Preview: Nomad’s Haunted Disco W/ Mark Henning
PREVIEW: Nomad’s Haunted Disco W/ Mark Henning
The time has just gone 5am in a dark, over-crowded warehouse on Glasgow’s sprawling South Side. Sweat is dripping from the low ceiling, and the rolling bass emanating from the ridiculously large soundsystem is being provided by Fuse resident, Rossko who has made the trip up from London. Driving the dancefloor with a hypnotic blend of House and Techno, the crowd writhes in time with the music - some are heads down, locked in the zone, others climb on shoulders, fist-pumping the air. The scene is reminiscent of an after hours in Berlin, but this isn’t the crack on from Watergate or Berghain, it’s an afterparty for Nomad, one of Glasgow’s most passionate independent club nights.
Launched back in 2010 with a clear objective to book guests who they felt were otherwise being overlooked, Nomad have since taken on the likes of Troy Pierce, Hearthrob, Rhadoo and Karotte, filling venues as diverse as the Art School, Ferry and Glasshouse. Like their name suggests, they have no problems in taking the party on tour, although they do admit that their original home at the Art School is sorely missed. But what distinguishes Nomad from the myriad of other House & Techno nights in Glasgow? According to resident Ivan Kutz, it’s not about finding that one unique element; it’s just about throwing great parties, a statement which may challenge are own musings about innovation and breaking new ground, but ultimately stands true.
This Friday Nomad returns after a self-induced summer sabbatical, promising to bring some blood-curdling horror to La Cheetah’s intimate basement. Inviting Soma’s Mark Henning to ignite the dancefloor, you can expect the recently upgraded 15k soundsystem to be pushed to the very limit as their specially themed Haunted Disco gets truly frightening. Having released on labels spanning Hypercolour to Trapez, and promoting a sound which rolls with a seductively dark, distinctive edge, this will be one nightmare you won’t want to wake up from…
Check out Mark Henning's recent release on Cityfox below as well as an interview with Nomad promoter James Arthur and residents Ivan Kutz and Avon Kyyd:
Synth: So firstly can you give a little background on Nomad? You’ve been throwing parties in Glasgow for almost two years, what inspired you to start it? Was it purely to put on some of your favourite artists or to fill a gap you thought was missing?
James: When we started nomad back in 2010 our overall goal was pretty simple, and that was to put on some really solid parties, booking personnel favourites of ours along the way. I wouldn’t necessarily say we thought we could fill a specific gap, more just give people another option by booking headline calibre house and techno DJ’s (something which was largely limited to Glasgow’s institutions Soma/The Sub Club). Although in just the 2 years that we have been running the night there appears to have been a massive explosion of ‘DIY’ nights in Glasgow like ours, more and more ambitious nights have popped up making big bookings, it’s pretty saturated these days.
Synth: Your Facebook describes Nomad as aiming 'to bring the best and most relevant DJs and live acts to Glasgow'. What sound would you say Nomad ultimately promotes, and with Glasgow already thriving with House & Techno, how do you distinguish yourselves?
James: I guess that description should come with a disclaimer ‘best and most relevant (in our opinion)'. I wouldn’t necessarily say we promote any specific sound as such, as our tastes are always developing, we all enjoy different spectrums of house and techno, and we definitely wouldn’t label our night to any specific niche genre within that. If you look at Glasgow’s most successful nights - Sensu/Pressure/RTW - they all cover varying degrees of house and techno. Our bookings have shown a fair bit of diversity from Karotte’s big room techno, Rhadoo’s Romanian house, Rossko's deep house to Heartthrob and Troy Pierce’s minimal techno.
Ivan: As you say, Glasgow’s scene is thriving. There are almost too many nights now, meaning competition every weekend is tough, however we don’t really make a conscious effort to try and distinguish ourselves, we kind of just get on with things, booking guests we personally like and hope that people will share our enthusiasm. Some bookings work great, others not so well; hopefully we can strike a balance.
Ivan Kutz: resident supreme
James: I think one of our strengths is having two really solid residents that you can trust. After all, these are the guys that are at the controls for at least 50% of your night, and responsible for setting the vibe up, you won’t come to our night and hear an over excited resident ashing out 150bpm anthems, it’s all about trying to set the stage for our main act, both are proper house and techno heads, and dig deep to find their tunes.
Another area we have placed a great importance on in the past has been to take make sure the sound at our events is a good as it can be (often to our own financial detriment). There’s nothing worse than a night being spoiled by dodgy sound - all the best visuals, lighting and decor in the world won’t make up for a speaker spitting bass.
Synth: It's been some time since your last party, why did you take the break and how do you feel about returning to Glasgow? Ivan, we heard you spent the summer DJing in Ibiza, how was that?
James: Yeah it’s been almost exactly a year since Troy Pierce and Hans Bouffmyhre joined us on The Ferry. We took a break as we both had other stuff in life that had to take priority, I was moving flat, and Ivan was saving up and then moving out to Ibiza for his first season. The nights we have put on were a big financial commitment for both of us, and something had to give (well at least for a while).
Ivan: We’re both really looking forward to get going again and have missed the excitement, especially with so many friends in Glasgow involved in their own events now too. In addition to myself, Avon Kyyd has joined the crew and will be sharing resident duties with me. Having another person to bring a fresh perspective has been a positive change.
As for Ibiza, it was quite the experience, it's a tougher task than you might think as every night is the weekend and there is no set routine. But for me, it changed the way I looked at things musically, broadening my knowledge and making me a better person. I got to play in a few of the big clubs such as Sankey’s for their Mulletover party and also Ibiza Town’s Bubbles. I also got to hang round with some big names such as Sebo K, Enzo Siragusa, Bill Patrick, Thugfucker and Rossko from whom where all great guys and very supporting.
Mark Henning: four to the floor
Synth: You have Berlin-based artist Mark Henning joining you for this week's party at La Cheetah. Can you tell us a little about why you booked him and how his sound represents Nomad in 2012?
Avon: Mark is a DJ/producer we have all admired for a while and agreed on. The boys tried to book him last year, but a suitable date couldn’t be found. The quality and consistency of his productions are really second to none, he’s also a really good DJ, and probably under-rated in that respect as people focus more on his production skills. I think Mark’s sound sits nicely with us, swinging house and techno with a touch of darkness, or in his own words, “nothing cheesy, nothing uber trendy, just swinging house and techno records, heads down, get lost in the music stylee!”
Synth: You've thrown parties at the old Art School, Glasshouse and Ferry, obviously as your name suggests you're happy to move about, why have you chosen La Cheetah for this party and what can we expect from the 'haunted disco' element?
Ivan: Yeah as you said we started our nights of at the old Art School, initially downstairs in the Vic Bar with Karotte, then moved upstairs into the larger Assembly Hall for Heartthrob and Rossko. It was really sad to see the Art School go, as both party’s where sell outs and it felt like home to us. We then used Queens Park Glasshouse for a day party with Rhadoo and then last November The Ferry for Troy Pierce and Hans Bouffmyhre.
James: In terms of why La Cheetah, we did our Rhadoo after party there, and also another smaller event last year with Junior (Sensu) and Quail (Animal Farm). We really like the space, it has a excellent sound system, cracking dj box and the set up for visuals is great which is something we like to go to town on courtesy of our visual partner Gary Wilson. The venue is a decent size without being too small, which allows us to be able to make good bookings with enough capacity to cover our costs, whilst maintaining a really good intimate crowd atmosphere and vibe.
As for the haunted disco vibe, it’s the time of year I guess, so it’s an excuse for people to don the fancy dress. With Halloween falling on the Wednesday we’re aware a lot of people will have probably had their fix the weekend before, so we won’t be going overboard with the theme, fancy dress is completely optional (although Mark Henning has already let us know he has his mask ready). We’ll have some of the obligatory spooky decor, some nice creepy visuals, but the emphasis will be on the music, hopefully some nice dark and haunting techno at some point from our guest.
Synth: Finally, as this party marks your triumphant return, can we expect more events over the next few months and what are your plans going into 2013?
Ivan: Yes definitely, we are planning to put on at least 2 events maybe 3 before summer next year, then ideally another couple towards the end of the year. We have a few ideas, some pretty exciting names in the mix, and we’re in the process of trying to secure the first guest of 2013 as we speak.
WHAT: Nomad's Haunted Disco
WHO: Mark Henning, Ivan Kutz, Avon Kyyd
WHERE: La Cheetah, 73 Queen Street, G1 3BZ, Glasgow
WHEN: Fri 2nd Nov // 11-3am
TAX: £10 Adv // £10 Otd
SOUNDSYSTEM: La Cheetah's own
TICKETS: Resident Advisor
FACEBOOK EVENT: http://www.facebook.com/events/360385704040537/
Mark Henning on Soundcloud
Mark Henning on Facebook
Ivan Kutz on Soundcloud
Avon Kyyd on Soundcloud
Nomad Nights on Facebook