Last year Sean Johnston played a memorable set at the Flow festival alongside Andrew Weatherall, whom he DJ's with as A Love From Outer Space. This Saturday he is back in Helsinki for a solo gig at Nolla. Sean Johnston has been involved in the British club scene since the acid house era. He also managed to survive the techno scene of the '90s. These days Sean is busy running the ALFOS nights and producing music as part of the trio Hardway Brothers who have gained reputation for their slow and energetic sound.
Last summer you played at the Flow festival. How did you find the gig and the Finnish crowd?
– Flow Festival was one of the best ALFOS sessions last year. The crowd were really receptive and Andrew and I were particularly in sync – we were both cue-ing up the same record to play next on a number of occasions. It was quite deceptive because when we started there was about 150 people and it was light. The sun set and we couldn't really see how many people were out in front of us. Then at one point the moon rose over the gasometer and it became clear the whole arena was rammed. A really memorable party.
Could you tell us a little about your background as a DJ and producer? You started out playing Chicago house, hip-hop and indie at the Welly Club in Hull, Yorkshire, if I'm not misinformed.
– Yes that's right, I came from the time before being a DJ has the cache it has now – I just had a big record collection. At the Welly in the mid 80's we were playing stuff like early Def Jam, early Trax and DJ International stuff alongside tracks like Rip It Up by Orange Juice and Steps of Emotion by The Farm. I moved to London in '88 and got involved in the Balearic / Acid House scene. During the 90's my taste graduated towards the Detroit Techno side of things. I started producing in 93 alongside some pals who were studio engineers - we formed Flash Faction releasing records on Andrew's Sabres of Paradise label amongst others. My tastes mellowed over the years and I started the Hardway Bros thing in about 2007/8.
Kirjoittanut Magnus Blomkvist / 22.05.2012