Launching on May 3rd at Joshua Brooks, the first ever Essentials brings together the live prowess of Brighton's Ital Tek with a DJ set by Manchester's own Illum Sphere. Also appearing will be event promoters and experimental electronic act Forged Motif, who'll be taking the oporortunity to launch their new EP Words Talk. Completing the line-up is producer Sean Storey and electronic solo act Swansong.
Inspired by nights such as L.A.'s Low End Theory, Essentials night aims to showcase some of the most exciting acts in live electronic music - enhancing the club experience by adding a live element to the usual DJ set up.
Skiddle's John Thorp spoke to Forged Motif member and Essentials founder Jake Williams about the inspiration behind Essentials, and what the night hopes to bring to Manchester's electronic landscape.
What's the background of Forged Motif and what are the origins of putting a new night on in Manchester?
Forged Motif is a creative music company, the three of us compose tailored scores and design sound for films, games and videos etc. However, we mainly compose and produce our own brand of ambient, downtempo electronica. In terms of putting our first night on, personally I've had some background in events management from last year, so I decided to look into running something on my own. There are loads of nights in Manchester but nothing that really focuses on 'Live' electronic music - it's mainly DJ-based. In looking at what Low End Theory have been doing over the past few years, it's been great to see all of the big LA artists playing live, so why not let that happen over here too? We've got a long way to go to get anywhere near Low End Theory but you've got to start somewhere I guess!
The night is advertised on the axis of bringing the best live electronic music to Manchester. Do you think people's perceptions of 'live' electronic music have changed in recent times, as more and more electronic artists are playing bigger shows with larger production, or in many cases, are alternative artists doing more ambitious and strange live performances?
I think that electronic music is becoming much more of a live performance as apposed to just a DJ-based set-up. We went to see Mount Kimbie last year, here in Manchester, and the way that they performed struck me as being something a bit different and potentially 'new'. When you look at artists like Kimbie and even SBTRKT, they are making the most of their music through the live aspects of their performances. I think it's something that many electronic artists are starting to look at now a bit more seriously, it's great for audiences too.
Ital Tek is one of the most acclaimed underground electronic acts in the UK today. His new EP on Planet Mu is great. How long have you been a fan for and what made him the right choice as headliner for the initial show?
I think we've all been listening to Ital for the past year or so and recently he's continuing to make really cool music. The way that he performs is something that we were all interested in, he really makes the performance interesting for the viewer. I'm not too sure but I don't think he's played in Manchester before, so bringing him up here gives the people that are interested in his music the chance to see him without having to travel too far.
Illum Sphere is also on the line up, the only DJ I believe. He's obviously an increasingly beloved and successful producer and DJ in Manchester through his residency at Hoya Hoya, but what else encouraged you to book him?
Yea Illum Sphere is going to be playing a DJ set. I think the first time we saw him was at FOM Festival last year when he played about two tunes before getting rained off, which was a shame. I'd listened to a few tracks that he's produced and was really interested in seeing him play again. I watched him play Boiler Room later that year and he was sick so we went down to one of the Hoya Hoya nights and he absolutely smashed it again, so we enquired and made the booking.
Tell us about the Forged Motif band and the live setup? Is launching a sort of label and live night a good way to develop new material and work stuff in in front of a crowd?
So our Forged Motif live setup is Sean on the MPC, Will on the laptop using Ableton and me using a guitar and Ableton. Launching our new EP 'Words Talk' as well as launching the night gives us some good exposure to Ital and Illum's fan-base. Our music is a little bit more mellow than either of theirs, but hopefully we can introduce some new people to our music as well as our live-based night. Working new material in front of a crowd is always a good gauge of which tracks are strong for potential release further down the line.
As for the rest of the line up, how did you seek the artists or was it a sort of community that naturally developed between you all?
Well Sean is one third of FM and he makes his own hip-hop-based, electronic material, so getting him to play was a pretty quick decision. In terms of Swansong, we met him last year and he's making some new tunes that are sounding pretty nice so we asked him to get onboard and we're glad that he did. We've also got We Make Art doing live visuals for us, Adam runs the label that we're on, so getting him involved was a pretty logical decision. It'll give the audience something more than just great live electronic music.
What plans do you have beyond the initial edition of Essentials?
We're hoping that Essentials will be a long term project for us. We've been looking into potential bookings for future events and have had a fair few requests to perform from a few local artists. Some agencies have also been in touch with potential artists so we'll see what comes with time. We're hoping to have monthly events up and running by next autumn, hopefully edging closer to the Low End Theory vibe!
Forged Motif Presents: Essentials with Ital Tek and Illum Sphere, Thurs 3rd May, Joshua Brooks, Manchester. £6.
Photo: Andrew Moores
Tickets are no longer available for this event
Originally published: 25th Apr 2012