Footsteps On The Decks #7: Forty Eight Hours In Liverpool and Good Gatherings

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Gregor Tresher is amongst the many faces lined up for mUmU and Freeze’s 48 Hours In Liverpool event. 

Getintothis’ resident moaner and lover of loud beats, Martin Guttridge-Hewitt is all for jumping ship for another planet but first, August’s best North West parties and dance music releases. 

Call it being a procrastinating freelance writer. Call it the bane of working in the media, with its IQ-sapping requirements. Either way, Facebook and Twitter are part of the professional grind, and sometimes after spending one hour trawling the news feeds you realise things are so far from where they should be. Philip K. Dick and Aldous Huxley could never have imagined 2015. Even if they focused really hard.

MPs threaten to ‘swim through vomit’ to oppose terrifyingly unfair welfare bills in parliament, which are then passed with little opposition. Anti-rape cards are given out at festivals. Donald Trump makes yet another racist comment about Mexicans in America. Signing up for a new Virgin Credit Card puts Sex Pistols iconography in your wallet. A cat wakes after being neutered and screams at the realisation he has no testicles left; his owner photographs it, and gives the pictures to the press. The smirking face of Tony ‘War Crimes’ Blair is dragged into the spotlight like some political Night of the Living Dead extra.

Put simply, we desperately need someone to help us. And fast.

So, needless to say, NASA’s discovery of Kepler-whatever, the first Earth-like planet to be found in the all-important ‘Goldilocks zone’, may be the only beacon of light we have to cling on to right now. Who’s first for the departing spacecrafts, then? Of course you’ll probably (definitely) die before reaching this new potential home for humans, but perhaps that’s better than sticking around here to watch everything everywhere rot.

Who knows, and who cares? Not many, given what the aforementioned feeds contain – look at my baby, stare at this hallucinatory picture for 30 seconds then have a butchers at Van Gogh, here is a dog, look at my baby, here is a dog… That’s when you’re not reading about The Best Festival In The World Ever, or watching a topless man at a pool party in Ibiza discuss the finer points of middling tech house.

Depressed yet? Hitting rock bottom? Worry not. In the spirit of cliches, here are some dance and electronic cuts and events worth spending time and money on this month, helping you realise that when you can’t get any lower it is possible to start pulling back up, with the aid of a few good tunes and at least one massive blowout. Until next time…

Top Five North West Events – August 2015

Good Gatherings @ Joshua Brooks, Friday 7 August; £8

Birmingham has long been British techno HQ, giving birth to household names like Surgeon and institutions such as House of God and Atomic Jam. Rebekah is the latest in the line of heavy sound-wielding names from said city, and shouldn’t be missed.

Zutekh @ Soup Kitchen; Friday 7 August; £8 – £12.50

Detroit’s Ryan Elliot makes an appearance at one of our favourite spaces in Manchester. If you’ve never been, Soup Kitchen is tiny, and, given the headline guest is a much-sought after tech spinner, this will definitely sell out.

Circus @ The Shipping Forecast; Saturday 8 August; £10 

A showcase of established Liverpool dons, Circus presents its residents party, where some bloke called Yousef will apparently be playing records, along with Lewis Boardman and Scott Lewis. Family atmosphere guaranteed.

Meat Free @ Joshua Brooks; Friday 14 August; Pay What You Want 

A sign of the times; in this age of no money the exceptionally kind and well-up-for-a-party girls behind glitter, house and techno-session Meat Free are letting you pay what you want to see talented local lads done good, Joint Effort and William Welt.

Forty Eight Hours In Liverpool @ Various Venues; Saturday 29  – Sunday 31  August; £26.50 / £45

One mammoth weekend hits our home city, courtesy of the genuinely lovely people at mUmU and Freeze. Highly worthwhile techno from Gregor Tresher and Gary Beck will be on the cards, with deeper fare coming via the likes of Tale of Us and Mind Against.

Singles and EPs of distinction in August

Stephen Paul Taylor Single And Seventeen (Shitkatapult SPT Records) – August 1

Given our opening rant, Stephen Paul Taylor’s EP has gone down a treat, what with a track called Everybody Knows Shit’s Fucked. Aside from great titles, he marries purposefully simplistic Casio melodies with a Talking Heads/Depeche Mode/B52s sound.

Jascha Hagen No Matter What EP (Monologues Records) – August 3

Slow-mo plodders of the immersive variety, the likes of BillDJ HistoryBrewster have been singing praises for this offering, and it’s not hard to see why. Like dancing mid-booze haze under some tropical sun, this could be the summer on record. Maybe.

Adra Fear Is The Mind Killer (D.A.T.) – August 7

Packing three great, mechanical techno numbers in the package, along with a remix from Getintothis favourite Matrixxman, Nevada-born, San Francisco-living Adra certainly knows what she’s doing in the studio, with our pick being Arrakis. No clips, though, sorry.

Butane Busted (Alphahouse) – August 10

Quality, heads down, low-slung, percussive house from the man like Butane, boss of the incredibly useful Little Helpers imprint and Alphahouse, showing exactly what should be meant by less is more. One of those ‘hooks you in and refuses to let go’ workouts.

Happa Pt. 1 (Part Five) – August 18

Leeds’ finest young master of industrial-edged tunes that seem to wash over you in the most surprising ways possible unveils three new tracks of solidness on his own fledgling imprint, with Chewy Teeth one of the best things we have heard, and will hear, all year.

North Lake Two Headed Beast (Origami Sound) – August 24

Really, really polished stuff from Michigan’s ever-impressive North Lake. Call it sluggish techno, call it darkroom house with muscle, either way all four tracks on here are keepers, from the hypnotic Caverns to the rousing and bleepy Sun Gun.

Albums that will do the business in August

Heathered Pearls Body Complex (Ghostly International) – August 8

Everything on here is warm, wonderful and aurally intoxicating. Tracks grow patiently from their soft beginnings into soaring, blissed-out soundscapes, making this part chill out with kick drums, and part trippy 6AM ammunition- if used correctly.

The Black Dog Neither/Neither (Dust Science Recordings) – August 17

What is there to say about these stalwarts of the Sheffield experimental-techno scene that hasn’t already been said? How about their new album is a beautiful product, oozing with serene, space-age ambience and intelligent broken builders. In short, pre-order it now.

Various Artists Total 15 (Kompakt Records) – August 17

With a track list that reads like something of a dream team, Michael MayerJurgen PaapeAgoriaTerranovaDave DKJohn Tejada and more club together to deliver another stand out Kompakt compilation that’s both interesting and accessible. Standard.

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