Question: It’s Friday night in Prague, early Spring, and you’re tired of hanging in dirty underground clubs with a bunch of 15 year-old kids sucking on phosphorescent pacifiers; where are you going to go? Confused? Don’t be. Abduction Promotions is bringing a new breed of party to Prague. Discerning clubbers take note: this is the kind of party opportunity that doesn’t crop up every weekend…
On March 30th, 2001, Abduction Productions brought one of the UK’s top DJs, Ministry of Sound and international sessions artist, CJ Macintosh, to Prague for a special one-night-only event – Up Close and Personal at Fromin Club.
It’s called Up Close and Personal because that’s exactly the idea. CJ will be mixing right there in front of the dance floor, churning out his own unique blend of dance and UK Garage only a few meters from the crowd, feeling the vibes and the energy of the dancers, timing the pulses and the swells of the music to the rhythm of the party.
“It’s the kind of thing very few people ever get to experience,” says Abduction front man, Max Stuart. “Big name DJs are very rarely booked to venues that allow the kind of intimacy that we’ll be able to achieve here. It’s part of the reason we chose the Fromin.
We can comfortably accommodate just over a thousand guests, which is really the perfect size for a party of this nature. Everyone gets to share in the experience. Everyone gets to have the time of his or her lives. Get fit, party people. This is going to be a marathon night.”
What’s more, CJ Mackintosh is a DJ who rarely tours. A pioneer of the UK music scene, CJ spends much of his time now in international recording studios, mixing cuts and working with other artists the world over. “When I heard he was available for a show, I booked him immediately,” says Max. “Established DJs with CJ’s credentials don’t come along every day.”
CJ Mackintosh’s musical education began in a manner not at all unlike that of just about any other would-be-DJ: at home, spinning vinyl on his older brother’s decks. What set CJ apart from all those other would-be-DJs is, of course, that he had talent. A lot of it. Perhaps it was still a bit raw and unfocused at the time, but it was there. Let’s face it, you might be able to make it to the top without talent, but you sure as hell aren’t going to stay there long. Just ask the New Kids on the Block, Ricky Martin, or Tiffany (yeah, like you don’t remember her). And CJ has been at the top of his game for nearly two decades.
That’s longer than most of us have been hitting the sauce. Okay, maybe not, but the fact remains that while we have been happily diluting our own talents, dreams, and aspirations with healthy doses of tequila, bourbon, and beer, CJ has become one of Britain’s most prolific and successful re-mixers.
And when it comes to grinding out high-energy, pulse-pounding audio adrenaline on the turntables, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who can even touch him. He’s known as a DJ’s DJ, and we all know that it ain’t easy to impress the people you work with.
After a year of refining his craft, CJ secured a residency at the world renowned Film Flam Club, which, in turn, led to creating mixes for Serious records. Soon after becoming the World DMC mixing champion in 1987, CJ hooked up with Dave Dorell and joined his group, Nasty ROX, taking over for Nelle Hooper (Soul II Soul / Massive Attack). With Dorell and two members of Colour Box, he created M.A.R.R.S.’s seminal House track Pump Up the Volume which was not only an international hit, but was also responsible for opening up the pop market to dance music as we know it today.
With his background of scratching, hip-hop, house, and garage and his mastery in the recording studio, CJ gradually progressed to other remixes. Coldcut, D-Mob, De La Soul, UFO, Innercity and Loose Ends are just some of those who have benefited from his specialized form of genius. Word was out that CJ Mackintosh was a remixer with a unique style and a reputation beyond reproach. His services have been demanded by some of the finest musical talent in the world. He has been involved in projects with Sounds of Blackness, Janet Jackson, D’Angelo, and his craftsmanship and expertise are compared to that of DJs like Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, and Todd Terry.
Along with his sessions work, CJ is also one of the best known DJs on the Garage scene, gaining the respect of his peers on both sides of the Atlantic. When asked why he continues to DJ when he already has a heavy studio load, CJ explains, “The reaction I get in clubs inspires me in he studio. The Ministry is probably one of the only two places in the world (the other being The Sound Factory Bar in New York) where I can experiment. I’ve done eleven hour sets at The Ministry and would go on for longer if the lights didn’t come on.” And believe us, after hearing him work, inspiring CJ will be something Prague party goers are going to be anxious to do.
CJ is also one of the few UK DJs who is capable of drawing a capacity crowd at venues across Europe and the States. With his eclectic musical background, having remixed artists as diverse as Sly & Robbie, Gangstarr, Simple Minds, and Tina Turner, CJ Mackintosh continues to stamp his mark on the widest possible variety of music.
So what more do you need to know about the man? A Ministry DJ willing to get down and dirty with 1,000 partygoers in the heart of downtown Prague? Tell us you don’t love him.
Can he make you party? Oh, yeah. Can he make you dance? You bet. Will he be Up Close and Personal with you at the Fromin on March 30th? Brothers and sisters, you’d better believe it.
But CJ isn’t the only reason this party promises to be something special. Abduction has even more in store for ticket holders. For starters, they’re bringing back a Prague favorite from his current tour in Italy as one of the openers, American DJ Chris Cags. In addition, they’ve revamped the Fromin’s existing sound system by introducing an 8kW system that will pound out the sounds on all three levels of dance floors. They’ve also added a cocktail bar to the Fromin’s rooftop terrace for partiers who step out for a little air or just to enjoy the view.
The party starts at 11:00, but the doors open at 9:00. Early comers can start the night right, grabbing some drinks and enjoying the pre-party fashion show, which begins at 9:30. “I want this party to be a chic and classy affair,” says Max. “I want our guests to come dressed in their party best, to feel comfortable, and most importantly, to have a good time.
“It’s a special opportunity that we’re offering here. We all remember when Carl Cox played; he packed the house, but how many of you could actually see him? He was ten meters back from the first row of the crowd and behind a ring of security. We’re going to have CJ right there in the middle of it. It’s a chance for a select few people to really soak up the sights and sounds that only the very best DJs can produce.”
Although they are keeping quiet about their plans for future parties, Abduction promises to bring more big names to Prague for future events just like this one. They say they want to set the city on fire, make it the party place to be – Central Europe’s answer to Ibiza. It’s an aggressive goal, but not necessarily an unrealistic one considering the support Prague’s party-people have shown for big events in the past. Parties like this may be just what this city’s looking for, and Abduction’s offering the first show – the main event.
“Guys and girls, it’s now up to you,” says Max. “We’ll be there, working all night to make sure that you have the best time you possibly can. Let’s dance ’til we drop. Support us here, and you’ll never regret it. Not for a second.”