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301: The Midlands' Minimal Music Collective

3 August 18 words: Eileen Pegg

At first glance, the East Midlands dance music scene is relatively hard to place on the map small compared to other regional titans like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. However, as this weekend’s event at Rough Trade is about to show, there is a collective of passionate promoters to be found here, and they’ve decided to join forces...

301: the driving force to bring three cities – Nottingham, Derby and Leicester – together as one. To do this, it combines the talents of those behind local nights, The Wavesdiscotech and Nowhere, from each respective city, alongside other Nottingham nights, Traza and Movement.

It launches in Notts this weekend, with plans to host parties in all three cities in future. Alongside a hefty lineup of residents, Jack Wickham will be headlining, perfectly epitomising the minimal sound that the night plans to push.

As a new night, it’s difficult to know what to expect. Luckily, the guys from 301 appeared at Rough Trade recently, to live stream what’s in store. Check it out here.

We caught up with Louis Knight, founder of The Waves and Floor Paradise, and the Nottingham representative of the collective, to learn more about his midlands musical dreams:

“I started promoting events in Leicester when I was eighteen," he says. "Because I wanted to be part of the scene and get involved in any way I could. Later on, I lived in the party capital Berlin for a year before moving to Nottingham. This has hugely influenced The Waves and 301. Myself and Jordan [Diston, of Derby-based discotech] have wanted to work together since we first got talking. Eventually, we agreed on the idea of bringing the Midlands together and forming a new collective so we can takeover Leicester, Nottingham and Derby with amazing parties.

“Our aim is to showcase the best in minimal house and techno, encouraging people to come to the nights for the music as well as the atmospheres we create in venues. At the end of the day, the crowd are one of the biggest things that made events memorable. And if we can provide a great environment for people to have a sick time in then everyone’s a winner."

In addition to the stripped-back, raw grooves that will soundtrack the evening, there'll be visuals created by local artist, Kim Thompson. Citing vintage exploitation films, Pulp Fiction book covers and all things glamorously spooky as her inspiration, the dark, intimate walls of Rough Trade are a fitting backdrop to her pop-art, neon-punk aesthetic.

Louis continues: “The Waves has been based at Rough Trade for the past two years and I think it’s a great Nottingham venue. The space and soundsystem is spot on and the staff are amazing.”

Not content with providing just the evening entertainment, 301 is partnering up with Movement, offering discounted entry to the night for those who want to continue from Movement’s day party, just down the road at The I Club.

“It’s very important for events to collaborate. Not only does it keep people on their toes, but it brings the music and scene together. Music politics can be very strict in some people’s eyes but between us all, we respect each other’s concepts and style and above that, were all friends!”

301 launches this Saturday at Rough Trade, featuring a lineup of local talent. Midlands minimal heads, get involved and support the leftfield grooves:

Lineup: 
Jack Wickham (InFuse/One Records) (2 hour set)
Louis Knight and Kairo (The Waves)
Jordan Diston and Scott Streak (discotech)
TABS and Scalera (Traza)
One of One and JB (Nowhere)

301 website

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