There’s no doubt that the summer of 1988 marked a watershed moment in the history of dance, as the house rhythms of Chicago, artistic exuberance of Ibiza, and electronic soundscapes of Detroit surged through club culture.
With this in mind, 909originals presents ‘Postcards from 88’, a series that will see leading DJs, promoters, journalists, club owners, photographers, and of course the clubbers themselves, shed some light on just what went on during those halcyon days, 30 years ago.
This week’s ‘Postcards from 88’ features a lead protagonist in the emergence of the Balearic house sound, who was one of the instigators of the infamous visit by Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling et al to Ibiza in the summer of 1987… Trevor Fung.
Q. Do you remember what you were doing as the Summer of 1988 started?
I had already spent the previous summer of 1987 in Ibiza, where me and my cousin Ian St Paul rented a bar called the Project Bar In Ibiza. I was planning to go back to do it again in 1988, but the scene was kicking off in the UK with all of the events and clubs, so I decided to stay.
I was working literally every night of the week at various events all over the country, like Sunrise, Energy, Eclipse, Biology, Land of Oz, Funhouse, Project, Future, Shoom, Rage, The Trip, and many more.
Q. When or where did you first realise that ‘something different’ was happening with music, particularly dance/club music?
The music changed for me in 1983 –that summer I was invited to play at Amnesia in Ibiza. On my return, and throughout the mid eighties, I teamed up again with longtime friend Paul Oakenfold to set up parties called ‘The Funhouse’, playing similar sounds from my Ibiza experience alongside the popular Hip Hop and Go-Go sounds of that time.
This was followed by the formation of his infamous ‘The Project’ club with another resident DJ, Carl Cox. The Project Club was strongly influenced at that time by the new sounds coming in from the Detroit and Chicago… house music!
Q. Was there a particular tune from the Summer of 1988 that stood out for you? Why?
It’s hard to pick just one. Mr Fingers’ Can you Feel It, Frankie Knuckles’ Your Love and House Nation – these tracks were so massive at Amnesia in 1987.
I was dancing to them, then playing them in the clubs the following year. You knew times were changing.
Q. Why do you think that people are still so interested in the origins of the dance scene, old school and everything that goes with it?
They were great years to be around; years that created youth culture. Today, people are remixing all the tracks from that era and all the re-emerging retro clubs like Golden, Hacienda, Shoom and Clockwork Orange are absolutely packed.
They are trying to recreate the earlier years, but they are not the same – the new kids just want the same experience we had.
Q. If the ‘you’ from 1988 could give the ‘you’ from 2018 a piece of music-related advice, what would it be?
Fortunately, I am still going strong – but for others, I would say just stick to what you believe in and enjoy yourself.
[Thanks to Trevor for this week’s interview. Kudos to krabber 92 for the YouTube upload. Postcards from 88 continues next week. Check out the other interviews in the series by clicking here]