In Conversation with Animaux
For four years, Animaux has lead the way in student-run events, a vital access point to the worlds of underground, house, techno and beyond to a grateful audience of dedicated fans. Now, it’s an established brand in an increasingly populated York nightlife scene, with last term’s party at the Old Fire Station a recent reminder of their ability to put on top notch events that set themselves apart from the crowd. We caught up Mantas Zalepuga aka ‘Endeser’ about the past, present and future of Animaux:
1) Happy birthday to Animaux! What have been some of the highlights from the last four years of putting on events?
“Thank you! It’s been a wonderful four-year ride! As you can imagine, there have been quite a few haha, but our birthdays are usually the rowdiest ones. ‘Randomer’ slaying it at our first birthday is still something I cannot forget. Other than that, having most of our bookings ask if they can play for longer, as they love the crowd so much, as well as quite a few firsts, most of which happened last year. For example, our first ever garden party, first few shows at the bunker at Falcon Tap and now legendary party at the Old Fire Station.”
2) Animaux seems to exude a family vibe, events for and by those who really care about listening to underground house and techno in a friendly environment. What changes have you seen in the York nightlife over the past few years, with a lot more promoters and events popping up around town? How has Animaux been able to consistently carve out such a distinct identity?
“York’s nightlife has been constantly evolving for the better from the moment I started promoting in York (‘Breakz’ at the time). We have seen countless world-class acts grace the various stages in York – from Daniel Avery, Chez Damier (courtesy of Freakin), to Swamp 81 takeovers and now the more recent grime revolution. It makes me happy to be a part of this and seeing people start to appreciate good quality music.”
“Animaux’s ethos has always been quality first – I would rather invest more into an artist or a venue or something to make the night out a little bit more interesting than getting sloshed at predrinks and heading to Kuda. The push has always been to create something that I would love to go to and meet people who are there for the same reason as me – to have a dance. No gimmicks, no nonsense just good quality music and celebration of the art.”
3) The music of you and your fellow DJ’s seems to take cues from the current pulse of underground house and techno- your sight has features on the likes of Dekmatnel and Boomtown. Where do you take your inspiration from when it comes to delivering this music in a club environment of your own?
“As with everything, over the years the main drive was delivering the best quality night in York. Having examples such as local Freakin (RIP) as well as Dekmantel and Dimensions festivals as inspiration as something to strive for has shaped it into what it is today. People behind Animaux (there’s only a few of us) have very different backgrounds, tastes in music and different clubbing experiences from all over UK and Europe, thus a very interesting melting pot was born. We always laugh that Animaux is a French named night, run by a Lithuanian, set in the UK, mainly attended by internationals. We welcome everyone and I think this is where the family vibe comes from – we are all here to have fun.”
4) This Saturday you invite Oxfordshire’s LUV JAM up to Mansion. What can we expect from the night?
“We are very lucky to have Andrew Cole (LUV JAM) come celebrate with us! He is such an experienced DJ and producer who has literally done it all – from Berlin’s TRESOR to Space in Ibiza, Gottwood Festival and so much more. With so many years of experience, you can expect the unexpected from his massive vinyl collection. I know it sounds cliche but it all comes down to the crowd and what they dictate to our DJs. As always, one thing I can promise – quality dance music.”
5) And finally, what does the future have in store for Animaux?
“Haha yeah, the mood currently is very much nostalgia in the Animaux towers, however, we are working on a few things for the not-too-distant future. Expect more parties with interesting artists, a revive of our weekly Aperitif series (although not sure if we will keep the name as it might change with the change of venue) and soon we should start streaming a little bit more via our Facebook page a la Boiler Room style. You can find everything we do on our Facebook page!”
Endeser plays this Saturday @ Mansion on Animaux’s 4th Birthday Party. Event Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/206201896452790/