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Go BackNASTYDIRTY OUT! NUDE IN... - Queen of Dance, Smokin´Jo, tells us more about past and new ventures!

Posted: 12/12/05 15:56

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... People talk (We talk !) but Smokin Jo wants to set the rumour mill straight about the end of NastyDirtySexMusic, the clubbing concept she and Tim Sheridan have called home for the past two years.

Jo isn’t completely dismissing the possibility NastyDirtySexMusic will rise again, but if it did it would be with Tim and Tim only.

Tim and I agreed that NastyDirty was both of us and we’d never do a party under that name alone as it takes both of us, back-to-back, to make it NDSM,” she explains. However, when a Jo-less party took place this past summer using the NastyDirty logo … “I had nothing to do with it,” says Jo of the event held at the old MTV quarry at Can Talayas, Ibiza. “Of course, I wasn’t too happy about it.”

The facts are, says Jo, that people would assume she was playing when in fact she wasn’t; the NDSM name was being used without her knowledge; money was going to be made off the name and she wouldn’t be receiving any; and, bottom line, it wasn’t a NDSM party. However, while she was upset, she does want to clarify that she isn’t in fact bringing legal action against those who were involved: Electric Sex’s Ryan Gorman, Joe Upton (formerly of NastyDirtySexMusic) and her old partner, Tim Sheridan. “I didn’t threaten to sue,” states Jo. “I just told those in question that it was wrong of them to do that. I owned the name, so what they were doing was illegal. Neither Tim nor any of the guys that put on the party told me about it – I had to find out myself which led me to believe they of course knew it was wrong. “Anyway, much later, Tim told me it was all a big mistake and it shouldn’t have happened. But I’m sure you can see why I’d be pissed off. I didn’t want money; I just didn’t want them to do it again.”

Sheridan and Jo have reconciled enough to bring NastyDirtySexMusic to a close with a New Year’s Eve party at Ministry of Sound in London. It’s sort of fitting: the end of the year and the end of what Jo says was a really rewarding endeavour.

“I hope maybe in the future, and if people still want it, that Tim and I could do another party. We had a great time doing them and made some great friends and fans along the way. I’m okay to let it go and get stuck into something new.”

Or how about something Nude? Nude is Jo’s new night, which she’s co-promoting with “outrageousLondon club promoter Terry Hart of Go!Zilla and Redlight fame. Jo and Hart have already put together three Nude parties in 2005 at the Key in London and they’ll bare it all again at MoS on Feb. 11.

Not unlike NDSM, Nude is going to be about good music, boasting the best of tech, electro and dirty house – check resident DJs from London’s East End electro scene, Mazzy Supastar and Luke VB & Tim Red. But Nude is also going to see Jo revisiting her background in fashion and design, re- introducing a sense of the theatrical to club land – check performers, pole dancers, MCs, singers, acrobats and aerial artists.

The big ideas are things Jo says she’s held off on in the interest of making NastyDirtySexMusic work. However, she says holding off isn’t the same thing as being held back. “(With NSDM), I was playing to smaller crowds for less money, but it wasn’t a step back. It was a big step forward; Tim and I had a great year. But I feel it’s not all about a single DJ anymore. You need to bring a bit more to the table which is why I think so many DJs are now playing back-to-back, or having someone do effects while they play, or using laptops … stuff like that.  “My background is in dance, theatre and fashion and it’s what I want to bring to my table – it’s what I’m good at and what I love. I don’t have a huge DJ ego where it all has to be about me. I’m happy to let others DJ, dance or sing on the night and take centre stage as well. It’s all about the party.”

Hart and Jo have big plans for Nude, wanting to establish it as a solid brand in the world of dance music. It seems ironic that an idea all about hedonism has such a focused vision. Jo confesses that artistic ideals do sometimes get compromised by the necessity of doing business.

“Sometimes it can. I mean, if you can afford to have someone run your business life then that’s great. But I find myself on the computer for four to five hours a day most days which isn’t cool. I need to be listening to music and buying tunes. But whatever is going on behind the scenes, on the night it’s all about the music.” “I never really wanted to brand myself as such. I just wanted my music to speak for me. But I realize in this day and age it seems to matter. It’s a good thing to have a brand and being seen doing something on a bigger scale. I like the idea as I have many things I’d like to do that aren’t only about music. Having a brand enables you to branch out and do that.”

Jo isn’t alone. A variety of DJs, labels and clubs are expanding their brand images on a global scale. From Steve Lawler’s Viva, John Digweed’s Bedrock to Fabric and Pacha, dance branding is big business. In Ibiza, it’s especially competitive and at times political, says Jo, especially with a peak season that’s only four months long.
“The clubs are very protective over their DJs,” she says. “If you play in one place, quite often, you cannot play another although I’ve managed to play in all the places I want to, luckily. I don’t like that the free parties have been having such a hard time – Ibiza should be able to accommodate everyone. Clubs should take more energy in making their nights good rather than trying to stop others from doing theirs.”

And credit where credit is due, says Jo, pointing out a few of Ibiza’s best events from this past season.
“I thought DC10 was wicked this year. I felt last year the music got too minimal but this year the DJs were all fantastic - Ricardo Villalobos, Clive Henry, Dan Ghenacia, Sosa, Tania Vulcano, Jose, Silicone Soul and Richie Hawtin all fucking rocked it. I spent quite a few days in there from 11 a.m. till the end!
“I take my hat off to Manumission which started Ibiza Rocks – I thought it really worked. They really got it right with the setup in the backroom. It felt like a real gig.”

In the off season, Jo’s taking things a bit easier – a few gigs here and there some much-needed detox: colonics and yoga do the trick, she says. It also helps her feel and look young. “I’m older than I look, I’ve been told,” she laughs. And she’s definitely going to need her energy for next season. “I can’t go into too much detail about it as nothing is set in stone yet. I know I’ll be resident at Space for We Love, but there’s also other stuff that may happen with Nude that’s very cool, too. Watch this space.”

Words by Yuri Wuensch