'Industry Insight' is a new series brought to you by TID. We all love to hear the latest from the DJs & artists but we all know there are many other individuals that help to make the EDM scene what it is today!
First up we have Brian M & Cally, both DJs and producers we know but we want to find out about the history of Bionic events in the lead up to their mammoth 12th Birthday Bash in Cardiff on Saturday the 14th of July, this weekend. Here's what the duo had to say.
Firstly thank you for taking the time out to speak with us. It is Bionics 12th Birthday next month, can you tell the readers a little bit about Bionic and how it was started?
Cally: I used to work at Catapult 100% Vinyl in Cardiff and Brian M approached me one day saying he was thinking of starting a night, I was very involved in the scene at the time. He said did I want to go 50/50 on putting a night together and I jumped at the chance.
Brian M: For sure I was looking to start something new up in Cardiff where I had lived all my life. I had known Cally really well from going into the record shop a lot where he worked. I already had a venue confirmed to put something on so asked him would he be interested in being involved as a partner and us putting something new on.
Over a whole decade has passed since Bionics very first party. How do the present parties compare to those parties way back in the late 90s/early 2000s and how has the rave scene changed?
Cally: The scene is more broken down now into genres than it was before. Back in the late 90’s you would go to an event that would cater for more genres. This has meant as time has gone on more events but smaller crowds, as they are more specific to music taste. However we’ve seen how this has affect the numbers of people attending events and so from the start it’s always been our policy to incorporate as wider range of music in our nights as possible, and I guess this is one of the reasons we’re still here doing so well.
Brian M: Yeah when we first started the event we wanted to do something different in our city compared to what was on at the time, hardstyle had not even been made as a genre at the time and we were more European hard trance and rave/hard dance. The music has evolved over the years according to the times, peoples tastes as well as our own, but constantly kept the European flava and it has always maintained the ‘Bionic vibe’ so no matter what or who is on you know that it is always going to be a crazy atmosphere and night out.
You must have had some amazing experiences and taken some awesome memories away from all the Bionic events you’ve hosted. Can you tell the readers about a few of your highlights?
Brian M: I think we definitely have to mention our crowd and followers, since day 1 they have always created such an amazing atmosphere at the event and supported and followed us no matter what, so without them the event would not be what it is today. They are the craziest and most loyal crowd in the world for sure! There have been some great events at every single venue and festival we host arenas at so it’s really hard to pin point just the one. I think the 12th Birthday on July 14th is going to eclipse all of them judging by the response and buzz about it though!
Cally: I completely agree with Bri, there have been so many highlights I really can’t think of one stand-out moment. But to have booked such big names as Showtek, Headhunterz, D-Block & S-te-Fan, Technoboy, Eddie Halliwell and even Paul van Dyk has been such a thrill and a privilege. Being resident for Bionic and getting to play every single event to such an amazing crowd has also been such an amazing experience.
You’ve had some of the biggest names from the hard scene performing at Bionic, can you list your five favourite Bionic DJ sets?
Cally: This is a tough one as most events I’m actually working whether it’s on the door, looking after artists, paying wages etc. So I don’t get to see many sets right the way through. If I had to stick my neck out though 5 of the most memorable sets would probably be Tanith & Producer who both played old skool techno sets, Dumonde and more recently Mark EG and D-Block & S-Te-Fan.
Brian M: For me I think I would have to mention Scot Projects first ever set for us at the height of his Euro hard trance days, I remember him playing Iguana (Yoji Biomehanika remix) which was probably the first time people had heard it, people were chatting for ages about the track after. Scot Projects own tracks like O, Overdrive, have become anthems over the years for us. Showtek was another one, I remember when we brought them over very soon after Showtek had started and had an exclusive Showtek live set, Walt and Duro sets all in 1 night, that was awesome. Other favourites of mine would be Analogic Disturbance first set for us, Daniele Mondello first scratching and juggling vinyl’s with his foot/under his leg at our event and Don Diablo stands out, I remember him saying he was going to play a new style called ‘hardstyle’ before it was even a genre and any tracks as we know them now released.
Cally: A lot of memories have just come flooding back! Great choice of sets there Bri and totally agree all of them were very memorable!
12 years is a long time to keep an event rolling, especially with the scene constantly evolving and the many other obstacles that can get in the way of running an event. What is the secret to your success?
Cally: Just being original and putting in one hell of a lot of hard work regardless of the reward always being there. You’ll never get anywhere doing what someone else is already doing so we’re always looking out for new fresh ideas.
Brian: Yeah as above really, we are putting even more thought and time and effort into every detail, more than ever before, to make sure things stay exciting and really stand out. The team we have behind the event and also the people and DJs that support the event in many ways are outstanding. It is definitely a massive team effort.
Bionic has already celebrated 11 birthdays and hosted an abundance of events. How are you going to top the celebrations this year?
Cally: By putting on our biggest ever party. Although we’ve been involved in bigger events like hosting arenas for Escape Into The Park, Q-Dance (NL), Gatecrasher etc, this is the biggest event we’ve taken on by ourselves. The line-up is huge and we’ve paid great attention to detail to make sure there will be lots of attractions, great sound and light and lots of little surprises on the night.
Brian M: This event tops all of previous as far as incorporating genres, a massive line-up of DJs, multiple arenas and some serious attractions on the night, the lead up to the event has been unreal. There has been a massive effort & response from everybody involved.
Bionic is moving into its ‘teenage’ years. What does the future hold for Bionic and how are you looking to mature the event?
Brian M & Cally: As things are so unpredictable not just in clubland but with the financial climate we’re not planning too far ahead. We do have plenty of ideas though, sometimes too many so we have to take things 1 step at a time before putting these into action. As we’re putting on this huge event though in an economic recession it’s good to see that there’s still a massive buzz in clubland and room to grow with some exciting plans. This wouldn’t be possible with the support of our dedicated fans, many of whom have been supporting us for many years. Something we are trying to do more is to give more support and bring a lot of talent through and make the scene more aware of the artists that have been supporting the event. There is so much talent and dedication, we want to help showcase and push where we can to boost the UK scene.
Finally what else does the Bionic crew have in store for us in the year 2012?
Brian M & Cally: Well you can be sure that there’s going to be at least one other big event which could rival the birthday before the year is up also we have the Bionic Arena at Westfest. Every year this has become more and more popular and has become one of the main features of the festival, we love it there! Other than that we can’t give any information but we are already planning some other really exciting things.
A big thanks to Brian M & Cally, sadly that is all we have time for.