Formed within the confines of a club basement back in 2006, the rise of celebrated club night and fledgling imprint Kaluki has been so substantial, it’s gone on to solidify itself as one of Manchester’s finest underground music exports of the last decade.
Having grown its reputation during a hugely prodigious six year run at Sankeys, Lee Spence and Nick Yates took it upon them to curate a label out of it’s success that, in addition, saw the brand spread Kaluki’s emotive, groove policy of house and techno across Europe, South America and beyond.
Rounding off what’s been a hugely successful year with a warm up party alongside Chalk and Anchored, we caught up with Spence and Yates to find out what to expect from the new cruise festival, the secrets to putting on a good party, the difficulties promoter’s have to face, favourite clubs and what else in store for 2017.
“…if you get that wrong your kinda screwed!”
Is it a good time to be a promoter, or do you feel you are in constant battle with councils and authorities and stuff?
i think it is a good time, lots of fresh talent coming through the ranks, social media means it’s easy to reach the people that like your style of shows. We haven’t had too much trouble with the authorities ourselves, but yes it’s sad to see how property development has affected nightclubs in most cities. Yesterday we heard the mega news about fabric winning its battle with islington council which was a great step for rave culture in general.
What are the key things to get right at your events? What do you think is most important for a good party?
I think it’s all about the music really, if you get that wrong your kinda screwed! But yeah the sound, the lights, the door policy, the venue… back to basics…but attention to detail is very important.
You have just done a big tour of the US and South America – how was it? Are crowds and their reactions and what they like much different to Europe?
The tours were great, it’s great to connect with fans from the other side of the world who know all about you, your music and your label. it kinda makes it all worthwhile. some of the shows in south America were phenomenal.. huge in size, great sound, production and such a healthy electronic music scene generally. US was a different vibe, slightly smaller shows, the venues more similar in style to the European venues we play. The whole tour was just a general good vibe, we are currently planning our next one for early 2017.
You played D Edge and Warung – what were they like? How do they compare to clubs here – do they have a focus on different things or?
D Edge is a great venue – Sankeys basically modelled their venue on it… so felt strangely familiar.. Similar capacity same kinda lighting ect. Warung – is just the best venue we have ever played… it’s such a good vibe. It reminds me a little of DC10, it had a garden stage outside and then a huge indoor room called the temple. Just incredible!
You also have a strong presence in Paris – why did that first come about? What is the scene there like? What are crowds into?
We have done a few shows in Paris over the past few years, we have lots of friends that we work with in Ibiza in the summer, so it’s always great to hook up with them in the winter in Paris and do a show together. We actually did a gig a few weeks ago, it was great, at Palais d’ Tokyo with Patrick Topping, Neverdogs, Pirate Copy and Pete Zorba. There was a crazy afterparty in a strip club that went on all day…off the hook!!
What should people expect at the party in London with Anchored? What have you got planned?
I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, we have the Solardo boys headlining, they are good friends from Manchester who have blown up massively this year after releasing a string of top ten tracks in 2016. The venue looks super cool, and it looks like it should be a sell out.. so we can’t wait!
How did you link with Anchored for the event? What will you bring to the cruise next year?
We heard about the idea of the Cruise the Anchored guys are organising and were fascinated about the idea and have started to work with them on the project. It is shaping up really well and looks like it’s going to be a great event next June, and once we started speaking we wanted to work together on some other projects like this show in London.
What plans have you got for the brand in 2017?
World domination – watch this space! No seriously, we are releasing some amazing music on our label from the like of Andrea Olivia, Citizenn, Solardo, Richy Ahmed, wAFF just to name a few. In terms of gigs we are starting the year in Manchester on Jan 1st with a huge sold out show at Manchester Albert Hall, then going on tour to Mexico for our Kaluki Musik showcase at BPM festival. Then touring North & South America before coming back to Europe for more events. It’s going to be a busy year!
And what have been the best bits, craziest moments, finest musical happenings for you guys in the last 12 months?
Ah that’s a tough one…Parklife Mainstage the Martinez Brothers and Seth Troxler closing our stage to 20k people was pretty special…. Maybe doing a full Kaluki takeover at Warung…the whole year has been an incredible journey and we can’t wait to continue in 2017.
Finally, have you got any tips for you promoters? What is the key to your success, what are the things that are most important?
Stick to your guns, do it for the love, don’t worry (too much) about money, work hard and be in it for the long term.
Kaluki team up with Anchored on Saturday night at Ine Embankment with Solardo headlining