A&E » Arts

Tall order for legendary house

British DJ parachutes into Tommy Africa's



House legend DJ Tall Paul was at his London home preparing material for his radio show The Mix Down Session on London’s premiere dance station Kiss FM when Pique Newsmagazine called.

The former founder of the pirate radio station Touchdown FM may have gone legit, but with his international standing in the music scene, he now brings the unusual to the music listening forefront as a producer, DJ and radio champion.

"I have a duty to push through new music," he said. "You might not like a lot of it, but I can understand the production merit of it because I come from a studio background."

The classic DJ who has played almost every club in the U.K. is all about getting fresh and exciting music out there with his show Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Tommy Africa’s being no exception.

Pirate radio stations including the likes of Sunrise FM and sets at his dad’s nightclub Turnmills got the 6’6" boy at the time into the groove with residencies following around the U.K. as well as recognition for what critiques deemed hard-edged-house anthems.

The term hard house doesn’t sit well with Paul, the adjective far too narrowing for the scope of his work.

"My impression is a lot different," he said. "I play hard house, fast and in your face, but that is not what I play. I play good club music. Music that is going to get a busy crowd jumping."

One of Paul’s most memorable crowds were 2,000 dancers bouncing in silhouette as the sun came up on the pyramids in Egypt. Both DJ and setting heralded as a national treasure.

"It was better than the White House," he recounted.

No stranger to crowds as big as 30,000 clubbers, the globetrotter has produced numerous top 40 hits, including the club anthems Escrima "Deeper" as well as Camisra "Let Me Show You". The record label owner of Duty Free Recordings has remixed for artists such as New Order, Stone Roses, Human League, Marc Almond, Duran Duran, Wild Child and Blondie, just to name a few. His work was featured on Virgin compilations and he signed with the Ministry of Sound. His most current albums are the compilation CD Globetrotting and the Gallery Live Album recorded off the floor at Turnmills last year.

Rated number 17 by DJ Magazine in the Top 100 DJ poll, Tall Paul continues to reach new heights.

"I am just sustaining the momentum, which is quite different when sustaining a certain height," he said. "It peaked a few years back as far as the hype over here. I never thought I would be doing gigs in Whistler."

Advance $25 tickets available at Hot Box Internet Café and Tommy Africa’s. Doors 9 p.m.