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Dubstep - you're evidently not sick of hearing it.
Way back in Issue 1 of Bido Lito! we featured an article from blogger and final year LJMU student Andy Hill, on the emergence - and near proliferation - of dubstep and all its trappings. As an extension of his blog Abandon Silence, it offered a unique take on the genre, and why he felt so passionately about it. It was no surprise when he went on to transfer this enthusiasm into a monthly night. We nodded when he said SBTRKT and James Blake, who were playing upcoming nights, were going to be massive: we're nodding more vigorously now. Joshua Nevett caught up with Andy Hill to speak to him about the success of Abandon Silence...
It can be an abrasive experience, the deft rumble of a sub that reels an entire room into a senseless state of delusion. The embrace of an inexplicable impulse to discard all inhibitions and collectively bask in a moment of euphoria frozen in the echoes of time. True to form, Liverpool club night ABANDON SILENCE has consistently provided these moments that can neither be explained nor deconstructed. Now after a two year blockbuster series of unfathomable events and unprecedented schedules they have approached the reality suspending milestone of their 2nd Birthday, a juncture in their history that defines their past, present and future.
As the affluent seed of electronic music continues to germinate on every platform, people’s expectations are being constantly compressed and rerouted. Many club nights famously struggle to maintain any kind of longevity or credibility in the hope of preserving their reputation as avant-garde colonists in a landscape that demands frivolous evolution on a wayward scale. Abandon Silence head honcho Andrew Hill seems to have found a cogent formula that’s struck a chord with self-affirmed hipsters but without compromising his creative vision. Standing out against a city whose dance scene is stubbornly glued to other genres is for all intents and purposes a rarefied anomaly, bringing the city a forward-thinking mandate drenched in the freshest sounds. Having brought Liverpool some unparalleled offerings of electronic music’s finest, including SBTRTK, D-Bridge, Koreless and James Blake, it’s a night that’s imperviously etched itself into the hearts of youthful revellers across the city.
One thing that always seems to sweep us graciously from under our feet is an underdog with a burning and undeterred desire to make a mark. Abandon Silence and Andrew Hill is no different as he talks through the root of his club night’s humble origins. “I started Abandon Silence as music blog when I was studying for my journalism degree at Liverpool John Moores. I was having trouble finding any work experience at the time. I interviewed Chibuku resident DJ Rich Furness for the blog and he said: ‘No one in Liverpool is putting on this kind of music anywhere, promoting it or giving anyone a chance.’ So I thought why not, I’ll give it a go.” He describes his initial reservations to embrace his convictions as the overbearing shadow of financial constraint was looming large over the entire project. With his student loan on the line it was a make-or-break punt based on the strength of his assertions. “In June 2010 we put on our very first night at the Magnet, the Others and SBTRTK headlined. Me and three of my mates from back home each put a bit of money in each and divided the costs, they were more investors though, whereas I was managing the whole process. Everyone told me it probably wasn’t a good idea. I mean with Liverpool, as everyone knows, so many nights start and disappear; a lot of people seemed to think that’s what was going to happen with me.” He continues to express his lukewarm optimism as his inaugural night unfolded. “It was a complete gamble whether anyone would turn up or not… [pauses] that was genuinely one of the scariest moments, all my money was on this night. As it turned out it was one of our busiest nights ever. Before I was thinking, if this doesn’t go well, then I’m just going to leave it and forget it ever happened, but it was infectious and encouraged me to push on and do it all over again.”
Since then, Abandon Silence has never looked back, making themselves more than comfortable in the dingy catacombs of The Shipping Forecast, consistently attracting some of electronic music’s hottest properties. For Andy, it’s coming to terms with the magnitude of his accomplishments, now firmly in the ascendency his modest reflection on the project’s 2nd Birthday landmark makes his proficiencies all the more endearing. “For our first few gigs we called it Abandon Silence 01 and Abandon Silence 02 and so on, we always used to joke around and imagine if it ever got to Abandon Silence 20. Incidentally I worked out the other day the Birthday is the 22nd gig we’ve done and I’ll be honest I never envisioned taking it this far, I initially saw it as a bit of a one off really. It was a mix of luck and loads of other factors merging together but I’m really proud that it’s managed to last two years.”
Abandon Silence seems to have inadvertently provoked a chain reaction of like-minded counterparts who have begun to follow suit in terms of genre appropriation, thus assembling a community of bass music culture across the city. As for the 2nd Birthday party, it’s a departure from their customary format and a deviation from their perpetual axis in terms of bookings. Time and tide wait for no one and Abandon Silence is another entity on an upward trajectory to restore the city’s candour, rekindling a modern take on the resolute spirit of the Merseybeat.
Abandon Silence's 2nd Birthday party takes place on Sunday 3rd June at The Shipping Forecast, featuring Julio Bahsmore, Midland and Merseyside Acid Committee (James Rand and Melé). Keep your eyes open for an exclusive Abandon Silence guest mix on the Bido Strereo next week.
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