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Term-Time Treats

Town is packed and the Saturday afternoon queues at Wilkos are unbearable, which means the students are back. Whether studying at Trent, Uni Of, or even Confetti, this influx of fresh faces and the start of autumn means that a tasty helping of term-time dance floor treats are to be unleashed upon the wonderful city of Notts.

There are certainly things to do here during the summer months, and the longer I stay here as a ‘local’, the more I discover. But there’s no denying that when school’s back a whole host of nights kick off again, marking the start of the season when our hedonistic nights are transported back to dark ‘n’ dirty basements, rather than glitter-filled fields across the world.

Here are a few of the ‘dos that are creeping out of hibernation…

(this post is a work in progress – stay tuned)

 

Project

I have nothing but good things to say about Project. Now entering its second year, I’m excited to see what bookings they will bring this time around. After stumbling across the party last February, when DJ Fett Burger and LNS came to play, the small but perfectly formed party successfully kept my feet moving all night long, leaving me with a grin on my face. It kicked off its autumn schedule of events by inviting LNS back once again, closing Red Bar after Slow Life’s Laurine, in a turn of events that saw Project joining forces with fellow Notts promoter, Perdition. (which we wrote about here.)

 

Multimodal

Many house and techno nights pride themselves in assaulting the senses. But none do this more excellently than Multimodal. In a nutshell, this is part dance night, part on-going research, aiming to learn more about mid level vision via a series of events with live AV shows (learn more in our interview with its founder). While nothing has been announced officially we’ve heard through the grapevine that such words could be just around the corner…

 

Soul Buggin’

Fun lovers, do gooders and sleazy disco cats, please, go to this night. These guys have been putting on parties for over a decade and this November it celebrates its 13th birthday – but in the world of house this night is wise, way beyond its teenage years. It’s seen names such as Recloose, Chris Duckenfield, Andrew Weatherall, Bill Brewster and Phsycemagik in this time, and for the big 1-3 it has invited Alex Barck of Jazzanova to supply the soundtrack.

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The Waves / Diving In

On 22nd September Louis Knight and The Waves is taking over Red Bar, appointing Lukas Wigflex to head selector. I took the chance to dive deeper into his thoughts behind the night…

With Nottingham being a student-heavy city, the end of summer and start of term again naturally causes its night time events to unearth from hibernation (more on this later…) One such promoter grabbing this opportunity to welcome students, as well as curious locals, to his brand of fun times is Louis Knight of The Waves.

Following on from a mammoth summer bank holiday party, on 22nd September he’s taking over Red Bar, appointing Lukas Wigflex to head selector. Also an opportunist, I took the chance to learn more about The Waves before it all kicks off, and sat down with Louis to dive deeper into his thoughts behind the night…

 

First thing’s first – why call it ‘The Waves?’

It’s hard to name your own business and make it relevant to all, so I chose the name The Waves because it’s neutral. It represents fluidity and is a flowing motion. Adding the ‘The’ gives it its independence and some of the top clubs and nights such as ‘The Berghain’ and ‘The warehouse project’ have proven it works. It also links to music, referencing sound waves and raves.

Who else is part of the Waves crew?

We got head rep Max P who is my trusty right hand man along side our other promoters Alex Stewart, Joe Coles and Ailsa Mcfarlane, who will be promoting online and door to door, as well as selling tickets to all students for our future events. We also have my very good friends and resident DJs – Jacob Gulliver, Kairo and MLĀNO.

On your event page it says you’re inspired by the nightlife culture in Berlin – why do you have a special connection with that place over other clubbing meccas such as Ibiza, Croatia or even UK cities like London or Leeds?

I left England in 2015 and decided to live in Berlin, using this city as my base for travelling. I was there for 11 months in total and got a real good grasp of the variety and diversity of clubs there, as well as its night life culture. Then when I returned I missed the feeling I got when I entered a club in Berlin, so I decided to replicate it with my own events. I’ve been to Ibiza but I got a totally different impression there. I think you have to reach a level of social status to feel like you can enjoy it, but in Berlin the clubbing community welcomes anyone who is there to have a genuinely good time and not to show off.

Berlin aside, what was that special track or event that made you realise how much you loved dance music and its culture?

If I had to pin point one specific place it would be Sisyphos, Berlin. This place is more of a commune than a club. It opens Friday evening and doesn’t close until midday Monday. It has 2 rooms, The Hammerhalle, which is your heavy 4 x 4 Berliner Techno, and The Winterkarten which is a stained glass windowed church vibe shed which is more tech house and house.

Why, and when, did you start your night?

I started to create it in Dec 16 and had first one Jan 17

Do you come from Nottingham? If not, how did you end up here?

I come from Leicester but moved here when I got back from Berlin.

What other nights in Notts, the UK or even the world do you admire?

In my opinion, The Warehouse Project is the pinnacle of all promoting and events in the UK. However Zutekh, the Portal and The Bunker are all events I admire for their bookings, promotions and collaborations.

 

Wigflex headline flyer

Flyers are a big part of clubbing culture, albeit dying down in the digital age, but yours are pretty cool – who did them for you / what was their inspiration?

One of our main values is to always remain innovative and creative so we channel this through our graphics. But they will vary depending on what type of event we’re doing. I work very closely with the designers to get a clear image of what I’m portraying at the event.

How do you want people to feel at your events?

I want people to feel welcomed, loved, appreciated, valued, jovial, horny, sexy, drunk, funky, dirty, sweaty and just have an all round sense of relaxation and escapism in an environment where you feel comfortable.

Your night in September will be your fifth night – where was your first night?

Our first event was on the 26th Jan 17 at Rough Trade and we welcomed 3 Trent bass legends – LNR, George Burgess and Jaust. We still have good contacts with these and some of them have featured more than once.

Have you moved venues / changed concept since then?

The concept of the waves hasn’t changed however the variety of our events is infinite. We have had intimate parties with 200 people cap, we have had 12 hour bank holiday parties with 2 floors, 15 DJ’s and 400 cap and now where going into start of UNI I thought I would give the students something to experience in their first week of freshers. We are not limited to one venue and one style of event.

Which night has been your favourite?

Every event is my favourite, I savour the last and look forward to the next.

You say you have big plans for the future – can you reveal any of these?

We are going to expanding rapidly going into the next year and our aim is to leave a footprint in Nottingham’s night life history.

 

The Waves is looking to grow its promo team. Anyone wanting to join the party should email Thewavesmusicevents@gmail.com 🙂

 

Join Louis at Red Bar on 22nd September, with Kairo, MLĀNO, Jacob Gulliver and Lukas x

 

 

Percolate presents Hercules and Love Affair / A teenage dream come true

Let’s talk about Hercules and Love Affair. Again.

Not long after penning an article about them back in January, they came bursting back into my consciousness with a brand new single, and a tour with a UK date. Needless to say, I snapped up a ticket.

Percolate hosted the band and showcased them at Village Underground in London on 26th May.

This date is now poignant, as the Manchester attack took place just days before the gig. Understandably, it shook the world and affected most of the UK’s nightlife that weekend. However, Percolate, Hercules and Love Affair and Village Underground reacted brilliantly and honoured the victims with a minute of silence, yet continued to stick two fabulous fingers up to any hate by following it with a minute of noise. ‘We will not be silenced’.

The night is almost upon us….
In memory of the awful events in Manchester this week there will be a moment of reflection before midnight and then a moment to show that we will not be silenced.
It is important that we celebrate their lives, our freedom and most of all that we will not descend into hate despite the appalling actions of a tiny minority.

With the Manchester events having a knock-on effect on me, I was slightly apprehensive about the night, admittedly. But the minute of noise that took place soon after I entered the club was exactly the reassurance I needed.  The whole room erupted into whoops, cheers and roars, which was nothing short of infectious and the energy that emerged was incredible, shattering any negative thoughts in an instant. There’s a childlike sense of defiance felt when letting go and making noise uncontrollably, which I imagine is exactly how the organisers intended for us to feel.

Beyond this bravery, building up to the event I felt a mixture of nostalgia, excitement and curiosity. I really had no idea what kind of atmosphere it would be, not knowing whether to expect a ‘gig’ or a disco mayhem from the live act. However, on the night I donned my best Studio 54 worthy gear, just in case.

Luckily my outfit choice was entirely appropriate, as what followed was a funked-up, freaked-out, feel-good soiree – trashy, brash, undoubtedly fun future-disco at its finest. It seamlessly showcased Andy Butler’s talents as he performed much of the HALA repertoire, old and new, live, with two wonderful singers Rouge Mary and Gustaph up front.

The entire show was fantastic, with the crowd soon losing any inhibitions and dancing carelessly, but of course, hero song ‘blind’ was a standout moment. Looking around at the diverse crowd, featuring souls from all scenes, demographics, or however else people are categorised, and there was nothing short of pure joy imprinted across numerous faces. Including mine. There’s something special about hearing that song you hold special to you, which has stood the test of time and become a dancefloor classic, played live by those that created it. And judging by the reactions, seeing the significance it plays in other people’s lives too.

There are no videos from this night, but here they are performing Blind at another gig, around the same time 🙂

Hercules and Love Affair have a new album ‘Omnion’ out in September, so I imagine there will be plenty of opportunity to catch them live. Just do it X

Gottwood review 2017 – ‘the extended set’

By the time I’ve got round writing this everyone’s social feed is more Glasto or Garden than Gottwood, but it’s never too late to reminisce on time spent in those wonderful Welsh woods. 

I was pleased to document this year’s Gottwood experience on Skiddle, and you can read the review here. However, if that post is the main event then count this post as the ‘encore’, if you will.

Anyone else who has also been to this sacred festival will understand the difficulty faced when squeezing tales of those four days into an attention-span friendly word count. So, internet, prepare for my additional ramblings.

 

They stuck to their word.

I first went to Gottwood around five years ago and have been a regular ever since. In that time, the festival has understandably expanded. While the gradually growing size of the campsite was noticeable in previous years – last year/the years before especially it seemed to double in capacity – this time we spotted the owners had kept their promise of keeping it as it was, with remarkable results.

Part of Gottwood’s charm is how at ease you feel when wandering around the woods, encouraging you to explore and follow your ears. While I long to experience what Glasto could hold, the thought of bleary-eyed wanderings leaving me miles away from familiar faces and/or a tent continues to concern me. At Gottwood, you’re safe in the knowledge that all adventures, stumbles and falls will lead to familiarity within about 30 minutes.

 

Everyone’s outfits and attitudes continue to impress me.

Bravo 🙂 A true release from reality, fuelled by love, colour, glitter and absurdity.

 

Politics were in the air.

Gottwood’s gates opened on election day and while the jury is out for many on how political dance music actually is, there’s no denying that the millennial generation of festivalgoers cared about this election.  A lot.

Nestled deep in a forest, in an ethereal, secluded landscape, communication with the outside world is difficult when at the festival. But thanks to the odd bar of reception and  a chatty crowd, the words ‘hung parliament’ and opinion about it were heard throughout the field.

 

Gottwood should be praised for bringing together the nation’s local crews.

Whether you come from Leeds or London, there exists a particular dance music scene in every UK city, and a night that epitomises it. Gottwood is something of a pilgrimage for party organisers across the UK – the real guys and gals who work endlessly to craft the weekends that we often take for granted. Every year it seamlessly invites these crews to join the big-booking names in the forest, and it works perfectly.

I managed to catch Butterside Up as the Leeds based party took over for the Walled Garden for the Thursday night. Here, Francesco Del Garda kicked things with a groove fiasco off from behind the owl-painted caravan booth – once a stage in its own right in the early Gottwood days. Sonja Moonear followed, getting our feet moving in ways that only she can.

Friday took me to the Trigon, with London’s Half Baked taking care of the daytime while Nottingham’s Wigflex crew took over by night.

Feet firmly planted in the geometric arena, the transition from rolling-yet-raw hypnotic beats to the unmistakable melodic hailstorm that each respective night brought to the stage was perfect. Wigflex residents Metaphi and Hizatron, as well as its ringleader Lukas Wigflex, followed on from the sounds of Sam Bangura, Robin Ordell and Hold Youth, introducing the crowd to the sonic madness of the infamous midlands event. Choosing Extrawelt (live set) and DJ Tennis to headline the stage, it was a match made in flex-fuelled heaven.

Finally, the draw of the legendary Back to Basics was too much to resist for a majority of Saturday evening. It always offers a highlight for me with its bouncy mixture of future classics and acid house masterpieces, packed with attitude and making feet move. Taking over Ricky’s Disco, Dave Beer, Tristan Da Cunha, Ralph Lawson and Denney proved why its currently celebrating its 25th anniversary – with no sign of stopping.

 

Butterside Up, Jaunt, Banoffee Pies, Half Baked, Wigflex, Louche, Magic Door and more – hats off to you.

 

Ricky’s Disco was much easier on the mind than the laser dome

Gottwood isn’t short of visual delights. The first year I went, I was gobsmacked by the dreamy projection dome that made up one of the tents.

But the past year or two, it transformed into a darker, smaller affair, with the ethereal visuals replaced by relentless red lasers cutting through the stage. These lasers providing the only light from within this devilish dome. Some relished in this assault on the senses – it was impressive, certainly, and the perfect environment for particularly warped out sets – but for more delicate folk like me, I’d missed out on quite a few acts thanks to the claustrophobia that resulted.

Maybe they just decided to switch things up again, or perhaps I wasn’t the only person whose fear of the dome proved too much to handle. Either way, its replacement Ricky’s Disco was a fun new stage to explore in 2017.

 

The Moog Clinic was ace.

Ruffy’s Lab, hosted by the underground hero Ruff Dug is packed with fun activities and quality acts – if you’re ever at a loose end of where to go, a visit here will always result in smiles. A Moog Clinic was on offer here on Saturday. Representatives of the techno-toybox powerhouse set up various kit, and invited passers by to have a go.

Throughout the mushed-up marmalade of drum machines, synth notes and all manner of sounds, every now and then those playing the Moog gear would get into each other’s groove and perform jams in genres that could not be defined, much to the enjoyment of onlookers.

I returned on at least two occasions, proving to be a welcome rest from fist pumping, yet still offering tasty beats.

 

need to learn that ‘teacup’ record Margaret Dygas played

This year, my Sunday evening began over the lake and by the Curve Stage, where Subb-ann was leading the way for the Birmingham One Records crew. But over the water Louche, another favourite party posse from Leeds, was seizing the Trigon stage, resulting in regular trips across the bridge numerous times through the night. Bouncing from Josh Tweek to Subb-ann, from Nicolas Lutz and back to XDB, with Red Axes playing live on the lawn in the distance, I settled in the Trigon for a long session of Margaret Dygas.

Zip was due to follow on from her yet the rumours that circulated that day proved to be true, with no sign of the master. Yet Margaret gracefully continued for a superb extended set.

A standout tune was a hypnotic track she played, featuring that Bruce Lee sample! After posting it on the IOM group, it seems I’m not the only one dying to know what it was however, it remains one of those stellar, mystery tracks for now. Maybe it’s better off that way 🙂

Nottingham’s Spring Bank Holiday Round Up

Ah, t’is the season of numerous bank holidays. While times like these often call for road trips to parties further afield, if you decide to stay put then Nottingham has its fair share of fun to offer.

Ah, t’is the season of numerous bank holidays and once again, we are due another extended weekend to let loose and dance free. While times like these often call for road trips to parties further afield, if you decide to stay put then Nottingham has its fair share of fun to offer.

Here’s what we’ve spotted so far.

Friday 26th May

Wigflex Rough Trade Sessions 

Rough Trade | 5 – 10pm 

This bank holiday, Wigflex is launching its summer series of after work jams. Taking over Rough Trade’s outside area (and inside dance floor on 26th due to popular demand), it will invite its musical pals to start kick off each weekend in style. First up is Lukas Wigflex alongside DJ Skimask, selecting tunes you may not expect but will most certainly be quality, nonetheless.

Expect different vibes to our usual sweaty basement swarp fests with 90bpm chuggers, African magic, krauty goodness and plenty of hip hop.

Project w/ Rupert Clervaux, Andrew Lyster, Lukas Wigflex

Red Bar | 10pm – 4am 

Red Bar has been getting a hammering in recent times with Wigflex and The Garage hosting events there.  Project is the latest night to set up camp in its centrally located basement on Friday, with Where You @ picking up where it leaves off on the bank holiday Sunday.

We rate this night, bringing low key but super fun vibes wherever it goes. Lukas Wigflex will be heading here once the doors shut at Rough Trade, joining the strong and intriguing line up feat. Rupert Clervaux, Andrew Lyster and Goat. What’s more, there will be visuals to feast your eyes upon and a promise of a hidden lair to explore. Bring it.

Rupert Clervaux may go under the radar for some, but we have been wanting to bring this guy to Notts for a while now. Composer, mixer and producer along with mastering tracks for artists such as Machine Woman & Beatrice Dillon. Specialising in free jazz, improvised, experimental and electronic music.

LOOPS – Kinky Movement / Smokescreen DJ’s / Dec Shutts & Dawson

Another solid option to add to the equation.

Recently launched event, Loops, is taking over Bar Eleven for the third time since its inception and again, it’s set to be an evening filled with local talent. Its lineup ranges from established names such as Kinky Movement and Rob & Max of Smokescreen – both units that have been operating since the 90s –  to, relative ‘new comers’ Cammy, of pop-up party White Rabit notoriety, Dec Shutts and Dawson of Where You @, alongside Flo Saviano & Joe Garman of the renowned Trent Bass society.

Rob & Max are still an ever present on Smokescreens free party scene as well as playing at their regular club nights at The Maze in Nottingham, coupled with playing at Glastonbury, Boomtown and Love4Life to name just a few.

Paradisco 203 // Love Shack

Angel Microbrewery | 11pm-3am 

The fun-filled retro utopia that is Paradisco is turning the Angel into a full-blown LOVE SHACK situation with the help of disco, funk and soul. If you’re wanting to ease yourself in to the bank holiday weekend gently but in incredible style, we’d recommend paying this recently renovated, top-notch venue a visit. Music on offer includes:

2PAC / ANDERSON PAAK. / ANITA WARD / BIGGIE SMALLS / CHIC / DAVID BOWIE / DESTINY’S CHILD / DR DRE / EARTH WIND & FIRE / EVELYN CHAMPAGNE KING / GEORGE BENSON / GWEN MCREA / JAMES BROWN / JACKSON SISTERS / JAMES BROWN / KANYE WEST / KENDRICK LAMAR / KOOL AND THE GANG / LIPPS INC / MARVIN GAYE / MFSB / MICHAEL JACKSON / MADONNA / OUTKAST / PRINCE / SISTER SLEDGE / SNOOP DOGG / TLC / THE B52’S / TALKING HEADS.

And for something a little different…

New Moon Tea Ceremony

August Moon Tea | 7pm-9pm

Why not kick start the spring bank holiday in the cosmic style it deserves with a trip to August Moon Tea on Goose Gate? Offering guided meditation and a formal tea ceremony, it welcomes in the new moon with plenty of soothing sips.

A new moon symbolises new beginnings! We should use the energy of a new moon to achieve your goals or to start a new project. During a new moon, take the time to reflect back on our old goals and set new ones. This magical time is the perfect opportunity to start anew.

That’s why we are getting together to admire the beautiful moon and enjoy a New Moon Tea Ceremony.

Symphonica Ft Mr Switch

Nottingham Contemporary | 8pm – late 

As dance music is enjoying mass popularity, many people are playing around with its conventions to inject some newness into the genre. As a result, there are a few outfits out there reinventing dance floor classics with the help of an orchestra, to dramatic effect.

This event goes one step further, adding a DMC champion to the mix. Expect the unexpected.

Blending expert turntablist trickery, dance-floor destroying beats and the small task of remixing an orchestra live, this will be a unique gig-going experience and absolutely not to be missed.

Saturday 27th May

Whoops – we can’t find anything on the grapevine, but we’re sure this can’t be true! Speak up if you’re planning something on Saturday to get us groovin’.

Sunday 28th May

By day…

Dot To Dot Festival

NOTTINGHAM | 11am – late

Sure, it might not be ‘underground’ as such, and there probably won’t be much fist pumping on here, but by golly, we’re not one to miss out on an opportunity to open our ears to local, national and international sounds, all within our fair city.

If you want to break up your bank holiday drum machine antics with some solid pop, indie, grunge, and all things in between, this is a day out not to be missed.

Did we mention, dream duo Shelter Point are playing?

We pride ourselves on bringing thousands of music fans an eclectic mix of innovative, exciting and ground-breaking acts in intimate settings we feel compliment the artists.

By night…

Where You At Presents -Congi // Alpaks //

Red Bar | 10pm – 4am

Let’s be honest – on bank holidays, getting ready for a ‘big one’ on a Sunday, rather than simply ‘cracking on’ during the tail-end of the weekend, is something to be treasured. And Where You @ recognises this need for an unapologetic ‘do on the day of rest, heading back to Red Bar to do so.

Feat. plenty of local names, including the unstoppable duo, Congi, there’ll be toe-taps a’plenty.

Expect to hear plenty of their own productions along with the best in 140 half step. Having released on local imprint Mimm and more recently Chord Marauders, their explosive sets are what drew us to this pair.
Watching them perform a live set when supporting Lone in a 80 capacity venue was a 2016 highlight for us!!

Mimm X Tumble X Rubberdub Rooftop Afterparty

The I Club | 11:30pm – 4am

Because it wouldn’t be a bank holiday in Nottingham without a trip to the Saltwater rooftop. But if you missed out on Mimm’s sold out rooftop ‘do, then a visit to the the I club (or ‘the irish’ to you and me) comes a very close second.

Bringing garage, funky, bassline and halftime – regulars of these crew’s events know to bring their best dancing shoes.

___

Where are you heading this spring bank hol?

We’re not claiming to be an authority – we simply connect the dots.

If you have a party and think we should hear about it, just get in touch.

X

More about Multimodal

Back in January, I heard about a new night / experiment that was coming to Notts and started to anticipate the details. This night was Multimodal.

Since then, we know a lot more about the night such as the venue (One Thoresby Street) the date (This Saturday, 8th April) and what to expect (a 5 hour live A/V performance, with founder Matt Woodham taking care of the visuals while Lukas Wigflex sets the sonic scene) however, there still remains a lot of mystery about Multimodal.

It’s clear that I wasn’t the only one intrigued by this announcement, with tickets selling out well in advance. But maybe due to its newness or simply its unfathomable concept, there is only one person who can explain exactly what Multimodal is all about.

Here, I spoke to Matt about his new project:

It sold out very quickly and this is your first event! Did you think it would be as popular as that?

Not at all! It’s so hard to predict these things. I kept the prices low and the format as simple as possible as I was worried nobody would be interested. I was totally amazed by people’s response, I definitely think it helps having Lukas (Wigflex) involved with the project. His knowledge and esteem definitely got the event out to the right people.

How many more will you be doing?

There will be many more if all goes to plan. This specific performance will hopefully tour around a few venues. As it sold out so fast there’s a possibility I’ll use One Thoresby Street again to allow those who missed out to catch it in this incarnation. It’s also nice bringing people into my studio building as well. In the meantime, I’ll be doing a few more events which push the concept of the events further in somethings quite different. I’m planning to perform an AV experiment on the audience in a participatory installation – gathering data which will inform a visual neuroscience study in the future.

Why do you think it’s struck a chord with so many people?

It’s hard to say really. I’d love to think that people have an interest in the concept behind Multimodal and the theory of the event, although I feel it’s more likely that people are just looking for something a bit different. A unique experience with a bunch of visuals does seem to grab people’s attention quite well. Regardless of the motives I’m just happy for people to turn up and engage with any aspect of the event. My plan with Multimodal is for it to be a bit of a Trojan horse – keeping it accessible to all but with an extra layer of theory.

Since my initial post, the secret is out and many of my questions have been answered, such as where the event will be. Why One Thoresby Street?

That’s a simple one – as my studio is next door to the event space, I know it very well. The size of the Attic is perfect for testing the waters with my first event. An added bonus is that there are large white walls which are great to project onto.

Which space will it be in? The smaller, upstairs studio or the downstairs hall (or is this still kept under wraps?)

It’s in the Attic gallery, there hasn’t been an event here in a good while so it’ll be great to have people dancing up there again!

The performance is 10pm – 2am. What can we expect for the rest of the night?

Doors at 9pm and we’ll slowly ease people into the visuals from 10pm. It can be quite full-on so we just thought we’d start slow. From 9-10pm will be mainly ambient music.

Will you pre-create or design visuals that then react to the sounds, or will they be totally generated on the night?

The visuals are generated live, in response to the music Lukas is playing. I’ve designed a custom controller to adjust specific parameters of the patterns such as spatial frequency, colour, spacing, width, angle, tiling parameters etc. The visuals are automatically kept in sync with the music, it’s just up to me and Lukas to create a performance together on the night!

What level of control will you have over the appearance of the visuals?

Pretty much complete control. I’ve designed the controller in two halves, each controlling one of the two layers. As each layer is generated from an extremely simple pattern with only a few parameters to adjust, it’s the specific interaction between the two layers which causes the intense, shifting geometry.

What kind of sounds can we expect while the performance is on? Will Lukas perform these?

As I mentioned earlier, we’ll start slow, with ambience and soundscapes, slowly building and increasing tempo towards the end of the night. If you’re familiar with Lukas’ sets, expect to hear his more experimental side.

Please explain “the computational processes involved in the summation of sinusoidal grating responses” or simply, tell us more about the research behind this project!

The research behind the project is from an electroencephalogram (EEG) study I conducted for my dissertation at the University of Nottingham. The study was attempting to uncover the mechanisms of ‘mid-level’ vision.

While much is known about both ‘low-level’ vision, early in the cortical visual processing hierarchy, and ‘high-level’ vision in the later semantic processing of vision, the intermediary stage remains a mystery at this point. As we know that single neurons selectively respond to sinusoidal gratings with a specific orientation and spatial frequency, the next step is to understand how the brain processes combined grating patters, or ‘plaids’. Current visual neuroscience is attempting to understand how the neural signals are combined to create the visual experience of perception, although many see the task as challenging due to the large degree of complexity.

Is this research something you are doing yourself or is it part of a wider study?

It’s part of wider research on mid-level vision lead by Prof. Jon Peirce at the University of Nottingham. I’ve been keeping in touch with Jon since graduating and following the progress of the research. The experimental method has evolved in some very interesting ways since I’ve graduated. Future events will explore this new method a bit deeper and I’m hoping to collaborate with Jon to figure out how we might present this.

Tell us more about your background – I know you practice the visual arts but are obviously involved in science too. What role do both of these disciplines play in your educational/professional life?

I graduated in 2014 studying Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience at The University of Nottingham, specialising in visual neuroscience. Since then I’ve been working freelance on various projects, while continuing my experimental audio-visual practice. I try to combine my interest in arts, science and technology as much as possible with my practice.

I created Multimodal as a platform for the intersection between these disciplines – creating engaging experiences for the public but also continuing my research. I’m currently applying for funding for Multimodal which will enable new research to be conducted. I’ve recently been focusing on Complexity Science which combines many areas of my interest, so future Multimodal events will be exploring specific themes of complexity a bit deeper.

“This simple pattern is combined and processed through the visual pathway with Fourier-like principles to create our complex visual experience contributing to our overall perception.” – could the visuals you create mimic the ‘visuals’ that are produced in our brains when processing sensory information?

Yep exactly.

The visuals aim to represent the computational processing of the simple sinusoidal grating stimuli, while also directly stimulating these early-mid regions. When playing around with the idea using the same patterns as my EEG study within my visual software I was immediately struck by the vast increase in complexity with just a few simple transformations of 2 combined layers. My hope is that this emergent behaviour is clear – while the patterns are incredibly basic, the viewing experience certainly doesn’t feel that way!

You talk about creating a new layer of perceptual experience. Can you even being to describe what this might be, or is it one to leave for the night?

The new layer, which wasn’t present in my EEG study, is the introduction of music. Auditory and visual stimuli interact within the brain, with perception erring to the sense which is most likely to be ‘true’ in a given circumstance.

This ‘Multisensory (or Multimodal) Integration’ gives rise to a number of perceptual illusions. Understanding the mechanisms behind them might allow us to understand why AV experiences often seem to have an element of ‘magic’ to them. Once again, these ideas will be explored in future events!

What was the spark that generated the idea for Multimodal?

While I’ve been working for a few years performing visuals and building installations for events, I’ve not been able to explore ideas or themes related to my research and interest in science and technology. These are ultimately the projects I want to work on, so I had to build a platform for them. I’m just super happy that people seem interested so far! I’d be extremely grateful to continue exploring these ideas while making experiences for people to enjoy and learn from.

 

Multimodal will stage its first performance on Saturday 8th April at One Thoresby Street.

Tickets are sold out – but more nights are sure to come.

Get a sneak peak of what to expect in this video.

Hail Queen Hito

A few years ago I wrote a post explaining why I love Maya Jane Coles for Skiddle’s ‘DJ Love’ series, and I had lots of fun doing it. Now, the time has come to share my feelings about another incredible talent. Namley, Hito ❤

A few years ago I wrote a post explaining why I love Maya Jane Coles for Skiddle’s ‘DJ Love’ series, and I had lots of fun doing it. Now, the time has come to share my feelings about another incredible talent. Namley, Hito

I first discovered this lady after spending a summer in Ibiza in 2013. Although the island was filled with a plethora of nights to choose from, Richie Hawtin’s Enter party became a regular event for myself and many more of the ‘locals’. Those that headed to Space early doors, around 9pm, could gain entry to Space for around €10. The exact price is blurry in my mind, but it was a fraction of the cost of a standard ticket, offering exceedingly good value for money both in terms of time (the club staying open for at least 12 hours) and talent.

In the clubbing world, heading out at 9pm is incredibly early however, after downing a bottle of 20 cent water outside the club to ensure you stayed hydrated inside (with each minute bottle of water costing at least €5?!) , this great deal offered by Enter meant that I experienced many incredible warm up sets on a weekly basis. In fact, some of those sets have gone down in history of my favourite musical experiences to date, enabling many artist’s to push their musical boundaries with sometimes unexpected but incredible results.

The warm up at Enter was as carefully planned by Hawtin as the rest of his impeccably curated event and was its own party in itself. When arriving to Space so early you were only let into the SAKE bar room, with the rest of the club shut off until around 12. Not an overly large space, it was still light inside and was an excellent way to begin proceedings. Often, you’d see Richie running around amongst the crowd sipping his own-brand rice wine…I’m pretty sure we spotted Marco Carola mingling at the SAKE bar once too. While this occurred, the audience was left totally controlled by whoever graced the decks.

This space, in my eyes, IS the domain of Hito. While guest DJs would often be invited to play here, there weren’t many weeks when this vinyl queen didn’t take over – either during the warm up period, or owning the stage for the rest of the evening. More often than not, Bella Sarris would also be there, marking the start of a long career for both of them.

With her kimonoed silhouette instantly recognisable Hito’s captivating aesthetic is like no other, yet it is her ability to select that won me over. An avid record collector and sonic searcher, this love of music saw her relocate from Japan to Berlin in the late 90’s, honing the sophisticated taste and diverse collection that we hear in her sets today, and will continue to for many more years to come.

The internet can be a harsh place, and when finding videos to use in this post it became noticeable that many ‘trolls’ would comment on her mixing ability. This is news to me, and throughout that entire Ibiza season there was not one moment during her sets where the flow was interrupted – Hito has an underlying ability to choose the perfect tunes for every moment, causing bodies and minds to get lost in the hard-hitting techno groove. The debate between mixing vs. tune selection will surely go on for eternity however, on a dance floor environment, I know which one matters the most to me…

A quote from Hito in her Vinyl Factory interview couldn’t say it better:

I like the touch-y feeling, you know? I can control it directly…I think it’s good for people to see needle skipping or vibrating. This is humanity: mistakes are human. But how you solve it is more important. I used to be very ashamed about my mistakes but now I think it’s about how you recreate from these points. That’s more important than 100% technically mixing.

 

Regardless of what these commenters may say, long-time Berlin buddy, professional collaborator and techno-mad innovator, Mr.Hawtin chose her to join a long list of esteemed ambassadors for his Model 1 / PLAY differently mixer, testament to her credentials.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to see Hito play since my Ibiza days, although she still remains one of my go-to DJs for when I’m in need of some mix based up lifting. But now, as her career has well and truly taken off, I can’t wait to stand in front of her booth once more to listen to her sounds, four years on.