Melodic Distraction Monthly Guide: March 2017
Written by Aiden Brady on 27th February 2017
With Spring only a few weeks away, the future is bright. To make it all the brighter have a peruse through the excellent events we’ve chosen for this month’s guide and pencil some of them in to add some colour to your diary. Live sets, jungle, jazz, this month there’s something on to cater to every taste…
Klashnekoff – 24 Kitchen Street (3rd March)
Hushhushmedia have a special night in store for all lovers of UK hip-hop. Klashnekoff is a veteran of the scene and an inspiration to a generation of hip-hop and grime artists. The fierce and honest passion that made his album, The Sagas Of Klashnekoff, a landmark in the genre will fit perfectly into the bare-bricked intimacy of 24 Kitchen Street. Returning to the fray with his recently released track, ‘Hand On Heart,’ Klashnekoff will no doubt bring his infamously fiery spirit with him.
Putting together a serious display that’s pulling no punches, Hushhushmedia have curated a support bill consisting of the North West’s best. With an exclusive beatbox set from Renegade and DJ Espo behind the decks, this will be one to remember in a city that sometimes doesn’t always get its hip-hop fix.
Tickets for this are on the ‘Advance Discount’ phase, grab one for a tenner quick before they go up!
303 Presents: Guy J All Night Long – Williamson Tunnels (4th March)
Internationally-renowned for his atmospheric, progressive house and ambient productions as well as hard hitting DJ sets, this all-nighter from Guy J will be guaranteed to take you on a journey if nothing else. Just off the back of launching his MDQ/Diagonal EP, Guy J will be holding down the music all night at the Williamson Tunnels.
Having brought heavyweights such as Daniel Avery and Erol Alkan to the intimate venue in recent years, 303’s iconic all-night-long shows are consistent sell-outs and never fail to create an atmosphere down at the Tunnels. With Guy J at the helm, expect this set to be a storytelling rhapsody that’ll bang from the moment you enter the venue until the moment lights come on at 3am.
Final Release tickets are expected to be 100% sold out within 48 hours.
Matrixxman, Avalon Emerson, ASOK – 24 Kitchen Street (4th March)
Both Matrixxman and Avalon Emerson have proven themselves time and again as master producers and maestros of the 303 synth. Techno-futurist Matrixxman boasts several releases on the esteemed Dekmantel label. The most recent of which, Sector II: Acid, should provide you with an ample taster of the night’s vibe. If you’re still unconvinced, look no further than Avalon Emerson’s productions for a swaying argument. Plainly put by herself: “She makes what she likes;” a perfect working relationship as everybody else likes it as well. With a catalogue ranging from afrobeat-inspired tracks to dark room slammers, she will have you on your feet for the duration.
Joining the two will be Kitchen Street’s own resident, Asok. With a host of releases behind him, including an album last year and an EP in January on Lobster Theremin, Asok’s own style matches that of Matrixxman and Avalon Emerson perfectly. With these three in control, it’s a guaranteed good night.
Nab a First Release ticket for £7.50 while you can.
Bill Laurance Group – o2 Academy (5th March)
You may perhaps know Bill Laurance best for his work as pianist for jazz group – Snarky Puppy, who recently picked up a Grammy for best contemporary instrumental album. Laurence’s most recent work bridges a gap between jazz and electronic music. An ode to the cosmos, it serves as a sonic chronicle of space exploration. With expansive dramatic synths, piano melodies and African percussive elements, the project is a testament to Laurance’s desire to experiment. Having performed alongside the likes of Bobby McFerrin, Morcheeba and David Crosby, it’s clear that Laurance’s versatility holds true both in a live context as much as in the studio.
If NASA’s announcement last week gave you the space jitters, then this is as good a way as any to satisfy them. At £16 this is hell of a lot cheaper than interstellar flight!
Constellations Live Series: Torben Unit (Max Graef Live Band) – Constellations (9th March)
Torben Unit, formerly known as The Max Graef Band, will be performing as part of Constellations’ monthly ‘Live Series.’ The fine purveyors of funk released their first album as Torben Unit in January. Featuring an eclectic range of sounds, the genre-splitting album of the same name ranges from chaotic psychedelic-funk to smokey jazz.
With a more rounded and diverse selection of sounds on offer than with their previous album, this is sure to be a treat. For those who like to start early, the Melodic Distraction DJs will be warming up with an all-vinyl jazz, funk and soul set from 7pm. Torben Unit are more in demand now than ever and with this being one of only six dates of their mini-tour, it may be a while before this chance comes around again. Catch them while you can!
You can pick up an Advanced Ticket for £8 at the minute or if you’re a student tickets are a mere £6.
Less Effect w/ Addison Groove – Meraki (10th March)
Some of you may have been present for Addison Groove’s last visit to Liverpool; also a Less Effect night back in April 2014. This time appearing at Meraki, Addison Groove is the alias of Bristol-based dubstep producer, Headhunter – who uses this moniker to explore sounds of the 4/4 variety as well as his primary dubstep productions. Taking cues from the style of Chicago juke, he has produced several high-energy dance tracks with notable success; three of which were released on his own label: Groove. ‘Footcrab,’ which was received raucously and played out regularly by Boddika and Mr Scruff is a stomping example of Addison Groove’s dancefloor-awakening style.
Never the trick pony, on his most recent release, ‘Changa,’ he forays into the arena of afrobeat and nu-disco. To grasp the range of sounds that’ll be heard at Meraki, we recommend listening to his FACT mix and giving his catalogue a spin. Get on down for what promises to be a groovy night…the clue’s in the name.
There are only advance tickets left for this night, at a very reasonable £7.
Familiar Circles w/ Ross From Friends & Banoffee Pie Records – Buyer’s Club (10th March)
No, not David Schwimmer. Ross From Friends, real name Felix Weatherall, is one of the most acclaimed producers in the growing lo-fi house scene. His smouldering release, You’ll Understand, on Lobster Theremin’s sub label, Distant Hawaii, has attracted a lot of attention with over a million views on YouTube. With R&B and hip-hop samples used heavily throughout his tracks, Weatherall’s compressed sound makes for a refreshingly soulful take on traditional 4/4 dance tracks. His set consists of live instruments as well as digital and analog performance. A unique artist who outlines himself as having a disposition to adaptability, his set will be one for the books.
Joining him on the night will be Bristol-based label, Banoffee Pie Records. Consistent perpetuators of quality and frequent party throwers, they’ll be dishing out a lovely selection of tasty treats on the night. In support are Familiar Circles residents who will be playing a vinyl set to get you nice and warmed up. If you’re in need of some pre-game vibes, Ross From Friends and Banoffee Pies will be featuring on our very own Melodic Distraction Radio in the build-up to the night to get you in the mindset.
This is set to be a very popular one, it’s on final release at a tenner so if you fancy it, get one while they’re still about.
Fiesta Bombarda w/ Gentleman’s Dub Club & Mungo’s HiFi – Invisible Wind Factory (11th March)
Reggae, ska and dub will be taking over the Invisible Wind Factory for Fiesta Bombarda’s next night of carnival festivities. Headlining are Gentleman’s Dub Club. This 9-piece are responsible for a very happy marriage between ska and dub. Having supported the likes of The Wailers and The Streets, as well as featuring on festival lineups across the country, their frenetic on-stage energy will fit right into Fiesta Bombarda’s chaotic carnival vibe.
Joining them will be Scottish foursome, Mungo’s Hifi. Keeping dancehall up to date since 2000, the two founding members, Tom Tattersall and Doug Paine, also founded contemporary reggae label Scotch Bonnet and through it have successfully restored the genre to the mainstream. Also on the bill are garage & breaks DJ, Deekline, Future Dub Orchestra and long-time warehouse wizard, Dr Hyde.
Fiesta Bombarda always throw a good party and this one’s on third release at £16. Jump in on it before they sell out!
Dylan Golden Aycock & Jon Collin – Bold Street Coffee (11th March)
If those winter blues have been getting you down and you just want to get away from it all, Bold Street Coffee have prepared the perfect remedy. A night of solo guitar from Dylan Golden Aycock and Jon Collin from 7pm until 11pm will whisk you away to a breezy open plain. On Aycock’s most recent LP, Church of Level Track, he takes the listener on a journey through his fingerpicking styles. With both high-energy moments of euphoria and more morose, gentler tones, he masterfully paints a picture through his contemporary folk.
Jon Collin’s experimental take on traditional country and folk styles will either have you scratching your head or silence you in awe. With nearly a dozen releases, several of which are on his own, Winebox Press label, Collin has developed a strong niche style. His use of the guitar to explore different moods and atmospheres has an ambient and melancholy feel to it. Collin possesses a folky textures that could be compared to the likes of Martin Carthy, all while combined with scenic ambience and fearlessly weird experimentation that could be reminiscent of Aphex Twin. Quite a different one, stop by and grab a cuppa hot joe and let these two guide you through the moods.
For a fiver, tickets are at bargain prices, get one for a relaxing evening in one of the city’s finest coffee houses.
Bam!Bam!Bam Present: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – Invisible Wind Factory (20th March)
Seun Kuti is the son of afrobeat pioneer and political activist, Fela Kuti. After his father’s passing, Seun has taken on the monumental task of following in his footsteps with the Egypt 80: the band that originally played and travelled with Fela. Despite the magnitude and sway of his father’s character, the relationship between Seun and Egypt 80 has a natural chemistry that would never suggest a change in leadership.
Seun has performed since the age of 14 and has worked with maestro producers such as Brian Eno and Martin Meissonnier. Kuti’s educated skill shines through in the three studio albums he and his Egypt 80 have released. Not only filling Fela’s shoes in a musical sense, Kuti and his music retain the political ethos and ideals of his father. Across his albums, he denounces and supports several ideological and political concepts relevant to Africa today and he has a reputation for delivering punchy rhetoric during live performances. If you like West-African afrobeat and you like activism, don’t miss this captivating and uplifting performance.
Bam!Bam!Bam! & Madnice Marauders Present: Thundercat – Invisible Wind Factory (24th March)
Bam!Bam!Bam! and Madnice Marauders team up again after successfully bringing the Abstract Orchestra to 24 Kitchen Street. This time nabbing Thundercats AKA Stephen Bruner for his Liverpool debut, the LA-based guitarist will appear exactly a month after the release of his new album, Drunk. A long-time collaborator with Flying Lotus, all of Bruner’s releases are on FlyLo’s critically-acclaimed label, Brainfeeder. The influence of Flying Lotus’ trippy electronic style bleeds through on Drunk, particularly on tracks with more synthetic electronic elements such as ‘Jethro.’
Thundercat received the warmest of receptions for his contributions to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, and many of the same frantic jazz techniques can be heard on his most recent work. If you have a nosy on Thundercat’s Discogs, you’ll quickly find a complete laundry list of credits and appearances on his latest record. With an illustrious series of names backing him, we’re very excited to see what use Thundercat makes of the ever-adaptable Invisible Wind Factory.
Melodic Distraction 2nd Birthday w/ Roy Davis Jr – Constellations (24th March)
This March marks our second birthday and all the stops have been pulled out to fit the occasion.
Roy Davis Jr. will be spinning the discs in Liverpool for the first time in over a decade down at Constellations. This will be a really special one. Roy is a pioneer of Chicago house; his single ‘Gabriel’ sold over 200,000 copies and is a timeless track that most of you are no doubt familiar with. Across his sets and productions, you’ll find groovy cuts that have traversed the house spectrum. Both gentle and delicate rhythms as well as some heavier dancefloor destroyers (See: Broken Machines). If you want to get an idea of the good vibes that’ll be around on the night, we recommend catching one of Roy Davis Jr’s three Boiler Room appearances.
Supporting and crafting the vibe are Melodic Distraction Residents, Nick & Nath and Luke Bartlett. Joining them is our homie hailing from Perth, Jaxon Lamond. You’ll be kicking yourself if you miss this one so avoid disappointment and come on down. Chicago Forever, baby!
All the early bird tickets have flown out so grab a ticket sooner rather than later…
At Last – The Etta James Story – The Epstein Theatre (28th March)
Described as a two-hour narrative concert, this performance will tell the story of late and great Etta James, one of the matriarchs of rhythm and blues. Throughout her life, James experienced a series of tumultuous low points and joyous successes. Australian singer Vika Bull of the duo Vika and Linda will deliver the vocals to Etta’s tracks, supplemented by an 8-piece band. Hosts of the night, MJR Group, have described the band as “sizzling hot” and proclaim that they “will get you out of your seat and dancing in the aisles.”
This show will likely be the closest we may come to hearing the funky and soulful Etta James in the flesh, as such it isn’t one to be passed up lightly.
Resident Advisor Vs Abandon Silence – Kink (Jungle Set) – Buyer’s Club (30th March)
Alternate Cuts is a four-date series recently announced by Resident Advisor in collaboration with Absolut. The project will visit four different cities and team up with a local promoter in each. Liverpool’s biggest and baddest, Abandon Silence are the collaborators for the intimate date in Buyers Club. Bulgarian producer Kink, renowned for his slamming techno DJ and live sets will be polishing off his favourite ‘classic jungle tracks’ between the bricks upstairs at Buyers.
Also on the bill are two of Liverpool’s finest, Or:la and Andrew Hill. Or:la’s versatile selection and deep music collection can always keep a crowd on its toes and will offer the perfect complement to this ‘one of a kind’ set from Kink. Andrew Hill, founder and resident of Abandon Silence has played alongside some of the biggest names in dance music and will no doubt be pushing out some of the best records on the night. Combining the party planning expertise of Abandon Silence and such a strong line-up of DJs will certainly make for a sonically intriguing night.
Rather than stick tickets up on general sale, RA have gone for an RSVP system for this series. Make sure to RSVP to the right dates, and they’ll contact you before tickets go on sale.