Anyone who’s spent more than ten minutes in a serious nightclub knows that there are two types of DJs in the world: those who play records, and those who play crowds. Frankie Wilde was the king of the latter group, uniquely able to transport all who witnessed him to the highest heights. The frenzy that Frankie could create on the dance-floor was surpassed only by the impossibly wild story of his real life.
Frankie Wilde grew up rough in Brixton, London, doing whatever he could to survive. From slaving in a chip shop to taking gigs spinning at the grimmest of London bars, Frankie paid his dues and honed his talent the hard way. “I remember seeing Frankie selling weed on Camden High Street,” remembers fellow DJ Angus Walker. “He was always hustling money so he could buy some tunes. There were even rumors that he was wanking off pensioners for some extra dosh to hit the record shops with”.
When the rave scene exploded, Frankie was ready. He was a master at crafting acid house and hard techno sets that drove crowds insane, and such a consummate showman that once you saw and heard Frankie, you needed more. Famed Tokyo club owner Takahiro Sugimoto recalls, “Frankie Wilde came to my club in 2000. I have never seen Japanese people dance like that in my entire life. And he was like a possessed man afterwards, guzzling champagne by the bottle. It was a wonderful. One of the cocktail girls here claimed that Frankie gave her the clap. I fired her.” Frankie traveled all over the world leveling nightclubs, but found his spiritual and musical home in Ibiza, Spain.
Frankie became to DJ club partying what Michael Jordan once was to basketball: overpaid and endorsed beyond all reason. There were Frankie slipmats, record crates, headphones — there was even a strain of ecstasy doing the rounds in Ibiza for a while called “Frankies” (they had the image of a little guy on them that could arguable be said to resemble him).
Frankie lived and spent accordingly to his newfound level of fame. He purchased a villa outside of the city center that would have made Caligula proud. He married a vacant supermodel to go with the house and the drugs. In the midst of the most decadent lifestyle possible, Frankie made the seminal club track “Otay.” This squelched-out acid instrumental was a bonafide international hit, even getting onto the straight charts for two months. You’ve probably danced to it a million times and wondered what it was, and you have for sure seen last year’s Volkswagen commercial that featured “Otay” as the soundtrack to a mini-night of clean debauchery.
|“Sunrise” (DJ Frankie Wilde Club Remix 99) / Professor Space Jazz|
|“Mr Burgess” (DJ Frankie Wilde with DJ Jimmy Bell) / Beatmode|
|“Get Down” (DJ Frankie Wilde with DJ Jimmy Bell) / Da Hussla|
|“Shake ur Body” (DJ Frankie Wilde with DJ Jimmy Bell) / The Stylusouls|