September 04, 2019
Labrynth promoter Joe Wieczorek looks back at a career of antiestablishment mischief-making, and the moment 25 years ago when British dance music was politicised
My home got raided seven times: the Criminal Justice Act 25 years on
Joe Wieczorek, long-time rave promoter and serial thorn in the side of the establishment, is marking the 25th anniversary of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJA) by cheerfully miming the insertion of a solemn legal document into a sensitive part of a policeman’s anatomy. The founder of the east London rave Labrynth, Wieczorek remains one of dance music’s most unique characters, all spiky irreverence, Cockney enthusiasm and relentless disdain for authority. Many of his peers have settled comfortably into rave’s middle age, but Wieczorek gives the impression that the culture’s real value lies in putting powerful noises out of joint.
“We employed someone called Brian: Mr 10%,” he remembers. “Drove a turquoise and grey Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, and he’d managed to get ‘the Right Honourable’ and ‘Sir’ put on his driving licence, so his sole purpose at Labrynth parties was to front the police when they showed up.”
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