CHARLIE DARK: RUNNING TO THE BEAT
Charlie Dark is the founder of Run Dem Crew, one of 1948's most popular sports clubs.
Meeting every Tuesday evening they head off into the evening come rain or shine, taking in the sights and sounds of London along the way. While Charlie is known by most for his passion for running, he has an equally rich background in music, having worked as a DJ and producer for many years.
Next week he joins us at the Flyknit Collective ‘Lightness’ workshop to head up the Run and Record task alongside Scratcha DVA. We met up with Charlie to find out more.
Tell us about your musical background.
I started DJing in 1983, I formed a band called Attica Blues in the ’90s that were signed to Mo’Wax Records then onto Sony. I’ve had a long career as a DJ, producer and remixer.
How do sound and sport fit together for you?
I tend to listen to music on every run. I go through phases and at the moment I’m making music specifically for running. It’s something we’ve been working on at Run Dem Crew for about a year and we hope to be releasing some stuff this summer on CD, digital and vinyl. We’ve made a song with Ed Skrein, who’s currently starring in the film Ill Manors. We’ve also been working with the group called LV who are signed to Hyperdub records, and a few other producers on music that’s made specifically for exercise but that can also work on the dancefloor.
What makes a good running tune?
A tune that takes you on a journey, a tune that’s on its own groove. It should be something that evocative, something that creates a vibe, but also something that is multipurpose. It needs to work on a dancefloor, at a festival, on a Sunday run, or even on the tube.
We’re not trying to make fly by night music on this RDC project – just good music that stands the test of time. There’s a theory that faster and harder the music, the harder you exercise but I disagree. It has to be good music first and foremost, tempo does not come into it. I don’t run faster because the music is 140 BPM, I run faster because the music is good and I feel good.
What are you looking forward to on the Flyknit Collective workshop next week?
I think sound and the sound of sport has always been really important to me. Sport without music is just a game but if you add audio to sport, be it commentary or music, then it suddenly becomes a memorable moment. I guess I am trying to explore that theory further and also I get a chance to work with Scratcha DVA.
Also, it’s not something that’s been done before so I’m really interested to see how it will work out. I like to break down the mechanics of running and I think each mechanic has a different sound. So whatever comes out of this project, it will be interesting.
THE SOUND OF SPORT HAS ALWAYS BEEN REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME