For the past sixty years Liverpool has had an instrumental role in the history of popular music. Its port status ensured that they received the first imported seven inches from America of blues and rock 'n' roll records that shaped the tastes of the emerging teenagers, four of which would go on to form a moderately successful band with a name based around an insect pun. And scouser’s love of a good ol' party ensured that they’re pretty adept at raving too, with the city becoming a Mecca for the electronic music hedonist over the years. From Cream to Chibuku, the city has seen some stunning soirees over the years.
It’s that music scene which has been integral for the genesis of a shady production outfit called Autocycle. Making some loop focused reworks of disco funk, they’ve touched up everybody from Terence Trent D’arby to Bobby Womack and built up an internet support grounding which has included disco legend Greg Wilson. Ahead of two gigs in the city, first at Haus for the Garden Get Together and then later alongside Tensnake at Chibuku, we caught up with them to lift the lid on what they’re about.
Hi Autocycle! Tell us who you are and what you are about.
Hi Skiddle. We’re a djing and production collective based in the north west of England and we make sleazy disco that enables people to get hot and sweaty. We’ve been individually djing for about a decade but we’ve come together in the past year to make music, mainly naked.
Is being Naked an essential part of your production process?!
It’s impossible without it.
Okay... moving on, we hear Greg Wilson is a fan of your music? How did that come about?
The support off Greg has been amazing because for what we are about, basically taking old records and funking them up, he is the don. He’s basically the godfather of edits, still doing it thirty years after he started and doing it live as well. The word legend is bandied around too much, but he deserves it.
We made some records and, as you do as a fledgling producer, you send them through to people you want to like them in half hope that they’ll listen to them instead of the other five hundred records they get sent a day. They never do, but Greg not only took the time to listen to what we had done he gave loads of feedback, telling us what he liked and what he didn’t. Extend this part, why have you left that out, nice sound on the bassline, that kind of input. We were beaming when we read the email.
So obviously we followed what he’d said, and sent it back expecting him to still find a few things at fault. He didn’t, went out and played the track at a gig in Australia and then said he wanted to sign it. BONZER!
Wow, you must have been pretty chuffed then?
Completely. There’s an edit Greg did of Brenda Taylor’s ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’ which we caned as DJs pretty much every set we had for about eighteen months. We did these sets as individuals and on our own, afterparties for Circus and Chibuku, bar gigs in Liverpool and Manchester, and one or two big club sets as well, and we all rinsed this edit at nigh on every one. It’s one of the best examples of what to keep in an original and what to extend, a real masterclass, and the guy behind it had just told us what to do on our track. Brilliant. Big up Greg!
So you’ve been a big part of the Liverpool clubbing scene then? And where are you playing next?
We’ve been working in PR, promoting, DJing and most importantly dancing in Liverpool and Manchester since the nineties. Say what you like about London, or Leeds or Bristol or all the other cities in the UK, but both these places can rave with the best of ‘em. We’ve had just as much fun djing in sweaty basements to 50 people in Liverpool as we did playing to 1500 people at a festival. Being bleary eyed in the sadly now shut Magnet fishtank playing disco at 4am, that’s as boss as it can get.
Liverpool is also the first place the Autocycle DJ gigs will properly happen as well, under that name anyway. There’s been loads we’ve done together before we titled the whole business. The maiden voyage is at Haus for the Garden Get together with Crazy P and Maxxi Soundsystem, and then a week later we’re at the East Village Social club for Chibuku. We’ve not been to Haus yet, so we’re really looking forward to that, and we have lost our minds so many times at the Masque it’ll be interesting to see what the new changes to it are like. Two great gigs to start it all!
So what else lies in the future then?
Just the usual - loads of late nights listening to, playing and making music. We’ve hopefully got a few festival gigs sorted out as well. We’re definitely playing at the Garden in Croatia, which is going to be unreal. There are so many festivals in the Balkans now it’s hard to know which one to do but this is the party that started it all off, and we hear they have amazing salmon. Salmon is so hot right now.
For more information and tickets to Autocycle's forthcoming performance at Chibuku click here
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