Throughout our Last DJ Set series, we’ve asked a range of artists — Alinka, David Morales, Alan Oldham, Spencer Parker and Julia Bondar — to recall their last gig before government-ordered lockdowns and travel bans went into effect in March, forcing clubs and festivals to close.
As we inch closer toward the re-opening of clubs and festivals, we asked electro explorer Phil Bolland (a.k.a. Sync 24) of Cultivated Electronics to recall his last gig before lockdown.
When and where was your last DJ gig?
Sync 24: February 29, 2020 for Data Mine at Centrala in Birmingham, England. It was a small venue that the guys decked out with their own system and decor so it was a great space for a party.
How did it go?
It was fun. As I said, it was for the excellent Data Mine crew, who I had played for the previous summer at Shambala Festival alongside my mate Plant 43 who was playing live. My girlfriend joined me, and I had quite a few friends there, so it was a really fun night.
What was your mindset going into it? Where had you played previously?
I had come off the back of two London shows — my own Scand night at Corsica Studios the weekend before (it was an all-Dutch affair where we hosted the wicked Crave festival crew alongside Creme Organization) and then the launch of the No Static/Automatic label night with Fonz and Radioactive Man on the Thursday, which was also wicked. With regards to the Data Mine party, I had no plans, in particular, I just wanted to enjoy it and play some good tunes.
Did any tracks, in particular, go over especially well during that gig?
I got to road test some new tracks by myself as well as some forthcoming tracks on my label, Cultivated Electronics which included the new album by The Advent that I was about to release (it came out in May last year) so that was cool.
What is your best memory from that gig?
The after-party LOL! Cheers, Ian.
Everyone can’t wait for clubs and festivals to begin again. What do you miss most about DJing? How are you keeping your skills sharp?
It’s really cool to see new places and meet new people. Over the last couple of years before COVID-19, I had seen such new energy for electro that I haven’t really felt since way back when I started out, so this is what I really miss. Bringing the CE sound to new places and seeing people enjoy it. During this time I haven’t really been doing too much mixing. Most of my spare time has been spent focusing on production and finally having time to finish bucket loads of half-done tracks I have been working on including my debut album, which I am finally near to completing.
However, I am curating a monthly stream in the Green Room on the newly launched Techno Club site run by The Advent and Dave Bate. It’s nice to have a new platform to focus on while the clubs are down.
A lot of DJs have been doing live streams and working on tracks. What have you been working on during the lockdown? How can fans support you right now?
Trackwise, as I said above. This has been one positive of Lockdown for me, actually having time to work on music as I really didn’t get much done in the last two years so that has been a silver lining for me. Support wise if people can continue to buy the records and digital files then it’s all a help. CE has finally launched a new Bandcamp page so please head over to support.
Thank you for your time. Stay safe and be well.