- 08 Nov 19
Alix Renaud caught up for a chat with Fernando Martin, the founder of Life and Boxed Off, and one of the directors behind District 8 and Index.
Can you tell us a little about District 8's move from its former Tivoli theatre venue?
Since we started this adventure in August 2014, with the unforgettable Rødhåd show, we knew that Tivoli was not going to be the home of D8 for ever. In fact, for the first three years, our website stated "D8 - a pop-up club". The initial intention was for it to move from one place to another, but from day one, we felt that Tivoli was the perfect home for what we wanted to achieve at that stage. It met a need that existed in Dublin nightlife at the time - a big club that could host big acts, without missing that underground, raw, warehouse feeling. After we painted it black, and removed the carpet and all the furniture, we thought that Tivoli would be exactly what we were looking for.
And then came Jam Park.
Four years later, we got the heads-up that the closure of Tivoli could become a reality. We found ourselves with a big task: not just finding another home, but a better one. D8 was now such a big beast, it wasn't going to fit just anywhere. For more than a year, we had our eyes on every property available, while maintaining our fight to keep the venue open. Eventually, we couldn't win the battle against "gentrification", and on January 26th, we hosted the farewell evening at the Tivoli. Around that time, conversations with Bodytonic were taking place and the decision was made that the "pop-up venue" will reopen in Swords.
Previously, you told me you were heavily inspired by London's Printworks in the refurbishment of the Wright Venue?
Printworks, Berghain and the Warehouse Project were some of our inspirations. We wanted to push the boundaries a bit, put in place cutting edge production, and bring Dublin's clubbing scene to the next level. The quality of the sound is something that sometimes gets lost in venues over the volume. Funktion One has done an incredible job, almost beyond our expectations.
Then there's the lighting. The way a space is illuminated has a significant impact on your response to the sounds played within it. We were shocked by the lighting rig when we visited Printworks. With our room in D8 being quite similar in shape, we tried to emulate - on a smaller scale - what we saw in London, so that we can provide truly memorable clubbing moments in Dublin.
You're also a very skilled DJ and producer, mostly performing in the duo Moduse. What's been the highlight of your journey so far?
If I have to choose one, I'd say the time we had to replace Len Faki at Boxed Off when he missed his flight. That was the second set we played on that stage - we opened it and then closed it eight hours later.
You told me that it took you nearly two years to figure out your favourite bass sound. What's the creative process like between you and Reza?
We've tried different ways of making that low frequency bass sound, but only recently have we found one we're happy with - though, of course, there's always room for improvement. Over the last year, I've been extremely busy with District 8 and other projects, but Reza doesn't stop creating new sounds.
Can we expect more material to be released soon?
Yep - we are working on it at the moment with Twenty 4 Bookings / Management.