Contrary to its namesake, Mute! is making noise. Started in 2011 as an illegal rave in Bolton by two lads with the same goal, now it hosts Sankeys' second room monthly at Tribal Sessions, but the night's path hasn't always been so straightforward. We find out more...
Not many club promoters admit to starting out “playing chart music”, choosing instead to cite cooler, more credible pursuits. But that's exactly what Keiran Sharples and Daniel Sanders of Mute! tell us when asked about their night — and isn't that refreshing? Honesty like that — in a scene way too often shrouded by too-cool-for-school pretentiousness — you can bet your last fiver their party is equally shy of hubris.
“That [chart music] wasn't what we were about and we wanted to spread our wings and kick off something new in Manchester,” says Keiran. “Our favourite underground nights like Content, Zutekh, Idiosync, Fingerprint and of course Micron were all absolutely killing it and we wanted to make something to at least rival them. So we went to all of them and began to meet people and tell everyone about what we were doing.”
Both from Bolton, the boys met at a illegal rave in a forest they were involved with and decided to take on a weekly Thursday night DJ gig in a bar playing pop tunes to locals simply because they wanted to start throwing parties. Fed up of playing music they didn't like to an empty room for no money, they started Mute! at Joshua Brooks on their own terms, but struggled to find their feet initially. Choosing to write off their first party as “a failure”, it wasn't until their second attempt, a residents party in February 2011, that things really got lively.
After gaining some momentum, they booked Saytek and Miguel Campbell as M.A.M, and suddenly it was obvious they were on the right course. “It was a bit of a blur as these things often are, we made no money and we learned a lot about what not to do,” explains Keiran. “It was very special for us, though, and when we have looked back on photos from the party there are a lot of people in the pictures who we have become close friends [with], and unbeknown to us they were there from the beginning, which is amazing to us. It was something special and we were new to the city, but we could feel something bubbling.”
Mute! has since gone on to enjoy stints at Cord, a basement bar in the Northern Quarter, Corner in Fallowfield and South, which they called home for three years, as well as parties in Ibiza at Savannah and Pearl London, booking the likes of Nic Fanciulli, Guti, Mathias Kaden, Christian Burkhardt and Shonky along the way. These days though, Mute! is most associated with Sankeys MCR, after Daniel solidified his ties as a resident at Kaluki and promoter at the Ibiza branch.
Trusted with responsibility of hosting the main room last September, they eventually received a call-up to host Spektrum, the second room, every month for Darius Syrossian's Tribal Sessions. The boys — now with promoter/DJ Jacky Maughan as part of the team and Sable Sheep as a resident — haven't looked back since.
“We feel we are part of the family and it is truly something we didn't think was possible back when we were selling tickets for bar sets,” says Dan. “We're proud of ourselves really to know we have been picked by them to represent the club, and especially for a brand as important as Tribal Sessions. This winter season Tribal is back and we have had the honour of hosting upstairs, the feedback we've had is incredible and we hope to carry on what we've done so far.”