Manchester is rich with musical heritage. It's bred some of the most iconic and influential bands the world has known, has created and destroyed some of the most iconic nightclubs and events known to man, and has given a platform to genres and sounds both big and small. So it's no surprise that it's the perefect landscape to create new labels and groups. Collier Music are just that. A new music collective, dedicated to bringing you jazz, techno, house, garage and everything inbetween.
We spoke to Ed Hodge, co-owner of Collier, to discuss their recent event with garage godfather El-B, and what Collier is all about.
Hi Ed, where did the concept for Collier Music come from?
Me and my friend Henry had the idea for Collier Music back when we were at school in Birmingham. It started with recording our radio shows as a way of being able to compile the music we were listening to in to one format. We got the idea for those from things like Radio Juicy which were getting pretty big around that time. We didn’t really start posting any of these online until we got to Manchester for university last year and we realised that people might actually be interested in listening to them.
It’s only after that that we started thinking about doing events in Manchester, but we wanted to make sure that we could have different events focusing on different kinds of music. We were lucky enough to meet some really good DJ’s and performers pretty early on last year, so that we could do the first event and it’s just kind of gone from there really.
Across the three events Collier has run, which has been your favourite and why?
I’d probably have to say the most recent one on the 15th of December was my favourite. We were able to bring UK Garage legend El-B to Joshua Brooks for a 3 hour set and the music was incredible, he was able to explore a huge variety of different genres around garage including dubstep and grime. I think people often forget how influential garage music is and to an extent El-B himself has been for underground music in the UK over the last 20 years. It was great to hear a set from a real master to help remind us of that.
If you could aim to do one thing with the brand by this time next year, what would it be?
We would love to be able to continue booking bigger names and just expand the brand in general really. I think if I had to choose one thing to do, then it would be to start getting some high profile guests on our weekly radio show on Fuse FM, just because I think a lot of underground artists these days don’t really get interviewed about their work on radio shows anymore, it’s usually just a broadcasted DJ sets without any talking, so I think there’s a gap in the market there.
What’s been the craziest thing that’s happened at a Collier event?
I think on a personal level; taking over the decks from El-B at Joshua Brooks after one of the best garage sets I’ve ever heard was a pretty crazy moment, some of the crowds reactions to tunes that our DJs have dropped have been pretty crazy as well.
How do you manage to balance your interests across such a diverse selection of genres?
We’ve both always listened to a wide range of genres, I think it mostly started from us being really into hip-hop and spending a lot of time trying to find the samples of our favourite songs and building up a good knowledge of funk, soul, jazz, disco and everything in between.
When we started going out to clubs and started listening to garage, drum and bass, house, techno etc. then we continued digging deep and finding obscure music. I study music at university as well, so that helps me to be able to appreciate lots of different genres as I’m exposed to all sorts of styles through my course.
What radio episode has been your favourite so far and why?
We do episodes of the radio show where all the music is picked by one of our friends, and I think one of my personal favourites was when we had Alex Sansbury showcasing his favourite songs. He started off with the entirety of 2112 by Rush, which for those who don’t know is more than 20 minutes long and continued with all sorts of genres including Georgian throat singing, free jazz and acid house, so it very much fitted in with our ethos of listening to all genres of music.
How do you think Manchester has shaped your events and ethos?
Manchester has got such a rich history in music and clubbing, which has definitely given us inspiration in terms of how we go about planning our events. There is also such a diverse range of people here that are willing to buy tickets for small events and support local music, which really helps our ethos of wanting to showcase a lot of different types of music, because there’s always someone interested. I think there’s also a really healthy philosophy of small venues supporting start up events which is great for the scene as a whole.
Any news for upcoming events / shows?
We have an event on the 26th of February at Indigo in Withington which will be an all vinyl night where some of our residents and friends will be playing, keep an eye on the Collier Music Facebook page for more detaills.
If you want to keep up to date with one of Manchester's most diverse musical collectives, be sure to give Collier Music a follow on their socials:
Collier Music - Facebook