New Releases: In Conversation with PLUSH & MACHINE

PLUSH is one of Liverpool’s hottest club nights. Hosting regular 12-hour raves at Invisible Wind Factory with boss line-ups of local talent, PLUSH is prolific in the scene for their euphoric take on rave culture.

Now, in Summer 2023, PLUSH have launched a vinyl in collaboration with local label MACHINE – an EP which champions local producers and DJs, and solidifies this period as The Summer of PLUSH.

To celebrate this sold out collaboration and find out more about the behind-the-scenes processes, I sent over some questions to the PLUSH and MACHINE crew to get their insights.

Crowd outside at Invisible Wind Factory for PLUSH’s May rave. Photo by @joenoseph on Instagram.

MDR: Firstly, please introduce yourself! 🙂

PLUSH: Heyaaaaa, my name is Ollie and I organise PLUSH!

MACHINE: Hey, I’m Josh from Machine!

MDR: Congrats on the release of your SOLD OUT vinyl collaboration! What was the inspiration behind this project?

PLUSH: Thank youuu, I’m ecstatic to see the support for the record, and I really appreciate everyone who’s bought a copy! We’ve had people purchasing internationally as well which is incredible. This is the first of many PLUSH-related music releases, as I’m gearing up to launch PLUSH’s record label in early 2024. Couldn’t have done this without MACHINE, in whom I’m most grateful for giving PLUSH this opportunity.

MACHINE: Thanks 🙂 After playing at PLUSH we came up with the idea to try and document a club night on vinyl. 

PLUSH: Josh wanted to capture that energy and the sound we were pushing, press it onto a vinyl record, and then release it on his label, MACHINE.

Up in the DJ booth at PLUSH’s May rave. Photo by @joenoseph on Instagram.

MDR: Were there any experiences from previous vinyl releases which informed the production and processes involved in PLUSH x MACHINE?

MACHINE: I actually made so many mistakes on the first record that I wasn’t going to do another. I then realised that those mistakes would only have value if I tried again. 

MDR: The vinyl features some incredible local artists – from Lucy Grey and DJ Sweetspot to PLUSH’s own S.o.D. and DJ X-TRAKT. How did you go about selecting artists for the vinyl? Were there any challenges you faced?

PLUSH: Thanks! Well, four of the six PLUSH residents feature on the record, DJ & Producers: Lucy Grey, All Trades, & S.o.D. (which is my alias), as well as MC W-I. As well as two friends of PLUSH: DJ Sweetspot & DJ X-TRAKT.

I wanted to reflect an honest representation of what PLUSH was then, and each artist delivered an outstanding track, which all together, made for a well rounded collection of music displaying a diversity of sound and genre. All in all, encapsulating PLUSH!

Although there were no challenges when making the record, I’m now finding it difficult to find Liverpool based female/non-male/womxn producers whilst curating releases for the upcoming PLUSH record label. I’ve reached out to organisations and groups who’ve proved extremely beneficial in helping me broaden my scope for finding more artists who fit the criteria. I also want to use this as an opportunity to let people know that I’m looking, so please reach out if you or anyone you know fits the criteria.

MDR: Given the difficulties and delays associated with releasing vinyl at the moment, what drew you to decide to release on this format?

PLUSH: Josh wanted to do a vinyl-only release, which I loooved the idea of. The physical element of music is a much needed item these days, as I do believe that the easy access digitalisation and streaming has somewhat diminished the power that music holds. So, to cement this era of PLUSH with a vinyl is absolutely awesome sauce !

MACHINE: As an artist, having a release on vinyl is a milestone. Making music myself, I know what it means – being able to provide that feels good.

Vinyl pop-up at PLUSH. Photo by @joenoseph on Instagram.

MDR: What have you most enjoyed about collaborating with each other on this release?

PLUSH: Having an insight into MACHINE and seeing how they work. Learning from Josh, Katie & the rest of their team. And, overall, seeing something great birthed out of such a defining collaboration.

I remember when the first collaborative vinyl between MACHINE, Meraki & Melodic Distraction was announced. The competition was such a cool way to curate a record. And, seeing my friends & fellow Keep It Cryptic collaborators, Benno & Ché, on the record under the Mr Cryptic alias alongside Sticky Dub, I was well impressed and buzzing to see what MACHINE did next.

When Josh eventually approached me with the initial idea for this collaborative PLUSH record, I gave an astounding yes with such excitement. To be given this opportunity is something I’m extremely grateful for.

MACHINE: Ollie is a cool guy, I enjoy talking to him. He also has impressive organisation skills and work ethic. The project ran smoothly and on time largely due to him.

Ollie’s S.o.D. set at August’s PLUSH rave. Photo by @joenoseph on Instagram.

MDR: Do you have any advice for someone looking to create a vinyl or compilation release of their own?

MACHINE: Enter with caution. It’s a bit of a money pit, & make sure the music has current market value.

PLUSH: Get to know music as much as you can and allow it to inform the decision making when curating. Why do you want to go for that particular artist? Is it their sound and production, more musical elements such as melody and harmony, or is it just a slammer?!

Allowing the process of compiling a release to have a personal touch. And, allowing for the contrast between each [track] to reflect within the release. This, I believe, will help bring together the wider project and compiled selections as a whole piece of art in itself.

All in all: get some rammers, bish bash bosh!

Head over to PLUSH’s next 12-hour rave on the 30th September – Tickets available here.