The North East has a rich history of dance music. Hailing from Newcastle and Sunderland, the duo unite the two cities together to form Kancho Club. We asked them to Introduce themselves.

Who are you?

Ben Fitzgerald and Thomas Dixon. Otherwise known as Kancho Club: a live DJ/sax/percussion hybrid.

Where are you from?

The North East of England; Newcastle and Sunderland.

What do you sound like?

A mix of house, techno and world.

Kancho Club

Why should we follow what you’re doing?

Simply put, there’s nobody doing what we’re doing in the way that we’re doing it. We’re championing the progression of electronic music whilst bringing an unmatched live world music element to our shows and our tunes.

Which of your tracks sums you up? Why?

Our most recent release ‘Cobalt’. The house and techno elements can be heard very clearly, and are glued together with the afrocentric, world music drive that we produce our tracks with.

Andre’s beautiful lyrics and vocal delivery represent the ethos of why we love doing this, adding that human feel to an otherwise synthetic sound and speaking to the immersive and encompassing nature of experiencing music in a club with one another.

What have you got coming out in the near future?

We have a string of releases, remixes and label announcements on Mambo Divino to come out over the coming year. It’s really exciting to see both our outfit and our label grow simultaneously and we can’t wait to create our own pocket within the dance community and start cultivating up-and-coming talent.

What or who is your biggest influence and why?

Jeff Mills. His projects with Tony Allen, Rafael Leafar, the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra and NASA (just to name a few) are incredibly ambitious and he’s constantly pushing beyond what many seem to think dance music should be.

How did you get into DJing/producing to begin with?

We performed as session musicians for DJs for a few years, holding shows up and down the country as well as a few stints in Ibiza, Marbella and Andorra.

We got tired of DJs playing commercial dance tracks all the time and wanted a project where we had control and could play the kind of music that we were really passionate about.

What are three things on your studio shopping list?

Valhalla DSP Reverb, Club-Mate, and as many drums as we can get our hands on.

Biggest influence? Jeff Mills...he’s constantly pushing beyond what many seem to think dance music should be.

Who or what have you sacrificed for your art

Due to being locked in a studio together for months on end, we feel we’ve sacrificed a lot of our social skills. Being able to critique and edit each other’s ideas with ruthless honesty is part of our creative process…but doesn’t translate that well to relationships outside of the studio.

What’s been your favourite place to play so far?

Cobalt Studios in Newcastle Upon Tyne. They’re 100% DIY and for years have championed new, experimental and emerging artists.

They’re a total staple of the North East underground scene and we feel we wouldn’t be where we are without them.

So much care and attention goes into the events, and the sound system in there is absolutely amazing as well.

Where can we hear your music?

Our releases are on all streaming platforms, we have a few mixes up on Soundcloud and Mixcloud, and our record label (Mambo Divino) is hosted on Beatport and Traxsource so you can purchase and download our tracks from there.

What one song would feature on the soundtrack to your life?

Sylvster – ‘Do you wanna funk’?

Genuinely one of the fiercest, most powerful songs in existence.

What motivates you?

The simple idea of bringing everything we love and are passionate about to as many people as possible. Feeling a shared connection from the tracks we make with our audience, as well as watching the response to us playing live is absolutely incredible.

We just want to be able to take it to as many different places, and share it with as many different nationalities as possible. Oh, and dogs.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

Ben had a couple of appearances on the iconic kids TV show Tracy Beaker.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received?

A beautiful geordie phrase that has kept us right: “Shy bairns get nowt”.

Basically, the idea that taking risks and putting yourself as far out there as you possibly can will get you where you want to be.

Where will you be in five years’ time?

In five years, we plan to have carved out a corner for ourselves in the dance industry. We expect to take our label ‘Mambo Divino’ to new heights, constantly releasing, performing new and progressive music in our genre and cultivating up and coming talent.

We also expect to have shows across the globe, with an Ibiza residency dotted in there somewhere. Basically, just taking our music and live shows to as many places and as many people as possible.

Kancho Club & Andre Espeut – Cobalt is out now via Mambo Divino. Find Kancho Club on Instagram.

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20th October, 2023

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