Feature: Closed Circuit

closed circuit backgroundIn typical Alex T fashion, we ended up meeting at the pub. “This is my year off. Basically, after I finished university, I wanted to stay in York. It’s just a nice place to live really. Me and some of my friends had just graduated. We were some of the best DJs in Breakz and we decided to start our own thing, so I took them with me and started Closed Circuit.” he was saying five minutes into our conversation.

Alex is deeply embedded in the York nightlife scene and he has a lot to say about it. He’s been involved with Breakz and On&On since his first year. “There is a close-knit scene here. People make friends through nights out. It’s a small town and the nice thing about it is that you see the same people when you go out, both locals and students. Everyone knows each other.”

When he first came to York, he was pleasantly surprised. “I thought I’d have to go to Leeds or Manchester to see good DJs. In fresher’s week I was told that there’s official YUSU nights and some crackhead event named Freakin that I shouldn’t go to” Freakin, as he’s said many times is the best night in York. “ You have to seek out good music, but it exists. I guess this is one of the perks of a student town; students are always keen to try new things. A lot of them just go off and start their own thing.”

Scattered between praises for Freakin, memories of Breakz and social observations is Alex’s vision for Closed Circuit.

“I’d rather it’s about that than the money. A lot of people don’t want to go out of their comfort zone, but we are just trying to bring good music to them. I want people to be dancing, not just awkwardly swaying in the corner. I’d rather it’s about that than anything else.”

Somewhere about there we were interrupted by a 35-year-old bearded man who indulged in some fairly tenuous descriptions of the University of York, turn-of-the-century edition. But Alex was quite interested and slowly got excited, as I might have been were it not for his unsettling mannerisms. He told us about the punks, the raves at the Bonding Warehouse and other such creatures of myth. Apparently, there was a great party scene in York back then.

It was more than obvious, that Alex was keen to throw parties in all those venues. I think what he genuinely does enjoy, in the simplest of terms, is music; he likes to mix and to go tune-hunting. It is nothing but a natural progression for him after university to switch to DJing in Mansion and going act-hunting for Closed Circuit.

“The problem is there is no infrastructure tosupport it. It’s not as easy as you’d expect to get the word out. When we talked to the City Council about using ballards, we were told that it will ruin the beauty of the city. Maybe it’s because the University revolves more around engineering and science than arts, I don’t know.”

Whatever the reasons, York is only now gaining the necessary diversity that leads to productive competition. In other words, more parties mean wilder parties, provided that their organisers are concerned with quality.

Thankfully, Alex’s aim is exactly that; “bring good, fresh music to the local nightlife.” He has been part of it for a long time, and I think that it is now a part of him.

Maybe that illuminates the reasons behind his new venture. He knows how bad we need someone to explore underground music and blast his findings through ground-shaking subwoofers.