Paceville is Malta’s own Sin City. But under the layers of binge drinking, strip tease venues and barfed up commercial music there is a gem to be found.
When Supre (Johnathan Cilia) returned to Malta from his travels abroad in 2014 he was unsure about his future plans. That is until he came across a Facebook post from Siconix (Daniel Borg), a local trap DJ. Siconix was looking for a trap DJ for a night at Liquid, so Supre obliged. Thus the partnership between these two versatile Maltese DJs began and the idea to manage a club in Malta’s most popular entertainment district was born.
Havana is bar none one of the most iconic clubs of Paceville. In 2013 it’s ground floor room called Cabanas was holding dubstep-styled events serving a more alternative crowd as opposed to the commercialism blasted onto the streets upstairs. New life was required and the following February, Cabanas was renamed Havana 808 under the carte blanche management of Supre and Siconix with a 7-hour slot from 9 in the evening to 4 in the morning.
What is to be understood immediately about this back-to-back act is their intimate feel with the crowd. It is their adaptability and responsiveness to Paceville’s fast paced crowd dynamics that has led to their success. They know how to play the songs they like while still taking great care about managing and building hype on the dance floor. Their style involves the rapid and effective changing of songs to please the ADHD minds of the young and horny.
Siconix: “Our style of play is very fast. Sometimes I’ll only play a chorus or two of one track and I’ll hand it off and vice versa. It all depends on what the crowd is feeling and we try our best to keep a hype.”
In the early hours, music remains generally commercial, however word to the wise – afterhours are a change of pace. The mood balances over and the duo play a more alternative and underground hip-hop, feeding the crowd constantly with their massive repertoire of music.
Supre: “Trap is a very particular kind of music. It is chaotic with snares in the middle and changing baselines and choruses. Your timing really has to be on point and you have to find that sweet spot in order to mix the tracks.”
These two get each other and support one another completely. Even as they tell us about their story, their dialogue is perfectly balanced and in unison – the result of playing B2B with one another for so long.
The two recognise that the music, clubs and people of Paceville are more than often deplorable. Keeping it honest, Supre has no reservations that “808 is an oasis in the middle of shit”. However there is a positive side. “We distinguish ourselves from other clubs in the Paceville area as pioneers – we were the first place to bring real trap music to the club scene”.
You can catch Supre and Siconix behind the decks every Saturday at Havana 808 Club on the ground floor of the Havana building.
Words by: Luc John Claude
Images provided via Supre and Siconix. Underground Sound takes no credit for the images featured in this article.