Jimmy Ladd. Photo by Francis Xavier

Movement is one of the new breed of party organisers springing up in Saigon. Sian Kavanagh talks to their founder, Jimmy Ladd, about techno, Manchester, Berlin and the upcoming Mui Ne Music & Arts Festival

 

Speaking to Jimmy Ladd about his experiences as a promoter and DJ, you wouldn’t know that this Manchester native was only 25 years old. Yet this musician and event organiser has been hard at work helping to develop the underground music scene wherever he goes. His latest project? Vietnam.

 

Growing up surrounded by musicians, Jimmy has been passionate about creating and sharing music from a young age, getting his first mixer at 15. For Jimmy, techno is an experience that defies the human vocabulary — to truly understand it you have to surround yourself and lose yourself to the moment.

 

Manchester via Berlin to Saigon

 

It started with the Urban Ruins blog created by Jimmy and his girlfriend, Beth Clarke. Focusing on the Mancunian underground techno scene, this evolved into them using Urban Ruins to produce their own intimate raves in unique venues around Manchester. “We wanted to create a space where people could come to chill and dance, and end the night with 10 new friends,” says Jimmy. “We wanted to build up a community of people who enjoy having a good time.”

 

In 2013 Jimmy visited Berlin and was inspired by the attitude and ease of the German capital’s underground scene. Berliners, he found, lacked the rowdiness that can often be present at EDM clubs in the UK, instead offering a welcoming, more open environment. This sense of community is reflected in Jimmy’s preference for a speakeasy-style party where people have space to dance, talk, and enjoy music at the same time.

 

Now he has moved onto new climes, arriving in Saigon in August. He is moving fast, too, and is already behind in the Movement Events and the Saigon Warehouse Project parties at Cargo Bar. The parties at Cargo have been received well so far by locals and travellers alike, their first warehouse party drawing an impressive 300 ravers. Since then the numbers have been growing. The aim is to deliver the perfect balance of good vibes, quality music, and an upbeat atmosphere. Now Jimmy is bringing his talents to Mui Ne for the upcoming festival.

 

As this is the inaugural year for Mui Ne Music and Art Festival, it’s an exciting time for everyone involved, though nobody’s quite sure what to expect. “It’s going to be an amazing experience,” says Jimmy. “We have three days to play music and meet new people. But it’s going to be full on.”

 

Building a Community

 

The Dance Stage at Mui Ne Music and Arts Festival will be showcasing the talents of Ladd himself, as well as the likes of Dan Lo, Nic Ford, Spanish DJ Noches, DJ Konka and Berlin-based Franz Underwear, with a variety of styles ranging from disco, afrobeat and live instrumental through to minimal chill vibes. “It’s about ditching the ego, and making friends,” says Jimmy. No matter what, it’ll be hard to stop yourself from dancing.

 

“If I had to describe it,” he adds, “I’d say that we’re the music underdogs of the [Ho Chi Minh City] scene — we’re not in the mainstream. We play what we enjoy and just hope that we find people to share it with who enjoy it as much as we do.”

 

To find our more about Movement and the Saigon Warehouse Project, click on facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009038097116. The event page for the Mui Ne Music & Arts Festival is at facebook.com/events/899954503391384/

Sian Kavanagh

A Liverpool-born writer who has lived in Amsterdam, Oregon, US and now Ho Chi Minh City, Sian recently graduated with a BA in Journalism from the University of Oregon. When she's not busy with Word Magazine, Siân is volunteering in media production for the Vinacapital Foundation, and is passionate about salsa dancing, exploring Vietnamese cuisine, and hanging out with her 11-year-old French Bulldog.

Website: www.sianjkavanagh.com

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