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By: Dan Salter
This November sees the first installment of a new electronic music festival, Foundations: Manchester; a collaboration between two local record labels Valentine Records and AnalogueTrash aiming to bring something fresh and interesting to the scene. We caught up with David (from Valentine) and Adrian (from AnalogueTrash) to find out more.
(((o))): Tell us a bit about yourself & fellow people behind Foundations. Do you have a background in promoting?
Definitely – Although this is our first joint-venture the two labels jointly curating FOUNDATIONS have both been going for quite some time.
Aside from putting out lots of records from both local and international artists, both labels have been actively involved in a long list of festivals, clubnights and one-off events over the years.
These include larger scale happenings such as Future Everything and In The City, through to self-styled projects like Superbyte, SOUND>VISION and (most recently) Neon City Social Club
AnalogueTrash (as the name suggests) is more of an electronic label – ‘eclectic, accessible and one that champions innovation right across the genre’ – while Valentine specialises in both ‘Future Rock’ and ‘Avant Pop’ alongside their own distinct brand of ‘fuzzy bedroom electronica’…
(((o))): The event is a collaboration between 2 record labels. What brought you together & inspired you to put on something like Foundations?
First and foremost, we have a lot in common: Both labels are very much invested in a DIY, community based ethos – both value their independence over wider commercial concerns and both position themselves as from Manchester but embracing artists and ideas from all around the world.
While the line-up of Foundations ranges from intimate acoustic songwriting to full on experimental noise/poetry the unifying thread is ‘community and collaboration’ – from events to remixes and cross-promotion of ideas and artists.
This is a short piece that we wrote to try and describe what we’re trying to achieve with the project:
“Foundations is about beginnings. It’s a recognition that, despite the high-flying nature of many of Greater Manchester’s cultural exports and thriving international reputation across the arts, it’s actually the grassroots, the pop-ups, start-ups and off-the-wall thinking that both provokes and sustains the art/music/film and creative communities in and around the city. You can see it in start ups like KRAAK and Islington Mill, as well as countless interesting, unique nights, societies, groups and ventures from every corner of the Cottonopolis
Plenty to talk about here – but to throw a provocation or two out: are the ‘big guns’ taking all the money/time/focus/oxygen from the fringes – or is it actually more of a positive process in spite (or because) of this creative economy?
…and what of the boroughs? You only need to travel a couple of miles in any direction from the city centre to see where the redevelopment and affluence rapidly dissipates – What, if anything is the appropriate creative response to this?
In that respect, a grass roots multi-arts festival in a pub in Salford (one full of character, stories and characters) has just as much to say as the headline-grabbing, ACE-funded aspiration of HOME, MIF and (if the Northern Powerhouse continues to steam ahead the incoming FACTORY)
Is this a good thing – are we all happy in our place in the cultural eco-system – or are we heading for another cultural shift in the city – evolution/revolution/remake-remodulate”
(((o))): You describe it as “a blend of electronic music, live bands and DJ sets”. Can you expand on that a bit? What can people expect on the day?
Announced so far…Sixteen fantastic live acts – showcasing the best of both labels as well as some very special invited guests (ranging from Tokyo-based Electro-Rock band Psydoll to outstanding local act O>L>A as well as ‘Interference’ (the musical side project of the Quietus founder John Doran)
Running alongside this, we’ve just announced our non music programme, which includes…
Tales of Whatever – a storytelling session, featuring voices from across the city exploring some of the themes of the Festival – ToW are a well established group in their own right who have been commissioned for events including Latitude Festival and the BBC.
Film Vault Presents: Foundations on screen – Another Manchester-based community project – Film Vault run a monthly event which showcases thematically linked short films and documentaries.
Hypnotique’s Etherwave: Adventures with the Theremin – A unique, insightful and acclaimed one-woman show straight from the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe.
Transient Noise Bursts With Announcements:
4 Experimental Noise Artists + 4 Poets (non of whom have collaborated before) Our plan is to put all 8 in a room together for 2 hours on the Saturday to see what creative sparks fly…
Warsaw > Manchester
Neil Milton – a DJ performing a live set remotely from Warsaw) while BAFTA award winning visual artist Dan Hett responds to Neil’s work here in Manchester.
We also have a series of fine artists exhibiting the work, as well as two art installations, DJs and a couple of very special surprises we’re holding back until the weekend itself.
(((o))): Manchester has a busy & thriving music scene, what’s going to make Foundations stand out?
All of the above (we hope!)
Joking aside – we genuinely feel that our combined networks draw from a lot of different creative strands across the city – by putting these in one place (and in several cases encouraging unexpected collaborations) we hope to – quite literally – build on our Foundations and present a different type of festival – one that is firmly focused on new ideas from the grassroots, but presented with the quality, style and ambition of the region’s established big cultural hitters!
Foundations will be on 25/26 November to The Kings Arms in Salford. More details here.