Paul Oakenfold tells NME about the emerging acid house scene… [October 1988]

“The official line is this. Yes, there are some drugs involved, but not as much as you’d like to think. Instead, why don’t you concentrate on the good things. The new music, the attitude, the fact that we now have a movement as big as punk on our hands. Even bigger really…”

Thus commences this fascinating interview with Paul Oakenfold, conducted by Paolo Hewitt for NME in October 1988, and recorded for posterity on the now sadly-defunct Archived Music Press blog.

It’s a document of a period in which acid house crept out of the mainstream to become the music genre du jour at the end of Thatcher’s 80s.

As Oakenfold, at the time the resident at Spectrum in London, notes, a year earlier, “we had 100 people going to [our] Friday night thing. Now we have 1,800 people on the worst night of the week trying to get into Spectrum. It’s unstoppable.”

Elsewhere, given Oakenfold (who was also part of Balearic-tinged troupe Electra) would go on to be one of the highest-paid and most internationally-coveted DJs on the planet, the fact that he believes the nascent scene is set to ‘go underground’ is somewhat ironic.

“Acid is going underground,” he explains. “It’s got to go that way because of all the fuss. The media are out to kill it.”

The last word, however, should arguably go to Danny D of D-Mob, however, who believes that time is running out for the acid house scene.

As he puts it, “We are now witnessing the Acid movement breaking out of London and becoming fashionable, and it’s right across the country; hence the Smiley badge and T-shirt craze. Personally, I would give it six months to a year.”

Close to thirty years later, we’re still waiting for that flame to burn out…

[Kudos to Archived Music Press for the upload]

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