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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Discover the Misfits of Techno

November 5, 2017
Anna introduces us to one of the most exciting club promoters emerging from the scene.

How much quality underground techno music do you know?

You can now add the M!sF!t to your list.

Four years ago, Sam McKinney and Paul Butler came up with the idea of starting their own party scene.
What initially started off as two guys angry towards the dishonest promoters ripping off their friends, soon turned into a flourishing artistic collaboration. Tired of listening to how other DJs had “their set-times reduced with no warning, expected to sell an allotment of tickets or simply not being paid for their work”, Sam and Paul decided their gigs would support artists, not exploit their craft.

Their project is an ambitious one: going beyond strict definitions of genre to craft nights that are quintessentially polyedric, while keeping the M!SF!T trademark sound.

As Sam explains it: “Techno has become such an umbrella term these days it’s hard to know what that means. We book artists for our parties because we like their musical style and talent. We trust our artists to express themselves and read the crowd. If they want to explore other areas of underground music, then we want them to go for it! We encourage risk-taking and experimentation. M!SF!T is subversive but playful, like us.”

For their first party, the guys pulled together everyone they could find including a friend in business hiring sound equipment and friends working at a bar to get a basement for the party. And the pay-off? Worth it. Nearly 200 people squeezed into a small bar in Farringdon just to hear them play.

A few months after, DJ Borja Pena got them in touch with Nick Tcherniak at Egg to host smaller rooms at the club during his Familia nights once a month. “One of the best moments was playing to a packed terrace still going strong at 9 AM on a Sunday morning,” Sam recalls.

Still as an independent promoter, M!SF!T has had a bit of a nomadic existence. Last year, they played a series of nights at heavy metal club The Underworld in Camden. In their May session, DJ, actor and rapper Mr C appeared as a secret guest and the dance floor was going wild to acid house music.

So why not go mainstream? “The best thing about being underground and indie is not having to answer to anyone. We have full creative control over what we do; it’s not governed by pound signs or spreadsheets. We just make music and contribute to the scene we love. We want to make people dance!”

Sam attributes most of the M!SF!T fortune to the collaborations made with talented and creative friends on elements such as the label, artwork, production and music. “Every piece of the puzzle is homemade. It probably seems a little bit chaotic or unprofessional to outsiders but we love the extended family we’ve formed over the years and wouldn’t have it any other way.”

On 22nd September, the M!SF!T’s launched their record label with Dynamo Recordings and celebrated their fourth year anniversary with the release of their debut E.P. “The Elusive”. Accompanied by Stephen Garret, or better known as Fracticious, and bass player Angie Taylor, the M!S!FIT’s had an incredibly successful night at Basing House.

Their second E.P. “The Experiment” by Fractious is scheduled for early December.
But if you want to catch the M!S!FIT’s banging tracks earlier, make sure you’re at The Vault Theatre in Southwark on the 25th November.

“The Vault Theatre is one of Waterloo’s oldest railway arched kitted out to resemble a 60’s hippy festival,” Sam boasts, “It’s very different to the dark sweaty crypts that we normally go for, but it’ll be like the summer of love…in the U.K….during winter! We’re going to bring A LOT of sound equipment and we’ve got a cracking line-up that we have to keep under wraps for the time being – but it’s going to be big!”

Words, Anna Mcnutt