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Phil Ilson
The Halloween Society

After Kentra, Tim decided to step down from being heavily involved in Halloween activities and I also decided to leave the British Council to go freelance. One of my first projects was a British Council Canada multi-media club event heavily influenced by Kentra, even using some of the Kentra regulars, but also bringing in a strong skateboard theme; Noise in Ottawa brought in Ninja Tune’s DJ Vadim and Hexstatic, Your Mum visuals, and LoDown skateboard magazine to provide films and live graffiti art. After its success, the British Council Design Department approached me about programming a similar touring event: The subsequent Sensurround became a year long touring club that featured Hexstatic, DJ Andrea Parker, Your Mum visuals, and DJs and visuals from 333’s Off Centre club night, plus specially commissioned short films about the UK fashion scene. During 2000 we zigzagged across the globe from Berlin to Tel Aviv, from Bogotá to Caracas, from Athens to Paris, from Rio to Sao Paulo. It was met with mixed reaction, as the UK dance music scene and its superstar DJs were getting international recognition, so when audiences were faced with short films and slower sets with the onus on visuals, there were a certain amount of walk-outs; one club in particular had its regular Saturday night trance techno audience boo-ing and bouncers threw our poor DJ off the decks! But in cities where the event was promoted locally via arts colleges and to students, Sensurround was quite inspirational.

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