A chat with the standard-bearer of London rave.
There are few people in London who invest as much time and energy into putting on a decent party as Andy Blake. Along with Joe Hart, he runs World Unknown, which has roved around the pubs, pool halls and railway arches of South London for the past seven years. In that time it has become one of London's most cherished club nights—a loose, vibrant affair that has the thing every promoter craves: a loyal, up-for-it crowd. The acid house parties in London during the late '80s were grist to the mill for Blake, who to this day aims to inject that era's communal spirit into World Unknown.
As well as being one of London's most knowledgeable DJs, Blake has a mischievous, playful streak, which means anything he's involved with is bound to be fun. That applies to record labels as well as parties. From 2007 through 2009 he ran a label called Dissident, an outlet for weirdo disco, electro and house whose distinctive design and limited runs of vinyl set a template that many others followed. The discussion, however, started with World Unknown, which has recently moved from a monthly night to a more occasional party.