In this new mix series we invite local DJs to get creative with each issue’s theme. For November’s focus on innovation, Dublee and Kodi offer a vinyl only set recorded straight from the Sound Picnic studio.
In the past year Notts' electronic fans have been spoilt for choice with a whole host of fresh and interesting parties forming in the city - whether that was from new brands coming together and making themselves known, or from more established names sourcing unused venues for us to explore. One group that ticked both of these boxes was Sound Picnic, who burst onto the scene last November promising a different take on house and techno to what had been previously offered, via a party on the top floor of an art gallery, just outside the city centre.
Brave steps like these help to make movements snowball, and while the rolling, minimal groove-infused style is no doubt a popular niche within dance music, Notts has now carved out its own part of the scene to join the growing global conversation. One year on from the launch party, as the brand prepares for its first birthday event with Nicolau (Real Gang), we had a quick catch up with the collective to accompany their selection. Read the Q and A to learn about the crew, and press play on our latest mix to get to know the sound they're peddling:
Who is Sound Picnic?
Sound Picnic is the culmination of five music heads (Tom, Lee, Dec, Martin and James) coming together to throw a party in their own city that they would want to attend themselves. We all met each other through attending parties around the country and overseas, with Ibiza being a focal point where our friendships grew. The party is a result of two Nottingham brands (Where you @ and Darnce) joining forces and rebranding themselves to create a more refined party.
How would you define the Sound Picnic sound?
Rolling underground minimal beats, with a pinch of house and techno. It’s strictly about the groove! If it sounds good to our ears, and the frequencies get them feet tapping, we’ll play it. We are all keen diggers so our collections are unique and diverse.
Your first party started ambitiously, using Surface gallery for a day event. That venue and that concept was quite new to Notts, as well as the type of tunes you were promising. How did you feel in the run up to it and how was it received?
We were slightly apprehensive on the run up to the party as the location we selected was not your run of the mill space. We wanted to make a big impression for our first event, but once everything was secure the stress and nerves turned into excitement. We couldn’t wait to get things rolling and present the brand to everyone.
Did the success of the first event help to give you the motivation to carry on? Or were plans already in place for the next Sound Picnic?
We always had a vision and plans to build Sound Picnic, taking the party as far as we can, but the feedback we received from the first one gave us that extra motivation to keep the momentum rolling throughout this first year.
Which nights are your inspiration in Notts, but also further afield?
In our hometown, we have to give shouts to Lukas at Wigflex. What he has done with the brand and the party is a massive inspiration to us, a proper grass roots party that he has now taken to festival levels. Outside of Nottingham, we have always partied in Birmingham, attending numerous Social Underground parties which has inspired us to always seek out alternative venues in our own city.
Alongside Surface Gallery you've had an intimate gig at The Hive and were there for Leftback's party in Bohns. Why won't you settle for a good old fashioned 'venue'?
You can’t beat the excitement of attending a new space, especially when a party just shouldn’t be held there! The feeling you get when walking through the entrance and you can hear the speakers pumping gives off such a buzz and we want our attendees to feel that every time.
You've been busy during your first year in operation - which has been your favourite memory so far?
Good question, that has stumped us! It is hard for us to pinpoint one memory as we are just loving what we are doing. Our parties are going from strength to strength and the brands is gaining more recognition as time goes by.
Any news on what we can expect on the birthday?
We are sticking to the Sound Picnic formula but taking things to the next level. BIGGER ARTISTS, BIGGER VENUE, BIGGER SYSTEM. See you there x
Sound Picnic 1st Birthday w/ Nicolau (Real Gang) takes place at The I Club on Saturday 23 November.