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Acid flashback: Nancy Noise is the pioneering Balearic DJ and acid house hero

Celebrating 30 years of the Summer Of Love with a throwback article on a key player

  • Words: Matthew Collin | Photo: Dave Swindells
  • 15 May 2018

This feature first appeared in i-D magazine in April 1990, and has been reprinted with their kind permission

Nancy Noise is five foot five tall, has a telephone voice like a cockney loud-hailer and eats guarana for breakfast. She’s also one of London’s leading Balearic DJs, who spent two summers living in Ibiza on the dancefloor of clubs like Glory’s and Amnesia. After meeting Paul Oakenfold in 1987, she returned to Britain and became part of the DJ line-up at The Future, which alongside Shoom started the explosion that was later called acid house, and espoused an attitude of total musical freedom absorbed in Ibiza. “I didn’t really want to be a DJ, I just had loads of records.

I was playing The Smiths, Billy Idol, Talk Talk, Yello, a few dance ones – Ibiza records, really unusual things,” she says. After The Future spearheaded 1988’s club explosion, Nancy was involved in two other ventures: Loud Noise and Us (both with Lisa Loud). By day, she does club promotion for the Profile dance label; by night, she concentrates on Future. Reopening late last summer, it was one of the first clubs to champion Italian house, the new strain of dance-influenced rock as typified by The Happy Mondays remixes, and the slower, soul-based dance records that are now filtering into mainstream clubland after a second summer of house.

In fact, The Future’s role as a breeding ground for new dance sounds is unparalleled, and only its exclusive door policy prevents it from educating a new generation of clubbers. Unlike many people who were involved with the scene from the start, Nancy remains positive about the nation’s house explosion: “It’s brilliant. I love the way things have gone. It’s good for the people involved, for the people making records and for the kids in England: the music and the clubs they’re getting now are so much better than before. It’s not only this scene as well, it’s Jazzie B and Soul II Soul too, they’ve done a lot for this country.” With Future DJ partner Terry Farley already making an impact as a remixer, the first Nancy Noise alternative mix can’t be too far away, but it’s the Ibiza-style, eclectic Future attitude that still inspires her – the last thing you can expect to hear Nancy playing is wall-to-wall house. “At The Future you can play what you want,” she enthuses. “Unlike most clubs, I can get away with anything and everything.”

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