A new pool party is coming to Zero Gravity

Ibiza, Miami, Dubai… when it comes to house music, the three seem to go together these days. They’re destinations that serve up a supply of slick clubs, stylish clubbers and a general live-for-the-moment vibe that the scene has always tried to encapsulate. So, it makes sense for Toolroom Records, the UK dance label to create its own Dubai Poolside compilation, adding to a series that includes, yes, Miami and Ibiza but also Croatia, Australia and Mexico.

On September 30, Zero Gravity is hosting the launch party for Toolroom’s Poolside Dubai with sets from Crazy P and Toolroom boss himself, Mark Knight. We asked the latter about why now, why Dubai and what the season has in store.

You were in Dubai for the first Dance Music Conference earlier this year. How was that?
I really enjoyed it. Everyone was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I really believe because of Dubai’s infrastructure and where it’s located, DMC could rival the established conferences. The students’ quality threshold was high and we signed a track that I am currently remixing for a full release later this year.

You launch the Toolroom Poolside Dubai compilation at Zero Gravity this week. Can you tell us more about the project?
Toolroom’s Poolside compilations are based around the world’s best poolside music venues. After the Toolroom Academy event at Dubai Music Conference this year, it seemed only natural to add Dubai to this list. The label is shifting focus to developing artists, and releasing albums is going to be a huge priority for us in the second half of the year. Albums afford artists the opportunity to work more creatively and with fewer restrictions, which is definitely the direction I see the label heading in.

The big news this summer was the closure of Space Ibiza. What are your memories?
One thing that will always stay with me is being asked to record the Essential Mix live from the club. It was one of the few times I was genuinely nervous, but that just added to the electric atmosphere: that was a special night. Space has been a unique venue for 27 years and of course it will be missed. I must have done 100 shows there and I’ve never had a bad experience. It’s an incredible legacy to have been a part of and the Closing Party is going to be an emotional farewell! But as one door shuts, another opens: things are always changing and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

What were your other highlights?
If I had to pin it down to one particular thing over the course of the summer it would probably be the opening party of Cacao Beach in Bulgaria, which is always one of the best gigs of the year. Playing to 5-6,000 people until the sun comes up…? It doesn’t really get much better than that. It takes place on a beautiful beach, and all you can see from the stage is people going back right into the sea and literally no-one leaves until the very last record: it’s insane.

Fabric in London has also closed: ends of eras all over the place!
Fabric is one of the most important clubs in the world, let alone the UK. The news it’s closing is heart-breaking. Clubland in London will survive – it always does – but it’s a sad week for the scene, especially for those who were involved directly. I always had fantastic experiences playing there, as did pretty much every other DJ I can think of. It’s going to be missed.

Any new sounds or trends coming out of the Med’s clubs that we can expect to hear this season? Any news names to look out for?
It’s a little indulgent perhaps as he’s part of the Toolroom family, but for me, Adrian Hour is a guy who has all the talent necessary for being successful. He can make great music and not just in a single genre but across a range of styles – and there’s always a level of consistency. That’s something I always wanted to do with my own career; be able to operate in different spaces but thread them all together with a common theme or sound.

Toolroom Poolside Dubai launch
Friday, September 30
Where: Zero Gravity, SkyDive Dubai

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