How old? Yes, you read that correctly, Slimes is thirty-four this year. “If you go to Slimelight enough you’ll probably end up working there”, this is a common theme running through my interviews from the DJs to the head chef, and it is a statement that we can certainly attribute to DJ Blackdeath1334. Her passion for poetry, vintage clothing and dolls, and a love of occult memorabilia is matched only by her passion for selecting beautiful music. During her sets, Blackdeath1334 uncovers for us a lost continent of musical treasures from the corridors of the dark scene.
Blackdeath1334 or Francesca has been a Slimelight DJ for over 23 years and was our first but not our last alternative DJ from an Italian background. According to her file, Francesca became hooked on the alternative scene after watching a punk rock documentary back in Sardinia at the tender age of nine, I was playing with my Hornby train set at nine. So, after pestering Francesca to do a Q & A with me rather than just pasting more from her page bio, she agreed. She had to really, because no one escapes Ambassador Joons Q & A blog, no one.
How was it being alternative in conservative Sardinia with a population that’s less than Essex?
Sardinia was not the easiest place to grow up for a “goth”. Every time I left the house I would have to endure stupid comments like “Are you going to a funeral?” or “Is your cat dead?” but at that same time it was great to grow up where the alternative scene (whether you were a goth, punk, rockabilly or metalhead) was united and happy to hang out with each other.
How did Mak and Dette receive your request to become a Slimelight DJ?
I remember Dette was in the Office when I took the courage to ask and when I did she just said “Bring us a tape and we’ll see“. They obviously liked it as we started DJing there (I was DJing with a friend at that time) a couple of weeks later doing the opening and “graveyard shift” (last hour).
So when did you get the name Blackdeath1334 and why?
I needed a name for an event and I quickly came up with this name, mainly due with my obsession with Rozz Williams from “Christian Death”.
Along with others at Electrowerkz, you organised Mak’s memorial club night, “The Plan”. Tell us more and how you picked the tunes for the night?
The Plan was the launch of a musical compilation. Myself, Paul Jetten, Peter Adjoba, and Mark O’Shea, three amazing friends worked on this for 6 months and it was created to celebrate the very special person that was Mak, as well as producing some revenue for Slimelight, the home that Dette and Mak created for all of us 34 years ago.
What were some of those more unusual experimental tunes you were bashing out that are regularly played today?
Strangely enough, even bands like Combichrist or Hocico seemed “experimental” at the time I started playing them…this even got me in trouble with few people in the club who started a petition to get me out of Slimelight for playing “Techno”:)
I am proud to have helped promote bands like Boy Harsher, Linea Aspera, Years of denial, Haus Arafna, just to name a few.
You joined with the other Slimelight DJs to stream music on Twitch during the worst of the plague, so I have to ask the question I ask every interviewee, what bands got you through lockdown?
I would definitely say the compilation “The Plan” as working on it definitely got me through lockdown and helped me dealing with the pain of losing Mak.
How do you see your djing evolving, what new things can we expect from Blackdeath1334 now that we are able to party again?
I will continue DJing the same way I’ve always done, with passion and no barriers or worries of not being “popular enough”. I would also love to continue doing online streams as it has been giving me the chance to reach people all over the world. Next live gigs already booked will be Wraith, Unmasked and Wroclaw Industrial festival.
And finally, how looking forward to the Birthday night are you, I bet that will bring back some memories?
I am DJing, just still feeling very emotional at the fact Mak won’t be there. I will say, “Slimelight’s bday has always been a great fun night and I hope this year we will be able to celebrate in honour of the brighter star that left us”.
Your words resonate with all of us who knew Mak and this year's Birthday will be different, however we will celebrate it as we always have and as he would want us to.
So don’t be scared, don’t be frighted off. If you go on the Slimelight dance floor, don’t trip over the Memento mori while Francesca is doing her set, and if there is an occasional song being played, and you don’t recognise either band or song, don’t rush off back to the bar just yet, stick with it. Open up and let the tune trickle over the crevasses of your brain, as it is just DJ Blackdeath1334 giving an interesting tune a chance to find some love. For it might be something amazing that everyone else will be playing at Slimelights 35th birthday.
Tickets for the gig (which includes free entry to Slimelight) tickets are £20 + booking fee
Tickets for the club only, tickets are £8 for members and £16 for non members including booking fees (select the tickets you need in the drop down box)
This has been Electroholic or Joon the Ambassador