibition going down in Berlin. Really excited about spending some time there, working with a group of talented artists. I’m sure we’ll also sneak some diggin’ sessions while there. More infos on that here.