Interview – Getting to Know Audio Chronicles

How often do you feel alienated on the dance floor these days? Some greasy boulder of a bloke pushes you aside to get past without even an apologetic nod. Another guy is twisted to the point of terror. For the life of you, you can’t find your friends. You’ve spent half an hour shuffling about the place alone, and it’s probably home time. Not even the music can draw you back in as the DJ seems to be playing broken records. It’s a nightmare.

But if you were at the last Audio Chronicles night, you would have had no such traumatic experience. Alex Ogilvie and Amy Alford are kindling a glowing hearth of eclectic selections to welcome you in from the cold of your average club night.

Amy: “Audio Chronicles has no ego. We welcome anyone who wants to hear good music and equally have a good time. It’s free, unpretentious and a great atmosphere.

Alex: “We’re really just content with playing the music we love to a group of people who want to hear it. It’s that simple. We get a huge buzz from passing on a good tune to friends, so this is just an extension of that.”

The night is both a history lesson (one of those really good ones, not one taught by a weird bloke in corduroy) and a bold progression into the future of club music.

Amy: “In some ways, the name [Audio Chronicles] is a stamp on our love for music history. However, we want each event to be a chapter or record which is equally as significant as the other. I try and listen to as much music as possible. I spend hours on YouTube, go to record shops, research artists, labels and genres picking and plucking tunes as I go. Saying that, I’ve discovered so much music through recommendations and have always loved music sharing – that’s what it’s really about. Music of the past heavily influences me, but without new music I’d be missing out on so much.”

The pair will bequeath to you a wealth of tunes from their genre and decade spanning collection – a collection that is still being dusted, archived and added to. Amy herself was born into a dazzling world of music.

“I grew up to solid 4×4. My mum was Trance and Hard House DJ who was a resident at one of the local clubs. I was around 7 at this time and always remember my parents having parties, with mum’s vestax decks and an abundance of glow sticks in the living room – old school huh? I’ve always been surrounded by the harder music genres – definitely where my passion for techno comes from. I’ve experimented and made some techno-based loops and demos but nothing credible. I’d love to get stuck into production – grab an MPC, 808, 909 and lock myself away for a few weeks just to see what happens. Saying that, my mind’s all about djing at the moment – production will come when I’m ready.”

For Alex, “music started with the trumpet at age 8, before picking up the drums at around 12. This quickly led to a pretty serious jazz addiction. Before moving to Leeds for university, it was all about jazz, funk and some soul. Leeds opened up the door to electronic music, making the link from jazz to disco to house.”

As well as joining the dots between all sorts of music, Audio Chronicles are all about bringing people together, so that you no longer have to experience the alienation of a lot of club nights. The interesting space of The White Rabbit bar helps this process along.

Alex: “It’s been great to play in a number of venues with diverse crowds and I’d love for it to continue that way. But, personally, I think the White Rabbit really works for us. It’s quirky, intimate and really suits our experimental and eclectic ethos.”

This ethos is not just restricted to the club. The duo will soon be reaching out to you via Leeds most exciting musical project for a long time: KMAH Radio.

Alex: “We can’t wait for the show to start, although we’d be lying if we said we weren’t nervous too! Audio Chronicles has always meant to be about eclecticism but when you’re playing music for people to dance to it can be restraining (to a degree). It’s the perfect opportunity to play the music that may not be best suited for when we play out. I’m particularly looking forward to converting some Leeds house heads onto some Wayne Shorter or something!”

Amy: “Music isn’t always about the club so it’s great to be out of that setting for something more intimate and relaxed.”

Whether you catch them at the next night at White Rabbit for Audio Chronicles Part Four (28th March 2015) or online on 2nd Sunday of every month (, you are sure to feel at home in experiencing their nostalgic yet progressive musical philosophy.

[Oliver Walkden]

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