Footsteps on the decks #9: Reasons to be cheerful, Meat Free and Chibuku

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We rank Ben Sims amongst the best and most physical DJs to come from Britain ever. He plays Meat Free at Manchester’s Hidden this month.

As autumn sets in a familiar feeling returns. The outdoor season is over, the weather is heading for apocalyptic levels of nastiness, and everyone is worried about catching a cold. Thankfully, Getintothis’ resident moaner and demander of better living knows just what the doctor ordered by way of recommended dance music releases for October, and the best parties in the North West. 

There’s a huge difference between the Monday after the festival before, and a Monday that follows a great night out.

Put simply, if we spent the weekend in a field surrounded by a few thousand other like-minded individuals, chances are Monday is spent making your way home, with at least a handful of mates in tow. Thanks to the fact everyone feels like they’re on day release, amusement abounds as people try to hold it together until reaching the final destination- either a couch or a bed. There’s a feeling of camaraderie, togetherness, and mutual understanding.

In contrast, between October and April Mondays in the UK have a knack making you feel knackered, scared, confused, and, most importantly, alone. Your boss isn’t going to empathise with nocturnal misdemeanours. Neither will most of your colleagues. The result being forced re-entry into the regular world akin to electric shock treatment. Rather than jolting us back to sanity, it just feels really, really cruel, and a little unnecessary.

Roll on the days when those in positions of power finally let us all adopt a four day working week. Unfortunately, though, as most of the political elite are more concerned with anything other than the people, that’s probably a long time off. As such all we can do is stop and consider some reasons to be cheerful.

Maybe you’re not dead. Hopefully you’re not ill. There’s a good chance you have at least some friends and family that love you. It’s been sunny recently. Although unlikely, Jeremy Corbyn might be able to alter Westminster’s perennially appalling attitudes. Even if he doesn’t, temporarily having a leader of the opposition who represents real opposition is refreshing. Your working day probably only lasts for seven to ten hours at a time. Others have it much worse.

People, on the whole, are nice, and are concerned about humanity. There are more guys you can describe as ‘OK’, and girls we can label ‘pretty sound’, than there are serial killers and war criminals.

The list could go on, and it would surely include the fact that this month sees the North West playing host to some solid sessions of the clubbing variety, meanwhile the release schedule is brimming with quality. Still feeling like a self-employed rat catcher on a rodent free planet? Take a look below and see if the words don’t inspire some hope.

Events in the North West to remember 

Meat Free @ Hidden; Friday 2nd October; £15

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Hidden has been selling out since opening its doors to Manchester’s party people late August. Now it’s the turn of  all-female fraternity Meat Free to take the reigns, bringing with them British techno don and DJ’s DJ, Ben Sims, US house head du jour, Fred P, and blistering Detroit chap DJ Bone.

Freeze presents Scenery @ The Garage; Friday 2nd October; £15

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Clued up folk in Liverpool should be chomping at the bit for this one; Levon Vincent‘s name is shorthand for a great night, as he always delivers the goods. Meanwhile, whilst we still think it’s weird and unnecessary for Redshape to wear a red drama mask when he plays, the techno and house production maestro is a top bloke.

secretsundaze @ Buyers Club; Sunday 4th October; £10

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secretsundaze has been helping London feel like shit on Mondays for years. As such the fact they are setting up shop in Liverpool for their first residency outside the capital is reason enough to attend this one. James Priestley and Giles Smith will, of course, be in attendance and on the decks, along with local lad Andrew Hill.

High Hoops @ Hidden; Saturday 10th October; £15

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A mighty fine bash sees High Hoops join the list of promoters lucky enough to have secured a date at Hidden. On the night you’ll catch stellar house-disco-whatever chap HuneeFort Romeau, Medlar and Joy Social, which basically means you’re guaranteed to hear some incredibly good music throughout the event.

Chibuku @ Camp & Furnace; Saturday 17th October; £25

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A day time soiree at Camp & Furnace with some truly gifted music players involved? The ambassador is surely spoiling us. Chibuku‘s first essential party of the new season involves BonoboMaya Jane ColesDJ EZRandallBicepMarcel DettmannScuba and Leon Vynehall. Excellent news indeed.

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There aren’t many albums out this month we’d rank as fantastic, those that passed the test are here

Deep Space Orchestra Memory (Use Of Weapons); 16th October

Chris Barker and Simon Murray unveil their debut album, and it’s a right treat, as some might say. The individual tracks are impressive- veering from uplifting acid house to jazzy Balearic stuff, and then onto complex techy growers. It also works very well as a complete body of work. Overlook it and we will never speak again.

Various Artists Fabric 84: Mixed by Mathew Johnson (Fabric); 16th October

We actually assumed Wagon Repair and Canadian all-star Mathew Johnson already had a Fabric mix out. He hadn’t, though, but the results of him finally getting one sorted are well worth waiting for. Largely comprised of his own work and that of his Cobblestone Jazz project, think clever, curveball techno and otherworldly beats.

Singles and EPs you’ll probably want to own once they go on sale

Jon Gurd Birth Right (Derelicht); 2nd October

Muscular stuff via the UK imprint-cum-party crew-cum-artistic collective, Derelicht. Five tracks are on offer, all with enough meat and oomph to kick start any party, full of twisted analogue tones and sledgehammer drums. In short, quality techno including remixes by Dave Clarke and Ancestral Voices. Big.

Yvel & Tristan Throw Your Hands (Hi!Fly Music); 2nd October

On the face of it this bouncy tech house outing isn’t particularly special. Then you listen to Mathias Kaden‘s remix, which reduces the vocal samples to repetitive loops, accentuates the low end’s addictive assets, and ups the percussive elements. The realisation being just how devastating this release could be if used correctly.

Rekord 61 Vremya (Konstruktiv); 5th October

If there were more releases like this in the world we’d be happy. Arpeggiated synths offer understated euphoria, relentless heavyweight kicks ensure impact. And that’s just the opening number. Add to that a percussive, acidic workout by the heroic Rolando and you understand why Vremya makes our cut.

Lo Shea Oxygen Lance EP (Transit); 5th October

Rising Sheffield head Lo Shea is one of the main reasons the Steel City’s Hope Works venue has such a strong reputation for great music. Oxygen Lance, whatever the title actually means, is an immersive, hypnotic triple-header that’s all about dark grooves that lock the listener/dancer in. Exactly what you want.

AboutFace The Hazy Path To Misunderstanding (Dark Matters); 19th October

Intriguing and beguiling, the latest cut to come from Amirali‘s Dark Matters imprint is atmospheric, intricate and complex downtempo fare, some of which would reek of opium if you could smell music. Take from that what you will, so long as you understand we’re saying this is really good.

Cosmin TRG III (Fizic); 19th October

The third EP to land on the Romanian’s own label, III has everything that first got Cosmin TRG noticed in abrasive, banging spades. Not so hard that you’ll be bruised, but tough enough to avoid sounding flat, and with plenty of musicality to keep us thinking about the arrangements long after their midway points.

Marvis Dee Caribbean Nights (In My Dreams); 23rd October

‘Lovely stuff’ would be one way to describe this, if that didn’t sound like Alan Partridge reviewing something he knows nothing about. Riddled with Rolands, Marvis has managed to create a warm, inviting and smooth house-cosmic disco workout that doesn’t feel like it might touch your girlfriend behind your back.

worriedaboutsatan The Woods / Blood (This Is It Forever); 23rd October

There’s something about this return to the fore from Manchester duo worriedaboutsatan that invokes nostalgia, with rolling snares and head-nodding basslines referencing Kruder Dorfmeister‘s K&D Sessions. Gushing compliments aside, this is a beautiful exercise in epic, intelligent, classically-infused electronica.

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