DJing and collecting records for a decade, Gabe/Joi La Frique’s a Sheffield based audio and music obsessive that’s mostly known for the monthly late night audiophile party Apricot Ballroom that he’s co-run for the last 5 years with Nonna Fab. Responsible for a lot of the analogue hi-fi collection that makes up the Apricot Ballroom Soundsystem, his record collection is mostly curated by how it pairs with a high-fidelity dancefloor, and spans a range of more organic styles from dub, dancehall, jazz, boogie, and latin styles through to more recent electronic productions.
Based in Sheffield for the last 12 years, most of my time is spent working on music projects based in the city, whether it’s curating the guests for the monthly party we run, upgrading and tinkering with the soundsystem, creating the artwork, and managing the mailing list, website, socials, and comms, or other side projects like the soon to launch record shop I’m starting up with a couple of mates, and the local scene ‘zine that’s somewhat in the pipeline.
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Each week we will be taking a dip into the crates and minds of some of the digging scenes most prolific collectors.
🤔 Who should be on the next RPM feature?
Name one institution that changed your life musically… and why?
“Beauty and the Beat, an absolute institution of the London party scene that’s been running for nearly 20 years. My experiences on the dancefloor at those parties, and helping setting up speakers and decorating with them, totally changed my perception of what a party could be like, and opened my eyes to the use of vintage analogue sound on a dancefloor.”
Favourite record labels of all time?
“There’s a few crews out there at the moment doing amazing things, with a mixture of essential re-issues and newer releases… Isle of Jura are my absolute no.1, but the likes of Secousse, Kalita, Hot Casa, Hot Mule, We Are Busy Bodies, Into The Deep, Time Capsule, Emotional Rescue, and Soundway are all pushing their sound in amazing ways and are pretty much buy on sight releases every time.”
Who is the person that knows your collection almost as well as you do?
“Definitely Dave, AKA Nonna Fab, the other half of the Apricot Ballroom party I run. We’ve DJ’d b2b together for around 7-8 years, and have put the party on for the last 5 of those. We still surprise each other with new selections, but he’s definitely heard my records more than anyone else.”
Strangest place you found a record?
“Semi-strange because it was in a record shop, but found a rare as hell afrobeat record in a Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock sleeve while digging the £1 unsorted bins in a record shop basement. Couldn’t believe my luck!”
Where is your digging Mecca and why?
“London, for sure. I used to opt for a 4 hour coach diversion whenever travelling back home to Norwich from uni in Sheffield so that I could spend the day digging in London. The incredibly diverse melting pot that makes up the London cultural landscape makes it a phenomenal place to find new music. “