In April 2007, a group of mates got together in the name of love for Acid House and put on a party at Corsica Studios in London
Spearheaded by cousins Richard Bevan and Joshu Doherty aka Posthuman, little did they realise it would be the start of a whole new adventure. They brought together some of the UK’s finest reprobrates such as Luke Vibert and Ceephax Acid crew to tweak out to a heap of “Braindance” styled acid. A second party was organised a few months later, and then another, another and another.
Fast forward ten years and their enthusiasm and energy has continued to grow with over a hundred events having taken place in over a dozen cities, countries and festivals – celebrating the sound of the Roland TB303. In 2014, Richard and Joshu decided the time was right to stamp their mark with a vinyl only label, each edition limited to 303 hand-written copies. Having reached 2017 mostly intact, the duo are celebrating a decade of surfing saw and square waves with a special edition compilation custom designed USB stick – shaped like a TB303. Representing the many facets of the Acid sound – from house to ambient, techno to breaks, electro to experimental, they’ve brought together 20 tracks from friends and legends alike.
In celebration of their achievements, we caught up with Joshu to reminisce about I Love Acid’s journey and pick some favourite memories from the last 10 years.
1) Corsica Studios – just a “one off”
“I Love Acid was never really planned to be some big thing – I certainly didn’t think it’d be a record label and club night celebrating its 10th birthday. In April 2007, I’d left my first record label Seed and quit putting on parties with the Seed crew after our 2006 ‘Soviet’ event had gone seriously wrong, and lost thousands of pounds. I’d gotten itchy to do some kind of bash and agreed with Luke Vibert to do a party themed around his track ‘I Love Acid’ with him, me, and a bunch of our mates on the bill. Instead of flyers, I printed CDs (remember them?) with some acid tracks on and gave them out in flyer packs. The night itself was great fun – and would have been a financial success, except someone tipped a drink into a mixer which I had to pay for, so it ended up being a modest loss. But, I’d caught the promoting bug again. A few months later, I did a Halloween fancy dress party (with almost the same line up actually) and I Love Acid was born.”
2) Ginglik, January 2009
“After the first couple of I Love Acid parties at Corsica Studios, a venue in west London called Ginglik contacted me and asked if I wanted to host a monthly residency. Ginglik was the perfect venue in all ways but one – a converted underground Victoria toilet underneath a park, amazing layout of a central lobby with separate bar, lounge, and dancefloor, run & staffed by the nicest people I’ve ever encountered in clubland (even the security were ace) and a wicked little Turbosound rig that really filled the space just right. The one problem was that it was located in Shepherds Bush! With no other venues, clubs or pubs in the area were worth going to, it was too out of the way for a lot of clubbers. Though in a way, this contributed to the vibe: it was an oasis, and those who made the effort to attend were rewarded.
Placid joined us as our DJ resident early in the Ginglik days. My approach to acid had been very much from the Warp/Rephlex late 90s vibe, whereas Placid had been playing vinyl since the late 80’s. Having him on board was a massive education for me and a huge influence on Posthuman. January 2009 was one of many, many great nights there – but it sticks in my memory because it was my 30th birthday – Mark Archer and Ed DMX DJ’d, and I got drunk and danced!”
3) Malta 2011
“There’s a crew based out in Malta – the likes of Acidulant, Mutex & more – who have been flying the flag for acid house and braindance for even longer than I’ve been doing I Love Acid. Most years we team up and do a party out there, and it’s always a highlight of my annual calendar. The venues vary, and some of them have been a bit more lo-fi than others, but that’s always part of the fun. In 2011, five of us went out there (myself, Rich, James AGT, Placid, and Mark Archer) and spent two days getting drunk on the rooftop of our hotel and generally being idiots, all with a big old rave at the end of it. So much fun.”
4) Bloc Weekend 2011 – The Dome
“We’ve always had some kind of presence at Bloc – in one guise or another I think I’ve played every single weekender. I’ve known Alex and George for well over a decade now. We have a shared history with things like Dedbeat and Wang. In 2011, there was a dome set up in the main drag of the Butlins concourse. Inside, there were 360 degree projections and a dancefloor that held maybe 150 people. We hosted it as I Love Acid for two days, all our usual crew – Luke, Ceephax, Mark etc plus A Guy Called Gerald and a couple other guests. The queue to get into the dome was 3 times as long as the capacity itself – and once you were in, it was an amazing party space – but you didn’t want to leave as you couldn’t get back in.”
5) Bloc 2012 – The Disaster
“OK, everyone remembers the debacle that was Bloc 2012 but our story isn’t as bad as most. We were amongst the few to actually play and have a good time (kinda). Our stage was the Ceephax Acid Waltzers – literally a fairground ride that had decks set up inside the control booth. As you can imagine, this wasn’t great for turntables but for the laptop jockeys it was no problem. We were on early on the Friday, before everything else kicked off. We had no idea of the problems on site because we’d gone straight to our stage and started playing.
When everything started falling apart, all our crew managed to get backstage with a few crates of booze – and amongst the chaos, we got locked in a trailer that was fully decked out with riders and whatnot. I remember Richie Hawtin was locked in the trailer next to us (apparently he didn’t even have water) while we were in what I assumed was Snoop Dogg’s trailer (the door was labelled thus). There was a massive bowl of salad. And a litre tub of mayonnaise. Snoop’s Mayo? We all ended up trashed and had a right good laugh. There was a magician doing tricks. Eventually, the police let us out, and around 3am we all wandered home with the rumours of what the fuck just happened?”
6) Heading out of town
“By 2012, we were doing I Love Acid parties fairly regularly outside of London. Malta every summer, Dublin on a few occasions (RIP Twisted Pepper) and Edinburgh with the Substance crew. We had our sixth birthday party at PETROL in Antwerp, Belgium with the De:Tuned guys – DJ Food, Ed DMX, Mark Archer, Keith Tenniswood and myself all piling onto the Eurostar. Luke Vibert had gotten food poisoning so was replaced last minute by Frank De Wulf. Too much cheap vodka was drunk and the journey home the next day had us all nursing sore heads… To this day, we still do I Love Acid events in other cities – local promoters get in touch, we sort a line up with them, and put the party on together. Recently we had parties in Bristol and Leeds which were both amazing – the Leeds party really felt like Ginglik.”
7)…the “last ever” party that wasn’t.
“In 2013, the venue that had hosted I Love Acid for 6 years closed down. I moved it to a new, smaller venue in Dalston but the staff there were more geared up for live bands than a clubnight, and kept closing early or getting dates mixed up. I’d turn up to the venue and be locked out, waiting on the street for 2 hours for their staff to turn up, and then nothing would be ready. Their kit was always broken, and one time the air conditioning went down and it was like 40c downstairs. I wasn’t really enjoying promoting the night at that point so I decided to do a ‘last ever’ bash and call it quits. I organised a return to Corsica Studios, where it had all started, and filled the lineup with loads of the night’s favourite guests – Luke Vibert, Kirk Degiorgio, Mark Archer, Transparent Sound, Plaid etc.The party itself was a huge success, totally sold out, and great friendly vibes. The after hours crew Jaded were in the same venue on the day after, so our party just continued on into theirs…
Afterwards, I had so many people get in contact to say it was the first I Love Acid party they had ever been to, and couldn’t believe it was finished – ‘would I keep putting them on please!’. I took a 10 month break from promoting and started thinking about vinyl instead.”
8) Room 13 and limited edition vinyl
“In 2014, I Love Acid evolved into a record label. I’d done some releases with Tusk Wax and love their uncompromising approach. Vinyl only, no digital, no represses. I decided to do a similar thing but with an acid theme – hand stamped and numbered, limited to only 303 copies, with extra attention on quality of the wax. Ed DMX and Bass Junkie had a project together called ‘Room 13’ that they were looking for a home, so that was a perfect match really. The only problem with making 303 copies is that essentially you need to sell 300 copies to break even. When pressing high quality vinyl, there’s not much room for profit – but I never expected the label to take off the way it has. ‘Room 13’ sold out in 4 days and over the course of the next year, releases from Luke Vibert, Affie Yusuf, Jerome Hill, Global Goon and ourselves all repeated the feat. I’m now up to number 14 in the series – each usually sells out pretty quick.
I have no plans to up the numbers – the label has never been about making money anyway – it’s nice to have something special that people treasure.”
9) Autumn Street – DJ Pierre and Luke Vibert
“A real clash of titans, this was the comeback show after a break. We’d now moved to Bloc’s Autumn Street Studios and I managed to get both Luke and Pierre to share the bill – a real clash of legends. Neither of them had ever played with each other before. It had sold out months in advance, then on the night, February 5th 2015, it was *so fucking cold* …really one of the coldest, most miserable nights of the year. Everyone turned up right at the start so the whole crowd was queuing in the rain, lots of grumbling, and I had fears things were not going to plan. Then, DJ Pierre pulled out a proper classic acid set, really dug deep for the heads and the place went mental. Super friendly crowd – kids turning up with passports to get in all the way through to veterans who remembered ’88 cos they were there – and everyone was hugging each other, smiling. A real affirmation that coming back was the right thing to do.”
10) Ten years!
“So here we are, ten years on. I’m working with Jon Dasilva a lot these days, the resident from Manchester’s Hacienda – a bonafide acid house legend. We’re doing three I Love Acid birthday parties together – in Manchester, London, and Barcelona (at Moog, my favourite venue in the world bar none) Alongside the nights is a TB303 themed USB release, with 20 artists contributing. The world feels like a fairly uncertain place right now. Acid house was originally born out of the ashes of the Thatcher era – right wing government, cuts and a youth that felt cut off from the establishment – but their rebellion was to join each other on the dance floor, united. As acid house reaches its 30th anniversary and us our tenth, there are hints of those times again – it seems fitting that acid is enjoying a resurgence in the face of so much adversity.”