INTRODUCINGMISTER SATURDAY NIGHT
Despite the legendary influence of Chicago and Detroit on the history of electronic dance music, the genre never gained as much momentum in the US as it did with the Raves in Germany and the UK. Nonetheless there is a more than active North American underground with a whole lot of magnificent labels, artists and event organizers. Some of these people do all these things at the same time, and that’s where the story of Mister Saturday Night begins. Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter teamed up in the mid-00s and have since built a small but strong musical empire in Brooklyn, owing much to their meticulous attention to detail and their clear vision of the overall picture. But let's quit with the lofty words and allow the duo to tell the story in their own words.
Please describe to us what you strive for with your parties and label!
JC: The aim of the party is to create a community. We try to make our dancefloor a place where people can share musical moments. To that end, we pay a lot of attention to the sound at our parties; we try to find places with enough room on the dancefloor for people to move (though that part is getting harder as the party grows and we struggle to find spaces in the limited world of New York real estate); and we set rules that encourage people to ignore their smartphones and cameras and stay in the moment.We also try to make the non-dancefloor areas at our parties comfortable spaces for meeting new people and having conversations. This is one of the often forgotten essentials of a party. People are social, and they want to connect with each other. The dancefloor is a great place to do that non-verbally, but you need to have a nice place where you can chat without having to strain your voice over the music.
A basement, a red light and a feeling are said to be enough for a successful night in a club. Would you second this or do you recommend another recipe?
JC: I think it requires a little more thought than that! The answer I gave to the last question gets at the things that I think are important to remember at parties. Regarding the red light thing, I've always disliked red lights. They're a pet peeve of mine. They make clubs look like bordellos! The lighting at our parties tend to be pretty analogue. Eamon and I hire a friend named Jeffrey Ralston to set up the decoration at our parties. He makes big, inflatable pieces with multi-colored lightbulbs inside, among other things. The lighting always feels pretty fun and lighthearted at our parties.
Could you describe the music you release on your label in your own words?
EH: It's music we love and believe primarily, but it's also nice when it ties back to the community values of the parties. So having a group of artists who are connected to the party in some way and are friends with each other and who we feel we can help develop are key points for us. We've got a couple releases from people who have just sent us demos that aren't connected directly to the party, but they still fit in with the musical style of the party. In terms of that style, we're not tied to any one genre, but I think there is a strong thread which is uniquely 'The Mister' which runs through all the tracks.
How important is the visual side to your work, be it the label or your parties?
EH: It's very important. Our presentation is a really crucial part of how we try to bring people into the fold of what we're doing. Spotlighting party regulars in our flyers for example is a very deliberate way to saying this party is about community and not some super star guest DJ.
Imagine you go to a party where you are only allowed to wear three pieces of clothing - which would these be?
EH: Sneakers, shorts and a baggy t-shirt. Dancing gear.
Please recommend 2 of your current favourite songs to our readers!
JC: Black Deer - Apex Break
EH: Underground Resistance - Transition