Saturday, September 28 2013
Fueled by an enigmatic nature, DJ Jenö has remained one of San Francisco’s most beloved and sought after DJs for over two decades. Developing a passionate love for music from an early age he spent several years as a punk musician & songwriter, before discovering djing and falling into the vibrant London warehouse party scene of the mid 80s. Once Acid House fever hit the UK, Jenö never looked back, becoming known for his heady Whoosh parties, and his involvement in the early days of the notorious Tonka Sound System.
Inspired by Tonka’s cheeky f**k the rules attitude, and in search of a more psychedelic groove, Jenö, along with his British cohorts Garth, Markie & Thomas headed to San Francisco in the early 90s. This was the beginning of the now world renowned Wicked Crew, who were instrumental in firing up the SF dance music scene with their now legendary “Full Moon” parties. These wild & free outdoor gatherings were the foundation for an eclectic and soulful underground dance scene, and the driving force of the growing rave community on the West Coast.
By the mid 90s, Jenö‘s musical talents and commitment to the dance floor had helped inspire and define a new “San Francisco sound,” bringing international attention to the city’s burgeoning dance music scene. With all eyes on San Francisco, DMC sought out Jenö’s talents for a mix on their prestigious CD series “United DJs of America.” Joining the ranks of legends Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, Little Louie Vega and Doc Martin, he put together a mix of fresh local music and classic house sounds that helped put San Francisco firmly on the dance music map.
In 1995, he and the Wicked Crew took things to the next level, importing a custom made Tony Andrews designed Turbosound system from the UK. With Wicked very much in demand there was nothing else to do but hit the road, piling into a beautifully restored 1947 Grayhound bus with their own band of merry pranksters, delivering their soulful psychedelic sounds with a rock’n'roll attitude that took the U.S by storm. The touring continued through the late 90s, including some unforgettable stops at Burning Man, Reggae on the River, and even a Jane’s Addiction concert in 2001.
As the new millennium approached, Jenö took his talents to the studio and began producing his own unique take on dance music. He met all expectations with several remixes on fellow Wicked DJ Garth’s Greyhound label, including the internationally acclaimed “Stormy Weather” remix of Rocket’s “People.” This was followed by remixes on Cheeky, Turnaround Sound, NRK & others. Jenö’s production talents aren’t limited to the dance floor, having worked on some dark brooding indie music in recent years, and currently producing live acid house for his monthly “Cult of the Acid House” party.
In 2004, Wicked disbanded after 13 years of amazing collaboration. Undeterred Jenö and Garth have kept the spirit alive with their regular Back2Back appearances up and down the West Coast; a fun loving and boundary pushing musical romp through the last 40 years of dance music.
In 2011, Wicked reformed with a “Twenty Years of Disco Glory,” reunion tour encompassing 13 cities across the country. The success of the tour has put a vital missing piece back into the global dance community, and a newly inspired Wicked will be hitting the road again in 2012 and beyond.
Jenö’s mythical mixing talents have translated far and wide with a diverse international cult following. He has demonstrated these talents on the decks in the premier clubs across the globe, including the legendary Twilo in NYC, The End, Fabric & Ministry of Sound in London, Unit in Tokyo and the Rex Club in Paris. Jenö continues to perform & present music with a unique and psychedelic perspective, djing regularly again across the US, as well as hosting his own musically mischievous cult radio show – Noise from the Void, every Tuesday night at 90hz.org.
ABOUT THE WICKED CREW
In the spring of 1991 a small brave crew of Acid House seekers set sail from south east England in search of adventure. San Francisco was the destination.
They made their mark under the Golden Gate Bridge at Baker Beach with the first in a 6 year run of wild and lawless full moon parties.
In a haze of psychedelic smoke the crew came up with a name. Wicked was born and consummated the following weekend with an all-night loft party above BMP Records in the city’s sex district.
From here they moved below ground to Jesse Street, a sweaty after hours jam that became the crew’s first weekly residency. Kick off was 2am!
Quickly outgrowing the tight confines of the basement, Wicked threw a series of warehouse parties before settling in to the King Street Garage with their own custom designed Turbosound system and camouflage netting.
By 1995 the parties and Wicked’s rep had grown exponentially. They invited the best DJs the world had to offer to play on the Wicked Sound System. Tony Humphries, Francois K, DJ Pierre, Louis Vega, Roger S, Harvey, Stacy Pullen, Robert Owens, K Alexi, Alton M, Three, Mike Clark, Chez Damier, Kenny Hawkes & Joe Claussel all made their SF debuts at Wicked jams on King Street, Townsend or DNA.
Wicked was the pioneering sound system at Burning Man in 1995. The same speakers went on to rule the late night airwaves each year at Reggae on the River with guest appearances on the mic by Reggae legends Mikey Dread and Junior Reid.
By now word of Wicked had spread across the states. After a couple of years touring in a convoy of vans the crew teamed up with friends in Berkeley and all aboard Clay’s customized ’47 Greyhound bus, took the country by storm.
By 2000 the crew had swept through Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Salt Lake, Boulder, Denver, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, New Orleans, St Louis, Chicago, DC, Baltimore, NYC, Miami, Tampa & Gainesville, spreading their gospel.
After a 13 year run as the city’s reigning sound system, Wicked disbanded in 2004. This is the first time they will have all played together since their last gig in Los Angeles.
As a side note, each of the crew has had successful recording careers which began on Garth’s Grayhound Recordings. Before ruling the airwaves with his NoiseFromTheVoid radio broadcast, Jeno had several acclaimed remixes on the label. Markie recorded as Defenders of the Faith w/Neil harris and as Wicked with Garth who also recorded as Rocket w/Eric James and as Crosstown Traffic w/Rob Doten. Thomas had notable hits as Mirror Boys and has since gone on to international acclaim as half of NYC’s Rub ‘n’ Tug and Map of Africa w/Harvey.
Between them they have remixed Tribe Called Quest, Faithless, Perry Farrell, Freeland, The Glimmers, The Units, Coldplay, Roxy Music, Beastie Boys. Yabby You, !!! & Out Hud and licensed songs to two films – SF rave flick Groove and Gus Van Sant’s Speedway Junky.
Jeno is busy putting the finishing touches on a documentary he’s making with Mo Films about Wicked’s Full Moon parties and the west coast dance movement they helped create. Coming to indie theaters this summer!
Not a bad run for a salty bunch of disco pirates. Catch ‘em while you can in 2011 folks!