We had a chat with the Delphïc crew ahead of their next party with nthng. They are keeping melodic techno alive in Leeds…
First of all, how did your first two parties go at Wire?
We had too much fun throwing the first parties. Denis Horvat played our opening night. We had never seen him before, but his productions speak for themselves and with his current form we knew we had to get him in early. All of the energetic ravers that occupied the dancefloor that night, and who made the vibe so special is something we will never forget. A personal highlight for us was the closing tune “The last dance” by Eagles and Butterflies. This really captured our idea of bringing melodic techno that is usually found in large scale venues, to a more intimate space such as Wire. For us, the results were extremely special and this has really spurred us on to bring something different to the vast Leeds music scene. Speaking minds was our guest for the second night. The vibe was very similar but the tunes slightly lighter. It allowed us to explore a slightly different side of the vast Techno genre, and again we weren’t disappointed. This party did however provide us with a strong learning curve as the initial hype and numbers we received with the first event were not as strong.
Your first two events showcased two relatively unknown artists to UK audiences, I think. Was it a conscious decision to show Leeds something new?
Bringing something relatively new to Leeds is very important to us, we feel that doing so is quite essential in order to be successful because there is already so much choice and talent within the Leeds music community. It’s always nice to see someone new in our opinion, as it is often the element of surprise that makes a night so engaging and special.
Both your artists are strongly linked to Europe. Have you had experiences clubbing on the continent? Whether you have or not, which club nights have you taken inspiration from in your time?
Between our team of six we have been fortunate enough to experience the underground music scene across parts of Europe, through visiting festivals such as Dekmantel, Amsterdam Dance festival and Into the Valley in Estonia. These festivals have really heightened our interest in the style of music that they showcase. The music, the atmosphere and the overall experience we have found at these festivals and across clubs such as Tresor, Kraftwerk and Mediahaven is something we definitely hope to bring to Leeds through our parties. So yeah, I guess you could say a lot of our inspiration has come from our experiences in Europe.
The scene in London, Manchester and Leeds has also given us huge inspiration as we have been lucky enough to visit many parties throughout these great cities. Partying in these different locations and seeing such a vast variety of talented artists has given us so many different ideas as to where we want to take our view over the next few years and we are extremely excited to see how it develops. We do believe however that it is extremely important to bring something unique in what we are trying to achieve, so whilst we take inspiration from all of these different experiences we have been a part of, we will always be bringing something new to the dancefloor to keep everyone on their toes.
“Obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded”. Your Facebook bio may already answer this question, but where does your fascination with darkness come from? Why do you think a lot of techno does err on the side of darkness, in the same way that heavy metal does?
Darkness as an element is something that we, as a collective, think is paramount to the aesthetics and aura of our parties. When thinking about what the element endeavours, Berlin, the playground for techno, is the first thing that comes to mind. The simplistic, panoramic sensations that the city captures in its club nights are something that we have been mesmerised by, hence the fascination. In terms of the comparisons to heavy metal music, all music is an expression of emotion. The darkness of heavy metal erring towards the side of anger and aggression. Whist there is almost certainly dark aggressive techno, music is different to different people and you take it how you please. One thing is for certain, it’s a means of release and stimulation all culminating in a highly enjoyable audio experience.
The Delphic Oracle which gives you your name gave “riddling responses” to questions. Do you think that putting on a club night should be similarly challenging? Is the world that we live in not obscure and confusing enough? Where is your night on an imaginary scale between a “party” and an “artistic event”?
Putting on a club night is very challenging, as we have learnt from our last two parties there is so much time and effort that has to be put into the logistics of the night, to really capture the idea you have and bring it to the dancefloor. We had a lot of admiration for the people who bring quality music to the Leeds scene week in week out but having now thrown our own parties this respect is so much higher. The world around us can often be confusing, challenging and unfair especially of late, but there is also so much to be celebrated. We hope to create an intimate and exciting environment where people can let themselves go and really connect with each other and the sounds around them. In terms of being an artistic event, we want to bring in DJs who have a special touch, whether it be through their productions or their unique ability to craft records together seamlessly. It is important for us that the crowd is taken on a musical journey, and that the journey gets the heart racing, arms pumping and feet stomping. So let’s stick it right in the middle.
There are very few techno nights run by students in Leeds like Delphic. Why do you think that is? Do you think tastes are changing?
I’m not sure whether it’s people’s tastes that are changing, but more expanding, which is what music about. I think it relates to the question earlier on European influence, and how it’s not common to find this kind of melodic techno in U.K. cities. Having said that a few of us were at E1 in London for New Years Eve with the likes of Âme, Mano le tough, Recondite and Denis Horvat. The vibe in there was second to none and has again given us inspiration to bring those kinds of acts to a smaller scale venue.
Are there any other crews or nights on the Leeds scene that you admire?
The first night we went to in Leeds was run by Alter who brought Marcel Fengler to Wire. This was when we fell in love with the venue and knew that it would lend itself perfectly to the idea we aim to promote. We definitely admire them for this and continue to visit their parties whenever we are in London. Treehouse, Pretty pretty good and Natural selection have also delivered some of our favourite parties to date, and the One night with series has seen some serious talent roll through. The Leeds scene is pretty special and we admire all the crews and individuals that devote their time to making it so great.
Fittingly, your next guest nthng is as obscure as your name suggests. What was the thinking behind booking him? What do you like about his music?
The unique ability of nthng to integrate beautiful melodic synth lines with undulating tectonic drum work immediately attracted us to his take on production. Like I said earlier we want to bring in DJs and producers with that special touch, who can deliver that intimate party vibe that we always aim to bring to the wire basement. nthng’s tracks were described by resident advisor as “emotional bombs, buoyed by deep, delayed kicks and a cloak of ethereal ambiance”. We couldn’t agree with this more, and for such a young producer to withhold this consistency throughout all of his tracks is something we really admire. We have no doubt that nthng has an incredible future ahead of him, so again we wanted to get him in sooner rather than later.