Unknown to Known _ Interview with Casual Violence
Great of them to think of you when they’re getting rid of stuff, haha. I would say there is a great temptation to analyse musical compositions alright. I recently converted some people to techno while playing your Dasein mix that was out on the SmilecoldAnatomy blog. Do you have a big interest in philosophy…and does this impact upon any of your mixes and productions?
Ah, nice one, I do like that mix myself! Yeah I have a huge interest in philosophy (and Dasein is indeed a philosophical concept). It makes a huge impact on what I do within music. Like I was just saying with the subject of catharsis, there are a vast amount of philosophical questions and ideas that are difficult to articulate. Music allows you to address these concepts in a totally abstract form. It’s an integral part of what I do. Music facilitates communication of these ideas and questions without need of the proposed listeners understanding. That makes it a pretty unique form of discourse in that I can communicate an idea and it can be interpreted however the listener desires.
Great answer! How is your relationship with the crowd when you play a gig, is it sort of symbiotic in nature do you think?
Likewise, it was a question that required some thought.
Sure, it can be. I mean it’s a very definite and direct discourse between artist and crowd. Sometimes when the conditions are right there is an instinctive energy that acts as this kind of area effect where everybody present is just totally locked in to what is happening. You lead the crowd who in turn respond and lead you. Sometimes however it’s as simple as playing some really danceable music and people dance.
I’m really not sure if that answers your question or not.
Sounds like an immense feeling. There is probably no set answer to that question, but maybe the mind is freed through dancing and getting lost to the music. Speaking of gigs, do you play much in your hometown Manchester and how do you find the music scene there at present?
Ha, I actually read the question as “is it sort of SYMBOLIC in nature” rather than “symbiotic”. I think I managed to answer the question by accident there.
The lack of gigs I get in Manchester now is kind of bizarre. Before I started the Casual Violence project I used to play (under a different name) quite a fair amount in my own City. Myself and my best friend, Calvin (also known as CWS/Siege) used to play at a few Hardcore Techno, Hardstyle and Gabba nights. Actually, Calvin used to play an awful lot in that scene, and every now and then I would have the opportunity to play with him. He was kind of the one guy playing techno and I was that mate of his who played techno with him now and then. Man, Techno used to get quite a hostile reception there.
Anyways, now that I have built a decent name, have released these records, and get to play around the world, I rarely get contacted to play here (I think I have only played here three times as Casual Violence). There’s just not that many Techno nights in Manchester that accommodate my kind of Techno. Hopefully, that will change as I would love to play here more often.
The electronic music scene in Manchester is fairly strong at present and always has been. You can pretty much go out on any night of the week and find a club night playing half decent electronic music. Independent music as a whole is strong in Manchester, it has been as long as I can remember. I guess it harks back to the Post Punk days of Joy Division, The Smiths, Factory Records and The Hacienda. Manchester is a musical city at its very core.
We have a massively rich musical heritage here that has influenced UK youth culture in huge ways. Coming out of Manchester we have had notable music acts such as The Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, The Fall, New Order, 808 state, Autechre, A Guy Called Gerald, Oasis, The Verve, and of course the aforementioned Smiths/Morrissey, and Joy Division, to name but a few. That’s quite a list of influential acts and culture defining music in the UK, so it’s almost against nature for this City not to have something going on.
Readdressing the subject of Techno clubs, there hasn’t been many Techno clubs here in recent years that have interested me that much. That need to push forward or do something a little jarring seems to have fallen to the wayside. There is an overabundance of what you could call “franchised” and popular techno that is catered for, but there is a real lack of anything obscure, leftfield or that reflects the City itself. There doesn’t seem to be many that are pushing any boundaries or taking any risks. There have been few guys that were doing great things like Locked, and Miternacht, but both of these nights seem to be taking a sabbatical (I’m wishfully hoping for their return). Currently there is one very decent looking club night, “Works Unit”, that has come along and they’ve been booking interesting artists and DJ’s. There’s also a new night called Adapt that seems cool, but other than these four crews mentioned there are no other techno/electronic nights in this city that have resonated with me. I know that to some people living in places with no scene at all four good nights may seem a lot, but this is a City that’s very fabric is forward thinking, non conformist music and it should be the norm and not the exception as it is currently. It’s a real shame because I do love Manchester and I’m extremely proud of its musical heritage, however I’m yet to find a place I feel to be a musical home here.
To be honest though, I do spend most of my time locked away in the studio and pretty much only go to places I’m playing at these days, so perhaps I’m not the best person to comment. We do currently have a huge amount of insanely talented musicians, labels and DJ’s though, that’s for certain.
Sorry, that was quite a long answer.