Animaux is 2 years old!
It is hard to believe that it has been two years of running Animaux. It stemmed from one party at The Duchess for my friends – as proof of concept that my ideas work and has now spanned 11 nights with no plans to stop.
I clearly remember the whole idea of running a whole night on my own as well as playing at it was ludicrous. At the time I could barely handle the pressure of playing in front of a crowd of people whom I did not know.
But my term at Breakz as a co-chair had ended and I was wanting to do something else, where I could also play out in front of more people. Thus after a few suggestions from close friends this idea of maybe, just maybe this was doable. After countless of questions to promoter friends and many favors I was starting to build a line up. This thing that I was making also needed a name, everyone I knew added in to this pool of random words which were trying do describe something which had not happened yet.
The list got shortened down to a few favorites – “(Black) Lotus” and “Animaux”. The problem was there’s already a quite well-known Flying Lotus but after having to explain that “Animaux” = animals to quite a few people, I was concerned that it would not be memorable either. At the end of the day though, it was supposed to be a one-off so went with what sounded nicer personally.
After promising beers and hugs I managed to assemble some of my favorite student DJs at the time (Biddly & Pu|se), I found two incredible producers (Clifford’s Tower) but still needed to fill the headline slot. At the time, Milli Vanilli was racking over 400 people with their disco/ house nights, thus I felt that I needed someone who would attract at least a few people out on a different night. Milli was on Tuesdays so we went on a Thursday.
The very first Animaux trailer.
I asked quite a few people who they would like to see and started emailing booking agencies. After countless of calls to friends and then friends of friends we manage to catch Asa – a brilliant electronica producer. It was something that York lacked at the time, something a bit less housy. And we were good to go! We managed to sell around 50 tickets through constant poking of people. Quite a few more showed up on the night, surprisingly, and we managed to get a healthy 150-strong crowd.
It went well – really well. I was chuffed and people started asking for more thus came the next one with then newcomer to the scene Alex T. and Milli’s favorite Harry J. I headlined and was committed to this from then on. Coming back for a new term year, the Animaux team was joined by the incredible Kineza. We started booking bigger names such as Arka and even managed to get Randomer to York as well as doing a collab with Anonymous Records. There was also that one time when I went back to back with Kineza for two hours (the sweatiest night of 2014).
After a summer’s break we came back with Vacuum Systems (first live techno set at Mansion), Troy Gunner, Roughion, Alex T, TAIM and Palace. All of whom did not want to stop playing and kept asking to play “just one more!”. All of these nights were incredibly memorable. Musically, visually and emotionally.
It is hard to believe how much Animaux has grown – two event series (both our club night as well as biweekly pre-party destination Animaux: Apéritif), this website where we have quite a few writers working and the widely requested podcasts, all of which stemmed from a single event.
We are now only a few days away from our second birthday bash with Mr. Chris I’Anson and Jax from Freakin as well as our trusted residents Habitual and Endeser.
I managed to catch up with Chris I’Anson and ask him a few questions about the upcoming Animaux birthday gig:
Mantas: Hi Chris! Let us find out a bit more about you. Could you tell our readers on how you started off DJing and what attracted you to electronic music as well as what spurred you to start your own label – “Slipstone Records”?
Chris: Well I grew up in the dales, where there’s no music scene and if you said you listen to house music most people wouldn’t have a clue what you were talking about, so my exposure to music was very limited apart from the radio really. Eventually a few friends introduced me to house music, which looking back was really euro electro, but it was early days. From there we just messed about and tried to find more songs, which was difficult as we were pretty much the only ones listening to this stuff in a small town in the hills. Over the next year or two I got a midi controller and just continued to find more music and develop my tastes but I was still disconnected from any scene being in the hills, relying on a handful of blogs for any new music.
The big change was uni and Leeds, this was the first time I was exposed to the underground and a music community. I spent a lot of my first year down at Therapy The Hub record shop, digging through the thousands of records, finding my taste and generally immersing myself in the scene and its community. BPM, the Unis electronic music society played a big part for me. Aside from the parties we played at, it was a great place to meet loads of people who are now good friends and discover more tastes and styles. From all this immersion of different styles I started to lean towards techno more and more and left pure house sound behind.
I decided to do the label in my 3rd year of uni when I really wanted to get involved more with the music I love and actually have an active role in the community. Another reason for it was my frustration with the scene, I was hearing the house sound become increasingly stale with the same big names moving from label to label but nothing new or initiative was being made. I knew of Kesper’s productions so I got in touch and it all went from there. Thankfully I managed to do it as part of my course which was great as it meant I could concentrate 100% on getting it started up.
Mantas: Could you tell us more about your inspirations? Who do you follow and what makes “the cut”?
Chris: I listen to a lot of different styles and genres so my inspiration is always changing and evolving but currently I’m loving the sounds from Joel Alter, Nils Frahm and Edanticonf. Joel Alter’s album ‘2’ is amazing, I massively recommend it. When I was starting the label I was heavily influenced by a trip to Berlin and also the style and attitude of Innervisions and Oliver Schories’s album ‘Exit’, I had that on loop the whole time I was over there.
In terms of ‘the cut’ the atmosphere and ambience of the track is key, but the track also needs feel like it’s going somewhere, I love tracks that are a journey through different sounds. Listening to music whilst travelling, either on a bus, train or walking for me, is one of the best ways to experience this music.
Mantas: We are all eagerly awaiting your arrival to York to play at Animaux – any hints on what people should expect?
Chris: Well I’m going to bring a mixed bag I reckon, but as this is a birthday party expect some fun tracks, it might get a bit darker throughout the set, but let’s see how we go. I’ve just done a chart of some of the stuff I’m into at the moment http://www.juno.co.uk/charts/dj/1076404-Slipstone_Records/1413027-Chart/
One of my fav picks is this one:
Mantas: And finally – what is the funniest / most absurd thing you have seen in a gig you either attended or played at (or both!)?
Chris: A few years ago we were playing a basement in Leeds, the whole basement was being powered off one extension cable from upstairs, it was an electrical nightmare. Unfortunately the fuse in the amp blew, killing the basement. Luckily a friend had the idea to take the fuse out of the kettle and to replace the one in the amp. Well it worked, and the party continued 🙂
Facebook event can be found: HERE for tickets either use the numbers provided on the event or head to either The Nook or Earworm records.
Resident Advisor event + online tickets can be found: HERE.
Both Slipstone Records EPs are available to purchase at Earworm Records.
You can listen to one of Chris’ quality mixes below: