Launching this Friday at The Art School is the new label and club night Zone. I chatted with Toby Ridler about what to expect from the opening night and the collective’s fledgling label.
Zone is a collective putting on nights and releasing experimental electronic music , joining the dots between techno, noise and sound design. The concept of Zone came about in London when I was living in Cable Street, then I moved to Glasgow and got chatting to Vickie, we had similar ideas of wanting to release music, and wanting to put on similar music so it just kinda organically grew out of that.
What do you think Zone offers that doesn’t already exist in Glasgow or beyond?
There are lots of great nights happening in Glasgow, we want to offer a context to put musicians and producers that might not normally be associated together but have similar threads running through their music on the same bill. I think audiences have become a lot more open minded about what they want from a night out, and what they will dance or move to. People don’t want the same prescribed club environments anymore, and there are loads of clubs in Glasgow and promoters that are putting on bills that challenge the audience and expand on what a club night or a gig can be, and we feel like we have something to add to that.
What are your aims with the club night and label?
I think the aim with putting on gigs is simply to put on a decent gig y’know? We are just trying to put on shows that we like, and think need to be put on. The label is more an exploration into extreme electronic styles, the main focus always comes from rhythm and noise, loops and texture, it is much more an exploration into sound and people manipulating sound and sonically exploring in similar ways, following threads through genres, rather than an exercise in specific genres.
We have the Mourn EP out very soon, then there will be one from Circulation of Oil and after that I have been working on a release as Toby Ridler. Vickie has also been working on some solo stuff.
What can you tell me about Mourn?
That’s a project that just started recently. I met Vickie (ex-Divorce guitarist) outside SWG3 , and basically just hounded her to come and jam with me , I knew her band had just broken up so there was no escape really.
What’s your process for creating music?
It always differs, with Mourn it’s very much that we’ll get together with some samples each, and then jam it out and edit it afterwards. We use a combination of analogue synths and computer programs, and some pedals.
For the stuff I’m doing on my own it’s way more computer based, I’ve been using this program called Metasynth which is like a visual based sound design engine where the process is more to do with imagery, shapes and rhythms to affect the sound, I’ve also been starting to use the freeware Supercollider.
Are the sets planned, or is there room for improvisation and deviation?
The sets have rough timelines and sequences, but essentially it’s 50/50, with noise and techno it’s always good to have a starting point, but it’s really a case of feeling your way through the set with the crowd and with the environment you’re in. Vickie’s been working on some visuals to accompany it, which we will be debuting on the 20th as well.
Why have you picked Andy Stott to play the launch?
I think Andy Stott kind of encapsulates a very wide spectrum of different sounds that we’re into and pulls them together to make something that is very organic and droney, but also has ridiculously sophisticated techno rhythms and digital shapes too, so it kinda ticks all the boxes. Also he was one of the first people to play with dance music’s template in that way, to completely slow it down, mutate and disfigure it, whilst still retaining its groove so to speak. And as well, we have both listened to Andy Stott and been big fans of him for ages and just really wanted to see him play!
Why have you picked Mother to DJ? What is it about his selection and style that you’re into.
We’ve both known Mark for a while, and he’s a sick DJ and always has a great tune selection, I think the extent to which he stretches his sets musical perimeters makes him a really exciting DJ as well. I’ve seen so many DJ’s that just play such boring predictable sets, and then i’ve seen Mark singing through the mixer whilst mixing techno into noise, so basically… why wouldn’t you wanna book that?
We also just booked this dude called Video Slush who will be doing live visuals for the night.