Micron keeps the spirit alive and celebrates a decade of making music happen
A group of people with a shared passion getting together to create a night to remember is the start of many great stories, especially when it comes to electronic music. The energy that comes from an event that has been built through experiences, grown from the ground up, and propelled by its enthusiastic attendees, is impossible to recreate. Micron has this and more, starting as a monthly residency in 2006 it became the go-to place to break new talent, experience DJs sets for the sake of the music, and have fun without pretension… “all in an acid house spirit”.
Their 15 second history sums it up:
BORN Nov 06, first night RAMMED! Every month RAMMED! Worst kept secret in town.. Moved to Fridays, STILL RAMMED <Manchester debuts all over the shop> Nominated Best Small Club in Britain TWICE (DJ Mag) London all-dayers // Russian festivals. *hibernate* then BOOM
A decade later and Micron (aka The Wonky Disco) is still going strong – although no longer monthly, they are able to put on special events with DJs they really love, still introducing breakthrough talent, still having fun, still being the place to be. To celebrate they are throwing a couple of parties with some favorite DJs: on November 4th with Derrick Carter & Michael Mayer in Manchester, and November 12th with Âme & Magda in Liverpool. Each with 3 hours sets, it’s DJing done proper. Get early tickets now and read on to learn more about the “Uber-cool colossus” Micron, with founder Gareth Chubb.
How did Micron begin? Did you envision things being where there are today?
Basically with a bunch of people who didn’t know each other (apart from me and Isaac). Everyone met each other randomly within the space of a couple of weeks with an idea to do a night. This is way before Manchester was saturated with house & techno nights. At that point we booked one Thursday which then became monthly Thursdays which went on to monthly Fridays. We did at least one monthly party for 5 years! No gaps over summer like a lot of other parties would do. I definitely didn’t envision it lasting this long. It’s nice to do big one-off parties at this stage though.
What do you think are the greatest factors to your longevity?
The atmosphere created by the crowd. People came to trust our bookings even if they hadn’t heard of the DJs playing, exemplified in the fact we gave Manchester debuts to Heidi, Ben Klock, Trevino plus many many more.
Would you be able to share a favorite moment (or two, or three) from the last 10 years?
Wow! There’s a lot! Being nominated by DJ Mag as ‘Best Small Club’ two years in a row was incredible. One year we were the only club from the whole of the north! Going to the award ceremonies too and having the biggest cheers on the night! We hosted a stage at Manchester International Festival twice as well with Justin Robertson and Ewan Pearson. That was an honour to do. Also, when Joshua Brooks (where I was Head Booker) won ‘Best Venue’ in the Manchester Evening News. It’s only 400 capacity but I feel we created something great there with our bookings as well as those by the other nights at the time.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in the scene from the last decade? Is there anything that has stayed the same?
I don’t think I can comment too much as none of us go out as much as we used to. I imagine there will be a scene now who look at us as the older guys. I like that harder edged techno is back now though. And as terrible as EDM is (I mean, really terrible), it’s still a gateway. My gateway was Bonkers cassettes and Trance Nation Vol 1! I think the sense of community is still the same though with promoters helping each other out rather than being in competition with each other.
What do you think are the most important qualities for good club experience?
Programming the night properly. Warmup DJs who know how to warm up instead of banging it out straight away. I also firmly believe in getting the headline DJs to play longer than the standard 60/90 min sets that seems to be the norm now. All 4 of our headliners are playing 3 hours each which is what I requested but often when you speak to the DJs they would rather play these lengths instead of shorter. A good soundsystem is obviously very important too. And a good set of friends.
Micron feels like one big set of friends. Family even.
Tell us about your upcoming anniversary: what inspired these particular DJs choices?
All four are heroes of ours in the electronic music world. When we started we were on a budget in terms of the acts we could afford. Now it’s a bit different and as we’re only doing occasional parties I really wanted to make a statement with it being our 10th Birthday. Magda is someone that was a huge influence at the beginning of Micron. We also loved what she did with m_nus. Her sound has changed a lot since then (as has ours) but it made sense to get her after many years of trying. Âme played our 5th Birthday so we had to get those guys back, and they’re so much bigger now than they were then with all the Innervisions stuff with Dixon. Derrick Carter is a legend in every way, as is Michael Mayer. Similar to m_nus, Kompakt was a massive influence to start with. It seems that a lot of the artists on his label have got really big recently but we wanted to remind people, that as well as being the owner of one of the best electronic labels ever and an amazing producer, he’s also one of the very best DJs. I mean, Immer…
What does the future hold for Micron?
As long as we don’t kill each other, there will be more. When and where and in what cities/countries we’ll have to see. But there’s still a couple of people on the wishlist still to get. Though for now I’m very happy we’ve managed to box 4 of them off over the space of two parties in two weeks!