Pure Science was a weekly drum & bass event in Kent that ran between 1997 and 2001. Jim Tovey, the original promoter, is now bringing it back for a big event at Arena on November 7th so we got him to tell us more...
Why are you starting Pure Science again?
After five years of not checking any new D&B I listened to a Fabio Radio 1 show about a year ago. He played Zero Tolerance's 'Refusal' and I was hooked all over again! Since then I've been blown away by the new wave of artists such as dBridge, Alix Perez, Calibre, Break, DKay, Mutt, Lenzman, Seba, Zero Tolerance, Spectrasoul, etc. I've hammered legal download sites and spent a fortune as I've had to catch up with so much music from 2002 to present day.
I ran Pure Science from the start in February 1997 until Boxing Day 2001 and basically grew up in Atomics - week in week out it had a major impact on my life. I've watched over the years as the brand changed hands, over & over, it was used and abused and I wanted to rescue it! By chance the previous owner offered Paddy Stewart the chance to run some events under the Pure Science name.
I've known Paddy from back in the day, he was a regular at my Pure Science and Heat events. He is a junglist through and through and was deep in the music game (he is the tour manager for the UK's biggest superstar!!) and as soon as I heard he had a way in I knew we had to take it back!
Why did you stop in the first place?
I fell out of love with the music. For over ten years D&B was all I knew. Everything I needed musically I got from D&B alone. I didn't listen to other styles of music! I've worked in record stores all my life, been around music from 1990 when I first went raving but I just got jaded by the whole thing. Pure Science was every week for five years, plus I was running Heat which was massive in those days. I didn't have a life outside of this music. Around 2001 my silent partner in these ventures kinda went off the rails and we began distancing ourselves from each other. It was hard to keep momentum by myself even though I had achieved most of my goals myself.
In March 2001 I went to the Miami Music conference with Swift and IC3. D&B was starting to get some major exposure, the Movement guys with Marky in particular were well up in their media game and were getting a lot of love. I came back from Miami recharged and planned to push my events to the press in a big way (previous to that I had always shunned interviews, etc. and had been low key with music press). Anyway, a couple of months after I came back I organised a lot of press attention for a Kool FM party we had at Atomics. The party was jammed but we had major problems with the sound system and what should have been a great night was pretty much ruined.
From that moment on Atomics began a steady decline, a lot of things were going on in the background and so I left on Boxing Day 2001. I let the dust settle for a few months and started a new night in Kent in a terrible location, it never took off and I ended up blowing a fair lump of money.
At this time I had gotten myself involved in some property development, this was at the peak of the property explosion and you pretty much only had to do the bare minimum to flip a house and make a tidy profit, this was increasingly taking up my time. What I should have done at this point was taken a few months out from D&B to reflect but instead I sold the Pure Science and Heat brands.
Selling Heat is one of my biggest regrets, to this day, looking back on it I realise that what I needed at that time was a partner with some drive and ambition to take it to the next level. I sold the brand to exactly that type of person - I should have made him a partner instead. Big mistake!
What have you been doing since then?
When I initially stopped promotion I was still involved in D&B. I ran Plastic Surgery in Maidstone (shout to Owen - legend!) for a couple of years, at the same time I was trading collectable vinyl all over the world. When this came to an end I spent four months travelling in Oz. On my return I went into nightclub management. I am now a director of a company that has several nightclubs, pubs and restaurants.
That and my 'large' family keep me busy (fourth one on the way!) but even with all that going on I still could not quite shake that promotion bug, so here I am again!
What have you got in store for your return event?
Pure Science meant so much to so many people; when you run a club night of that size (800-1200 weekly) for five years you're gonna touch lives! Friendships and relationships were built in that place, people came from all over the UK for a club night that finished at 2am! So it's a big thing that the original promoter is now back in control. After so long away from the scene we really wanted to make a huge impact.
First and foremost we knew we had to get the line-up just right. So much has changed since the last PS event I controlled and we wanted to be bang up to date but still keep it relevant to the PS OJ's! In arena one we have Andy C, Goldie, Hype, Dillinja, Shy FX, Randall, Stamina MC, 2 Shy, MC GQ, Bassman, Eksman, Skibadee and Fearless. There are some real Atomics legends that people may be surprised are missing from our line-up but we have to keep something up our sleeves for future events! We have also planned an Official Atomics Re-union for this event, so many old faces have enquired about tickets - should be a real mixed age group attending our return!
Tell us more about the venue you're using, Arena, what can people expect?
Oh my gosh!! We are so lucky to be in this venue. This November date was originally planned for The Loft in Maidstone but there were some dramas about another booking they had taken and so we were left with nowhere to hold the party! We had paid deposits on the artists and the last thing I wanted to do was cancel on them and have all these new agents who I had never previously worked with think we are time wasters!
Luckily for us Arena in Ashford was in the process of being refitted and they were there for us in our hour of need. Arena is surely the best venue Kent has ever seen. This venue is 30 seconds from Kent's largest motorway on an industrial estate away from complaining residents and the sound and lighting they have installed are next level. All the major house and D&B promoters are jumping on this venue - Cream, Gods Kitchen, Gatecrasher, Raindance, Breakology to name a few! Everyone will be talking about this place in the next few months.
How often are you going to do events now?
We have a 'Return to Maidstone' Party planned for December 19th and we shall be back at Arena for our 13th Birthday party in February. We aim to do four events a year, that's if people like what we do!!
Anything else you'd like to tell us about?
Just to let everyone know to join our facebook page for updates on our future events. Check out www.pure-science.co.uk - new website launching soon!
One last thing, I'm starting a new night called HARD:soul. It's a deeper night, very different from the all-out Pure Science thing. We are launching on October 16th @ The Crypt in Hastings with Friction, Lenzman, Stamina MC & Foxy and we have Lomax, DC Breaks and Brookes Brothers for our December party. Plans to go monthly with that from February 2010. Got artists like Seba, Break & Spectrasoul lined up for later!
Shouts to - Padsta & Promo Zo (feel like I have a team to move forward with now!!) - Nick Dettmar, Ray Rampage, Matt Breakology, ALL the Atomics OJ's and all the future PS crew! Never forgetting East & Sussie G (been too long!)
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