If you haven’t heard of #notsosilent and their parties over the past 6 months, you’ve not only missed out on some of the best nights in Edinburgh, but also on a selection of dance music’s most respected DJs and producers gracing dancefloors around the city.

But fear not! With names like Joy Orbison and Loefah venturing over the border, there’s no shortage of opportunities to make up for lost time.

Having crossed paths numerous times Matt Belcher (aka ‘Belch’) and Callum Sinclair put their heads together at the beginning of last summer, discovered a common musical taste, came up with the name #notsosilent, and proceeded to throw some parties.

#notsosilent

A relatively new project at least in its current incarnation, having essentially merged ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’ with ‘Buff Basslines’, the #notsosilent partnership between local DJ Belch [Buff Basslines] & Callum [Hippy Hippy Shake] served up some impressive nights in 2012 but already appears to have sewn up some of what could end up as some of the highlights of 2013.

First up sees London based DJ & producer Joy Orbison, a somewhat elusive character whose few releases are pounced on by those still captivated by 2009’s ‘Hyph Mngo’, taking the Liquid Rooms with Roman Flügel and support from Belch on February 22nd.

This is swiftly followed in Glasgow by Swamp 81 head man Loefah straight off the back of the DMZ 8th birthday party, with support from Shadow Child and Belch. Unsurprisingly Belch is looking forward to those dates, “opening for those guys will be insane, and I feel so lucky to be in a position to jam with them.”

#notsosilent and Loefah March 9th
#notsosilent and Loefah March 9th

So what can we expect for the rest of the year with the bar set this high so early on? Matt kept his cards close to his chest on this one.

“Well other than what we have already announced, we can’t really tell you much in terms of actual bookings – other than to say we are constantly excited about what we have coming up and we fully intend on continuing in the same vein!”

“One thing that is very important to us is bringing up real solid selectors as well as the folks who are making big tunes. I think curating interesting lineups that you probably won’t have come across is important too.”

“At the moment, we have a number of parties confirmed at our new home in Glasgow, ‘Make Do’, the temporary pop-up following the sad closure of Chambre 69 – where we had a great response from our launch with Axel Boman and Cottam.”

“Our next event there is on March 9th, when we have Loefah and Shadow Child playing the main room, which I hope speaks for itself (UKB: yes, it does!), and the incredibly talented and young Voices of Black holding down room 2 with a live set. If you haven’t heard of these guys, check them out – they’re awesome.”

“In Edinburgh, we’ve been fortunate enough to be given a bi-monthly Friday night at Sneaky Pete’s, which we kicked off last weekend with Cottam. The response was amazing, and we really can’t wait for our next outing there. Intimate parties at Sneaky’s and one or two big ones a year at the Liquid Room is the plan for Edinburgh.

Joy Orbison and Roman Flugel, Liquid Rooms February 22nd
Joy Orbison and Roman Flügel, Liquid Rooms February 22nd

“Of course we have Joy and Roman fast approaching which will be a slightly different vibe to those at Sneaks but just as fun! Got a charity fundraiser coming up for Headway with Lapalux and Cid Rim, which is exciting. We’re pretty busy at the moment…”

It’s a theme I come back to quite often, but looking back a year or so ago, there was a lot of doom and gloom surrounding Edinburgh’s nightlife. What a difference a year makes. Bongo, although displaced from its irreplaceable Moray House venue, has set up shop in what is best known as the ‘Underbelly’ for the month of August, kicking things off in a matter of weeks.

More generally, Edinburgh has had a solid start to the year musically, evidenced by Musika’s 6th birthday party with Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, Huxley and Maceo Plex showing us that it’s well and truly back on its feet. I asked Matt what’s changed and what, if any, were the pivotal points in 2012.

“That’s a tough one. To be honest, I don’t think it’s down to any events in particular, it just seems to be a general trend. Castle Clvb and particularly the new Cab Vol opening definitely made some changes to the scene in that it briefly brought together a bunch of nights.”

“Traditionally, Edinburgh has been known for its DnB culture with seminal nights such as Split being incredibly popular, but as with all things – it was time for a change, and we seem to be catching up with other scenes in its absence.

“There’s no doubt that for most dance music here: Glasgow wins. That’s not to say we don’t have a scene though, things are definitely looking up, and the Cowgate is certainly staying strong – we’ll just have to see what happens!”

Recent events like the Drambuie sessions over Hogmanay have highlighted often overlooked/underused venues in the city, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Blech
Belch

“I reckon a great thing for Edinburgh would be for spaces like the Tron Kirk and the Caves to be used for more parties. There’s so much space in this city, and although we don’t have the industrial warehouses of Glasgow, we have these beautiful old buildings which would be perfect for parties with a big audio/visual production set up. This is definitely something we are looking at, and I know a few other guys are too – let’s make it happen!”

It’s good to know that this is something in the pipeline potentially. Opening the Tron Kirk up more regularly is something that would add another dimension to Edinburgh’s music scene, and the addition of a ‘new’ venue can’t be underestimated in stimulating it. I can think of a few nights recently that have been made by the venue, and others that have been killed by it.

I for one am really looking forward to the parties these guys are going to throw throughout 2013, and hopefully you are too. Fingers crossed Edinburgh stays #notsosilent for some considerable time. UKB

Photography from Lights Out Collective (www.edmundfraser.co.uk) and Calum Head Media ( www.facebook.com/calumheadmedia)

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