Animaux | UK

ANNIE ERREZ to play at Animaux: The shocking lack of female DJs/Producers in the York electronic music scene


When you go to a night out in York, you don’t often consider the gender of the person behind the decks. That’s a good thing; we should be focussing on the music and the night rather than what’s in the pants of the person performing, or what gender they identify as.

However, when I heard Annie Errez was going to be headlining next term’s first Animaux, it struck me that we often don’t hear female names discussed when people talk about who is headlining the different nights in York.

I decided to investigate, by asking some promoters from the different electronic nights in York how many women they had booked in the last two years.


I spoke to Alex Theodossiadis, who is involved in organising both Breakz and Nightvision, to find out how many women had been booked for them in the last couple of years, and what he said was quite shocking.

Out of 20 acts, only 1 was a woman – B Traits. Now, she’s pretty famous, so holds her own in that male-dominated list, but it’s still pretty shoddy that only 5% of the acts who have played at Breaks/Nightvision have been female.

It’s not a problem to do with the person booking the acts and we can’t put the blame on the night, however. It’s an issue with the fact that there are less female DJs and producers in general and arguably sexism in the industry as a whole.

B.Traits is pretty cool.


Now on to Jake Hissitt who is one of the people behind popular York night On&On. Out of the 18 acts he named, absolutely none were female.

He told me:

“[There have been] absolutely none. We were going to book Moxie, but just too expensive to justify for the scene in York.”

“There’s not a lack as such, female DJs are becoming more frequent in gracing the decks in York. Sessions have a female resident. However, when it comes to booking female DJs, they could be either unheard of or too expensive. It’s hard to find a midway, especially in our booking range.”

“We’ve heavily inquired into 3 or 4 female DJs, but we couldn’t justify putting them on for the price. They wouldn’t pull as much of a crowd. It shouldn’t be about gender, it is simply about the music.

This shows that it isn’t an issue with the people booking the acts; it’s a wider issue. A worrying part was when Jake said the women “wouldn’t pull as much of a crowd”. It seems that the scene needs to change, and we can’t put the blame on individual nights that struggle to make money, or sometimes even break even, without worrying about gender representation.

Milli Vanilli

Tim Perrera had a chat to me about Milli Vanilli. Out of the 19 acts booked, none were women.

He said: “There’s no bias, I guess it’s a reflection that men are more heavily represented in this kind of music.”

“A lot of the people I book are ones I’ve met personally and asked to come play, which have all happened to be men. There are women djs/producers I’d love to book but either haven’t got round to it, or they are way out of my budget.”

It seems from what he said that there is some demand for more female DJs, and that because you encounter more male DJs and it actually takes conscious consideration to find female DJs a lot of the time, it’s often just easier to book a male one – or the gender balance just isn’t considered.


Annie Errez is no stranger to York- she’s been booked before by Phil Warner for Sub:Terranea, and is the only woman to have played there in the last two years.

Phil said:

“Well, I’ve only ever booked 1 female DJ – Annie Errez. Bookings based on ability/sound and not gender, just not that many female DJs around though!”

He recommended I listen to Cassy, Steffi, and Laura jones.


Mantas Zalepuga is excited for Annie Errez to come and play at Animaux. I asked him how many women he’s had play in the last couple of years.

Three out of the eleven residents and headliners he’s had have been women, which is a better representation than any of the other club nights.

He also said that Animaux has a female-dominated crowd at a lot of the nights.

Also, if you wanted to see a female DJ at York, Kineza (Chloe Stavrou) was a resident there for a year!

Along with her, the two other women he has had play are Victoria Watkins, and Annie Errez.

Mantas told me:

“It is predominantly male bookings as the scene is predominantly male. I book people purely due to their musical taste and if they fit in with what I consider Animaux to be musically.”


As a side note- Richard Clark from Freakin said they’d only ever booked 3 female DJs in 17 years.

Not great. However- he did say that they were great and that they were viewed no differently to the male ones.

So, York’s not doing great in terms of representation but it is in terms of attitude and it looks like things might be set to change.

Everyone seemed to want to book more female DJs, and they don’t book mainly men because they think men are better or for other sexist reasons.

This is encouraging and it seems like they would be open to booking a wider range of people in the future.

Still, only four women have played at the electronic nights I looked at in the past two years.

We’ve linked some great female DJs and producers throughout the post, so take a listen – and come and see Annie at Animaux to support gender equality ;).

And if you’re a female DJ and you’re reading this post, have a chat to some of the people I did – they’d probably be more than happy to book you.

Sub:terranea presents Ste Roberts B2B Christian Maiden Review


After a very successful birthday, Sub:Terranea have decided to risk it and put on an event in Leeds, a city where electronic music is thriving, for a multitude of possible reasons. It might have been the yearly slow-down of summer, when majority of students are not here, or the never-ending refurbishment of Mansion’s basement, whatever the reason, was it worth it?

Short answer is yes, bloody hell it was. I was one of the people on the party buses heading from York. As I was approaching the station, I was not expecting that many people to go, as even though Leeds is close, very few commit to experiencing the nightlife there. To my surprise, I was greeted to two (!) party buses and quite a few familiar and cheerful faces. We left quite early (around 9 PM), which to some was great – they were able to visit one of the many bars in Leeds, to some, though, it meant waiting around until the club opened its doors.

The night started off with Phil Warner behind the decks for a two-hour warm up. The first hour was purely minimal, one could say even verging on experimental. As the place started to fill out with more than the usual York bunch, he kicked it up a notch and delved to more bassier things. And oh how many people were surprised by the sheer power of Wire’s Funktion One system – a flagship system that even though has been seen in York, it has never sounded anything like this. Properly tweaked for the venue and set up in such a way that it does not matter where you decide to stand.

The headliners – Ste Roberts and Christian Maiden, followed Phil’s terrific performance starting quite slow and steady and one could feel the excitement on what is soon to happen. They quickly moved to the darker techno depths, perfectly juggling between never-ending risers and straight up bangers for what seemed to only last minutes. At this point quite a few local punters have had arrived and the club was bouncing like nothing in York does.

Rory Flynn took over and did what he does best – continuing the flow of the night with selections like Playmodul, which let everyone who needed have a rest yet not dampen the mood for those who craved for more. As always, Rory managed to deliver a very emotional yet stomping set and, again, was the highlight for me.

Dan Jackson stepped up to what usually is called the ‘graveyard shift’, however the club did not seem to lose any energy throughout the evening and even though he did try to play a lot more minimal, ended up throwing down some seriously dark songs. Even though the bar closed and the lights were on, it seemed like no one wanted to leave and Dan was embracing this, feeding the crowd with one banger after the next.

So was it worth moving (at least temporarily) to Leeds? I would think so, even though there were a few little snags, which if resolved, would make this a great idea and I can bet you anything, quite a few York’s promoters will follow. The little snags? For one, I missed Grimly Fiendish’s usual visual work which has always made Subby T a little more interesting. Also quite a few people seemed to run out of steam at around 4 AM and as there were two buses back to York, having one leave a little earlier would have been a great idea.

Sub:Terranea 1st Birthday with Buckley Review


It seems strange to think that Sub:Terranea, a night dedicated to the sound of deep house and techno, has only just celebrated its first birthday. The house heads of York filled the champagne lounge of Mansion, where residents Rory Flynn and Dan Jackson spent the first two hours opening the night with upbeat vibes that fashioned a slightly playful atmosphere right from the start.

When the clock struck twelve, Buckley Boland took over the decks. After what Subby:T called “smashing it” last September, Buckley’s return was well anticipated on all accounts. As a well-respected DJ that professionally began his venture in ’92 – the birth of acid house – there is something undeniably original about Buckley’s performance. Maybe it’s his collection of compact discs that’s thick enough to stun an ox; maybe it was incredibly smooth transitions that explored all different moods house music can inspire.

The sound that arguably made Buckley distinct from previous sets I’d seen at Mansion was the tinge of something Latinate in house beats. I got chatting to the music machine after he’d finished up and learnt that he’d recently spent a chunk of time in Costa Rica and Ibiza – I can only wonder if this experience gave Buckley an innovative edge to the recognised sound of acid house. After chatting to Mr. B, he told us about his own technique to the sound of his set: “for me, the key is to be able to try and play as many different flavours as possible, but blend them together, so it doesn’t sound disjointed.” The spice of life, some might say.

Speaking with Buckley not only gave an insight to his method in the music, but the procedure and all the work behind his shows. “There are two types of records: Country and Western. Good or bad. I either like it, or I don’t. I’ve spent so much time listening, even just as a collector, never mind as a DJ. You spend all week and so much effort listening to what will get spat out in two hours. It’s never-ending – it’s a lifestyle. After all these years, I always want to be the best that I can be.

“Some people do it for money, that’s fine. When I first started, there was no money in it for me; there was only love.”

Where, then, does a man who had been DJing long enough to inspire himself get his innovations and muse?

“If I ever find myself stuck, I’ll just go back to old mixes. I’ll think, what the fuck’s that? That’s ace. It’s so easy to be in the moment. I didn’t play one old record tonight; I played records that had references to older records. Everything I played was new.” Bar two, all of what was revealed to Subby:T’s crowd was played for the very first time. Buckley’s mature approach to Saturday’s set may have involved recent releases, but with the nature with which he plays has an authentic feel that is still deeply rooted in the 90’s underground music scene. Even after 10 months away from the decks, where he calls himself “well rusty”, his skill is potent and shines through.

So what advice does a veteran of house music give to those aspiring to take to the decks themselves and help find their own sound?

“Listen to as much music as possible. And not just house music – I listen to all kinds of stuff, but then I’ll find traces or references from something that maybe your parents might listen to, whether its early disco, whether its something from when I was a kid – maybe I’ll hear that sample in a track. It’s about playing as many different styles as possible, but the way you mix them […] creates a wall of sound.” The collection of CDs Buckley had come armed to Sub:Terranea with was spectacular, showing a readiness for anything.

There is substance to Buckley Boland that’s more than being an acclaimed DJ today. Yes, there was the two-hour seemingly seamless set. People danced – not just a slight bopping to the music, but dancing. Still, something engaging and thought-provoking is in what Buckley has to say, not to mention his music. The fact that his DJ name is his actual first name suggests something personal and humble. And what’s more, when you get to the point of having to Shazam your own mix? I guess that’s what 23 years of DJing will do for you.

Mr. O’Donnell at Sub:terranea


As I walked into Mansion, and ventured down those very narrow stairs, I could feel the bass creeping up on me. I opened the door, and BAM – the bass hit me. There was Mr. O’Donnell, already on the decks from before midnight, swaying about. It was my last night out in York before I left for home, so I had knocked back (unintentionally?) quite a few drinks… But there were some truly unforgettable moments, even to me in my relatively intoxicated state!

Disclaimer: I shall also be referring to Bobby O’Donnell as Mr. O’Donnell, because he was just THAT good, and also because it just sounds way cooler – he deserves it for being the suave cat that he is.

By half-past midnight, he had stopped twiddling with his hair (which by the way, is lovely to look at) and began bombarding us with smothering bass-lines. Now these smothering bass-lines did not come in the form of the generic house beat that most people are familiar with. The beats extended to tribal-like sounds encouraging the crowd to dance like they were all part of a cult or tribe in a jungle; and yes, that does include myself also. The etheric synths accompanying the beats were just the cherry on top of the cake as everyone swayed together, and some even held hands. Of course then people started hugging, and although I could suggest that some may have been otherwise inebriated or intoxicated, I think I’ll stick to my own opinion and say that Mr. O’Donnell evoked all those feelings with his music.

It is now quarter-past one and Mr. O’Donnell isn’t finished with us yet. By that point, I was certain viagra en france that I was dancing (and sweating) like a maniac, not because I had a couple of drinks, but because he was just incredibly good at leading a crowd. Mr. O’Donnell had overtaken the power of our feet and bodies and made them move in the most sultry and seductive ways. Then, I heard something I recognised… something I loved… Something I never ever thought I’d hear in the UK. Oh yes, he was indeed sampling, on the spot, one of the sexiest songs that ever existed – Universe by Aquarius Heaven. In that moment, I turned into the ‘overly excited girlfriend’ and began prancing around the DJ box trying to grab his attention. I screamed at him ‘OH MY GOD AQUARIUS HEAVEN, OH MY GOD!’ and to my surprise AND pleasure, was greeted with a euphoric smile on his face and a very sturdy high-five/handshake!

Mr. O’Donnell was, in fact, one of the friendliest DJs I had ever met; as oppose to some very arrogant and pompous assholes I had met in the past that would simply ignore the fact that you were praising their music selection. I even ran into him on the way out of Mansion and was greeted by a long and warm embrace/hug!

For the last half hour of his set, he blasted us with even more hard-hitting bass, and turned us on our heads by bursting acid bass-lines. Hands were in the air, people were jumping around, but damn, where was the crowd? I suddenly came to the sad realization that throughout the entire night there must have only been 80 people around. My housemate, who rarely dances when he is sober (and he was dancing at this moment despite his sober state), turns round and tells me ‘They are really good, but there’s no crowd and it’s a shame’. Indeed, it was a shame. I hadn’t heard music like that in York for, at least, a good month. It appears that the over-saturation of the electronic music scene in York had finally taken its toll. Either that, or most people into this kind of ‘underground’ scene, had already gone home. Nevertheless, despite my awareness of the ‘lack’ of crowd, the people who were there had a fantastic time, and by that point I felt privileged to have even been there.

To end the night, Phil Warner came on, toning it down a notch to a more melodic experience – an apt end to the night after most of us had spent the last 3 hours jumping about. The crowd resulted to moving like waves and everyone began making their way home, chipper like they had all just had the best roast dinner of their lives. It was my first Sub:terranea, and after an experience like that, it certainly won’t be my last.

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