Club goers and dance music fans have a unique relationship with time. In a way, our aim is to completely overturn the conventions of day and night. We live nocturnally and underground, compelled by darkness and artificial light. The repetitive music and hypnotic atmosphere melt the hours away, and reject the rigid ticking of the clock. But, at the same time, we exist in this hypnosis for long enough to be awakened by the rising sun; we stay up to catch this most vulnerable, beautiful part of the day, when dew delicately forms and the rest of the city is just wiping the sleep from its eyes. By refuting traditional temporal structure, we might be able to transcend it.
There’s a new event at Wire that is addressing these issues, but with a positivity about their relationship with the cycles and rhythms of the universe. We had a chat with Joel Watson and Scott Herbert about what makes their brand, Timing, tick.
Why does your name draw attention to time? People often think of clubs as a timeless space, while staying up into the morning of the next day seems to completely bend time. Do you feel restricted by the clock?
“Well everything in life is about timing really, isn’t it? If you look in to nature the way things like shells grow in a continuous spiral this is all to do with time. A famous mathematician Fibonacci documented this 100’s of years ago and named it the Fibonacci spiral. He also developed a clock from this which had coloured windows. Depending how it lights up you could tell the time from this. This is the inspiration for our artwork by Cal Lewis we are not artists but he is, so he educated us about all of this. So basically we believe if you get the timing right, things work well naturally. So the party is named Timing simply because the timing is right for us to do it.”
Have you been involved in promoting club events in the past?
“We both have done odd bits for other parties I (Joel) did at one point try to organise my own event years ago bit it never happened because the timing wasn’t right.”
In a city with a lot of electronic music nights, what are you doing differently to make yourself stand out?
“We are going to try bring new artist to Leeds (not saying all of them will be). We like variety. It’s nice when every DJ plays differently. The challenge is having very different styles on the same bill without ruining the flow of the party. Also one thing we don’t see so often is bookings and residents playing long sets. This is something we want to change.”
Talk us through the thinking behind the brilliant bookings you have made for your first party.
“We wanted to start with a bang. I’m sure you know Losoul’s history, so bringing him back to Leeds for the first time in 7 years is a pleasure. Giving Nicola Kazimir his Leeds debut is something we are very happy about. We have a lot of Kazi’s records, plus stuff he has done as Les Point’s with Audino, Barbir & Louh. We love all their music, from collaborations to solo stuff, it’s all sick!”
What parties have been most influential for you over the years? Are there any specific moments that made you want to put on an event yourself, or start collecting records?
“A time come when we had been going out for years & collecting records and people started asking why aren’t we playing out? Thats when we wanted to do our own event so we started planning. We have spent a lot of time educating ourselves before we done it this time. One party we have learned a lot from is Toi Toi in London (hence doing our bookings with them). If you go to that party with an open mind and smile they welcome you like family & really looks after their dance floor which is something we want to follow suit with at our events.”
Why are you drawn to this kind of minimal music? Where did your love of it begin? Why do you think people in the UK are fascinated by these European sounds, while there aren’t so many producers from the UK who are making this music?
“Well we say we don’t play a specific genre we just play quality tracks but you are right we do lean more towards stripped back stuff. It just seemed over time the DJ’s and parties we enjoyed the most played more minimal stuff. We are not really sure; it’s just the best isn’t it? (in our opinion anyway).”
Nicola Kazimir is part of a new school of minimal techno artists who are taking the genre into a much stranger and more technical place. How do you think the Leeds crowd will react to Kazimir?
“If they’re anything like us they’ll love him! Hopefully we are going to build our own crowd from nothing if we can get some people in that like stripped back music and have an open mind we will be fine. Once we have their trust as promoters hopefully they will keep coming not knowing who the name on the flyer is, right?”
His sound has a lot of electro influences, and this is a trend that is spreading across the scene, most notably with DJs like Nicolas Lutz. It is also seen in the popularity of Helena Hauff and DJ Stingray. Why do you think the interest in this sound is increasing?
“Lutz is amazing he is one of our absolute favourites at the minute. The sound he, Binh, Oner Ozer & many more are playing and producing is where it’s at for us. Its like a new take on Detroit mixed with old Detroit stuff. They are proper record diggers and selectors, and we love them.”
We have two brand new record shops, a thriving bar scene and a lot of new events starting up in the city. What is your take on how the Leeds club scene is currently?
“We love Leeds I (Joel) was born in this town. Its always been one of the best cities in England for electronic music. Look at Basics the longest running house music night in the UK If I’m not mistaken? Something every Leeds DJ or dancer should be proud of. At the minute more and more young DJ/promoters are getting in to stripped back house & techno this is something we are very happy about. There are great bookings coming from all angles and we love it!”
Your first event is in summer, when there are very few students around. The city is noticeably quieter than usual. Are you local yourself? Are you worried that the scene is run by students, and that they are pushing the locals out?
“Getting back to your earlier question this is another reason for having Losoul he should bring a mature element to the crowd. We would be lying if we said town being quiet isn’t a concern but students are just one element of this great city. Lets not forget people come here to study and never ever leave ha! We have never really seen it as competition between locals & students we are all equal on the dance floor.”
Have you had any memorable nights in Wire over the years?
“We have had some great nights at Wire. It’s my favourite club in Leeds. One what stands out is quite recent actually, when Butter Side Up had Francesco Del Garda & Binh. I’ve seen Del Garda loads of times but that was by far the best. He was unreal that night. When a DJ gets you like “what the fuck did he just do?”, thats when they blow me away.”
Timing’s first event is on 18th August 2017 at Wire. Click here for more info.