Words by:

Being a music journalist comes with great responsibilities.

Responsibilities for remembering what happened at a rave, gig or festival, to be precise. We all have our methods too: recordings, memos and, most importantly, notes. Definitely notes. It’s safe to say that for many of us, these notes will never see the light of day. I repeat: never.

“GULLY tune” frenetically mashed down onto the iPhone Notes app whilst standing in the dark corner of the dance, or “Each track coated in distortion like if Marcel Duchamp made you chicken kievs for tea” wouldn’t exactly bode well with any editor, and certainly wouldn’t get you commissioned again.

Rascal Reviews is the anonymous Instagram account revealing those illegible, and extremely relatable, notes that we hide. The ones that say “Cocoon crush me daddy” and “Starting to get used to TJ’s shaved head” that never made it into the final copy. The ones that capture the stream-of-higher-consciousness experienced at the rave upon hearing a string of ridiculously good bangers.

We wanted to know why someone would choose to reveal their notes, where the founder of the account sourced them from and who this person is. Do they work in the biz? Is this person a writer? We reach out – to talk favourite tunes and why, exactly, this account exists.

First of all, who are you? Do you work in the music industry? Do you even rave?

I reckon yeah I am in the music biz. Got a label, party and radio station to keep me ticking over. Proper like tunes, me. Dunno if I’d say I rave though ‘cos even though I go to all these nights I stand in the corner not talking to anyone writing shite on my phone. It’s fun though.

How did the idea for this IG account come about?

I had just written some really shit notes for a night in MCR I was reviewing, got back to the gaff and through the haze of the afters came this brainwave, never experienced anything like it. I started the account the next day.

How did you first discover the rave?

Predominantly through early YouTube videos of Solomun playing really deep shit, stuff that really sprains your wrist, I’d turn it up really loud in my room and have it large there. Thankfully that progressed into the actual rave when I got on the wrong bus and ended up watching Off Me Nut crew shell it out in this real shithole of a warehouse. That was it for me.

What’s your ideal kind of rave now then? And what are some of your favourite moments?

I reckon for a rave to be proper decent, plenty of space has gotta be the most important thing. You should be able to get pretty loose with your dancing without accidentally battering someone. I rate a venue that’s pretty cold ‘cos then you can keep some of your layers on comfortably. Its always nice to have a nice mix of young, old and LGBT+ crowds, especially ones that don’t take themselves at all seriously.

Preferably a minimal amount of Gottwood Yahs in the crowd. Musically speaking, there has to be a fair amount of tunes that have genuine wobble on them, the more garage, bassline and dubstep the better (big credit to Boogizm, Anz & Michelle for knowing exactly how that’s done). Obvious choice for favourite moments would be a big phat well-timed rewind, beyond that then probably when someone plays a tune sped up by some indecent amount and it works well.

Favourite rascal tunes?

First and foremost is this tune a friend put me on to, it’s been played by [Nicolas] Lutz a couple of times. Haut (RMP01) by Ron Plonker. There aren’t any clips online so just cross your fingers and hope you hear it out.

Droplit by Airhead is a ridiculously rascal riddim. Laser Dome (Dexorcist remix) by Local Group takes me back to 89. Two words for you: HACI ENDA.

Make Yr Transistion by Privacy, but only when its sped up by at least eight plus times (Larry you know the score). Panrico by Anz – who is one of the best talents MCR has to offer.