We get the lowdown from long standing Bristol based DJ, label boss and producer Thrilogy. No stranger to the world of dance music, he’s been making waves in city, across the UK and beyond since arriving in the city as a student in the 1990s, and has been involved in some big projects such as Idiotproof and Deepgroove along the way.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I came to Bristol in 1994 to go to university and have never left. I promote club nights, produce and DJ under the alias Thrilogy. I also have a techno project with Jamie Anderson called ‘Idiotproof’. And many years ago was in the DJ duo ‘Deepgroove’.

What was the first electronic music you remember listening to and what impression did it have on you?

After my teenage term as a ‘Grunger’, I next moved on to Hardcore, Rave and Early Drum & Bass. Pretty much any genre that you would hear at Dreamscape, Elevation and Fusion raves. I was in love with the culture, the experiences, the missions in our Peugot 205s, Renault 5s, the tapes of massive events and ‘One Love’…

How did you get introduced to clubs and parties—what nights did you first go to?

In the early 90s, I had a particular group of friends that were all into the same music, so we would travel around The South and visit as many clubs, raves and illegal parties as possible. The Zap in Brighton, Lakota in Bristol, Checkpoint Charlie in Reading, Fusion in Farnborough, Dreamscape in Milton Keynes, Strawberry Sundaes, The Gardening Club, Fridge in Brixton, Club UK in Wandsworth, DTPM and Trade.

Were there any particular raves that were game changing at the time?

The big hardcore raves (Dreamscape/ Fusion) were particularly mind-blowing with the huge main arenas mixing early happy hardcore (DJ Dougal) with jungle and drum & bass and you would only find house music in the small side room. However, the first time I went to Trade and seeing Tony De Vit, and the gradual increase in intensity you would get from first listening to Malcom Duffy, then Steve Thomas, then Pete Wardman to finally a 150 bpm set from TDV was really game changing.

Which DJs did you first get into following?

Dougal, Ellis Dee, Easygroove, Sy, Carl Cox, then Sasha.

When did you first get into DJing and what is your memory of your gig ?

I first bought a pair of secondhand Technics belt-drive decks off Derry from EMF in 1994, but loved DJing so much, I got a new set for my birthday at the end of the year, (which I still have). Not sure if it was my first gig, but an early memory is putting on a night at La Rocca in Bristol called Burp The Worm with black and white paper flyers. It sold out and I was instantly hooked.

How did you then get involved with the whole Rave On Avon (tell us more about the whole event and how it has evolved)?

Rave On Avon was the after-party of BrisFest, which was a festival that followed the legendary Ashton Court Festival, which I was lucky enough to play at as Deepgroove, many years ago.

What’s the story behind your Deepgroove project and where did it take you?

I went on holiday to San Francisco in the early 2000s, at a time when their deep house music scene was flourishing. Producers like Onionz, Dano, Joeski were smashing out amazing bassline heavy deep house and I bought as much vinyl as I could fit in my suitcase and as soon as I got back to Bristol I started a house night called ‘Deepgroove’. A little while later I met Grayson Shipley at a after-hours and we hatched a plan to make a big house night called PLAY. We put on X-Press 2 at Lakota and were so mesmerized by their 6 decks and effects we started to play together on 4 Technics and 2 mixers and amazingly we started to get recognised outside Bristol, won the Muzik Magazine Best Bedroom DJs after Yousef and James Zabiela, got picked up by an agent and the next ten years we spent DJing around the world and making house and techno records for labels like Cocoon, Underwater, Rekids, MBF, Harthouse, Suara, Klang Electronik, Veryverywrongindeed etc.. and also a fantastic techno album on Harthouse with Jamie Anderson.

And when did you decide to start over and get your Thrilogy project and Fate And Fiction label off the ground ?
I’d taken a bit of time off from touring, Grayson had moved to Ibiza and Bristol was witnessing a huge wave of globally recognised artists and labels from Julio Bashmore, Eats Everything and the Futureboogie crew, so it felt like a good time to work on a new project, a more Bristol sound and something with my own identity.

As you’re approaching 10 years of both – what have been the highlights so far?

So many highlights, but obviously the first FAFEP001 on vinyl was pretty lovely. Also, we did a beautiful powder pink, heavy card limited edition, signed print by local artist Anna Higgie for my first solo vinyl EP, which I adore. We’ve had lush tote bags, t-shirts, sweaters, stickers, and lots of cool merch (on Bandcamp to still buy!), a wicked ten track compilation album of Bristol artists to mark our tenth release, and not to forget an unbelievable release from Jamie Anderson featuring the legendary Robert Owens!

Are there any new artists we should be looking out for?

I wouldn’t say they are new artists but Gallegos and Tommy Vicari Jnr are smashing the production again this year. And on the DJ front, Milly on Air is one of my favourite DJs, playing wicked underground house and cuts from the 90s/ early 2000s.

And what have you got planned next…

The next installment from the label is another V/A with tracks from Tommy Vicari Jnr, Gallegos, Joint4Nine from Bogota and a wicked Jamie Anderson edit.

You can follow Thrilogy on Instagram or Soundcloud.

by Filippo Rocco

Editor: Alex H Honey