Manchester music is really getting a big reach on the country and this compilation shows it more than anything else right now.
Well, it's finally here. The comp we’ve all been waiting for (and I know you have too).
Slow Dance Records have unleashed their “Slow Dance ’20” compilation to us all with a luxurious and generous 16 track mix of eclectic sonic endeavours for us all to gaze upon and drool over.
This compilation will leave you speechless.
From the summer glitch vibes of “Skin Contact” by Sonny Bliss, the Fall-esque vibes of “Received Life” by comfort, and the utterly genius post punk/dance concoction, “Fashionista” by Folly Group, Slow Dance Records have really outdone themselves here, and so have the artists presented on it. It's exciting to imagine and picture where this label and their artists will be heading in this optimistic future. The music industry is in safe hands thanks to Slow Dance.
This is the sound of contemporary pop, or at least where it should be heading. This music will redefine and embrace the ever so desperate need for experimentation in modern day pop music.
Bold statement right? “The sound of contemporary pop music”. Has a good ring to it. I can’t recommend this album enough, and will only sound better once we can all party again together.
Written by Asa Hudson
We chatted to Marco and Maddy from Slow Dance all about the compilation, how challenging this year has been and what the future holds. Listen to our full chat on our mixcloud, watch the video below or read our conversation below that.
Started by Marco in 2015 in an art room in Marylebone, really as a zine to begin with. They started doing parties, firstly on a boat on the Thames for people that were still underage, so started to put on parties for under 18's and it really grew from there! The first thing they put out was their first compilation and that has become their annual celebration since then.
Marco - "The core to the team is me Maddy and Darius, but we are super open to talk to everyone and work with anyone. We always have a lot of filmmakers, artists, photographers and producers that come through and we try and encourage everyone to be involved as possible."
You don't really get people who are the same as you in the music industry. Whether that is age or ideals, but it's nice for us to come from a different place."
Maddy - "I think people become quite disillusioned by the industry after a while and so providing a platform for the more cynical people is really important."
They just opened their brand new venue before lockdown, but unfortunately had to close after just 5 shows, so this year hasn't been what was originally planned. They hosted their own radio show for 2 months showcasing all the best music around and in their own words "We've done more than ever!".
Marco - "I was doing a show where we asked people to send in their demos and new music and we got so much. I think it really helped create a strong dialogue between people online, whether that be music fans or musicians. I feel people are really opening up because of lockdown."
Maddy - "People have really started to question the structures that have always been accepted and to realise that platforms like Spotify are really exploitative. And issues like sexual harassment and racism within the industry haven't been addressed, but this year it's been seen."
Marco - "I also thinks it's going to help specifically what an 'artist' is. The structure of an artist has changed, touring for 6 months, then writing and getting dropped if it's unsuccessful, won't happen anymore. It's all about the world artists create now, they can go off into different mediums, which I think is a good thing. It forces us all to be more creative."
Maddy - "It's a good thing and a bad thing, I really miss live gigs, with every fibre of my being. But technology is taking over, what I can do on my phone now is ridiculous, not something you could do 5 years ago.
The reason I love gigs so much is just being with my mates and socialising and who knows when that will come back or if it ever will?"
Of course on the compilation there are so many bands from across the UK and especially Manchester, sow what is Manchester doing right?
Marco - "The radio really helped us to find more tunes! Usually the way you find bands is from going to gigs, but now we are out there looking. Crimewave sent us in the demo to the radio and that is how we found them. Squid sent us Bunny Hoova about a year and a half ago, so we put them on straight away. Yaang I found on Bandcamp!
So that platform really works.
I just find older obscure things on Spotify.
But there really is a lot of good stuff coming out of Manchester right now."
Maddy - "Some of them are our friends and some we just have a dialogue with and some just reach out to us."
Marco - "My brothers mate played me one of his tracks in his garden and that made it on there. Sometimes you just stumble across something, like on Bandcamp and you become one of their 16 listeners. That's how you form stronger bonds, music that falls onto your lap, that's a good feeling.
That's the theme!
Giving the opportunity for people to stumble across acts who aren't signed!"
Maddy - "We don't have a specific genre or taste, it's a mish mash or our taste and what we like. Either a banger or a slow chilled banger."
So what's next?
Marco - "We've got some new acts coming up soon"
Maddy - "We've added comfort onto our roster, I don't know if I can say the rest? hahahah Of course looking at new artists for next years comp, send in your stuff!"
Marco - "We are doing a film of all the Northern artists on this comp playing their tunes, not a live stream, but kinda and we've chatted with Wilderness Records about helping out with that, should be the last week of January. Hopefully we will also have a cassette of the compilation coming out too!"
So I feel like that has showed the true power of DIY music in this country, how widespread it is and then how well received the work is. We hope to see lots more from Slow Dance and especially from underground music from Manchester.
Make sure to send them your stuff!