“It’s all about the music and that’s what matters” – Danny Howard
Something special for this weekend comes courtesy of Radio 1’s Danny Howard. 2014 has been a busy year for Radio 1’s Danny Howard following on from the unprecedented success of his first Dance Anthems album earlier this year, he returned in August with the next sun-drenched offering in his best-selling Dance Anthems series, a mammoth 2-CD selection of the biggest Ibiza anthems bringing main room vibes from the club with the likes of Avicii, DJ Fresh Vs TC, Nero, David Guetta & Showtek, Tiesto, and the year’s biggest #1 records from Oliver Heldens, Sigma, Calvin Harris, and Alesso, as well as “Vargo” – the Beatport smash from Danny Howard and Futuristic Polar Bears.
Having punctuated this year’s festival season with appearances at Bestival, Global Gathering, Mint Festival and his staple weekly residency at Ibiza’s famous Pacha nightclub, Howard will be spinning ones and twos at London’s famous Ministry of Sound alongside the likes of Chris Lake and Metaphizix & Maxine Hardcastle in ‘The Gallery’, at Ministry of Sound.
Despite beginning life as a humble nightclub, Ministry of Sound has seen its stock rise so far in recent decades it, alongside Fabric, are now the two most recognizable clubs in London. Fittingly, Ministry of Sound began as the brainchild of Justin Berkmann, who was inspired by New York’s Paradise Garage. Berkmann set out to create London’s first club devoted to the American House music scenes of 1980’s New York, Chicago and Detroit, with a room purely dedicated to sound.
Berkmann stated, “my concept for Ministry was purely this: 100% sound system first, lights second, design third (in that order); the reverse of everyone else’s idea“. Berkmann partnered with James Palumbo – now Baron Palumbo having been made a Life Peer of Southwark, in the London Borough of Southwark On October 2, 2013 – and Humphrey Waterhouse to realize the concept and a site, a disused bus garage was located in Elephant & Castle, London. The club opened on 21 September 1991, and has grown to become an institution that Howard believes remains as important now as those opening nights: “[It] promotes dance music on a global level through every generation, Ministry of Sound is world-renowned and always-on point with helping shape the face of electronic music today”.
With dance music in Britain widely popular and House music in particular in rude health at the moment, Howard appreciates the ability of Ministry to bring fresh new music to today’s listeners, this is a place today’s House music ravers can go and show off their shuffling moves while they bubble and groove to some of the best loved tunes the scene has to offer at the moment. Howard notes that, “[London’s house music scene has] gone back to its roots. With the garage influence, house music has become ‘cool’ again and with a very distinct UK flavor. It’s come full circle but for the better of the scene… House music will always live! Put simply Ministry has and continues to attract “Music lovers – That’s the great thing about playing the legendary venue, it’s all about the music and that’s what matters”.
It’s a sentiment clearly echoed by many of the listeners of Howard’s weekly Saturday night show on BBC Radio 1, which boasts one of the largest audiences of any specialist radio show in the country; and with Howard flexing his own production muscles on a trio of remixes earlier this year, audiences were indulged as he took on the bass-heavy vibes of Fedde Le Grand’s “Twisted”, and stamped his distinctive flavour all over it making it a true-to-form dancefloor banger. The original track, which Howard premiered on his BBC Radio 1 show drummed up support from industry heavyweights such Hardwell, David Guetta, Fatboy Slim and Pete Tong.
His heavy duty remixes of Afrojack’s “Dynamite” featuring Snoop Dogg and Jakob Liedholme’s “Nea”, prove Danny Howard is more than worth his salt as producer who can stamp his unique mark on any track, when asked which current single he would most like to sign to a label of his own, his reply is one that may surprise some – “Right now… Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo – ‘Touch It’… Such an amazing vibe with the legendary Daft Punk sample! Goes off in the club“. You can catch Danny Howard live at Ministry of Sound this weekend.
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Words by Akua Ofei // Edited by Ayo Adepoju