Melodic Distraction Monthly Guide: December 2016
Written by Beth Blandford on 25th November 2016
With Christmas coming up and the winter weather well and truly upon us, we’ve got some ideas for how you can keep warm without having to hide under your duvet…
…or in my case, next to the electric heater that my dodgy student boiler has forced me to use. From film screenings to an overwhelming array of big-name events to smaller, more intimate occasions, we’re spoilt for choice.
Constellations Winter Live Series Launch – Constellations (1st Dec)
With temperatures in Liverpool dropping almost overnight, it’s reassuring to see that Constellations are taking note of the struggle and comforting us with the introduction of their new Winter Live Series. A recipe made up of exciting new live appearances, food and warm drinks at Constellations, the series launches at the start of the month with appearances from two South-London outfits.
Stepping up to the stage on the 1st is London-based hip hop and jazz-fusion band; Sumochief, accompanied by rising star Poppy Ajudha on vocals. With new décor to combat the chilly weather outside, this will hopefully be the first of many cosy evenings to come down at Constellations.
A-F-R-O + Marco Polo – Buyers Club (1st Dec)
The hosts that have helped bring you Nightmares on Wax (twice!) BamBamBam keep delivering without fail. Whether it’s groundbreaking jazz performances from Yussef Kamaal or Marco Polo and A-F-R-O bringing the hip hop out in force, BamBamBam seem to be all over our calendar recently…
A-F-R-O (All Flows Reach Out) is a young MC from Los Angeles who first gained popularity when he entered R.A The Rugged Man’s “Definition of a Rap Flow” in 2014. Since, he has performed on a number of American talk shows, as well as being invited to studio sessions with big name producers, including Marco Polo… A-F-R-O POLO is born, touring all over from Poland to the UK. With Polo’s well respected experience and A-F-R-O’S raw talent combined, you don’t want to miss your chance to witness this authentic performance.
One More Time with Feeling – FACT (1st Dec)
FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) is the UK’s leading media arts centre, allowing art to become more accessible to people from all walks of life. From art exhibitions to film, this inspiring maze of ingenuity is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to feeding Liverpool’s refreshing enthusiasm for creativity.
Reappearing at FACT, One More Time with Feeling is a film that started out as a promotional documentary for Nick Cave & The Bad Seed’s new album, Skeleton Tree but later transformed into Cave’s raw, touching contemplations following the death of his 15 year old son; Arthur, midway through recording the album. Directed by Andrew Dominik, this film explores an unexpected and traumatic relationship between the artist, his music and the overpowering reality of grief.
Transmission Funk presents Alexander Nut – Buyers Club (2nd Dec)
Manchester’s own Transmission Funk launched back in 2014, dropping big names including Nightmares On Wax, Dense & Pika and Detroit Swindle. This will be their first time appearing in Liverpool at one of the city’s trendiest spots, Buyers Club.
Wolverhampton born, Eglo Records owner and DJ Alexander Nut is set for his return to Liverpool. Besides his fortnightly slot on NTS Radio, check out Nut’s most recent Soundcloud recordings from Dimensions 2016 as he continues to showcase his undeniable ability to command the floor anytime, anywhere.
Expect melodies doused in broken beats, acid house interspersed with soul, jazz, disco and quite frankly whatever Nut desires, in his own words; ‘Instead of limiting myself to a fixed genre, I would like to do everything I like’… we’re looking forward to this one.
ENRG 04. Magnetic Energy/Dusky – Invisible Wind Factory (3rd Dec)
After last month’s sell-out performance from Bicep it’s no wonder that the upcoming ENRG event at IWF has got everyone talking. From the bespoke installations to the highly sought after acts, the ENRG team have been working hard to develop their brand in the small time they’ve been around. Hats off to the Kazimier and ENRG teams, the newly-crafted venue is transformed each week into a creative paradise. A ceiling covered with suspended light balls and ingenious spaceship like DJ booth, this space has already proven to be the most dynamic warehouse on the North Docks.
The London duo, Dusky, who have risen in popularity and status over the past 3 years will be returning to Liverpool for their first gig at the Invisible Wind Factory. Since their breakthrough underground anthem Flo Jam signed by Dogmatik in 2012, they’ve kept on innovating their sound. Examples include their Nobody Else mix in 2013 all the way through to Parakeet Feet and further on to this year’s Ingrid is a Hybrid. Their discography perfectly shows just how they’re constantly exploring different styles and expressing new dimensions to their talent.
After founding their own record label, 17 Steps, in 2014 Dusky have allowed themselves more flexibility within their music saying that “with 17 steps, we really want to keep it open and not tie ourselves down to one or two particular genres”. With releases from themselves, Trevino and no doubt many more to come, this project seems to be thriving in its element. Expect big things for ENRG’s 2016 finale…
Amadou & Marium – Philharmonic Hall (3rd Dec)
Known as ‘the blind couple from Mali’, this duo will give you a taste of melodies rich in West African culture, smooth vocals performed in both French and Bambara and nostalgic blues rhythms fused together. How many people can say they’ve appeared on the same bill as the legendary Stevie Wonder? Back in the 80’s, these two were in high demand and extremely popular on the African continent. With dreams of expanding their interest, they recorded Sou Ni Tile in France which included their most popular single Mon amour, ma cherie…the couple rose to stardom overnight. Since then, they’ve performed at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in honour of Barack Obama, played at the opening ceremonies of the last two FIFA world cups as well as being nominated for a Grammy. Performing at Liverpool’s historic Philharmonic Hall, this performance is bound to be spectacular.
Talib Kweli – 24 Kitchen Street (5th Dec)
Brooklyn’s own Talib Kweli is starting his ‘Tour de Force’ around Europe this November, making his eighth stop at 24 Kitchen Street. Once again, BamBamBam coming in with the fire.
A hip hop icon, following releases such as the 1998 Blackstar project alongside Mos Def, Kweli’s visit to the city is nothing short of an honour. If you don’t already know, the Emcee has hits alongside the likes of Mary J. Blige, Just Blaze, Kanye, Nelly and Kendrick Lamar to name just a few. Kweli hasn’t just made a name for himself through his music – more recently he is well known for being a civil rights activist and one of the most politically aware hip hop artists in the industry.
Melodic Distraction Official Winter Party – Constellations (10th Dec)
For your seasonal festive fix, we’ve got you covered once again with our annual winter party at Constellations. Come down and grab a glass of mulled wine or cider to get you in the mood for our special guests, ∆dmin and Simba.
Bristol-based ∆dmin will be venturing up north to join us with an articulate display of his musical ingenuity. Gathering influences from Chicago to Berlin as well as dedicating his time to refining his knowledge of the art has resulted in ∆dmin’s distinctive sound. With releases on Future Boogie, Kolour LTD & Undertones, Omena Records and Sleazy Beats Recordings, his versatility will make it impossible for you to remain still.
A rising star, Simba has released tracks through Shadeleaf Music and remixed for the legendary BBE Music. A friend of the family, Simba brings with him a record bag full of great tunes and heaps of talent!
With all this in store, we can’t wait to revamp your average winter shindig and bring you something you won’t want to mention to your Nan over Christmas dinner.
Hustle 4th Birthday – 24 Kitchen Street (17th Dec)
From the ones who brought you the Liverpool Disco Festival, Hustle’s 4th Birthday is coming up and it’s selling out fast. Working alongside The Wonder Pot, Hustle have combined their birthday bash with their annual Xmas party to bring you the ultimate celebration of all things underground.
All the way from NYC and one of the most in-demand remix duo of the 90’s, special guests Mood II Swing will be joining the Hustle boys down at 24 Kitchen Street to bring you the best in house music. Arguably some of their finest work came from their collaboration with Ultra Nate in ’96, releasing the infectious production, Free, for Strictly Rhythm – Although their participation wasn’t recognised as much as it should’ve been, Springsteen and Ciafone were humbly chilled about it.
Regardless, Mood II Swing will always be renowned for their superlative and timeless contribution to house. Still making appearances at festivals such as Dimensions as well as securing gigs all over the world, we can’t wait for a dose of their soulful remixes at Kitchen Street.
Mr. Scruff – The Merchant (26th Dec)
If you’ve ever had trouble dividing your passions, Mr Scruff will teach you how to combine them into something engineered just for you. Linking his interests in rounded line drawings and music, Scruff has formulated an art-rich approach to the life of a DJ.
Making tapes in ’83 and DJing by ’94, Scruff was a frequent feature throughout Manchester’s club scene. Getting to the point where he was so in demand (even Madonna was a fan, although Scruff wasn’t overly enthusiastic…) that he turned down more gigs than he was doing…why have a cheeseburger when there’s a Scruff at home? His variety of influences such as soul, funk, hip hop, jazz, reggae, latin, disco, house, ska – the list goes on – is reflected in his music along with a big helping of his light-hearted personality. He’s recorded for over 25 labels, most notably Ninja Tune.
Cosy and intimate, The Merchant seems the perfect environment to be hosting this family-feel boxing day occasion. With Finca in The Merchant’s garden serving much better pizza than you’ll get from the kebab shop opposite, this venue is just as light-hearted as Scruff is.