Brooklyn’s Mr Saturday Night share their love of Glasgow’s Optimo
Eamon Harkin talks about the New York duo's origins and 'community dance culture' ethos
Talk to Eamon Harkin of underground New York party Mr Saturday Night and you can tell he isn’t an original Brooklyn scenester. Originally from Derry, his partner in MSN is North Carolina’s Justin Carter, and he readily admits they’ve got very different backgrounds. Yet the melting pot threw them together when roving DJ Harkin started playing as residency support to Afrika Bambaataa at the now-defunct APT club, where Carter was music programmer, and they just clicked. ‘It was clear we had similar views on music and dance music culture,’ says Harkin.
Just over four years ago they branched out on their own with Mr Saturday Night, a night with an ethos in place of special guests and gimmicks. ‘It was a case of, how do we foster an atmosphere of community and then grow that amongst people who love dance culture?’ says Harkin. ‘It’s things like having a good soundsystem, friendly staff, fair prices and good music which still challenges the crowd. We put that at the forefront rather than money or ambition. Parties inspire me more than individual DJs or labels.’
Although he and Carter relate more to a soulful, jazz-influenced style rather than Twitch and Wilkes’ post-punk aesthetic, Harkin’s days visiting his sister in Glasgow made him an Optimo regular way back when. ‘Everything that they did was just hugely inspiring to me,’ he says, ‘and I remain in awe of them. They made me want to be a DJ, and the first time I played Sunday night at the Sub Club for Optimo was the most massive thrill for me.’
Optimo Presents at the Sub Club, Glasgow, Sun 24 Feb.