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lime Clubs & Nightlife Interview: Paul Trouble Anderson

Lime interview - Clubs & Nightlife

Paul Trouble Anderson

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Lime Contributor

Reporter: Lime Contributor

On Sunday May 20th the cream of London’s club DJ’s and artists across the last three decades come together to celebrate the legendary master mix DJ and club pioneer,

Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson’s immeasurable contribution to UK dance music and to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, at Ministry Of Sound.


Taking over the whole club from 9pm, the unsurpassed UK line up includes artists such as Jocelyn Brown, Robert Owens, Reel People, Lisa Millet, Rose Windross (Soul II Soul) and DJ’s such as Danny Rampling, Phil Asher, Kid Batchelor,  Zepherin Saint, Frankie Foncett and of course, Paul ‘Trouble’ himself.


So where does this legendary story start? 


Born in East London, Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson grew up in children’s homes all over England, becoming a keen sportsman. His natural athleticism and immense passion for football saw him go on to play for Tottenham Hotspurs, Charlton and Middlesex County’s youth squads as well running for Haringey. 


As well as sports Paul enjoyed music and was a major dancer in the clubs, pre-mixing days, and he is still dancing in the DJ box, having been known to hurdle over the decks for a boogie down before jumping back just in time to cue the next record! 


Paul started off DJ-ing in the early Sound System days, and was also a soundman, who followed the Chicken, Scrap Iron and Fat Man Around systems around. Paul’s uncle ran a reggae sound that converted into a soul sound, called Troublefunk and this is where he acquired his stage name “Trouble”. 


At this time he meet DJ pioneer and one of the founders of Kiss FM radio, George Power, who asked Paul to play alongside him at the legendary jazz funk sessions at Crackers. Paul was the first black DJ to play in Soho in 1979 and he then went onto blaze a trail in the London music scene, developing highly acclaimed seminal sessions of early electro, boogie, jazz dance, hip hop, soul and any new dance sound at what became historic clubs such as Crackers, Spats, The Embassy, Global Village and the Electric Ballroom. He played the best tunes during the rise of each genre: Reggae, Soul, Funk, Jazz-Funk, Disco, Electro, Hip-Hop and then House.


“I left school and went to the Electric Ballroom and all these boogie tunes I heard Paul Trouble playing, well he was the guy that set me on my path” Femi Fem (Young Disciples & Supperclub Musical Director)


“I used to play upstairs at the Electric Ballroom and I would sneak out whilst playing a long jazz record and go and listen to Paul playing early electro tunes. He is one of the most important people in London club culture, and Soul II Soul and all that stuff came off the back of Paul Anderson and lets not forget that. He’s an original boogie man, playing material that’s very dirty, very bouncy - real shuffle, and the girls love it and boys feel good around it”  Gilles Peterson, Radio 1/Brownswood


By the mid 80’s he was championing his ‘Trouble Funk’ sound and bringing his exciting dance music style to the capital’s underground warehouse scene.


‘For me, Paul "Trouble" Anderson is a musicologist who has touched most peoples lives whether they realise it or not. Over the years we've had many a close and deep conversation about life and our love of Man Understanding Spiritual Information Clearly (MUSIC). 

His DJ-ing is an extension of his prolific dancing days in the 70's and I like many followed suit. His mentor was Trevor Shakes, another predecessor DJ dancer, who along with Dez Parkes invited Paul to spin at the quintessential Spats’ boogie night in the early 1980's.  I first came across Paul like many of my generation at the Electric Ballroom on Friday's in Camden circa 1982. Paul's mixing and blending back then was inspirational especially dropping tunes like Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Riot In Lagos’. 


I've seen many DJ’s (who are now considered icons) listen and imitate Paul and spin their heads like Linda Blair of the Exorcist as they try to read the label of what he's playing. His shows on the pirate and then legal Kiss FM are legendary as are his residencies at Dance Wicked, Legends, The Wag and The Loft...well you had to be there.  As a young black teenager of his era, he made many of us feel we had hope to achieve as he rose to unimaginable heights in the music industry, so much so that promoters would have Paul’s name on their flyers to boost their event without his permission!  


 Above and beyond any DJ he is my inspiration to do what I do now and he is the only man I know back in the day who could mix, drink his brandy, dance and DJ and churps a woman...all at the same time! Genius!!  There is only one Trouble In D Mix!!’ Fitzroy Da Buzzboy 


In 1985 he joined the fledgling pirate radio station, Kiss FM and found the prospect of promoting dance music on-air an exciting one, going on to hit new heights of creativity and skill. His incredibly accurate technical skills, perfect clean mixing, and all-action DJ style, made the music come alive and inspired all those that heard his shows and who have come after him.


‘Paul and I were chatting outside Kiss FM in ‘88 about how the scene was moving and I remember this so clearly. He said to me way back then "It's all about the mixing, I'm gonna be a mixer". It probably took another 2 years before I really understood that statement and by then Paul was way ahead of the pack. He had it down! He mixes like no other - it really is a part of him, a natural body reaction. Paul doesn't just mix, he recreates. He naturally and seamlessly turns 2 tracks into a totally new sound. For the countless times he's taken me on a journey and held that beat, he'll always have my love, friendship and respect. God Bless you 'Trouble' Roy The Roach


During the late 1980s Acid House era, Paul was head-lining at the massive Sunrise, Biology and Back to the Future raves, and was also resident at Love at the Wag, Solaris and Enter The Dragon at the Park. Paul was the first UK DJ to play in Italy, and was the regular resident at Angels of Love (Napoli, Italy).

Paul was one of the founders of Kiss FM, London’s first legal dance music station. His hugely influential Saturday Night 9pm-11pm Live “Exclusive Advance Dance Mix Show” on Kiss FM (1990-1999) was sponsored by Sony, Levis, Vestax and Stussy. Paul launched and nurtured amazing residencies at legendary clubs such asTrouble’s House (Legends) and The Loft (HQs, Camden Town - London’s best mid-week club which ran for 10 years with special appearances from DJs Tony Humphries, Louie Vega, Kerri Chandler, Norman Jay, CJ Mackintosh Grant Nelson and Dave Camacho, Marshall Jefferson, Gusto, and singers Kathy Sledge, Ultra Nate, Jocelyn Brown, Adeva, Loleatta Holloway (RIP), Joi Cardwell, Kathy Brown, Carol Sylvan, Andrea Mendez, Amira, Mone, Jean Carne, Crystal Waters, Kenny Bobien, Gerideau, Arnold Jarvis, Shawn Benson (RIP), Leroy Burgess and Stephen Granville.


His huge support in breaking vocal stars includes amazing artists such as Michael Watford and Barbara Tucker, and hits such as "Closer Than Close" by Rosie Gaines and "Get Up" by Byron Stingily. Paul continues to play Guest DJ sets on the world’s more discerning dancefloors, and strives to always bring more to the table in dance music.


“Some of my greatest memories are of The Loft parties in Camden, and whenever Paul played and plays today you always feel a kind of magic in the air. You can see it on the faces of people he brings together.” Robert Owens


“If you wanted to hear upfront, unreleased, dubplate, acetate pressure in the house, it had to be The Loft & Paul Trouble Anderson. It wasn’t about the labels to him, it was all about the rhythm, the beats, the arrangement and particularly, vocal tracks. He has this kind of way of weaving together two vocal tracks, layering them, mixing between them, and this technique is his article signature. And when ‘Trouble is in the land’, one of his catch phrases you know it’s Trouble time.”

 Marcia Carr, Da Vinyl MC


Paul’s musical achievements include compiling Classic House Mastercuts 2;  Remixing Nomad’s No 1 hit, ’Devotion’ and Junior Reid’s No 1 in Jamaica, ’One Blood’ as well as remixes for Blaze, Pet Shop Boys, Soul II Soul, Thelma Houston, and Byron Stingily, and a Live Mix “Trouble’s House” album on R2 Records 


He has also enjoyed close links with the fashion world, compiling the music and playing at Julian Macdonald’s show at London Fashion week and for Chanel at Milan Fashion week. He worked for Italian Fashion TV for 2 years, and has also been photographed for Italian Vogue with Giorgio Armani. 


Now in his 37th year of DJ-ing, he is still going strong with nights such as Loft Reunion, Trouble’s House and Back to My Roots and still refusing to be labelled. His current projects include, setting up his own record label ’Troubled Soul Records’, mixing his own artist album with his own songs, as well as writing a Biography and ‘Pauletry’ - Paul’s take on poetry!


His reputation for delivering fantastic music coupled with creating a great atmosphere for a friendly and happy crowd continues to unite and inspire clubbers and music lovers alike.

As an Artist, Paul has a restless soul and the dedication to carry on championing Dance music at present and in the future.  

Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson is a true dance music original who’s written the book on how to do things his way.



Twitter: @TroubledSoulLtd

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