Chewing the FAT with Paul Arnold

Paul has enjoyed equal success as a promoter, DJ, and Label Manager; everything he's done reflects how tight his finger is on the pulse of contemporary music. Originally from Ipswich, Paul had already booked and played alongside some of the scene's biggest and diverse names, Derrick May, Plaid, Fabio, Grooverider and James Lavelle before relocating to London.

On Paul's arrival he established London's first dedicated breakbeat night Breaking Point. This spawned Chew The Fat! Brixton's weekly night at The Bug Bar, which Paul has now run for seven years and remains the longest running breakbeat night in the world. In 2002 Chew The Fat! found a second home with a monthly residency at London's finest club The End. Hosting the lounge for Steve Lawler's Harlem Nights, which is jam-packed every time.

The strength of Chew The Fat! grew and their march north through London continued as Fat! were asked to host another monthly residency at London's most exciting new club The Key, which they have done for the past year with unprecedented success.

I would one day like to record some music but in the mean time i think just developing new artists on Fat! will help increase the new music I can play
Beat Factor: You manage the Fat! Records, which is now one of the most respected break-beat labels and hosts some of the hottest break-beat talents around. How it all started for 'Fat!' ?

Paul Arnold: It's started at the club Chew the FAT! about 8 years ago, i had been putting off starting a label for a while because I didn't really want to start one as had just wrapped Certificate 18 up after 10 long years... But once you have the bug i guess it stays with you and I'm a sucker for new music.

BF: As a DJ, what would you say that has an influence on your career?

PA: Alcohol - that has probably had the most influencing mark on my career... Many lost nights playing records I never remember the name of. No I think i draw from all musics as have listened and do listen to as much as I possibly can. This is the only way for music and my dj sets to evolve...

BF: In October Chew the Fat! is celebrating 8 years. How this year has been comparatively to the others?

PA: This year has been a great year, we have been now in the main room at The End for a year so it's a double celebration really. To see thousands of people coming to the night not just hundreds has been most rewarding...

BF: Last month you made your debut in Romania. Do you plan further Chew the Fat! events here?

PA: I would love to come and dj more in Romania. The crowd was very receptive. And Clau who brought Fat! over is a very special guy... Mind you I don't want to drink anymore of that fire water he made me drink!

BF: Your Chew the Fat! nights at the The Bug Bar became a household in Brixton's break-beat scene. Tell us about the migration to London at The End. Do you still run your residency at The Bug Bar?

PA: No when we started the main room at the end we had to become exclusive to them as is one of the best clubs around and didn't want to spread it to thin. We were running them alongside each other when we were in the lounge of the end, but we out grew that room so they had to put us in the main room. We havent looked back since.

BF: What's the concept behind the residency at The End?

PA: The concept is to try and -whilst keeping the continuity of the night through its residents - bring in some of the best dj talent from the scene. DJ's who are open minded about there breakbeat. I try and programme the night so it flows. Whilst doing this I am also trying to showcase new talent as well. There is a huge divide now between to main artists/dj's and the new artists dj's coming through. I want to bridge that gap so there is more music out there. More music for people to enjoy and in turn more people to play the music too.

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Chewing the FAT with Paul Arnold

October 4, 2005 at 11:20 PM CEST


Andrei Rusu

BF: What other new territories are you planning to spread the Fat! wings to?

PA: We cover most countries in Europe, it';s just seeking out where we are allowed .. Berlin, Barcelona, Budapest, Paris, Australia , Canada, the U.S. have all been great places ..

BF: As a dj, what should we expect from you in the near future? Is there any news about yourself you want to share?

PA: I would one day like to record some music but in the mean time i think just developing new artists on Fat! will help increase the new music i can play. I am always looking for something a little different but with quality. For me a lot of the breakbeat lacks quality and when played needs to be mixed up otherwise can sound very boring so trying to incorporate new sounds new styles in a breakbeat kinda way... Keeping the party in full flow. It' doesn't always work but that's what's enjoyable about trying new music on new audiences... That's my buzz.

BF: You are also involved in Six Foot Stereo, a 'vinyl karaoke' night as you describe it. Who had the idea for this initially?

PA: How the hell do you know about that, very well researched!! There were three of us who started this night some time ago... Its just good fun giving non dj's or dj's the chance to play any music at randon without worrying about trying to impress. ITS A FUN THING... Sometimes lacked in the music industry... Joe Burrin and Lord Anthony are my partners in crime!!

BF: What was the craziest or unusual experience that happened to you during your set?

PA: It's normally before or after that something unusual happens... however I think being held in a headlock by a mad crack head was pretty unusual...

Photo: Evgeniy Kazannik

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