It seems the rebellion is here as new Manchester night LMNTS promises to deliver a carefully curated blueprint of underground techno, house, and disco from some of the most revered DJs in the electronic music scene, all showcased within the compact form of Joshua Brooks. Their upcoming Laurent Garnier show reportedly sold out in under ten minutes, so I caught up with promoters Andy Proctor and Rashid Khan to chat about their newly formed alliance, their upcoming launch and their hopes for a bright new force on Manchester’s underground scene.
I began by asking the duo about the enigmatic choice of name but they are quick to dismiss my wild theories of esoteric secret codes “It’s just a play on words. The night is based on the building blocks of House, Disco and Techno.” Andy goes on to explain how these are the ‘elements’ they will focus on and stresses the importance of creating the ‘right mix’ when considering aspects such as sound, venue and DJ choice. Indeed, the promoters can draw on a wealth of experience, Rashid and Andy having previously been involved in long-running successful nights such as Development and Content whilst fellow promoters John Aitken and Graeme ‘George’ Baker have run high profile events over in Leeds. They explain that their drive is to bring some amazing DJs back into “intimate basements where they belong” and to get clubbers to “experience that one to one feeling of being on a small dance floor.”
The critical connection between DJ and crowd seems to be something at the forefront of their thinking. All the guest DJs are to be given the chance to play extended sets, bucking the trend for crowded billings seen at many nights. Andy describes how this extended slot format is crucial to their approach
“You see so many nights with a numerous amount of DJs on the lineup, spread across six-eight hours where each guest is only getting ninety minutes to two hours to play. Can you really get a journey out of that time?”
“At Development and Content, all of the guests would always play three hours minimum, we wanted to increase that and give them the whole night, to take the crowd with them from beginning to end. Sometimes, this will be one guest playing all night long and sometimes two DJs taking control of the whole evening.”
Add to this the promoters plan to allow the second room to be devoted to hand-picked local DJ’s who will be given similar space and artistic freedom to take the crowd on a journey of eclectic selections and it promises to be something quite unique. The pair highlight that they are trying to create something “special for Manchester” and their first few bookings have already created a palpable buzz amongst Manchester’s clubbing community. The opening night launches in some style featuring Swiss techno don and three deck wizard Deetron sharing the reigns with prolific New Jersey deep techno producer Joey Anderson. This is then swiftly followed by a huge coup in the form of techno icon Laurent Garnier, booked for the end of December.
Andy explains how they had to show a dogged determination to secure their targets “We have been completely over the moon with the first two events, it’s a great way to launch. We already had the Deetron and Joey Anderson event in the bag and were working tirelessly behind the scenes to secure Laurent Garnier.” However, it seems convincing them was a journey in itself … “Deetron, I’ve worked with him before..” continues Andy “so he put the trust in us. With Laurent, it was an entirely different process, between myself and Rashid we’ve been trying to book Laurent for 15 years but always came unstuck. We really wanted to do this in a small venue as we feel DJs can get lost in these massive events.” After a string of initial rejections, the boys decided to go straight to the man himself. “We were lucky enough to have his email address through my Development Music mailing list so I sent him a personal email. We explained that his close affinity with Manchester and the fact that the clubbers of Manchester deserve to see him close up in an intimate venue…. Anyway, to our amazement, an email landed in our inbox with him telling his agent that he wants to do it for his Mancunian bro’s!” The pair describes the event selling out so quickly as “ridiculous” and actually thought the event might not have been listed as the tickets disappeared so rapidly.
However, the pair is keen to emphasise that there is more to the night than just the Laurent Garnier event. They clearly have a long-term vision for how the night will progress which Andy sets out “It’s about creating a new club night for Manchester, a regular event with a familiar feel, one where the crowd know each other and can put trust in us to deliver quality nights.” Furthermore, they acknowledge the importance of developing a loyal following and having cut their teeth clubbing at the likes of Robodisco, Bugged Out, Basics and Hard Times they have accumulated that knowledge to inject into this their model for the perfect underground night.
There’s no doubting their commitment and passion for the music they love and a sense that they want a return to the core elements of a great clubbing experience. When I quiz them about the references to “A New Hope for Manchester” referenced on their website, they concede with a grin that this is an allusion to Star Wars. “It’s a pun on Star Wars obviously, a group of rebels that try and go against The Empire, the Jedi Knights. Who doesn’t want to be a Jedi?” quips Andy and who can argue with that.
Sci-fi geekery aside, in an era where huge warehouse raves and crammed lineups dominate; LMNTS offer a viable un-commercial alternative. One where the connection between DJ and crowd is key and the electric atmosphere of those small venues can be recaptured and shared as we get lost in a moment on the dancefloor once again. With six parties planned already in 2019, more astutely selected names to be confirmed and some special one-offs in the pipeline, it’s an exciting time to be part of the rebellion. As Andy says “Watch this space…”
Deetron and Joey Anderson play LMNTS launch party at Joshua Brooks on the 1st December.
Laurent Garnier plays LMNTS at Joshua Brooks on the 28th December.