Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Chris plans to take Los Bastardos to a new age
10:40am Thursday 10th May 2012 in Sound Check
IT’S already established itself as a top night with a total difference, but Southend’s electroswing night Los Bastardos is about to enter a new age as it’s taken over by genre king Chris Tofu – whose nights at Shoreditch’s Book Club sparked the original movement.
The driving force behind the electroswing movement, Chris was one of the first to start dabbling in the trend of remixing vintage swing tracks to modern beats, and having him behind the Los Bastardos night marks a bold new time for the club.
“I’m terribly excited,” says Chris. “I actually played at the Sunrooms years ago when I was in a punk band.”
Chris has been the DJ at the club since, and can’t wait to lend his skills to notch things up a level.
“I’m from Continental Drift, which has always been a part of all the festivals – we run big parts of Secret Garden Party, Bestival, the Big Chill and Glastonbury,” he says.
“We were part of something called Lost Vagueness, which really put the whole Burlesque movement on the map, and I was doing all the music. I was asking the number one question: ‘Where are all the re-mixes?’ “Everyone was turning out the same really bad dance music and stuff you can do now with an iPhone, but some of the greatest music of the Twenties to Fifties wasn’t being remixed – there are over a billion vinyl tracks out there and no one was mixing them.
“There was all this stuff with all this brass and quality stuff, so we set it up.”
The movement took hold, with numbers of DJs and bands slowly swelling and Chris’s cult night at the Book Club as well as White Mink in Brighton – and our own Los Bastardos at the Sunrooms, began to grow – although they remain tantalisingly off the mainstream.
“We do radio shows and stuff like that,” laughs Chris. “But it doesn’t matter. When we sold out Koko in Camden in five days, the mainstream industry were like ‘what the hell is this?’ “And we want it to stay like that.”
Chris has plenty of ideas for the Southend club, and says: “For the first night it’ll be me DJing and another guy, Maz Pashn, who’s one of the inventors of the gypsy beat, which has become incredibly large across the word.
“He’s a really big star in that world – he plays more Django Rheinhardt remixes.
“There’s Les Go, who’s part of Los Bastardos and he’s amazing – he’s a very famous Ibiza DJ who moved to electroswing and he’s doing a very fine job.
“We’re going to build it up into something really massive – certainly we’re looking at putting more live bands in there.”
Chris Tofu takes over Los Bastardos at the Sunrooms, Market Square, Southend, on Friday, May 11.