This Saturday is the gigantic 12 hour XXL bank holiday party with a super sexy Wrestle theme. You can expect Pulse to be fit to bursting with bears, blokes and hunks and Pulse music of the highest quality especially as those fierce residents are joined by our favourite Italian dish, Pagano. Dave Cross had a quick catch up with him to discuss all things XXL and Star Trek!
Hi Pagano, how has 2017 been for you so far?
A mad fantastic ride. I have received more booking requests than I could process. This is a blessing and has allowed me to focus on taking only the gigs where I can play my sound without compromises.
We know you’ve had a few tunes out recently, can you talk us through them?
Yes, my label KISM is going from strength to strength. We have released nine projects so far and they have been supported by some of the biggest names in the house and techno scene including Adam Beyer, Chus & Ceballos, Danny Tenaglia, Monika Kruse, Seth Troxler and UMEK to name a few. Last month I hit the number one spot on a sales chart on Beatport (the most important electronic and dance music store in the world) with my two track EP titled Pure Groove out on Mauro Picotto’s label Alchemy. Plus I recently had a release on Mark Knight’s label Toolroom called Ipanema, a tech house groove with bossanova and samba elements, which has been getting great feedback.
You’ve been a regular guest at XXL for over a year now, how has that gone?
Amazingly well. The regulars have embraced my style and having a monthly platform has allowed me to be creative and true to myself with my DJ sets. This seems to have also attracted out of the woodwork a crowd of music lovers who were struggling to find a gay venue with cutting-edge sounds since the closing of Trade and DTPM.
What is it about the club that makes it so popular?
XXL’s venue Pulse is a great space with a very good sound and lights system and amenities. The event is run professionally and with passion which clearly reflects in the overall vibe. Plus it has that old-school men-only gay club vibe where people feel safe and at ease. It’s a no brainer.
Are there things you play at XXL you don’t play in other places?
I have actually indulged playing a few original classics every now and then at XXL from Basstoy’s Runnin to DJ Rolando’s The Night Of The Jaguar for example. I also love the fact that since resident DJ Paul Morrell really knows how to open a room, I am not forced to start with banging tunes but can build up the whole DJ set starting with tech house and taking people on a journey. This has proved to be a problem everywhere else I go in the gay scene lately. Resident DJs do not seem to understand the concept of the opening sets and they play all the hits and super fast already at midnight.
How do you think the club scene in London compares to other cities, such as Berlin where you also play?
Berlin feels very much like London used to be in the nineties. The scene has many venues and events that are all creative and different from each other. Some of the venues are really cool underground spaces. London, just like New York, has been prey to gentrification which caused many venues to shut down. The skyrocketing prices of living have also pushed all the creative people to relocate. This has penalised tremendously the London clubbing scene while in Berlin it still seems to be thriving.
The theme on Saturday is XXL Wrestle… if you could wrestle anyone in the world, who would it be?
Russell Crowe is always at the top of my list for some Greco-Roman fights in tights. If you are fishing for a serious serious answer I might be too jaded to even start. It all feels so surreal these days in politics and society. I think the problems stem mainly from the press and the crowds’ agitators. So probably Murdoch, Trump, Farage and the likes might have to fear my wrestling moves.
We know you are bit of a Star Trek fan, are you excited about the new TV show Discovery?
Absolutely, the trailers look promising but I am still a little on the fence because they seem to be using again contemporary pop songs in the soundtrack. Haven’t they learnt anything from the backlash on that awful Enterprise opening titles song?!?