London heavyweights The Hydra have found themselves among the biggest nights in the UK with four years under their belt of attracting some of the most sought after DJs on the scene.
Their autumn/winter dates are in full swing; including hosting a night at WHP Manchester, teaming up with Fabric, and the last Electric Minds on New years eve with none other than Move D at the helm. We caught up with the team to find out what makes them tick and what they’ve got up their sleeve for the future.
The Hydra are no strangers to attracting some of the biggest names in electronic music and beyond. How did the night start?
I used to be the head of programming at The End in Central London, and when it closed I decided to continue to promote independently. That particular path eventually led to me becoming a Director at Cable in London Bridge which is where Dolan approached me about doing an Ostgut Ton night together. We formed a friendship over music and a general outlook and from there the idea of The Hydra was born, pooling our ideas, resources and address books to set the first series up together.
What do you think has changed since the formative years of the night? Do you think there was and still is a gap to fill in London?
London is saturated to bursting point. There are so many people trying to book the same relatively modest pool of artists that it’s become ultra-competitive. There is of course also a dearth of venues in the capital, which exacerbates the issue. It was different when we started, but we exist in an extremely dynamic market, and the current situation will change again in due course.
Your autumn calendar this year is strong, from Levon Vincent and Floating Points, to hosting a night at WHP in Manchester. Is there a night that you’re most looking forward to?
We’re all big fans of Levon actually. He’s one of the artists out there who has a distinctive sound, which is quite unlike any of his contemporaries. He’s played for us many times now, but it’s always a little different which keeps things interesting. And the last ever electric minds is going to be special (and probably emotional), for the whole team.
“Peckham Palais on NYE / NYD of the first series was a total clusterfuck”
DJs old and new – what would be your dream line up for a night?
Jeff Mills as The Wizard
Kemistry & Storm
DJ Food on Four Decks
You have put on events in some interesting spaces over the years including churches and the London Eye, are there anyone particular ones that stick out, for good or bad?
Peckham Palais on NYE / NYD of the first series (in 2012) was a total clusterfuck. It’s basically a former department store, but none of the lifts worked and all of the corridors were narrow and obviously not really designed to be transformed in to a nightclub. Logistically and mentally challenging stuff…
With event spaces closing down around London, how important is the ability to morph a night into new venues and ‘pop-up’ spaces?
Pop ups were the foundation upon which we built things, but it’s really now something we are moving away from. It’s difficult to do it well and presents a huge drain on resources and time. It can be incredible when done correctly, but we’re more keen to focus on working with some of the excellent existing venues that we have in London – The Troxy, Corsica Studios, Village Underground etc.
2017 is fast approaching – Where will you be heading with the night and yourself?
We’ve a few projects that we are working on for next year. Unfortunately it’s a little too early to say too much about those at this stage, suffice to say our activity will endeavour to continue in the same vein and we’re hoping it will provide some and exciting new moments for us all…
[The Hydra have just announced the first of their 2017 date – an all-nighter with Dixon on the 27th March at Ministry of Sound! Get your tickets and extra information at Resident Advisor]
Lastly, we ask each interviewee for three records that their listening to at the minute. From old record store digs to new releases, what are your picks?
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
Gas – Boxed Set
Bruce – I’m Alright Mate