Having recently been named as Ones to Watch by Solardo, Mason Collective are blowing up right now. The trio of talented DJs and producers from Manchester are bringing the heat with their robust house and tech tracks, as well as laying down killer sets at clubs round the UK and further afield.
On top of this, they also throw their own hugely popular and always sold out MVSON events, with a huge one coming up with Kaluki on Easter Sunday, April 1st, featuring Skream, Darius Syrossian, wAFF, Pirate Copy, Mason Collective, Pete Zorba and more to be revealed, with a special focus on mesmeric lights and special installations all bringing the night to life. Here we speak to one of the crew about things including how they met, who does what in the booth and studio, and what they have coming up.
“The music policy is simple, no fuckery.”
How did you guys first meet, where and when? What made you start working together?
We’ve all known each other for years, when we were using fake ID to get into clubs. South Manchester seems pretty tight knit when you’re younger, especially in the scene we’re in. Everyone seems to know everyone from somewhere or through someone.
What are your backgrounds, how did you come to dance music and DJing and production?
We’ve all been heavily into music since we were kids, through our parents and our upbringing, something which we kept going up to this point now. Omar’s dad owned the legendary Manchester club ‘The Gallery’. I (Adam) grew up around my dad’s reggae sound system, ‘Raiders Sound’. We’ve all been around live music from the jump. I’ve literally just finished uni with a degree in music as well. It’s something that’s been in us all forever and dance music is something that we all naturally gravitated towards.
Do you all live together as well, or would that be too much?
With Omar’s energy levels that might get a bit too much hahah. I’ve lived with Blair for the past few years which does make it easier to get things done. It works well because we have the home studio set up.
Who does what in the group when it comes to production, do you all have your own skills?
It’s kind of a free for all in the studio at the moment. Whoever starts an idea can bring it to the table and we’ll build on it. We all have a similar sound and the formula we’ve got in the studio right now is working perfect.
And when you DJ how does it work – do you do one each, or half hour each, or what?
Strictly one track each (Unless someone needs the toilet). That keeps everything flowing nice.
Are you all on the same page musically, or is there some competition and creative differences that need to be worked out before you find your sound in the booth or studio?
We’re on the same page 100%. I don’t think it would have worked out otherwise. It’s mad because have our own keywords for different sounds. So if I say to them that I wanna start a set playing groove and then build up to the woggas, they’ll know exactly the kind of tracks I wanna play down to the labels, the artists, even the technical nature of the tracks, everything. If I said that to anyone else they wouldn’t have a fucking clue what I was talking about.
You do your own MVSON events – how did that come about? What made you start them?
MVSON came about off the back of a liquored conversation in Sankeys basement. We all knew it was something we wanted to do but once we found out how serious each of us were about it we jumped in at the deep end as gassed up teenagers with no knowledge of running a night and booked MK to play at Sound Control in 2013. Luckily it worked and we sold out so we kept it going. At the time we’d get a few bookings DJing individually here and there, and as we were now running our own party we thought fuck it and linked up to form Mason Collective. We all play the same sound with our own slight twists and from the first time we played together we knew it was the best shout instantly.
What’s the vibe, the style, the soundtrack? Are you big on production? Why should people come?
Every MVSON event has that serious party atmosphere. It’s wild. The music policy is simple, no fuckery. Straight high energy grooves. With every party we wanna create something that remains a talking point for a week, a month, even a year after. To do that we always go the extra mile with every aspect from the production to the venues/spaces to the dress codes etc. We’ve had warehouse parties, rooftop parties, even villa takeovers. We wanna create shit you’ve never seen.
What are some of the best memories and crazy stories form those parties that you can share?
Our parties at Mantra Warehouse have taken off massively over the past two years, to the point where a three room (plus courtyard) warehouse is selling out in less than three days after tickets are released. We’ve had cases where two guys swam across the canal that runs adjacent to the venue to get in. On a separate occasion someone even broke into the studios above to get in and fell through someones ceiling. Had to give them free guestlist for a year for the effort.
Who does what, do you have certain jobs to do with regard to that part of your work? Are you all equally responsible and on it?
The way we work means that we all have to share roles in what we do. None of us have a specific role, we just do whatever makes sense at the time. Omar usually takes control of the creative aspect of our parties because he always has a sick vision for them, and Blair usually deals with the business side because he’s a lot better at handling that then us.
How does it feel to be named as ones to watch by Solardo? Is that feedback important?
Yeah course. It’s always great to know that other artists that you respect see potential in you. James has been our boy for a few years now, he’s fucked with us from the start. He hit us up on FaceTime to give us some advice when we first started putting tracks out and I still remember it to this day. They support our shit heavy and its great to have plans in the works with them.
And you have music coming on their label – can you tell us about it, what inspired it and influenced it?
We can’t really talk to much about that right now, but I can say that we have one of our favourite tracks that we’ve ever made coming on there. Pretty confident that when that lands it’s gonna do damage.
Mvson team up with Kaluki on Sunday April 1st – Buy tickets here