Interview: Animal Farm plan Blackout techno warehouse event

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After a successful launch in March, Glasgow techno outfit Animal Farm’s Blackout project returns for its second event. The Glue Factory on Farnell Street will once more be shrouded in darkness, this time immersing ticket holders in a full 12 hour audiovisual experience – the kind of all-day warehouse party that are rare these days in Glasgow.

Atmosphere and artistry is at the core of the Animal Farm mission statement, and Blackout aims to push the sensory boundaries within techno. “Ravers should be prepared to shed the shackles of their everyday existence and plunge into the void, falling the same way” we are told.

After 13 years as a collective, Animal Farm is one of Glasgow’s longest running club nights. Residents Quail and Turtle are mainstays of the city’s clubbing community, regularly playing venues across Scotland and beyond with Quail recently headlining Tresor in Berlin.

They launched Animal Farm Records 5 years ago, which has seen releases from Lars Huismann, Patrick Walker and A45 and they recently held their first label party at Arena Club in Berlin.

Joining Animal Farm throughout the day will be Kendal, one of the city’s brightest & most consistent DJs, who has established a solid reputation in Glasgow’s busy scene over just a few years. Adam Rutherford has been garnering attention as part of Missing Persons Club recently, one of the city’s most energetic nights. His selections boast a heady swagger and refreshing eclecticism, which will suit The Glue Factory’s atmospheric confines. The visual component of the event will be provided in partnership with Glasgow’s SUUM Studios. A specially designed series of visual presentations will take place throughout the venue, comprising of one-off projection installations throughout the day.

We had a chat with Quail from Animal Farm about the whole thing:

What’s been the highlights of the year so far for Animal Farm?

Every month seems to bring something special for us but having our first label party in Berlin in September was pretty special. It’s always fun in Berlin but when you have a full team with you plus some great artists from the label it just makes it extra special.

Having an event go on for 9/10 hours is a treat! Personally I was lucky enough to play the world-renowned Tresor club in August – definitely one ticked off the list.

When you are not organising your own events, where else do you like to hang out in Glasgow?

I have a one year old daughter (with one on the way too) so that pretty much takes up all my time! I’m with her any free time I have and love spending time with her at the park or just messing about in the house. I also have my own studio space in Glasgow where I make music.

Tell us about the idea behind Blackout?

After being at various events on the continent and seeing how things run there, I felt Glasgow was lacking in something focused on the Techno scene that allowed for longer styles of events.

I wanted to bring the feeling you get in places in Europe where it’s not just about going flat out from the beginning, rather to actually be there for an experience.

With Glasgow’s licensing the way it is, it’s difficult for events like our to really flourish so we decided to turn things around and do day event but in a place where you could lose yourself a little due to the setting.

How does the visual element add to the overall experience?

The idea was for the visual element (or sometimes lack there of) was to drive the audience into having more of an experience with the music itself rather than being preoccupied with anything else.

With the first one, we started in total darkness but as the event progressed we gradually opened up the lighting to be a little more aggressive which stayed in tune to how the even progressed musically. This time we’ve altered the plan slightly but are still sticking to our original idea.

We will also have a second, smaller room that is curated by Glasgow’s SUMM Studio which is predominately aimed at a purely visual space. Somewhere where people can take a breather but still enjoy a particular side to the event.

Why did you choose to do this event at Glue Factory?

We played the Glue Factory a few New Year’s ago so it’s always been in the back of our minds to use the venue for something. It’s certainly underused for events like ours (I think the people who run it like it that way however!) but the team there have been really keen on what we’ve brought to the venue and are awesome to work with.

The space itself lends perfectly to the kind of aesthetic we’re going for with Blackout. Rugged and dirty it’s a far cry from a lot of the more polished venue in the city and I think people go for that.

What’s the DJ lineup for Blackout?

As well as myself & Turtle we have 2 British, now Berlin based artists in Blawan & Shifted. Blawan has been on our wish list for Animal Farm events for some time now and we’re really pleased to have him on board.

Shifted is one act long term AF fans will have seen plenty of times before having played with us since 2011. Both these artists perfectly compliment what we believe Blackout events should stand for.

We also have a newcomer in the form of Janice, a pretty shadowy project with only a few releases under his/her belt but it’s a fairly brutal live act, again, one in keeping with our desires for the event.

We also have Adam Rutherford & Kendal, both well accomplished local acts and good friends of ours who will help get the event underway.

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