Panik Sound System Interview:
Dave was and is a dreamer. Tekno Chris first got talking to Dave in the café because of the '23' shaved into the back of his head, he had figured that he went to free parties or he was dead keen on American basket-ball, the latter of course was untrue. Dave's system at this stage had the same power and was about the same size of a bottom of the range Aiwa stereo (you know the ones you get from Argos). Tekno Chris deflated Dave's dreams one day by telling him bluntly, "There's no fuckin' way you can take that to a party". So unfazed Crazy Dave kept building.
Dave hand built all of the speaker housings with his own fair hands and placed in these boxes low cost drivers and powered it with a couple of low cost amps. This would turn out to be his down fall. The first few parties went fine but the real test came during the eclipse of the sun in Cornwall, England. What followed was five days of virtually non-stop mayhem, by the final day the rig, it's amps and it's lights were fucked. The rig would never be the same again.
After some frantic phone calls, forwarded e-mails and a few meetings Panik began to take shape. Deals were struck and scams scammed, money donated and information shared. The system was rebuilt with new more powerful drivers, bigger more powerful amps were purchased and kit donated.
The system has an open deck policy and is totally open to d.j. experimentation. We believe this is the only way to run a sound system because the crowd get to hear a diverse and underground selection, the crew who are d.j's, musicians, artists, technicians and performers try to get the parties running smoothly and the music loud and inspirational.
Pan!K was formed by a bunch of mates who stared out partying in or around 1991. We would go to clubs and organised, pay-a-fortune-for-a-crap-night events like Raindance, Fantazia and the like. Then we ran into Spiral Tribe at the White Goddess festival on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, where they played for two weeks non-stop at the end of August 1991.
Hooked on the Tribe's vibe and coming from London we started going to the warehouse parties by Spirals and Bedlam. Then 1992 arrived and the year got bigger and better parties in London, then spring sprung and a mental mash up Lechlade with Spiral Tribe, Bedlam & Circus Warp (ed: I was there, good party!) was followed 3 weeks later with Castlemorton - and that changed everything.
There was now no way we could go back to club land with all it's shitty little rules enforced by shitty little Hitlers, so with Spiral Tribe exiled to Paris we sought to find other free parties in the area. London didn't let us down and the parties rocked. All the while, some of us started DJing at house parties, upsetting the smoothy types by banging out Spiralesque Tekno and many years of fun, teknivals nuttyness and wasted time followed. Then in the caff around the corner, I noticed a bloke with 23 shaved in his head. Now he was either a basketball nut, or a party nut - of course when I spoke to Dave he turned out to be just a pain and simple nutta.
Now Dave had spent the last few years travelling round Europe, hanging out with the Nomads and running into the Spiral's. His wife got up the stick and home they came for the birth. Sarah with dreams of motherhood, Dave with dreams of building a rig. This is where we met. Straight away we all hit it off together and slowly but surely the rig started to take shape. Handbuilt in Dave's front room, when we had enough gear to make sum fuckin noize, we dragged it down 5 flights of stairs to the van, drove across London to Stratford, then up 5 flights of stairs and set up just in time for New Years Eve. And what a fucking night that was too.
We started doing more little events, culminating in a week long beach party in Cornwall for the eclipse, where once a local land owner saw us getting CJA'd from the beach because of some moosey faced councillor who lived nearby, he offered us his land about 100 meters away!!!
After destroying nearly all the rig in Cornwall we regrouped and rebuilt. Lessons were learned on how not to blow everything up and we were back in business doing warehouse parties most weekends in London, then when the weather was good enough out in the countryside, plus the odd teknival.
Most of what we had to learn to run the rig successfully was found out the hard way. Blowing shit up, getting pigged or robbed all teaches you valuable lessons. Dave is now well versed on the technical side of things, whilst other crew members all help in their own way with helping set up, acquiring bits and pieces, the web site, music and so on.
The music policy of Pan!K is anything good. How do you know if it's good or not? If you are playing shit, you'll soon find out...
The rig now stands at 10K and is growing all the time. 2002 will see us in Czech for the tek, as well as all over the UK for various events that are rumoured to be happening - keep yer ears to da undaground for more info on these...
1. Question: Running a system takes a shed load of time and energy. How do you cope and what keeps you rocking?
Rich: Pan!k dave.
Sleeze: DAVE, with perhaps a bit of love of the music and satisfaction of seeing 100s of people enjoying themselves does it for me, but mostly Dave.
2a. Question: We've all been to parties in unsual locations. I've heard of parties in boat yards, canal barges and runways (ed: complete with planes taking off over-head at Enstone airfield, Oxfordshire in the early 90's). What was the best party you've been to?
Rich: Concrete beach, Holland! The best panik site real beach cornwall; dunno can't remember.
2b. Question: What would be your dream location for a party?
Sleeze: Being a committed dreamer I have loads: On the ruins of Buckingham Palace or the Houses of Parlia-ment, Ayers Rock, Castlemorton Common (again), North or South Pole, in space, or I'm just as happy in a grotty warehouse in West London.
3. Question: What advise would you give anyone looking to start their own system?
Rich: Get a pan!k dave!
Sleeze: Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never TRUST A COPPER!!!
4a. Question: Hind sight is a wonderful thing. Is there anything you'd do differently looking back on the last few years?
Rich: Not really.
5. Question: Where do you see Pan!k in a year's time?
Rich: In a dirty warehouse.
Sleeze: Festering in a warehouse not too far away...
6a. Question: Tell us about your funniest party memory...
Rich: Blokes trousers falling down at our second London party in Brentcross he didn't know it had happend, and carried on mooching about in front of the stack with his ickle todger hangin out, he was less amused when we pointed it out to him and tried to pull the stack such as it was down, even funnier was when we realised we'd blown most of the rig up in the morning!?
6b. Question: What was your worst party moment?
Sleeze: Every time we get busted or impounded it gets a bit grim.
7a. Question: Considering the negative reputation the 'freeparty' scene has. What would you do to improve it?
Rich: We are doing all we can and so are most of the crews we know, its not easy in london especially. We all need to help each other, crews and raving crews, sometimes shit happens that you don't agree with no matter how much you try and prevent it.
7b. Question: Does the scene need a more positive image at all?
Sleeze: I don't think it does. The media does say outrageous things about free parties, but if you believe what you read in the papers then perhaps you're not quite ready for the kind freedom offered by a free party.
8. Question: Any closing comments for your fans...
Rich: Yeah! Stop stalking me Sleezey.
Sleeze: Although he publicly denies it, Rich loves to eat or drink anything spiked with acid, so do him a favour and make his night...
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