‘I want to replicate what I experienced over there’: The DJ bringing iconic Berlin club scene to Nottingham

Video: The Waves founder Louis Knight on how it all started and what to expect at his night

A Nottingham-based DJ bringing the iconic Berlin club scene to the city has teamed up with an event from Derby to provide ‘visuals not many people will have seen in Nottingham before’ at their latest event. Louis Knight, 23, started The Waves around three years ago, an event designed to ‘transform places into atmospheres from Berlin and to provide the best music around’. He has been promoting events since he was 17; when he was 19 he travelled on his own to Berlin and fell in love with the sound and atmosphere of the clubs in the German capital.

Upon his return to England, Louis made it his mission to bring those environments to clubs in Nottingham. And now The Waves has teamed up with Derby event Discotech for the very first time to put on a special night at Rough Trade on Friday (November 2), with the ‘intimate psychedelic den becoming the HQ for the affair’.

Louis spoke to Jake Brigstock about his personal rise, how he’s brought Berlin to Nottingham and what to expect at one of his nights.

“I first started promoting events in Leicester from a young age and being in the crowds and looking up at DJs, it gave me that buzz to want to do it.

It all first started on a really old pair of CDJs that I don’t think worked that well and I somehow managed to pick it up in probably a very horrendous manner!

A DJ controller

But then I moved to a controller, proper CDJs and now I’m started to mix on vinyl.

Vinyl is classed as the most skillful art of mixing however if you’ve got that musical knowledge and the will and want to pick it up, you will.

A lot of the music I want to play and am listening to at the minute is vinyl release only so I’m not able to play a lot of the music I want to play because I don’t have the accessibility to play on vinyl all the time.


It’s always nice having a vinyl collection and if you’re playing that kind of set it’s more credible – one day I want to be a vinyl only DJ.

I’ve previously played at Stealth and festivals such as Detonate and El Dorado festival – that was really good experience and an amazing festival.

The weather was bright, it was scorching hot, it wasn’t that big, the music was perfect, the crowd was really good and the friends I was with amazing so it was the best thing.


And I was DJing at the time just to cap it all off!

I’d love to get international bookings in the future and play alongside some heavyweights or get headline slots but that’s a waiting game really.

If I keep doing what I’m doing, hopefully my credibility and worth will increase so more and more people will see my music and like the music I play.

The lineup for the event at Rough Trade on Friday (November 2)

The Waves all started because I lived in Berlin for about a year and experienced a lot of the culture and clubs over there and found out about a lot of different music policies.

I wanted to go travelling on my own when I was 19, and looking back now that’s really young to leave, and all I had booked was a train to Paris and then to Berlin.

I just thought, I wanted to stay here for a bit and I didn’t really move – it was the hub for me!

When I returned to England, I wanted to replicate what I experienced over there.

Since I’ve come home, I’ve used a load of different venues with different music policies and collaborated and headlined with different people to create intimate parties, big parties like at the Irish Centre and the aim is to keep replicating that.

I had my first ever set at Rough Trade and I have a good relationship with them – there are never any issues for any event.

Rough Trade is hosting the event on Friday

The best way to make the scene progress in my eyes is to network and if you get along with someone as a friend musically and business-wise, you have the perfect recipe for an event.

Me and the guy that runs Discotech actually met at a night run by Nottingham’s Lukas Wigflex when he hosted Craig Richards at the Nottingham Contemporary.

We put all the plans together there and the event on Friday that’s happening is a result of that – Wigflex has brought an event together pretty much!

The Waves have teamed up with Derby-based Discotech

We’ve brought in a Funktion One sound system with two stacks along with some 3D projection mapping that’s going to be absolutely crazy and something not many people have seen in Nottingham before.

We’ve got two Nottingham DJs, one called Kepler who’s absolutely killing it and had some amazing releases on vinyl only and then we’ve got a veteran called Michael McLardy who is going to be playing a techno set.

The whole night is going to be filled with deep, minimal, rolling music and there will probably be some songs that stand out that get people grooving a little bit more.

The bass frequencies are less hard hitting than techno and it just resonates with me more; it creates more emotion and for me, from the festivals I’ve been to and the cities I’ve lived in, I’ve found people can dance together with it.

It’s not like techno where it’s almost military and it’s not bassline or drum and bass where you’re jumping around causing mosh pits.

The crowds that come to The Waves nights are very good party people – they’re not too over the top and they’re not disrespectful as some parties can be; they’re there for the music.

They’re not there to reach a social status level and I’m not saying that’s the case for any party but that can be found.

It’s going to be a very good party!”

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