Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique's First Clubs: Francois K, 2 in a Room and...Weezer?


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Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique's First Clubs: Francois K, 2 in a Room and...Weezer?

We zip from NYC to small town Sweden for a triple-header special.

My First Club takes us back to the beginning, transporting DJs and producers back into the depths of their memory, asking them to take us on a trip to those pivotal first nights in clubland. Following entries from the likes of Bristol's hungriest house head Eats Everything, Southsea son Shadow Child, and fidget house maestro Herve, this time round, we got the lowdown on cross-continental clubbing from Robyn and her new group, La Bagatelle Magique, which comprises of Robyn herself, Markus Jägerstedt, and the late Christian Falk. For their recent slice of throwback house, "Love is Free", they were joined by Maluca. We took her, Markus, and Robyn on a trip down a few different memory lanes.



I was in New York a lot when I was a teenager. I had not been exposed to the more, I guess, authentic club culture in America before. I was so young at the time. My experiences of clubs were limited to Swedish after-school discos and parties. For me, at the time, dance music was hip hop. When I came to New York I started getting different pieces of the puzzle. For a Swedish kid consuming all of this British and American pop culture was a dream. It was something I knew lots about but wasn't involved with. Because I was working so much I didn't have time to go clubbing that often. The few times I did were in New York, towards the end of the 90s. There was still a little bit of that energy that NYC is so based on. All kinds of genres and musics and cultures mix. My first real strong memory was going to a Body and Soul night at the Shelter, on a Sunday afternoon.

What really struck me was that there were all kinds of people there. It wasn't just young people. There were gay people, old hippies, breakdancers. There were people there from the night before, kids trying to sleep in the club. There was baby powder all over the floor to keep it slippery enough to keep people dancing. It blew my mind. It felt like coming home in a way. It was very welcoming. Very warm. It changed my life.

Nightclubs are about communality and acceptance. If you're in a good club that still happens. Now the club scene, and dance music, is so broad that there are definitely places where that doesn't exist anymore, and it's all about money and commercialism. But that's why club music is so amazing — you're never going to be able to exploit it totally. I think it's beautiful that that idea has spread into pop culture in a very organic way. It can be a festival, a party, an arts space. It's also a concept you have to take care of.


Lil Louie Vega was playing that night. It was New York house music, very vocal stuff. I don't listen to a lot of that stuff any more but I still appreciate it. The spirit of those evenings where anything goes, where you can mix in everything, from hip hop to house to things that weren't house at all, is really important. I woke up the next morning feeling changed. I knew the music and then I figured out where it came from. I felt more connected to it.


My first club wasn't a club night. My cousin was dating this guy who worked with 2 in a Room. This was when hip-house was really popular. They were shooting a video for one of their songs and my cousin, my older cousin, took me and her sister to the Limelight when we were 13. It was during the day. They had all their friends and a bunch of extras there and I remember feeling so grown up. People were partying like it was a club night.

They played that song a lot, obviously, but then it turned into a party for sure. We wore my cousin's clothes. We're Dominican and we grew up in Harlem. At that time everyone was into big doorknockers, gold, all that. She wore chunky platforms and bellbottoms. I thought she was so cool. I wore these big flared denim jeans with a big belt. My father worked at a shoe store and I had these red boots on, and a white buttoned down shirt with a crop top on top. Maybe a flannel shirt too.

Partying with grown ups was amazing. I thought 17 year olds were grown ups…My cousin was a dancer at the Limelight. She used to live with me and we came up with a series of taps and knocks that meant we could get her in without anyone catching her.


The Limelight was one of those places that you just walked in…clubs in New york at that time weren't cliquey. It was a plethora of people dancing, people in their zone. You didn't get looked at when you walked into the club. Everything went. Remember that scene in Kids, when Chloe Sevigny walks into NASA? It was like that!


At that age, 13, 14, 15, I was into indiepop and rock bands. The first clubs I went to were rock clubs and there were none near where I grew up. When I was 14, me and my best friend were planning to see Weezer in Stockholm. It was going to be great. We were going to take the train, try and buy beer. Then the day before the gig, they changed the venue and the age restriction. We ended up being driven by my friend's mother. She came in with us. Weezer were amazing that night.

My first 'proper' club night came a lot later. When I went into clubs there were just shitty PA systems and commercial hits that didn't interest me at all. I went to clubs in Berlin with good systems, and you realized that club music could affect your body. You could lose yourself. I remember going to one club for a D&B thing, and that was the first real one I remember. I don't really remember how it went!