Gig preview: Hope Works presents Denis Sulta, Lo Shea and Mezla at Wire, Leeds

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Hope Works has becomes a stalwart figure within the clubbing culture over the past few years, not only hyping the scene in their beloved Steel City.

Lo Shea, the booker and head honcho, has curated and drafted in the finest underground bookings which has even lead to a critically acclaimed festival No Bounds which takes place again this summer. Venturing to Leeds on numerous occasions Lo Shea now lays his hat at Wire, this weekend with Denis Sulta.

Tell us about Hope Works, your concept and what’s going there right now? What have been the major changes moving into 2018?

It’s now the sixth year I’ve been developing and curating Hope Works. It began as a place for creativity and expression, a place for art, a place for connecting with like minded souls and importantly a place for a sense of community linked by a love for dancing and being in the moment. I believe very strongly in the importance of communal experience as a necessary part of the human condition. Raves are to me a modern way we can experience something beyond the individual that is very special and of great value. I wanted to make Hope Works a place with positive intent and a place that attracts that from the start. It has served as an incubator for local talent with our Mesters room a regular place for local crews and new talent to develop. In fact I’ve given first plays to many young up and coming artists, I really hope that I can help provide a platform and space for development. It’s something that’s needed.

Sheffield has taken a huge resurgence over past couple of years, would you say it’s right back in the thick of the major clubbing cities now?

I think so, yes, I certainly have devoted years of my life to furthering the offering for night time experiences here.

And how do you compare it to Leeds to the other cities?

Sheffield just has its own unique little ecosystem, just like any city. Whilst there are differences, there is also a lot in common. Northern cities really have a great ability to let their hair down in the Rave! I’m interested in connecting with people and sharing our differences openly in a way that’s a positive and enriching thing for both parties so those differences make a great diverse experience we can all enjoy together. It’s like we can connect though raving but enjoy our local idiosyncrasies.

You have also worked really well with the Kmah team who have gone leaps and bounds to push fresh acts from all genres. How important do you think the team has been to industry over the past four years?

I’ve such a lot of respect for the KMAH Team, my god they’ve worked hard. They have really made a difference in the lives of many people and have 100 per cent had an impact in the industry. Setting up KMAH was something I supported from the start. I had a show on it but had to stop because and only because of my work commitments running Hope Works and planning the New No Bounds Festival. They have filled a gap up here that sorely needed filling, the team behind it I had known for some time through my own involvement in the industry and I can honestly say I’m very proud to know them all and have the utmost admiration for their vision, tenacity and personalities as individual, passionate and hard working people.

And release wise you have done something for ReKids, which is one of the most sort after imprints, what was that like and what do you have in store for us next?

It was a huge honour and a career highlight so far to be asked to release on this label. Matt Edwards has created something that’s part of the fabric of this scene and to join the ranks of artists like Nina Kraviz and Mr G who have released on ReKids as well as Radio Slave has been an incredibly positive experience. Tiga just recently included my track Tundish from this release on his BBC Radio 1 ‘Ones To Watch in 2018’ for Pete Tong, as a result, it has really had a positive impact on my career. My next release will be on Dusky’s 17 Steps, which features a Peder Mannerfelt remix, I’m super excited about this release too. Marcel Dettmann has already been supporting this record as well as Dusky playing it in their shows for the last few months. I have high hopes for this release too, exciting times!

And No Bounds, can you let the cat out of the bag yet on what we can expect for the summer festival?

Not yet, I’m afraid, but I’ve been working hard on it for the past six weeks. It’s such a huge undertaking but something I’m very very passionate about. It’s ultra rewarding and I hope to grow this festival to become something that’s firmly on the international festival map. I want to build on last year’s festival which was a real success and continue to take chance and provide a diverse line-up that covers a lot of ground from the experimental borderlands to better known artists across different scenes. The common thread for me is quality work.

Finally, give us your track of the moment...

That’s almost impossible for someone like me. I like so many different things for different reasons. One track that I’ve been playing a lot in my sets though that always kills it is Superlative Fatigue by Errorsmith from his new album on Pan. After seeing him do this live in 2016 at Unsound in Krakow I’ve been wanting to get him to Hope Works ever since. I’ve now made that happen, he’ll be playing with Helena Hauff on March 9! Yes!

Lo Shea will play along side Denis Sulta at Wire on March 24. Tickets available at www.wireclub.co.uk