This week’s edition of our main mix series, presented by The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight, comes from Bubblejam’s Jon Connor, who played a successful opening party for Digital Underground last weekend. Get your ears around this techno throw-down.
A brand new night, Digital Underground, has popped up in the city of Liverpool, offering a mix of the old and new school varieties of electronic music that will please the old nostalgia heads as well as the new blood who inhabit the scene. North Shore Troubadour played host to the event, which featured performances from the 303 boys, Stuart Hodson and Samuel Lamont, DJ Berto, Chris Butler, Phutek, Jon Connor (you can check out his mix from the event, above), and Alisha Lawler. Being techno-heads, we had an absolute ball and, judging by the smile on his face by the end of the evening, so did promoter Robbie Jackson.
Arriving at around 10pm, we entered North Shore amid a volley of bass and beats, with Stuart Hodson manning the controls alongside his DJ partner-in-crime, Samuel Lamont. Being stalwarts of the 303 events, we felt perfectly at home with the pair laying down a set that offered some excellent chunky techno to get us in the mood.
Next up was Drome veteran, Chris Butler. Chris has been at the forefront of Merseyside’s electronic music scene for in excess of two decades, so it makes sense that he brought along with him a crew of old-school heads to support him from the dancefloor. Chris‘s set toughened the sound up a touch, dropping in a volley of classic techno tracks and peppering his set with acid flourishes.
This segued us into Phutek‘s set nicely, as he built his set on the foundations laid by Butler, giving party-goers a taste of what more than twenty five years in the techno game sounds like. The Warwickshire DJ’s signing to Carl Cox‘ Intec Digital imprint in 2017, with his EP Edged, has cemented his position as a techno authority, and the track saw an airing on the night. Phutek‘s set was dark and driving; ideal fodder to take us past the midnight mark and into Jon Connor‘s set, which was well and truly nailed on. His track selection was superb, as you’ll hear in the mix, above.
Alisha Lawler closed things off up to the 5 am mark with her trademark style of hard edged, industrial techno. The Liverpool DJ is known for her atmospheric sets that deliver piledriver blows to the crowd, and this set was no different as Alisha closed Digital Underground‘s inaugural event with a thunderous set that shook the very substructure of North Shore Troubadour. Brilliant work from the Scouser and a fitting end to the evening. It is fair to say that the Digital Underground crew pulled the rabbit out of the proverbial hat with this first event, and we look forward to more in the future.
So, what of this week’s mix, then? Well, as we mentioned, Jon Connor is this week’s contributor, and what a contribution he has made. Bubblejam head man Connor has been playing out since the tender age of sixteen, when he first cut his teeth in Welsh free-party scene. This has stood him in good stead ever since, as he has appeared alongside some of the most well-known artists in the industry, such as Rob Tissera, Mike Vath, and Mark EG.
Following his stint in Cardiff, both as a student and a promoter Jon returned to his North Walian roots. He explains: ““I moved back up to North Wales then, and put on a very successful event at Bangor University. Unfortunately, though, things were very ruthless, and local gangsters didn’t like what I was doing. They wanted a piece of the pie, and in the end I lost my entire studio, presets, parameters, hundreds of hours of work.”
In 2016, Connor relaunched his Bubblejam events and music label, which covers a diverse array of electronic music. Bubblejam has a number of facets to it, with several sub-labels falling under the umbrella. Bubblejam is geared toward a more ‘traditional’ techno sound, with melodic techno entering the fray. Bubblejam Gold has a tougher edge to it, catering toward the more discerning hardtechno fan. Finally, Bubblejam E-State offers a more leftfield approach, with electro being the state of play here.
Luckily for you, Jon has kindly given us his set from Digital Underground, for those who weren’t there to enjoy. Honestly, this one is a banger, so get it on loud and see what Connor has to offer. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our mix series for more exciting sounds straight from the underground electronic music scene.