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DJ Neil Boorman
In the last decade, Neil Boorman stamped an indelible mark on the London club scene, gained notoriety as publisher of an irreverent fanzine, edited the cutting edge Sleazenation magazine and now proudly puts out, each month, a magazine titled Good For Nothing! Oh and he spins a mean set, all '80s funk and electro house beats. On a whirlwind trip through India courtesy The British Council, Boorman, in DJ mode, takes time off between spinning to talk music, corporate superpowers and anti-authoritarian culture exclusively with The Record.

The Record: You've just played in Chandigarh. How was it?
Neil: I was quite nervous about that gig because the British Council explained that they had never had any international DJs play there ever. Well, it was one of the best gigs I've ever played! By the time I came on there were about 400 kids in there, going crazy. And there was no alcohol there! To be quite honest, you'd need a lot more than alcohol to get people dancing like that in London. It was the most incredible experience and after that, people came over, asking for my autograph, shaking my hand and were genuinely enthused about the whole thing. I can't tell you how jaded the club circuit in Europe and America can be, so it's so nice to come to places where you feel you're making a bit of a difference.

TR: Had you heard anything about club culture in India before you arrived?
Neil: Mostly from people that had lived here in the past. They said to me 'You need to bring some R & B, some bhangra', and I have got some of that but I just thought that there's not much point in me coming over and playing the music that you already have because there's a thousand people who can play it a thousand times better than me. So I was really sticking to my guns and playing what I normally play which is uptempo electronic house.

TR: Do you think music has become too corporatised now?
Neil: I think that's one of the other big problems with not just British music or youth culture but international youth culture. One of the main things that youth culture should do, whether it's in England or India or anywhere across the world, is that it should be difficult for adults to understand. It's the kind of thing you want to listen to in your bedroom, and your dad comes in and says 'What's this rubbish, turn it down, I hate this music!' That's stopped happening. Unfortunately I think the mainstream market - large companies and advertisers - have hijacked youth culture now and they're actually dictating where the culture is going.
[With music] it's just been that anybody that takes a phone call from a record company and says yes they'll take the money. Then they'll do whatever needs to be done to make back the money and they're off. I don't think people should make anti-authoritarian culture just for the sake of it. But it is very important that youth culture is our own, we own it, we produce it and we consume it on our own terms. And one of the main ways of doing that is the Internet.

TR: What is your advice for upcoming musicians?
Neil: Start your own events. That is the most important thing. If you have local bars or cafes that will let you have a Friday night to play, get something like that going. Get your friends down there, keep working at it and telling as many people as you possibly can. Soon, I guarantee you, you'll have a regular crowd, their ears will start picking up, they'll start noticing you.

You can read the rest of our feature on DJ Neil Boorman in the September 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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