It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? The season of that t00-many-mince-pies feeling, staid office pissups and Mariah Carey on repeat in the Asda is upon us. Step away from the Christmas madness and indulge yourself in a little musical self-care with ne’er a Wham! karaoke in sight. All the same, tickets for these events might just make the perfect Secret Santa…
Bernard’s Birthday FEAST – The Merchant
It’s fair to say there is no one quite like Bernie Connor. The longstanding Liverpool personality has been immersed in the ever-changing music scene, sharing his records and throwing parties for anyone that wants to listen and enjoy themselves. An open and enthusiastic character with a fulfilling story for every person in every occasion; his encyclopedic memory of people, places and parties helps a lot. Informing those that want to know, Bernie has been archiving his music commentary with the Sound of Music podcast, as well as little ‘happenings’ that provide snippets of knowledge and context on music culture throughout the last 50 years.
Having joined us on Melodic Distraction with Popular Electronics; a breakdown of different schools of music that joins all the dots in between, Bernie Connor has spent his entire life championing music from around the world. This Friday, we celebrate Bernard’s Birthday with our kid Buddy and Joseph Kaye taking to the controls alongside their old man. It’s free in as well and well worth your time. We reckon it’s a good opportunity to raise a glass and have a dance, maybe even catch him mid-story and learn a thing or two.
Baltic Winter Weekender Launch with Job Jobse – 24 Kitchen Street
Finishing the first Antithesis season with style, Abandon Silence brings Amsterdam-based Job Jobse to 24 Kitchen Street. With another Baltic Weekender in our sights in the New Year, there’s no better way to build excitement than a winter warm-up party. Making his debut in Liverpool, Jobse has recently undergone a huge surge in popularity thanks to his regular appearances Panorama Bar, Fabric, and some of the largest festivals worldwide. The Dutch DJ has also recently taken up a residency in Trouw’s new club De School shows just how far he’s come. He has a remarkable ability to perform with other big names, holding his own with the likes of Dixon and Ben UFO.
Ricocheting from house to deep house, techno to disco, acid to pretty much everything – you don’t want to miss Jobse’s ability to serve up selections from a staggeringly wide range. With Abandon Silence resident Andrew Hill warming up, you’ll be right in the mood for the next instalment of Baltic Weekender.
ASJC Black Jazz Experimental DJ Set – Black Lodge Brewery
Following on from the hugely successful Japanese jazz cafe at Buyers Club, The Anti Social Jazz Club posse pop-up for another listening party, this time, at Liverpool’s much loved independent brewery and bar; The Black Lodge. In association with Melodic Distraction, Weavers Door and Carhart expect an evening of melancholy jazz, hip-hop, house and soul…
Try their limited edition ‘Black Jazz’ craft beer, brewed on site while a selection of Liverpool’s finest jazz kissa take to the plates. Featuring sets from Black Lodge’s own Paul Seiffert and Steezmkween, Tony Seasman and the mastermind behind ASJC; Lee Flemming. To top it all off, stick around for a sneak preview of the inaugural label release on Anti Social Jazz Records from Embezzlement Society, as they dip their toes into yet another project that we cannot wait to watch unfold.
Part of the Melodic Distraction Radio Family as well as satisfying a new-found need for experimental jazz far and wide, ASJC are making moves within the city and you better keep up.
Kitchen Street 4th Birthday with Lefto & Children of Zeus – 24 Kitchen Street
One of Liverpool’s favourite venues turns 4! To celebrate, The Wonder Pot, Madnice Marauders and Boogaloo team up to bring some seriously distinctive acts to 24 Kitchen Street. Inviting Brownswood’s Lefto and First Word Records’ Children of Zeus to the stage, it’s shaping up to be a birthday party to remember. Belgian DJ and tastemaker, Lefto is renowned for his experimental sound, fusing hip-hop, funk and breakbeats with wild African rhythms. Holding down a regular slot on Worldwide FM, he’s also a long-running resident DJ for Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival.
Joining him will be fresh hip-hop/soul duo, Children of Zeus. Straight outta Manchester, DJ, MC and beatmaker Konny Kon (of Broke ‘n’ English) and soul singer /MC Tyler Daley come together in a formidable duo. With their latest album launching only a couple months ago, they’re packing new beats into the intimate space of 24 Kitchen St. Last month, our very own Benny Maths caught up with the pair, and you can check out their conversation here. Bringing the resident energy will be the No Fakin’ and Madnice DJs, who have supported Kitchen Street from the start. Keep an eye on this one, as there’s still a headliner to be announced, and we’re expecting the unexpected. Co-created by some of Liverpool’s most respected party curators, this party will celebrate the best of what Kitchen Street has achieved over the years.
ENRG presents Jon Hopkins – Invisible Wind Factory
Bringing something a little different to their previous parties, ENRG welcome Jon Hopkins to the Invisible Wind Factory. A DJ with unsettling depth, his distinct sound can be placed anywhere between solo acoustic piano to explosive, bass-heavy techno. Supporting the likes of The XX and Four Tet he is an experienced, truly flexible artist. Highly praised for several years, with a Mercury prize nomination for his album ‘Immunity’ to boot, this is an incredible booking to finish ENRG’s autumn season.
In support, Greco-Roman’s Joe Goddard will be joining Hopkins on the decks. Goddard has made a name for himself over the years – both as one-half of The 2 Bears, and one-fifth of Hot Chip. His latest solo album ‘Electric Lines’ received plenty of critical acclaim, and his single ‘Gabriel’ has become a club anthem. He’s one of the most diverse DJ’s around, with sets ranging all the way from indie remixes through to disco and house. Joining Hopkins and Goddard is Mike Servito, billed by Resident Advisor as ‘one of Detroit and New York’s best-kept secrets, who brings a vibrant mix of house and techno. With such an unusual lineup and stalwart favourite resident Blehrin, you can expect to be blown away.
ØSCILLATE Records Party with Ray Mono – Sound Food and Drink
ØSCILLATE may have only been around for a year, but they’ve already built up a loving group of dancers that support the crew. From their inception, they’ve thrown boss free parties across town, with Annie Erez, Reda Dare and Harry Sheehan and numerous other talented DJs playing. They’ve also held down a monthly radio show with us here on Melodic Distraction, and if that wasn’t enough, they’ve also launched ØSCILLATE Records, putting out five releases to date.
On Saturday 9th December, ØSCILLATE Records launches the release of SLT006, with a free label party in the basement of Sound Food & Drink. The sixth releases comes courtesy of Ray Mono, a longstanding Mono_Cult resident, Leeds promoter, and dabbler in the world of music production, releasing on Nofitstate and Blind Vision Records. Support comes from the ØSCILLATE residents, Company Is Family, Marc Williams and Michael Dowding so be sure to roll through…
Daffodils Compilation Album Launch – 81 Renshaw Street
Experimental electronic maestros Emotion Wave band together with 25 artists from Liverpool and beyond for their new compilation album, Daffodils, and you’re invited to the launch. Their twin cassette and digital release features new music from Phono Ghosts, Polypores, Mark Peters, Lo Five, Impulse Array, Afternaut, Melodien,Isocore, Foxen Cyn, Loka, Mark Lawless, Dublock, Jean Michel Noir’s Horror Orchestra, The Long Rays, Simon Jones Chillout Donk Experience, Glitchfield Plaines, Bemp, Dark fidelity hifi, Jacques Malchance, Neo Luddites, Bye Louis + more. Pulling together weirdo tape cut ups, analogue hardware psychouts, space-themed bloopy jams and ragged soundscapes, Emotion Wave once again push the boundaries of electronic music, building on their last compilation release, BLANKETS.
Celebrating their mammoth release alongside Preston tape label Concrète, Daffodils is launching with a full day of live music from contributing artists over at independent arts cafe, 81 Renshaw Street. Plus, all proceeds from the sale of the album and the event will go to Merseyside Domestic Violence Services.What better reason to grab a toastie and a tour a who’s-who of the experimental electronica scene in the North West?
Smithdown Selects Charity Night – Buyer’s Club
Smithdown Selects host their inaugral night, inviting well-respected party crews Boogaloo, Ghost and Archive down to co-host a night filled with funky tunes to raise money and awareness for the University of Liverpool’s Help the Homeless Society. With some of the most popular nights in Liverpool coming together, a sense of celebration lingers in the air, and it’s sure to be filled with energy and a truckload of local talent behind the decks. What better way to raise money than having a dance all night long?
Ghost: Drum & Bass Special Ft MC Fox (Levelz) – The Shipping Forecast
On December 14th, Ghost head into The Hold for their final show of the year. Stationed in the ‘murky underbelly’ of the Shipping Forecast, The Hold is something of a nostalgia trip for any of the cities millennial party crews, known for its high-energy memories of sweat-drenched souls getting down to a wide array of heavy-hitting artists and DJ’s. Four Tet’s all-vinyl beatdown in 2013, or the Madnice Dilla tributes of 2012, anyone?
Today, these nights in The Hold are few and far between, but we’re hoping that can change. With events such as Spektrum and Ghost working hard to cultivate the rapidly growing Drum & Bass scene within Liverpool, the unique space is beginning to rekindle its flame. It’s about time we shimmied our way back into that basement, and what better time than with Levelz’ MC Fox, alongside Ghost residents DJ Focus and Whapam as well as a whole host of local talent.
See you at the front.
Drum ‘n’ Bassment – VOXX, 25 Stanley Street
Join your bass head brothers and sisters for a night filled with more gun fingers than an M dot R freestyle. Pulling together MCs, DJs and promoters from across the city, Drum ‘n’ Bassment is a night of serious grooving with a serious cause. DJ Focus, Gus, LUCI4, Joe Mac, Eduk8, MC Senci, Bad Manning, Dave Brackpool and Lady Soul come together for a late-night party that raises money for The Whitechapel Centre.
nIf you’re new to The Whitechapel Centre, they’re a centre in Liverpool that have supported over 3,000 people who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the last year. Providing shelter, hot food, showers, clothing, advice and accommodation – and open every day of the year – they’re a vital lifeline for our community in Merseyside, and only able to operate thanks to kind donations. Surely there’s no better excuse to show us your bass face?
Keeping this Winter strictly on beat, Parrjazz invites local rhythm setter Mamadou down to the Frederiks Parrjazz for a sophisticated Boxing night affair. Originally from Senegal, Mamadou Diaw is a multi-instrumentalist who has a unique ability to mesmerise an audience through a mix of traditional Senegalese mbalax, salsa, jazz and reggae. Be prepared to move as he installs a groove into each number, inviting dancers to the floor as the night goes on to share the music of his heritage. Free to attend to all, the roaring wire and cosy atmosphere of Frederiks gets our vote this Boxing Day. If you’re yet to experience the Parrjazz, or Mamadou for that matter, then you’ve got no reason to stay at home.
As if the religious hoo-hahs of Christmas/Hannukah/Mawlid al-Nabi/Bodhi Day/Kwanzaa/Yule Tide Solstice/Zarathosht Diso/Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saturnalia, weren’t enough for you this month, there’s still more parties going on than we can shake a stick at. Whilst we’ve outlined some of our favourites above, it’s by no means the be-all or even end-all of what’s-what and who’s-who. Listed below are a few other events we’ve kept our weather eye on, that we reckon deserve an ogle from you too.
IWFM Radio Launch Party – DROP the Dumbulls Gallery – Friday 1st
Magnet After Hours Ft DJ Spinna – The Magnet – Saturday 2nd
POSTMUSIC Sampler #01 The Christmas Edition – Northshore Troubadour – Saturday 2nd
Wide Open Free Party – meraki – Saturday 9th
Mothmas Wind Party – Invisible Wind Factory – Friday 15th
Words: Eve Whiteside and the Melodic Distraction Team