055 – Mister Saturday Night
Mister Saturday Night is a party run by Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter, who also run a label of the same name. Starting life in Manhattan in 2009 and finding a home in Brooklyn loft spaces, MSN aims to offer a lot more than your usual party. Maintaining complete control over the event, the pair govern every single detail from appropriate ‘lofi’ decoration down to the manners of the bouncers and their desired wooden flooring. A key focus of Mister Saturday Night is that of community, as they aim to give back to their Brooklyn home with every party. Reluctant to pigeonhole their music to a particular scene, sets at Mister Saturday Night are wildly eclectic and executed with care, constantly shifting focus toward something that is live and musical. Now taking the party out of Brooklyn, ahead of their event at Dalston’s Dance Tunnel this Saturday, we’ve got a mix from their summer season opener and an interview with one half of Mister Saturday Night, Justin Carter, below.
[haiku url=”http://crackmagazine.net/wp-content/uploads/mp3/Crackcast056.mp3″ title=”Crackcast 056 Mister Saturday Night”] Download Mix
How did Mister Saturday Night come about?
We started the party in a Manhattan club in 2009, but it didn’t quite fall in line with the vision we had for Mister Saturday Night. Eamon and I booked guests and controlled the music, but the club charged high prices at the bar, had overzealous security guards, and rigged up stereotypical club lighting.
After about ten parties in the club, we moved into Brooklyn loft spaces, where we got to control everything from the door policy to the placement of the speakers to the types of beer served at the bar. Immediately the party became much more special: an end to end experience where the music remained front and center, but the little things like friendly staff and a comfortable atmosphere were looked after with as much care. Being able to control that experience has allowed us to build a real community around our party, and it’s allowed us to develop as DJs. It’s been a wonderful experience.
How do you feel Mister Saturday Night gives back to the community, and what special measures do you take to make sure that it does?
We respect our crowd and try to think about their experience every step of the way. As DJs Eamon and I pack our records with great care, and when we play, we try to create an arc through the night, so you could arrive at 10pm and stay until 6am and feel like you’ve really gone somewhere. As the people producing the party, we try not to overfill the room, so there’s always space to dance; we keep the bar prices reasonable; we try to have a place where people can talk away from the dancefloor; and we make sure our staff treats everyone like they’re at a party at our home rather than at some anonymous venue.
How does the Brooklyn setting affect what you do?
Brooklyn is one of the most diverse places in the world. Just in the neighbourhood where Eamon and I live, there are so many kinds of musical inspirations: every day we hear the call to prayer from a local mosque; there’s a hundred-person steel drum band that rehearses outdoors during the summer; and BAM, a long running cultural institution, regularly stages performances from artists like Kronos Quartet and Philip Glass.
What was your Mister Saturday Night 2013 highlight?
The entirety of our 2013 Mister Sunday summer season was incredibly special. It was our last year doing the party at Gowanus Grove, which was a kind of bucolic oasis in the middle of an industrial part of Brooklyn. The dancefloor sat underneath rows of poplar trees; there were always little kids that got the party going alongside old-school Brooklynites; and the energy was palpable. The mix we’ve given you for the podcast is actually from the final hour of the season opener. Hopefully you’ll be able to catch the vibe!
What can we expect from both the parties and the label in 2014?
We’re planning on taking the party beyond Brooklyn. This weekend’s party at Dance Tunnel is the first of what will likely become a regular Mister Saturday Night series in London, and there are a few other cities in the works. In Brooklyn, we’re on the hunt for next summer’s Mister Sunday venue, and we’ve got a full schedule of indoor Mister Saturday Nights and Mister Sundays for the winter and spring.
For the label, it’s full steam ahead. We’re planning on releasing more records from artists already on the label and, as has become the trend, some records from some folks who are relatively unknown at this point.