We've been hearing alot about Birmingham's producer focussed event Listening Sessions. We asked our man on the ground Rawtrachs to give us the low down...
Listening Sessions (www.listeningsessions.co.uk) is an event that takes place in Birmingham every month. The purpose of the night is for producers to come and showcase their creations on a decent sound system; gauge reactions from the crowd; and also to get advice/feedback from anyone happy to provide it.
It's more than an event though, it's a community. In Birmingham (and probably anywhere in the UK apart from London and maybe Bristol) this is important because if you're a new producer or you're making something that's not easily accessible, you're not going to get heard. It's as simple as that. Cities like London and Bristol foster creativity and experimentation, there's a hunger for it and that need is met in those cities. In Birmingham, a few of us are hungry but our needs ain't been met. We haven't got anything consistent to help foster that creativity and experimentation. I would say that this is exactly what Listening Sessions provides.
[Rondema - Listening Session regular]
Listening Sessions is about to become 2 years old very shortly. As a regular attendee, those 2 years have been important. I've made friends with a load of people that make great music, I've been able to release some of their music and they've supported Futurepast Zine (a DIY, music based fanzine). For other people it's been important because they've become better producers, people are collaborating on projects all the time too. I think for Goosensei and Elkie (the guys that run the event) things are growing all the time, there's always new people coming to the events on a Thursday and new producers are stepping up to play their music. The brand has grown to also include another event 'Listening Sessions LIVE' where producers have about an hour to play music and sometimes there is a guest (previous guests include Sully, Dj Crises (Mindstep), Dubsworth (Dubsalive), plus more), they've held an event where they played the documentary 'Congo Beat The Drum' (which documents the creation of the same titled album by Kalbata and Mixmonster through its initial creation in Israel to its completion in Jamaica). Listening Sessions have also been asked to host the alternative rooms for events such as Breakthru, a few other clubs and the City of Colours Festival.
[The Oddysee - Listening Session regular]
One of the single most important events for 2015 was when Listening Sessions, Skutta Records (www.skuttarecords.bandcamp.com) and Rupture (www.rupturelondon.com) teamed up to put on a night at PST in Digbeth (the home of Listening Sessions). It was a fantastic night - you can read about it here:
They are actually teaming up again to put on another splendid evening on 5th December http://www.skiddle.com/whatson/birmingham/pst/listeningsessionspresents-rupturevsskuttaround2/12521794/ so make sure you don't miss out!
Photography by Bianca Harvey