Having been a welcome, intriguing new addition to the Galway live music/clubbing scene in the last few months, the Not Your Girlfriend club night is now expanding with a Dublin launch at the Twisted Pepper on Easter Sunday. Organisers Sarah O’Neill and Olan Stephens have taken an interactive, ‘guerrilla’ approach to their NYG nights while simultaneously putting on acts of the calibre of Kwes., SertOne, Monto and Young Montana?.
Up until now the club night has regularly taken place in Galway’s Factory (a club/venue/creative space that itself was launched only last year) and has showcased a distinctive modus operandi, paying close attention to the audio-visual experience: they’ve collaborated with visual artists Feel Good Lost and Le Tissier for previous nights, while ‘creative and collaborative documentation’ is encouraged, whether via graffiti walls or disposable cameras dangling from the ceiling.
In advance of the Dublin launch, which will feature NYG’s resident DJ’s, they’ve provided a mix that gives a fair idea of what to expect musically: i.e. bass, glitch, hip hop and points in between. Peep the track at the bottom of the page.
What prompted you to start the Not Your Girlfriend nights?
Gig envy? Well, kind of – after going to and playing countless gigs and club nights, we got tired of the gig envy that we would get when we were at great events we weren’t running, so late night conversations and brainstorms eventually became Not Your Girlfriend. We wanted to throw the kind of parties that we would want to go to – for us this meant doing something a bit different – which meant getting people involved in the night with interactive elements (like hanging disposable cameras for people to use at each event), focusing on an audio/visual experience by projecting live visual manipulations around the space, and bringing the freshest live electronic acts into the club environment.
Any particular reason for launching in Factory, Galway?
Galway was a great place to do something different, it has a great live music scene and also a good club scene, what we aimed to do was join the two in the middle, by having live electronic acts play, and by turning a DJ set into a full show with live visuals. Factory is a great new venue that strives to be creative and progressive in its programming and promoters, we couldn’t have asked for more creative freedom from Factory chief John Gillen in doing what we do.
The vibe of the nights is an immersive one with an emphasis on visuals and interactive elements, creating a unique space within the nightclub. What inspired this approach?
We’re art nerds. We kind of began to realise that sometimes the major difference between a contemporary art space and a cutting edge nightclub is whether there’s a bar or not, so we decided to try to make our club night feel like a party in an art space – with massive video projections and installations where we encourage people to get creative. For our first few events we had two of our favourite visuals artists – Feel Good Lost and Le Tissier – down to do live visuals for us; this inspired us to develop our own style of Not Your Girlfriend live visuals which we use to make the atmosphere our own. We want our events to transform the space that they’re in, so that you know you’re walking into a Not Your Girlfriend event, no matter where it’s being held.
(SertOne event video)
In general the musical aesthetic is in that sort of fertile cross-section ground of bass, hip-hop, trap, etc. Most of the people you’ve had play have been Irish-based. Do you find that the electronic/hip-hop scene here is strong at the moment? Any particular favourites?
There’s definitely a great Irish electronic scene at the moment, with a huge amount of new genre-spanning producers leaving the bedroom studio and taking to the stage. We’ve capitalised on this and hosted such acts as REID, KaraKara, SertOne and Monto, all of which are now receiving huge acclaim both in Ireland and overseas. With the internet as a tool for sharing music, and the obvious talent of so many new Irish artists, we see a lot of these producers going international in the near-future and so it’s a real privilege for us to have them play our events.
We’ve been lucky to host some of our favourite Irish acts, who put out some of our favourite releases of last year. If you haven’t already, check out Monto’s Best Boy EP and KaraKara’s just released Born Thug//Raised Nerd EP. SertOne’s also just released Shapes in the Sky on vinyl, and we’re really looking forward to hearing what the experimental producer Lemonada does next.
So what’s next for Not Your Girlfriend?
Most importantly, we’re launching Not Your Girlfriend in the Twisted Pepper in Dublin this month – which we are so excited about! When we thought about bringing this night up here, it was always going to be our venue of choice so we are absolutely pumped that we are making it happen. The night is going to be a huge party, and we can’t wait to get started! We just got back from Berlin, where we rather creatively gained access to one of the notoriously insane Boiler Room events where they collaborated with skate brand Vans to take over an abandoned swimming pool and live broadcast the biggest party we’ve ever been to to the whole world. This was beyond inspiring and so our launch is going to have some Boiler Room style party elements with our resident DJ’s going back to back all night, with immersive 360° live visuals to create a full A/V show, along with all the interactive elements and surprises that make NYG special!
Video is already a huge aspect of what we do, but we’ve plans to take it even further. We make teasers for each event to get people hyped, and we’ve worked with a few talented videographers, most recently Paul D’Eath, to make music videos for acts we’ve hosted, showing how each night went down. For our launch event we have some big plans – that are going to take all our techie genius to figure out how to rig up – but we’re definitely not spoiling the surprise, come check it out on the 31st, in the Stage Room of the Twisted Pepper!
Mix track list
Kendrick Lamar – ‘Swimming Pools’ (Nick Hook Remix)
Rihanna – ‘Pour It Up’ (RL Grime remix)
Joker feat. Ginz – ‘Purple City’
Angel Haze & Lunice – ‘Gimme That’
Clams Casino – ‘Stars’
Dan Kroll – ‘From Nowhere’ (SertOne remix)
Kronos Quartet – ‘Supermarket Sweep’
Lemonada – ‘Silver Silver’
Tyga – ‘Rack City’
Young Montana? – ‘Sacre Cool’
Jessie Ware – ‘Sweet Talk’ (Saux Remix)
Clockwork – ‘Squad Up the Deep’
Machinedrum – ‘YNY’
Angel Haze – ‘Jungle Fever’
Destiny’s Child – ‘Say My Name’ (Cyril Hahn remix)
Nirvana – ‘Polly’ (Bruno Be remix)
Felix Da Housecat – ‘Money Success Fame Glamour’
Grimes – ‘Vowels = Space & Time’
Apparat – ‘Fractacles. Pt 1’
Thugli – ‘Weyvee’
Akkord – ‘Submerged’
Optimum – ‘Crash Riddim’
Hudson Mohawke – ‘Fuse’
KaraKara – ‘Decent Person/GigaBitch’