'Seeking all forms of electronic music including: dance, ambient, noise, electro-pop, techno, glitch, electro-jazz, chiptune, hip hop, loopers, improvised, live coding, trance...'
Salford is synonymous with some amazing and welcoming happenings that encourage talented locals to participate. Many of our great events have a traditional feel; including poetry, comedy, folk and even variety. However, the 20th September sees something of a unique sonic experience for the region.
Always keen to be innovative, The Kings Arms welcomes an open-mic with a difference. The Electronic Open Mic and Forum has a more futuristic approach and would like to be an event that is completely free from acoustic guitars; as its info states, 'unless they are being used to generate soundscapes or some other style of music in keeping with the night...'
Intrigued, I had to question the man behind the night, Martin Christie, aka Poet and the Loops... "I had the idea a few years ago as I'd been going to a lot of open mics with electronic kit and most seemed to have become synonymous with acoustic singer-song writers" he explains "Nothing wrong with that style of music making but there's a lot of it about and I always thought the idea of an open mic was exactly that, 'open' to anything.
"So it struck me that poets have their slams and spoken word nights, guitar based songwriters have their acoustic nights, so why not something for electronic music makers like me?" he adds.
Following the success of their Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol and London events, The Electronic Music Open Mic and Forum now makes its way to Bloom Street. Martin would like to encourage all manner of musicians to get out of the home studio and into the light of a listening and appreciative audience.
It's an interesting environment for creativity and is truly open to any piece of electronic equipment that can make great music. Laptops, synths, drum machines, loop stations, groove boxes, sequencers, samplers, iPads, modular synths, keyboards, decks, analogue and digital devices of all kinds are more than welcome.
Public House Music
It looks like Martin has tapped into an original gap in the market... "At the start of the year I finally got my act together and set up a night at Fuel Cafe Bar in Manchester" he recalls "The response blew me away, and I had a few sleepless nights worrying how we'd get everyone to play. That first night also revealed how diverse electronic music actually is. We had everything from anti-DJ sets to industrial, synth-pop, to live looping. It was a blast.
"And the people who came down were so supportive to each other too - that kind of made it all worthwhile" he adds "People were very interested in what each other were doing, even if it wasn't their normal listening thing."
With such a relaxed and 'anything goes' approach to music, I had to ask if any unusual or off-the-wall acts had surfaced at the Electronic Open Mic... "As far the unexpected goes there's been a lot of fascinating happenings" Martin responds "Technology-wise, I'd never really got my head round the whole modular synth thing, but it really is phenomenal. We've had a guy who goes by the name of Apta who is very good.
"In Leeds we were treated to some live coding which was electronic music coding on the fly" he says "We've also had Theremins; circuit bent keyboards, live looping and dance music of all descriptions. A musician called Rickerly from Manchester is superb, he dresses up in a white gown and Viennese face masks and his music is beauty..."
The Electronic Music Open Mic and Forum is about making connections as well as music. It offers an opportunity to meet other electronic music makers, share ideas and collaborate. Amongst hearing top musicians and discovering new techniques there should be ample time and space to discuss all forms of music making.
I asked Martin if he will be treating us to some of his own music on the 20th... "I try to play all the nights, usually a five or ten minute spot using a Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator mixed with sung/spoke word, but sometimes other kit" he says "I'll aim to play something at the Salford event at some point."
Join Martin and a whole host of musicians and get along for what promises to be a great night out. Slots are on a first come, first served basis and up to twenty minutes max, including set up and pack down times.
The Electronic Open Mic and Forum
Wednesday 20th September 7pm free
The Kings Arms
Further details on the Electronic Music Open Mic and Forum Facebook event page - click here
Any questions contact Martin Christie on Facebook or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, no acoustic guitars, this is an acoustic free zone
Have a listen to Martin's music here...
Words by Ian Leslie