Electronic superstar Rex The Dog celebrates the first birthday of his bi-monthly night Breed at East London dive-bar Dalston Superstore this week. With a new track imminent we caught up with him to talk about his lengthy and highly creative career, the ethos behind Breed and how a hip nun from the ‘60s inspires him…
Over the course of your career you’ve had chart success, critical acclaim and success as a promoter- what do you think has been your proudest moment?
Ooh it sounds good when you put it like that! I actually had a very proud moment at BREED, I think it was the fourth one; I’d finished playing, and I was watching Nic [former Breed resident Pleasure Cruiser] and Elena [RUFUS&Bambi] playing back to back, and the energy in the room was amazing. Everyone was going crazy and the Robo Rex was beaming its lasers across the room. And I was dancing, and it all felt so good that we’d made it happen together. I think I may have had a transcendental moment…
BREED turns 1 next Friday. What was the original concept when you set it up?
Well the concept was to do a regular party where all the things that I like doing and making could be brought together. Kind of taking total aesthetic control. I wanted to do a small party where the music was strictly electronic, and programmed really well. I felt that a lot of smaller club nights were quite ‘eclectic’ in the music policy, which I think can result in quite a patchy night out. I suggested it to Nic who I was going clubbing with at the time, and he was like “Don’t just talk about, let’s do it.” So I showed him a Robo Rex model I’d made and then we started making a plan.
The hand-made Robo Rexes you hang from the ceiling of Dalston Superstore look really complicated. Can you talk us through a little bit of what it takes to create them?
They’re basically made from shapes cut from foam board, glued together and wired up inside with red LEDS. Sounds simple, but somehow it takes absolutely ages. The one that hangs in the DJ booth has laser eyes instead of LEDS, so he has to be really carefully positioned so he doesn’t take out someone’s eyeballs.
What part do you think the t-shirts you give out at each Breed play in the night’s popularity?
Hmmm, they probably help give each night its identity and make each party a bit special. And it’s also a nice way for people to feel connected to the club afterwards. It’s really cool to see people wearing them in the street or at other parties.
Who is your biggest non-musical influence?
I’m really interested in this artist called Sister Mary Corita. She ran the art department at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles in the ‘60s. She’s sadly not around anymore, but she was a pop art and screen-printing pioneer. She was a nun, basically the hippest nun there’s ever been. I’ve read quite a lot of her writing on the creative process, and it’s very inspiring. I also even bought an original giant print from 1967, which is in my flat! She was very big on slogans, and re-appropriating slogans from advertising. It’s great stuff.
What piece of equipment could you not do your job without?
Synthesizers! Real ones, not ones inside a computer please.
If your dog Rex could talk instead of bark, what secret would he tell us about you?
There’s a reason he can’t talk, and that’s how it should stay! Have you seen a website called Texts From Dog? It’s VERY good: https://textsfromdog.tumblr.com/
We hear you’re going to be showcasing a new track at the next Breed… can you tell us a bit more about it?
Hmm ‘showcasing’ is a bit strong! I’m more ‘sneaking it in’ to see how it feels. It’s a track I’ve been working on for a little while, it has a great guest vocalist on it, but at the moment I’m just testing it.
What are your plans for the rest of the Jubilee weekend? Electronic debauchery or chilling/recovering with Rex?
Ooh, there are lots of parties on for this weekend, so I think we’ll keep the engine running and just keep going!
Rex The Dog’s night Breed takes place this Friday 1st of June at Dalston Superstore with resident RUFUS&Bambi plus special guest DJ Loki (Girlcore