Oscillate

Oscillate is a Birmingham based electronic music club which began in the ’90s featuring Higher Intelligence Agency and the Oscillate Sound System, plus live electronic music performances by invited guests. Oscillate continues to put on occasional high quality events featuring innovative electronic music both past and present.

Oscillate is a not for profit group whose creative directors are Scylla Magda and Bobby Bird.

Background

Oscillate provided an exceptional environment for live electronic music and played a pivotal role in supporting this emerging art form in the ’90s.

Acts then little known outside of the global techno underground of the time travelled from around the world to play. Music enthusiasts and party people came from across the UK to participate.

Oscillate highlighted Birmingham as a significant cultural hub during this period by providing “An oasis of experimentation … within a post industrial wasteland.”  Oli Warwick / Tim Rockins, Red Bull Music Academy 2017).

At the end of the ’90s Oscillate moved away from transforming nightclub venues into unique Oscillate environments, and started bringing their art form to more alternative spaces. This included an Oscillate on the 12th floor of Birmingham’s landmark cylindrical Rotunda building, featuring a collaborative performance by Bobby Bird and Geir Jenssen (HIA / Biosphere), later released as Birmingham Frequencies, and a multi-channel performance / installation on Cannon Hill Park’s octagonal bandstand as part of 7/8 of a Second, before moving outside of Birmingham for the next 10 years, bringing the Oscillate experience to woodland environments at the Shambala Festival in Devon and Northamptonshire.

Here Bird and Magda, together with additional members of Oscillate affiliated offshoot Modulate AV, provided all night electronic music, installations and projections for over 12 hours each night. In keeping with Oscillate’s well established practice, this also included bringing a bespoke sound system with them each time, specced and attuned to the area by Bird, the festival providing nothing but the space. The woodlands soon became the night time area for electronic music enthusiasts to spend their weekend in, as well providing an introduction to those new to the genre, and it quickly became as popular with a new crowd as the nightclub based Oscillates had previously been in Birmingham.

Oscillate has currently returned to presenting events in Birmingham, most recently at Centrala, a mixed use arts and music space.

“To those in the know, including the 650 clubbers who frequent the club in Birmingham every other Friday night, Oscillate is the club of the moment, making waves far beyond the Midlands and attracting clubbers from as far afield as Manchester, London and Edinburgh.”

Roger Tredre, The Observer 1994

Oscillate Sound System
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