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AS: I have been acquiring a bunch of stuff since I was, like, 18. I am 31 now. I started off as the family archivist, and then I sort of spread to people who used to DJ at parties; they used to videotape parties, and then I reached out to them to see what they had. I mean, it is still a growing collection ... And then I have a bunch of other shadow archives of, like, other scenes, not necessarily dancehall related but that I am familiar with as well. So I have been collecting a lot ... that’s the fun part; I like that part...

ML: Are they still getting made? I guess they are not getting made, these videotapes. Is the dancehall stuff, is that just going straight to Youtube now? Can you like ...

AS: No, people still videotape their parties and stuff like that.

ML: Yeah?

AS: Yeah, people still videotape parties and, not on VHS, but they do it and they put it on Youtube or whatever. And just, maybe I’ll get to archiving those too, it’s just, I am just working with the old, old stuff.

ML: Are you going out in Paris?

AS: Yeah, I always go out here. Paris isn't dead. Paris is still intact.

ML: Yeah, I keep hearing that. People are coming to Paris now aren’t they? They aren’t coming to London anymore!

AS: No, London is ... London’s still trying to recover from Covid, as well as Brexit, so it’s, like ... It’s not ...

ML: Yes ... She had a breakdown and is just tryna recover.

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ML: What’s that cartoon bear called?

AS: Oh, from Social Cohesiveness? Um ... Shit, what’s it called!?

ML: I call it Big Blue. That’s what I thought when I saw it ... Who’s he talking to on the moon?

AS: Oh, he’s talking to this lady named Sandra, she’s, like, one of my muses, for sure. She lives in Jamaica, she’ll go and, like, hook it up for me. But she used to dress up and, like, do crazy things. She is one of the anomalies; she would go for, I don’t know, she would do the whole rococo look, like, powdered face. Intentionally lighter than her face. She will take it up a notch. She was super experimental.

These are the nucleuses of the party. If they are not there, the party is not a good party

[Phone starts ringing].

I have to get this because this is my wife picking up the kids ...

AS: Okay, cool.

ML: [picks up the phone] Hello, love! Okay! Ah, shit! Right, okay. Alright. I’ll go and pick her up then. Okay. Eh, yeah, yeah. Alright, okay. See you soon, see you later, love. [hangs up the phone]. Right, I’ve got to pick up the kids.

AS: Okay, cool. This is a great way to end the conversation...

ML: I’ve got another 10 minutes, I’ve got another 10 minutes and then I’ve got to go.

AS: Alright. ...

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AS: So I think what’s interesting is like, um, making another story of someone else’s shit – wait; you know, there’s this other guy, hold on. What is the piece called ... Oh, the piece is called Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y [1997]!

ML: Oh! Because I can never say his name ... Johan? [Johan Grimonprez].

AS: Yes!

ML: That’s funny man, that’s funny. So, like, I went to art college, but I couldn’t make art, and I stopped making it. And I ended up living in New York. I wanted to make music videos. And, somehow, I got to see that Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y.

AS: No!

ML: And I was like, ‘Oh, shit, you can make video with, like, archival footage?!’ So, at the same time I had seen it, you were just able to afford a desktop computer, and you could get this little box – I used to hate this box, man. So, I had a VCR, and I would plug it in this little box, and you plug that into the computer, and you could transcode analogue to digital, right. This is late ‘90s, you couldn’t do that before, it was really hard to do. You’d have to go to some professional studio facility to do it. And then you could do it at home. So, I saw that video that you were talking about, at about the same time I got it set-up at home, and that’s when I started making Fiorucci, because of that.

AS: Aaaah, amazing!

ML: Those two reasons, those two things were the reason I was able to do it.

AS: Yeah, he is the GOAT.

ML: Yeah, he is the GOAT.

AS: Oh, what a genius idea!

Excerpt from Middle Plane Issue No.7 (Spring Summer 2023). Read the full interview in the magazine by ordering your copy here.

Photographer: Alasdair McLellan
Stylist: Max Pearmain
Makeup Artist: Lynsey Alexander
Hair Stylist: Anthony Turner