Now that I’ve been back in the UK for over a month now, I’ve really got to know my way around the many club nights that occur nightly in the city. But I yearned for something with a unique vibe, something that would be creatively diverse and underground as fuck. It was very soon after Dancefloor Report #001 that I found the perfect venue to fill my need for eclectic electronic sounds. Only a stone’s throw away from where I live is a house, a rather large building, people by definition would call it a mansion, more specifically dubbed, Antwerp Mansion.
Within these cavernous halls with graffiti scrawled from wall to wall is where the youth of Manchester come to party, dance and feel the music. Once a month the banging beats are provided by a collective known as Family Tree made up of DJs; Spencer Finch and Hiren Parmar hosting the night, Futurebeats. They spin a fun blend of genres from Funk to Disco, Electronica to Techno and Afrobeats to House, all mixed and blended within a mantra that the DJs stick to; They play for pure enjoyment.
This invigorating vibe is transmitted across the wooden dancefloor, supported by the thudding bass of the massive rig. With disco lights twirling through the smoke fog, the clubbers, dressed in sports jackets and muddied trainers (a true mid-week raver uniform) dance and groove in this truly underground space. I was particularly impressed by the skill of the DJs music selection, switching in and out between genres but always keeping the room moving. It’s a talent that comes with listening to a LOT of music, appreciating and loving every beat. What I love the most about Futurebeats is that they take risks, they don’t stick to the normal one genre night, a commodity that is rarely found these days in the electronic music scene.
It’s no wonder that this event has become a popular favourite of young Manchester locals and students throughout the city. After the event, I started chatting with the two DJs and they kindly agreed to write a Top Ten article for Zone Focus. Spencer and Hiren have gone through their record collection to bring you a few Futurebeats classic jams and some of their personal favourites!
Top 10 feat. Family Tree
Family Tree: This one had to be our first choice – the song that inspired our name. It’s such a funky track that we love playing at the start of our sets. It gives off such a warm and welcoming atmosphere that always gets people in the mood.
Spencer: This one from Andrés gets played a lot at Futurebeats, it’s a real tasty house track that has some funky undertones, which makes it perfect for starting the night off
Spencer: This Herbert track is just a straight deep banger; you loop that intro section and really let it breathe for a couple of minutes, it really builds up for the drop nicely. This one comes on when you really want to get things going.
Spencer: I have a bit of a love for African influenced music, and Nigerian boogie really hits a sweet spot that not much else manages to reach. This is one of my absolute favourites to play, it has a huge bassline that just resonates throughout your body in the funkiest way possible, and I love playing it when I want to take the night into the heavier side of funk music.
Spencer: I really love songs that have a sense of progression throughout, and over the 7 minutes of this track you really get that. The drawn-out intro very subtly increases in tempo and instrumentation, and once the vocals come in it keeps increasing from there until you hit the amazing climax of the song – the solo. I will always remember the first time I heard this (seeing Floating Points at Hidden a couple of years back), it just took me to such a wonderful place not many DJs often take you. This doesn’t get played often but when it does it sure is something special.
Hiren: I would say this is my favourite track the moment – it’s 16 minutes of pure Fela madness and is simply magical. I have two special DJ memories of it. I first played it out at a Fallowfield house party at 7am and there were only 20 people left in the basement. My second memory is after supporting Mr Scruff at Hidden I gave him my vinyl copy and he finished his set with it.
Hiren: A Futurebeats classic. We love playing this deep into the Futurebeats set when we start moving into the heavier stuff. For extra enjoyment play William Onyeabor ‘when the going is smooth and good and mix Daphni’s Ye Ye into it!
Hiren: I was absolutely blown away when I first heard this song on a club sound system. It remains one of my top housey funk tunes.
Hiren: A stunning cover of Bill Withers and a firm favourite in my latin collection. The whole song almost comprises only of a piano and sax solo.
Family Tree: This song has been a big favourite for a long time and we have managed to work it into the future beats set. It has become one of our staple tunes due to its slow and heavy atmospheric sound’
Family Tree Events