The DJ duo who named themselves after the Brotherton

What must Edward Boyle think?

brotherton brotherton wing dj dubstep duo house ibiza jungle library rave todd terry university of leeds

Next time you’re on campus, keep an eye out for musical inspiration – you might find yourself in the same position as Brotherton Wing.

DJs aren’t exactly a rarity in Leeds, so we can only assume that most of the good names have been taken. However one duo were hit with the inspiration for theirs in the most unlikely of places: on the wall of the LGI.

We spoke to Marc Cruickshank from Brotherton Wing about Leeds nightlife, their Ibiza residency and the decision behind that peculiar name…

Hi Marc. Where did the idea for Brotherton Wing come from?

We got asked to remix Todd Terry’s “Bounce to the Beat” and needed to come up with a name for us both. I had a doctor’s appointment at the hospital and was stood outside waiting for my taxi. Anyone who is familiar with Leeds will know there’s a massive sign outside saying “Brotherton Wing”, so I called Liam and said “How about this?” The rest is history, as they say.

We’re not at Leeds Uni so it wasn’t until afterwards that we realised the library was called the Brotherton too. I can’t walk past there without laughing to myself now.

We’d actually left the name to the very last minute. The EP was getting released on the very same day we came up with it. We both work for The Warehouse, so we had a relationship with Steve Raine who runs the label and club event Hard Times. It was him who gave us a shot at doing a remix.

Thankfully it did well and made it into Traxsource’s Best of ADE 2014 Chart, so from then on we were signed.

How would you describe your music?

The caption on our Facebook page is ‘House / Jungle / 2-Step / Rave’, and that pretty much sums us up. We’re massively influenced by the 90s rave culture and house scene, so we try to put this into our tracks.

Whether it’s an old breakbeat or cut-up vocals we will use it – anything that sounds like there’s some history there. We also use the Roland Aira TR-8, TB-3 & MX-1 which we can’t promote enough. They’re valuable tools, not just in the studio but in performances too.

Photo by Elliot Young Photography

Who do you count as influences?

The list is endless, but ones that stick out would be Jamie XX, Paul Woolford, Bicep, Todd Terry, Ian Pooley, James Zabiela, Derrick May, Soundstream, Joy Orbison, Detroit Swindle, Dusky, LTJ Bukem, A Guy Called Gerald, KiNK and LFO.

Speaking of LFO, we actually produce all our tracks in the basement of The Warehouse, which we have been told was the late Mark Bell from LFO’s old studio. It’s where he made the massive track LFO (Leeds Warehouse Remix). It’s kind of eerie at times down there.

James Zabiela actually played our track, S-Man’s ‘Time 2 Stop’ (Brotherton Wing Remix), at a gig in Manchester recently, which was amazing.

What’s the one song you wish you’d written?

Orbital – Belfast

How has the music scene in Leeds affected your style?

Well as we’ve worked for The Warehouse since its reopening we have seen how the scene has changed over the years. Different genres come and go – do you remember dubstep?

The difference with house is that it has always stayed and always will. I think the whole 90s influence has definitely made a massive comeback, so it was definitely a good time to start up Hard Times again seeing as those were the guys that pretty much started it all back in the day. They definitely influenced us anyway.

The music scene in general, not just in Leeds, has changed dramatically. It’s the smaller events that do well, the underground parties and Warehouse events. It’s the same in Ibiza, the smaller venues like Sankeys or Vista where we hold our residency that are flourishing. We need more smaller venues in Leeds though, in our opinion.

Have you ever played a gig where nobody turned up?

I think every DJ will have at some point played to an empty room. If they haven’t, they’re lying.

What’s the worst thing that happened to you at a gig?

Like I said – nobody turned up!

Vista in Ibiza

What are your favourite venues in Leeds?

Well, obviously The Warehouse. they’ve backed us from the get-go and given us a residency so we owe them a lot. But our other favourite venues would be Wire, Distrikt, Mint Warehouse and Mint Club.

And your least favourite?

We can’t answer that!

What are you guys up to at the moment?

We’re working on a couple of remixes for the label which we’re currently road testing at our gigs, as well as our own EP and a collaboration with our label buddy Louis Bailey.

We’re heading to Ibiza this weekend to play with Felix Da Housecat & Paul Woolford which we can’t wait for. It’s very rare to see Felix, and obviously Wooly is a firm favourite of ours.

You can also catch us hosting the VIP Arena for Mint Festival on both days with Todd Terry, Doorly, Mat Playford, Death on the Balcony and Louis Bailey, which should be fun.

Of course there’s some other events in Leeds coming up, but we can’t tell you about them yet.

Finally, what are your plans for the future?

Simple – to own more synthesisers and drum machines!

Check out Brotherton Wing on Facebook here.