This latest AVA Mix comes from R.Kitt in the form of a live recording from our AVA in the Woods stage at All Together Now Festival in July.
Robbie is an energetic DJ, versatile producer and passionate night-life advocate. The Orainn label head is an avid lobbyist for Give Us The Night, campaigning for a better night life in the South of Ireland. The Dublin-native has seen releases on imprints like Night Tide and Dansu Discs.
We’ve had the pleasure of hosting Robbie on the AVA stage on a few occasions over the years. He brought his emotive and punchy energy to our Boiler Room, a stellar set in 2021 and a highly memorable stream for our AVA Online Weekender.
This mix is a live recording of your set at AVA in the Woods at All Together Now. What were your key takeaways from the festival?
I really enjoyed the buzz with the crowd. Everyone at the gig seemed to be so into it! You can often hear the sound of people chatting but it felt like people weren’t talking too much and just dancing. Got the buzz from the entire weekend that people were there to engage with the music. It was very refreshing.
You’re heavily involved with night-life advocacy through Give Us The Night. Could you share with us a bit about how things are going with the campaign?
It’s been intense! I’ve been helping out with Give Us the Night for over 4 and a half years. The campaign was actually founded in 2004, and turns 18 this year. Sunil Sharpe has been there since the beginning. I can’t express how much of a legend he is and how much time and effort he’s put into the campaign.
We’ve been expressing the same points to government since we began to deal more directly with them in 2019. We’ve gone through extensive consultations with the Department of Culture through the Night Time Economy task force dealing with every aspect of policy that relates to cultural activity at night you can think of. It’s been a real education in how public policy affects our ability to relate socially and culturally and, uniquely in the South due to the Public Dancehalls Act, even how we move our bodies.
In September, the Government will publish the heads of bill on forthcoming licensing reform. Until then, we don’t know exactly what this reform will look like. One thing is certain for me; we’ve expressed the needs of electronic music communities in clear, structural ways.
We have communicated with Government across the areas of licensing, planning, fire safety, transport, sound issues and many more. We’ve made the case repeatedly over several years. From this persistence, we’ve seen a sea change in the way the Department of Culture regards cultural activity at night. There is a burgeoning recognition that there is a crisis for social and cultural space for young people. We will find out how that translates to the reform of our licensing system next month and we’ll be sure to update everyone on what we think of it!
We’ve got something similar in the North now in the form of Free the Night. Do you have a vision of what things could look like for the scene across the island as a whole?
I always refer to clubs as being excellent examples of social infrastructure. What I mean by social infrastructure is just a physical place where you can be around other people. Both North and South, young people face huge barriers to accessing the most basic of social infrastructure. I think it’s one of the biggest reasons why people emigrate in such volume. I would love young people all over this island to simply have access to those types of physical spaces.
Emigration across the island of Ireland has slowed so much progress. Young people drive change, they drive positive progress. There is so much that ties us here emotionally. Usually it’s our connections with the people around us. But there’s so little opportunity to build those connections so it’s all too often hard to find a reason to stay. I really believe that with greater access to social infrastructures, and yes I’m talking about clubs, but also all other forms of cultural, expressive, physical spaces, people will begin to find that reason. And then we can begin to change this place!
How do you think the scene in the North of Ireland compares to down South?
Hahaha, this question I simply cannot answer. There is no comparison!! I couldn’t compare Dublin to Limerick, Cork, Galway or Waterford in the same way as I couldn’t compare it to Belfast or Derry. There’s emotion all over this island. The unique histories and lineages of all of our cities are really deep. There’s a lot of conflict, there’s a lot of disregard of the citizens of these places. But even with those similarities, it’s uniquely different in different places. The thing that is shared though, that deep emotional thing whatever the fuck it is, I think it’s part of what produces this real energy at gigs. I’ve felt it everywhere I’ve played in Ireland.
Any upcoming releases, gigs or Give Us The Night activity you’d like to shout about?
Planning a series of releases before the year is out! Couple of previews in this mix!
What has been the highlight of your summer?
The gig at the AVA stage at All Together Now was up there. To be able to DJ for 2 and a half hours at a festival was a real treat. Really felt like there was the required time to build something with the dancefloor that was there. I also got a chance to play a live gig in the Irish Museum of Modern Art back in July. It was the first live show I’d done since December 2019, and I was shitting it. I basically forgot I was able to do it. It was emotional, and to be honest incredibly reassuring, to see people moving and dancing to music I’d made entirely on headphones in my room at home again.
Let’s go out with a fun one. If you could collaborate with any artist living or dead, who would it be?
They say you never want to meet your heroes but it’s got to be Mad Mike Banks for me. Underground Resistance are a huge inspiration. And he just seems like the most legit dude. I remember reading a YouTube comment under a video of UR playing the The Village in Dublin as part of DEAF back in 2009 or something. The person said that they threw up a demo CD of their tracks and it had their email on the sleeve. Mad Mike caught the CD and soon after the gig, wrote back to the fella’s email giving him an incredibly in depth critique of the tracks. I just love that shit. I’m ready to learn Mike let’s do this!
- Candi Staton – Do Your Duty (Erectus Rework)
- Kelly Lee Owen – Melt
- Golden Girls – Kinetic (Frank de Wulf remix)
- Robert Hood – Funky Souls
- Makam – What Ya Doin
- Skee Mask – Dial 274
- Underground Resistance – Transition
- Kasper Marott – Sky Dreams
- Ovuca – FI3AC2143120
- Ken Ishii – Distant Light
- Itty Bitty Boozy Woozy – Tempo Fiesta (Organ Fiesta Remix)
- Underworld – King of Snae (Dave Clarke Remix)
- The Electroliners – Crazy Train
- Kaycee – Love Stimulation
- DJ Duke – A No. 1
- Spray – Puk Codes
- Technasia – Force
- Jerome Sydenham – Adverb
- Mr Ho – Stonks Go Up
- OSSX – Split Wig
- Bakey – Jack Pot
- Player – Pump It Up Pt. 1
- Kassian – Breathe
- Trevor Rockcliffe and Blak – Visions of You (Trevor’s Original Oral Mix)
- Walt J – Reborn 1 (DJ Qu’s Journey Towards Birth remix)
- Escpae Artist – Levitator
- R.Kitt – Unreleased
- The Hacker – Fadin’ Away (Oxia Remix)
- X101 – Sonic Destroyer
- Cinthie – Push It
- ADULT – Hand to Phone (Carl Craig Remix)
- R.Kitt – Unreleased
- Phase – The Dialogue
- Gerald Mitchell – Off the Boat
- New Members – No Mind
- Highrise – Hope for Peace
- Underworld – Two Months Off
- Thomas P Heckmann – Tanzmaschine
- Untidy Dubs – Can’t You See
- Plus One – Sparkler
- Errorsmith – Lightspeed
- Whitney X Soloman – It’s Not Bokeh but It’s Bokeh (Baliblend)
- Hardfloor – The Trill Acid Theme (E.R.P. Remix)
- Eoin DJ – Unreleased
- S-J – I Feel Divine (Steve Thomas Tradetubbies Mix)
- Randy Katana – Deception
- Robert Strauss – Booty Blast
- L.S.G. – Netherworld