INTERVIEW | Peroxide // Close Encounters of the Synth Kind // Era Groovebar Takeover //

Peroxide May 2015 Cover

Peroxide returns to the Era Groovebar for a night of extra terrestrial contact and co-ordinated lazer dance battles. Combining the best of classic 80s synthpop with its modern day equivalent, from Blondie to Blackstrobe, Clash to Chromeo, Peroxide is a night like no other you’ve ever heard. Resident and creator Bruno Morphet is joined by Private Life’sTerrence Pearce and breaking his Peroxide cherry, local techno don and part time 80s emosynth warrior, Helmut J.


We had a quick chat to the founder himself, Bruno Morphet:

MCBN: Hey Bruno. Can you give us a breakdown what exactly Peroxide is and how it came about?

At its core, Peroxide is basically a night that pays homage to 80s synth music combined with modern electronic stuff that draws from that sound. Its a sonic landscape that is very close to my heart as 80s synthpop was really the first electronic music that I interacted with as a boy. I grew up very close to the primary school I attended and there were a lot of kids living in the same area that would throw these little parties in their lounges on weekends. Everyone would bring the records they had and put them in a pile next to the family hifi and wait for a chance to put them on. There would be some really mainstream stuff and then some more edgy material that someone’s older brother would have lent them for the night. Stuff like Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Blancmange etc. This was also the era before radio became a wasteland and djs actually had control over their playlists, so you’d hear stuff on radio then save up to buy the record.

The party itself actually came about after hearing about a dj combo, who I wont name, who were quite big a few years ago and were playing parties off Long St. Friends of mine told me to go because these guys were apparently playing a lot of 80s material. I went to one of the events and all they played was the utter dregs of the era. Tina Turner, Rick Astley, Bonnie Tyler etc, just garbage really, while dressed in silly outfits and smirking to their friends. I thought it was sad that that’s what people were now indentifying the 80s with, because for me the era was so creatively vibrant. So I decided to throw my own 80s party. It was also around that time that I happened to be listening to a lot of early Tiga and Blackstrobe material, and that synced so well with the synthpop. I approached Jon and Adam at Fiction with my idea and Peroxide was born. No one came at first, maybe because it wasn’t ironic enough I dunno, but after a while I found a core group of supporters that kept coming back, and we built the night up slowly together. They are like an unofficial steering committee.

MCBN: Peroxide is known for having a strict music policy. Can you tell us what this is?

Yes the djs are briefed to play a 50/50 split of modern with actual 80s stuff. Its a tricky brief, but most of the djs I’ve booked have enjoyed the challenge. For me, Peroxide is about the dj being an extension of the dancefloor. Playing the house and techno I do normally is quite a solitary affair. You’re controlling a dancefloor through minute shifts in key and tempo to get to an end point of elevation or elation, but Peroxide is an almost constant outpouring of uncontrolled emotion. Those songs mean something to those people, and to me, the way you connect them is of utmost importance. Having said that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Throw enough giant pieces of lumo yellow polystyrene and UV light into a room and people cant really get too chinstroky.

MCBN: Peroxide has moved venues over the years and will be taking over the ERA Groove Bar this weekend, what have you booked for this weekend’s line up?

Yes we’ve gone from Fiction to Chukkachurri and now to Era. When I first walked in to the upstairs groovebar I knew it was the perfect venue to carry on Peroxide. The décor is eclectic and syncs perfectly with the pieces I bring in to decorate the room. Also I was dying to hear those tunes on a Funktion One rig. As for our djs, Terrence Pearce is a Peroxide vet, who brings his own take on synthpop to the night, and we have Helmut J, a long time afficionado of the sound, doing his first one.

MCBN: Does Peroxide bring international acts down or is it a strictly local artists?

At the moment strictly locals although there are some internationals I’d love to bring down.

MCBN: What are your future ideas for a brand that has lived close to the hearts of many a dancer in Cape Town?

We’re settling in to our new home here at Era, so I’m playing my cards close to the chest just for now. I hope to get the Peroxide sound up to Joburg sometime in the near future.

Peroxide poster final

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Rumoured to have the blue-prints for Krang's TechnoDrome, stolen straight from Dimension X, he’s the type of guy who exudes so much coolness that he adds whole countries on Facebook at one time instead of just people. Always up for a party and a Tequila shot or two this is the guy who we always call first, both before and after a night out…