I’d love to say that Nottingham is close to my heart, but in truth, I moved away when I got the first opportunity. I grew up there (well it was the closest city) and for all its stereotypes – “there’s seven girls to every lad”, “it was the first city to have armed police on the beat” – it definitely had its charms back then. I’ve written before in a column for theQuietus about how, when I was living there, I missed out on what was happening there musically – partly due to my rural location and partly due to the fact music was nowhere as high on my agenda as Tony Hawk 2 and chasing girls was. But I wrote that piece back in July of 2009, around the emergence of producers who once lived there like Brackles & Shortstuff, the strength of Geiom’s Berkane Sol imprint and the rise of Spam Chop’s Wigflex label and producers like Hizatron, Metaphi and Taylor.
Since then though, the city went a little quiet. Being so removed from it, it’s impossible to tell exactly what happened; though it’s evident Wigflex maintained its stature of one of the cities bravest parties regularly playing host to risky and exciting lineups, but release wise it slowed. Lone moved to Manchester, Wigflex’s expansive pressings waned and Berkane Sol went a tad sporadic, only releasing underrated music by newcomers like Erra and Aleks Zen in 2011. Then Morris Cowan (previously Taylor) released his Circa album on German imprint Zaubernaus, building on the early shades of that rude boy techno he showed on those early split Wigflex 12”s, and I started to hear from Epworth, a young producer who was seemingly on the build.
Then a few days ago, a very good friend of this site, Rob Booth, featured the city in a showcase style for his Electronic Explorations podcast, handing a little bit of the curative aspect over to Epworth and a team of mixers that includes Hizatron and Epworth himself alongside Timbah & Toyc and The Elementz. Proclaiming Notts to be the next in the lineage of cities like Bristol and Glasgow in terms of talent the two hour deep show uniquely displays the layers and rich tapestry of musicians currently residing in the crown of the East Midlands. It’s also a glorious display of that endemic kind of swagger-loaded-techno-tempoed-dancefloor music that made those early Wigflex releases so captivating.
Plus, it’s also a timely happening to once again feature Berkane Sol boss Geiom who just gave away the bubbling tune ‘Know U’ and who has an as yet unreleased track ‘Sweet Lime’ near the start of the show….
DOWNLOAD: Geiom – Know U
Title photo by Ashes57.