Make some noise...We Fear Silence

Words by: Polly Lavin
Posted: 22/10/10 15:55

Make some noise ...We Fear SilenceBrazingly emerging like a shining beacon of hope from the smouldering carcass of blitz that hit London clubs such as The Cross, The End, T-Bar and matter, 'We Fear Silence' are one of London's most underground promoters. Established in 2009 by two members of The End's programming team Ajay Jayaram and Ryan Ashmore, the duo have brought some of the UK finest together including Ben Watt's Buzzin' Fly, Chew The Fat!, Gilles Peterson, James Holden's Border Community, Drum & Bass collective 'A Bunch Of Cuts' and 'Eat Your Own Ears'.

More recent times saw Fabric & Plastic People acting as the heart beat of the underground where true electronic musical art could be found in London, but, when I ventured to Corsica Studios a few months ago for a Border Community night run in conjunction with We Fear Silence, it was startlingly eye-opening as to what was taking place in this dirty little den.

Decent promoters, transforming spaces with decent artists and good independent music that wouldn't necessarily be 'mainstream' enough for the bigger clubs in London. The biggest contradiction in Corsica Studios existence is that it is only a stone's throw from an icon of the 90's that has become emblematic of the control big names have had over the scene and played a major role in being part of a global 'industry' developed on PR and spin over the last decade.

More recently, 'We Fear Silence' have moved across the city to one of the newer venues created to fill the space from the slaughter of nightclubs in the capital. 800 capacity Cable at London Bridge is intimate and though some of its nights may strike as being a little more commercially edge, We Fear Silence promoter Ajay and one of the emerging talents in UK's underground scene 'Benji B'give us some of their time to tell us how they intend to bring some identity and collective thinking back to London by bringing independent artists such as Ripperton, Toddla T, Agoria, Oxia, Jimpster and Emerson Todd into the same space. 

They also tell us how they started working together, helps us decipher what's really going on with the scene of present in the capital and why dance music should wake up, smell the coffee, forget about the past and look towards a brighter future of new music emerging from the city. London has always been about a musical diversity that you cannot experience anywhere else on the planet...

For our readers who don't know a lot about who you are Benji can you tell us a bit about your background and the scene and sound you're coming from?
I've been running deviation for three years, I had a radio show on 1Xtra for eight years, and now I have on BBC Radio 1 where I play the same mix of music I have always loved which is not bound by genre

Do you feel people forgot about music and got a bit too focused on the technical side of EDM over the last few years? If so, how did that impact on you and your perspective on it all?
No I don't feel that and it has not affected me.

Benji how did your link to We Fear Silence come about?
I've known Ajay since he worked at The End nightclub in London and he's a promoter I have always respected. He's a fan of our club night and asked us to do a special one off session together.

And what's planned with them for the future?
Hopefully we can continue to work together.

Ajay, as a promoter there is a lot of younger artists who seem to be having difficulty garnering transparency, do you think should we forget the past? And concentrate on the present and future or is the past where it's at in EDM of current? As a promoter what steps do you take to ensure you balance your bookings to bring new blood to the scene?
Music is at the forefront of any genre, movement or scene. It always pays respect to the past even if only by way of choosing to avoid certain elements of it. So, I'm not even sure forgetting the past is truly possible. I've always been fascinated by what influences people in the way they make music and in an era when making music is easier than ever been its all, it's all the more interesting to discover a young bedroom producer making original and otherworldly beats.

Right now, may in fact have been inspired by a nu-wave disco crew who disbanded before the current generation were even born. There's an awful lot of good music out there at the moment by virtue of the fact that there is simply lots of music available. It can be difficult to get to the good stuff but there are enough markers along the way if you look out for them. Whether that be following what is happening in the clubs, online, on the radio or even in magazines, if you are armed with enough knowledge about what is happening at both ends of the spectrum for any given genre, it helps you put together a program that will hopefully accurately represent the scene.

We Fear SilenceYour both based in London what's happening over there at present, is there fresh blood emerging and also with the closure of big clubs what nights and promoters are filling the gap in your opinion with good programming and which you feel are cutting edge at present?
There is always something good happening in London. Whether it's about finding a new platform to do what you do (see the boiler room sessions - which in many ways come from the same heart and soul as deviation) or whether you just want to have a laugh with your mates in a small basement somewhere, listening to records that are too recent to be old school but are too retro to collectively be played by DJs anymore.

Ajay, the city went through a bit of a bad time in more recent years, with all the emphasis moving to Berlin what shape is it in now?
Berlin is an incredible city and hats off but it does London and even music in general a real dis-service to suggest that any emphasis was representative of anything other than a shift in the cultural epicentre of a certain type of house and techno.

Berlin doesn't really mean anything to the drum and bass fraternity for example or the grime kids and you could argue that it wasn't until the likes of Sub:Stance and even Leisure Rhythm started playing dubstep and electronic at Berghain that it started to pique the interest of people outside house and techno (The hip-hop crew who obsess over Dilla, Warp Records and the dubstep/techno interface). London has always been about a musical diversity that you cannot experience anywhere else on the planet.

CableAjay, there had been a bit of an air of bullsh*t and arrogance with the whole UK scene in recent years, some say the internet and global airtime big DJs received inflated already large ego's even more, can you tell me do you think London's artists and EDM producers have finally 'come down' or is there more work needed to build a scene and a community again?
I believe that there is community but within the tribes themselves rather than one collective club contingent. I guess it has always been like that really and again I think it is because of the sheer diversity of sound found in the capital and probably UK in general. I've experienced the other cities abroad where just being into dance music (of any genre) brings people together; presumably because of the dearth of proper club nights available any major events that take place are still attended by people whose first love may not necessarily be represented but at least it is any opportunity to go to a rave right? Having said that there appears to be a whole lot more global activity for underground dance music right now than ever before so this is probably no longer as widespread.

Benji, which London based artists are really standing out for you at present?
Ramadanman, Joy Orbison, James Blake, Skream, Silkie, Floating Points, Mala

What's your take on the whole dubstep vibe that is going on in the city and with artists like Floating Points and Joy Orbison?
I'm pretty sure Floating Points or Joy Orbison would not consider they are dubstep artists, but how do I feel about dubstep? It's another beautiful example of one of the many native genres this beautiful city has created.

 We Fear Silence present...
23rd October
Deviation 3rd Birthday Special

Main Room: Theo Parrish, Kode9, Benji B

Bar: Alexander Nut (Eglo / Rinse), Nonsense, Moxie

10pm - 6am, £7 Early Bird / £9 Advance & Students OTD / £12 OTD
30th October
Chew the Fat Halloween Special vs THEM vs Z Shed - Zombie Blackout

Martyn (2 Hours), DJ Derek, Foamo, Reso, Duffstep, Sduk & cntrst, Pirate Soundsystem, JP

10pm - 6am, £6 Limited Advance / £8 Advance Tickets & Students OTD / £11 OTD
6th November
Balance Series

Main Room: Timo Maas (5 Hour Set)

Bar: Rockets & Ponies, Santos, Adam Port , 10pm - 6am

£8 Limited Advance / £10 Advance Tickets & Students OTD / £13 OTD
13th November
Shogun Audio

Friction (2 Hours), Ed Rush b2b Spor,  Break b2b Icicle, Alix Perez b2b Rockwell, Spectrasoul, The Prototypes, Transit Mafia

10pm - 6am, £8 Early Bird / £10 Advance & Students OTD / £13 OTD
Cable, Bermondsey St Tunnel, London SE13JW - Tube Station: London Bridge
Tel Venue: 020 7403 7730 - Ticketweb: 08444 77 1000 |


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