With anticipation for Friday’s DJ Harvey Red Bull London show reaching fever pitch, we thought it might be a nice time to revisit a little chat with the man behind the sound system on Friday: Mickey Boyle.
If you haven’t managed to pick up a ticket for the London show, there are a few left for the Manchester party at Resident Advisor…
Mickey Boyle has been installing sound systems all his life and is a true legend on the underground circuit for what he has done and been involved in over the years. He worked with his friend Rolph for years setting up sound systems for partys in often unusual spaces .He is working with us at on the installation of our LN–CC music space – looking at the Acoustics, the sound system and the set up. We caught up with Mickey and asked him a few questions…
– You’ve been working with and installing sound systems for a long time. You have incredible history from what you have been doing and the people that you have been working with over the years. How did you initially get into it all?
“I bought a sound system in 1988 and have never looked back.”
– You have grown up in the music scene and experienced some very special times and musical movements throughout the years. What parties were you first going to or working at?
“I’ve always been looking for good parties – early ’88 parties were very liberating. Spring bank holiday “Hedonism” at Hanger lane was a good one. Before 88 many parties were very split racially… it wasn’t as integrated back then – in ’88 it all changed.”
– How did it all develop? how influential have some of the parties / musical movements or certain DJs been on shaping the history of dance culture. Can you talk me through the era’s and how it evolved. What have been some of the most important moments for you ?
“There was a club called Confusion in Bill Stickers’ night club on Sunday, Kid bachelor was the DJ there. These were really Crazy parties in 1988.
Reggae originally got me into sound systems and I liked the idea of playing other styles of music on big sound systems. In the 80s it wasn’t so genre driven… if a party was good people would go regardless of what kind of music it was… in the early 90s it started to split into genres… deep house, disco etc… a lot of DJs from bigger parties got into drum n bass.”
– Were you involved in the Tonka parties? What are your memories?
“I went to Zap in ’89 a lot although I wasn’t involved in Tonka. They had their own sound system. We did do the last year or so for Harvey at the zapp club which was one of the best partys ever .First Monday of the month”
– Tell us how you met DJ Harvey and your involvement in Moist?
“I knew Harvey and Heidi from around, Harvey DJ’ed for a club I was involved in, “The House of Rhythm”. During this time Harvey set up Moist at the Gardening Club and asked us to put in a sound system every Friday. This was around 1990.. This all happened at the time the Ministry opened.”
– How was the night that Larry Levan played at Moist?
“Larry was outstanding and was all about emotion. He played with somebody else’s records, this was just before he died sadly. There were many good nights at Moist and Harvey was always trying to go further than other DJs. I think Harvey had really come into his own when I worked for him at Blue Note in Hoxton around 1994. He had been resident at Ministry for a couple of years at this point.”
– Which other DJs have you enjoyed working with over the years?
“Kenny Carpenter at Raw Club… too many to mention to be honest and the big names were not necessarily better than up and coming DJs.”
-What is the importance of good sound and what other important factors contribute towards achieving perfect sound in a club?
“My three ingredients are…
1. Good acoustics in the room, this is paramount and often over looked in England
2. A good well balanced sound system
3. The set up of equipment with correct gain structure”
– What are you working on these days?
Just finished working with Mastermind road show at Notting Hill carnival (big system). I have recently been working on installing bespoke sound systems into buildings such as hotels. I installed an 18 zone sound system at Crazy Bear hotel recently.
Big thanks to LN:CC for permission in re-printing their original interview with Mickey.