Manchester's Mute has been responsible for some scintillating moments of underground house and techno in recent years, bringing Shonky, Mathias Kaden and Nic Fanicuilli to the city this year alone. Whether collaborating with like minded parties like Frank and Under, or going solo, they've been at the forefront of a distinctly underground take on the Manchester House scene.
Boxing Day sees them bring Desolat's despot of groove Guti to Gorilla, and ahead of that we decided to see how the year had been viewed through the Mute prism. We caught up with promoters Keiran Sharples and Daniel Sanders to find out how the year was for them.
How has 2013 been for you then overall?
Keiran – We had an amazing start to the year really with our second birthday back in February when Ian Pooley, a legend in our eyes, came down and played for us. Every party has been special and we are really grateful. We have held some bigger events across town at the ace Gorilla club, played at Parklife, hosted a fantastic party at Sankeys with Guti and Mathias Kaden, a big thing for us growing up in that club, and we also took mute! to Ibiza again and we had some good times working with Nest from Leeds, a brand we have a lot of time for.
Daniel - Amazing. Each month has got better and better. Our second birthday was incredible; some people got us some cakes and a big balloon. Ian Pooley and Terrence:Terry were amazing. We brought Yousef over from Liverpool and gave Cuartero his UK debut in April and he went on to close Amnesia this Summer! Our spring season was brilliant the crowd has been amazing. Our first collaboration with Under was next level, so many people turned up and absolutely had it with us for Nic Fanciulli, our biggest booking ever back then.
Since the summer we've had three amazing parties, we were worried the summer break might change things but our crowd is amazing and we feel like there is an element of trust between us.
What highlights have you had?
Keiran – A personal highlight of mine was our party in July with Under. We managed to get Saved label owner Nic Fanciulli to headline for us after months of trying. He is a personal hero of mine and his production style and the music he plays is right up my street. He was a gentleman and the whole club would agree that the energy in his music and in the crowd that night was unbelievable.
Daniel - Other than Fanciulli this summer, I think our party with Tristan da Cunha & Frenchy… We were a little worried as it was the first of two parties in two consecutive weeks but yet again thanks to everyone that comes down it was one to remember. Unfortunately due to circumstances out of our control the whole street had a power cut leaving us without music for about 25 minutes (an eternity for us).
Some people understandably left and we can only apologise to those who did, however we managed to get some power behind the bar, get some decks and speakers set up on the bar and began right where we left off. It became kind of a blessing in disguise as it was absolutely class and we can only thank everyone again for sticking with us and providing us with an amazing atmosphere.
You’ve done a Spotify playlist for us, thanks! Explain the songs you’ve chosen and why?
Daniel- Di Chiara Brothers 'Tribute To Mr Ellis'. A four to the floor guaranteed winner, a feature in a lot of my sets at the min
Loco Dice 'Auxotox'. Reminds me of my summer in Ibiza, dropped by dice countless times, never fails.
Guti 'Hope'. Our next guest with Under at Gorilla, it’s been the soundtrack to the summer really without being commercial. A brilliant tune.
Shonky & Dan Ghenacia 'Close To The Edge'. Our birthday guest with a tune that can be played anytime but I think has most impact at the end of the night, hands in the air shit but with an impeccable groove
Catz Eatz Dogz 'Where House'. I rarely play anything by these two as they usually aren't my style even though they make cool music. They've got together on this one and made an out and out house bomb. I'm yet to hear it out but it certainly gets me in the mood
Keiran – Delicious Inc. – 'Eau De Chante (For Men)'. Probably the record I’ve played most since January, it starts off as one tune then flips out mid way through. I found it thanks to many a Dyed Soundorum set. Reminds me of when we first played Sankeys basement, nice.
Shlomi Aber 'Mancha'. I just love how subtle this tune is and you can still get away with playing it at peak time. We’ve both been fans of Shlomi Aber (our guest in March) for years but his inclusion in Loco Dice’s ‘5 Years of Desolat’ mix assured us we had to book him.
Sable Sheep 'Upon Burning Skies'. I first heard this at the beginning of the summer when videos of Tanzmann playing it at Circo Loco opening got uploaded. It’s just a little different and very catchy. My summer tune.
Sidney Charles 'Ruffline'. Sidney is the best producer of 2013 in my opinion, everything he does seems to be better than the last and this is his best track so far, on Nick Curly’s 8Bit label.
Technasia 'I Am Somebody'. For me Technasia is very underrated, but his productions and mixes are something else. I’m yet to see him play too which is annoying. This track is just perfect for me, the best tune of the year.
What other music have you been into this year?
Daniel - I've been trying to spend a little bit of time not listening to house music because it's all we ever seem to do!! I have been listening more chilled stuff like the sonic handshake radio show (thanks to Keiran) and also the delusions of grandeur podcast. I've also been revisiting loads of old CD's of ours from home, bronski beat, Hall & Oates and Chic. Top Buzz!
Keiran - I rarely listen to house and techno on my iPod unless I'm searching for new stuff or preparing for the weekend, and I tend to listen to more easy listening stuff when I'm at home; Bill Brewster's DJ History radio show or sifting through old recorded Greg Wilson and Mark Farina mushroom jazz sets. I love Craig Charles' Funk and Soul show too, and also The Revenge and a French guy called The Reflex, who does some great re-edits of disco and northern soul classics.
What have you got planned for Boxing Day/New Year?
Daniel - We are unbelievably excited for our Boxing Day event, our third collaboration with our good friends over at Under. We're bringing Guti for a special live set over at Gorilla. The response for it has been amazing and I can't wait! New Year’s Eve we will be blowing off a little steam safe in the knowledge that we don't have any responsibilities for once!
Keiran - As Dan says we are really excited to head across town to Gorilla for Boxing Day which is on course for selling out... There's some stiff competition over Christmas but if the atmosphere is anything like our last party there everyone will leave with a huge smile on their face.
And finally; any plans you can let slip for 2014?
Daniel - We released our line ups last Friday, our best to date and we couldn't be more excited to get going. We return to South at the end of January for a series of parties with acts we could have only dreamed about this time last year. Yes there are a couple of surprises in the pipeline... we can say that May will be fantastic and our birthday will be a two parter so keep your eyes peeled on details for that.
Keiran - Yeah, we've been very lucky so far with getting acts we want to see play for us (and getting acts we want our crowd to see play) but this year we have really worked hard to step it up. We've managed to persuade some real heroes of ours to join us at South after almost two years of pestering! Shonky for our third birthday in February and Mathias Kaden in April. Both of which Dan and myself have up there in our 'top five'.
We've planned some nice extra bits too; free parties, collaborations and secret appearances from some huge names. We just want to give back as much as everyone puts in. It's not going unnoticed...
Check out Mute's upcoming events here. They collaborate with Frank to bring Mark Fanciuilli to Underdog on Friday 13th December, as well as Guti to Gorilla alongside Under on Boxing Day (main ticket link).
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