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Simone + Party Zone


Regular readers to this blog know how much I love Simone + her blog. Now she's split the blog in two, one blog for her life in Belize which is simply brilliant -pics, vids & well-written scribes about life in the jungle Dome (no NOT a drum & bass rave!). It's beautiful seeing her life evolve and when son Lucas for example grows up even more, what a document he's got to look back on, very 'Tarnation'.

Simone's other blog is devoted to music, with frequent nods to MTV's Party Zone, a programme we both literally put our heart, soul + blood into!!!! We really were on a major mission to document club/dance culture for so many reasons; no other broadcaster was doing it and if they were, for the odd short new piece or quick interview/clip, it was being done badly, believe!!!

I'll never forget literally being in my teens, programming/producing a weekly show that at its peak, aired to a potential audience of over 60 million European households, being shown the maddest visuals + then some!!!!!


We built up a huge tape archive (12 years/about 2,500 betas = 5 solid years of non-stop viewing!!, many of which got destroyed in a fire but we've got lots of tapes and slowly you'll see them get uploaded onto YouTube etc., time permitting.

What prompted this quick blog - well, a look at Simone's blog and a lovely letter from this dude, Cosmin, explaining literally what a life-save MTV's Party Zone show was, uniting nations via its culture we were promoting:

Hi Simone,

I found your wonderful blog the other day and was so happy seeing some of the old partyzone footage and also finding that you have followed your dream in such a beautiful place like Belize.

I must say I was addicted to PartyZone (in its last 2-3 years of existence because I didnít have cable before) and sort of lived for those Friday nights. Basically everything that I knew about dance music was due to your work and dedication. And believe me, a 16-year-old boy to have heard about (and listened to) Laurent Garnier, Derrick May, Carl Cox, Moby or Marusha in 1996 in Bucharest, in post-communist Romania, was a rare occurrence.

Now it looks so simple, go on the internet and find whatever you need, but back then, your 2hr show was one of (if not the only) source of information, music and club-culture for all these eastern european countries. You couldnít buy that kind of music, there were only pirated cassettes from Poland with shitty music and no CDs or vinyls. So I would record cassettes from the TV speaker to keep that music and listen to it again and again.. so, yeah.. itís fair to say: ďSimone, thank you for influencing my life as much as you did as a teenager and for giving me that kind of musical backgroundĒ. And also James Hyman, I didnít see him on camera but I remember his name appearing on the credits screen together with a bunch of people (researchers or whatever).

Anyway when the show ended (I remember you being at a snow party somewhere saying ďitís over guys, theyíre taking us off the airĒ) I was pissed on MTV for that and for all those other changes that started to make the channel to what it is now (common and useless hit rotation machine). 10 years later Iím working as a programmer/designer and, thanks to you, involved in the clubbbing scene here with; you on the other hand gave up all that crazyness for a quiet life in a tropical resort. That change must have been really tough at first, I mean I would freak out to live in a place with less than 2 million people around, but thereís a time when I do think about family and kids and getting away from this fast pace, but Iím still young and I guess I can take some more clubbing for a few years or so. I wish someday I could be lucky and bold enough to take a decision like yours. For the moment, Iíll put Belize on my destination list if I ever decide to take an extended trip like that, it looks fabulous.

I wish you and your family a great 2007, with only good things coming your way!

All the best from light-snowy Bucharest.


Posted on January 03, 2007 at 04:38 PM

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