One of the true godfathers of soulful house music in the UK Paul 'Trouble' Anderson has sadly passed away after a seven-year battle with cancer. His death was announced on social media on Sunday by Mi-Soul DJ Gordon Mac, who called him a "superstar".
Born in 1959, Paul Anderson was record collecting and DJing from his early teens, and first made a name for himself as one of London’s best dancers, taking residency in Crackers nightclub in Soho – the place where people of all colours, races and sexuality were embraced and black British culture thrived.
It was at Crackers nightclub that Paul was first invited behind the decks, where he quickly amassed a strong following, from that point his DJ career took off. Paul was soon playing at legendary London venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, Global Village and the Electric Ballroom in Camden, captivating audiences with his infectious blend of disco, jazz and funk.
In the early eighties, Paul launched his sound system ‘Trouble Funk’, a leading force among the new breed of soul sound systems taking over London at that time that included Soul II Soul, Rap-a-Attack and Mastermind. Named after his favourite Washington Go-Go band, it was from ‘Trouble Funk’ that Paul got his infamous nickname Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson.
From trendy mixed gay nights at London’s Embassy Club to rare groove sets at The Cat In The Hat, Paul’s DJing went from strength to strength, helping position him as one of the most versatile and in demand DJs of his era.
In 1985, he was asked to join pirate station Kiss FM, and brought back the post-disco dance and boogie that he used play at Crackers. By the late ‘80s Kiss had become the most popular station in London, overtaking the likes of Radio 1 and Capitol. A couple of years later and Paul had taken over the much coveted Saturday evening slot, a position he went on to hold for eight years.
The next chapter in Paul’s career came in the late eighties, when a sound that was born in Chicago started to make its way over the the UK – house music. Used to the electronic sounds that he had pioneered in the Electric Ballroom, Paul saw it as an extension of the music that he had already been playing and soon mastered the mixing skills before moving onto the garage sound emerging from New York and New Jersey, providing a platform for the soulful end of American house. During this time he was instrumental in breaking many of the young British producers coming up at the time, such as Sensory Elements, Chocolate Fudge and Joey Negro.
Moving onto the '90s, Paul’s midweek Loft parties in Camden became one of London's most respected house music events, attracting stars of the era, including Masters At Work and Kerri Chandler. Paul continued to DJ until his death, playing regularly at events like Groove Odyssey, 51st State Festival and Croatia's SuncéBeat.
On Paul’s passing, Groove Odyssey’s Bobby, Steve & Mikee said “We’ve lost a true hero, words can not explain the pain right now. The legendary Paul Trouble Anderson was more than just a DJ, he was the original MASTER for many of us and always will be. Paul led the way, his way. We will continue loving him and his legacy will reign eternally. We feel blessed to have shared so many great times together and we will cherish them in our hearts Brother Paul, you show them how you do it and get the Lord and the Angels dancing to your beats. Heartfelt condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Paul's family & friends at this very sad time”.