Who We Are

Electronic music requires as much listening as dancing. The Hive Collective aims to promote new and exciting electronic music throughout Liverpool. We are interested not only in the sound of virtual stones dropping into infinite wells of zen-like depth or pile-driving 4-to-the-floor techno but in all forms of innovative electronica.

The Hive Collective is a group of audio and visual artists that has been at the forefront of developing innovative electronic music and audiovisual performance in Liverpool since the organisation was established in 2003. During this period Hive has run a series of events in the Box at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), has staged three successful international festivals, and has promoted a number of one-off performances in art spaces and clubs.

At the core of its work Hive has actively encouraged innovation in performance practice by mixing a broad spectrum of electronic music, matching of audio and visual artists for one-off performances and providing a unique performance environment. The collective has a track record of attracting internationally renowned artists from countries including UK, USA, Sweden, South Africa, Germany, France, Iceland, Spain, Denmark, Bulgaria and Switzerland. In 2008 the Hive Collective staged four high-profile audiovisual experimental electronic music events as part of Liverpool’s programme for its tenure as European Capital of Culture. These included commissions from some of the most well known names in electronic music and sound art, a live art interactive event in St John’s shopping precinct and collaborations with FACT and the Bluecoat.

The collective’s recent interests have been with how digital audiovisual technologies can be used in interactive live art events and installations. The Hive Collective have worked closely with the Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology (FACT), the Tate, Soundnetwork and have received funding from the Arts Council (UK), the Performing Rights Society Foundation (PRSF), Liverpool Culture Company and the Heritage Lottery commission.

Recent projects have included:

Hive Take the Floor, Tate Liverpool, 2009
One day live art installation as part of the Fifth Floor Exhibition at Tate Liverpool. Audience members were invited to submit questions which became part of an interactive and evolving A/V performance.

Long Live Physical Media Futuresonic 09, Manchester 2009
A collaboration with Soundnetwork. The installation/performance allowed festival goers to produce their own personal print and sound recording on analogue 10min tape; creating a unique live sound piece which only existed as a one off live performance and as a physical recording.

Artist Residency as part of the Ding Dong! Exhibition FACT, Liverpool 2009
Interactive performance where audience members were invited to interact with a number of innovative interfaces for electronic music creation.

You Are Sound, St John’s Centre Liverpool, 2008
A Free sound art project in St John’s Centre, Liverpool City centre as part of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture Commissions Strand. Shoppers were invited to interact with the seemingly passive soundscape of their environment through portable electronic instruments wired through the bodies of performers and the fabric of the building itself.

Uncanny Space, Liverpool 2008
Interactive club/performance event featuring Alva Noto, Vladislav Delay and Donnacha Costello. Audience members were photographed as they entered the venue and their images were integrated into the surround screen visuals that were a central part of transforming the venue for the event.

The Spectacular Suburb, Liverpool 2008
Hive visual artists collaborated with the electronic music artists Chris Watson and Matthew Herbert in the creation of a one-off A/V performance. The piece involved Watson making site-specific recordings at Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ installation on Crosby Beach which were used by Herbert in the creation of a new piece. Hive visual artists created an immersive installation in which the audio work (and an 8.1 soundscape by Watson) were performed.

Hive -

  • Allows the dissemination of innovative electronic music in Liverpool
  • Encourages "bedroom" producers to showcase their material
  • Establishes a community of those interested in experimental electronic music culture
  • Provides an exciting listening opportunity in a comfortable environment with high acoustic quality

The Hive Collective are:

  • Alex Spiers (DJ Alextronic)
  • Matthew Smith (Testcard)
  • Sara Smith
  • David Sorfa (Film Studies, Liverpool John Moores University)
  • Rob Strachan (Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool)
  • Bob Wass (WassArts)
  • Sam Wiehl (Burneverything)

Alex and Matt are experienced new music promoters and accomplished electronic/organic DJs. Matt and Rob perform in the electronic pop group, Testcard, while Rob also produces work as Corporate Athlete. David irregularly produces music and DJs as Strcprstskrzkrk. Bob and Sam manipulate images. Sara makes things work.

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