Mike Pickering: A Look at the Madchester DJ and Producer

  1. Madchester DJs
  2. Famous Madchester DJs and Producers
  3. Mike Pickering

Mike Pickering is one of the most iconic DJs and producers in the Madchester music scene. He has been around since the mid-1980s, and has been credited with helping to popularize the genre of music. Pickering's career began as a DJ at the famous Hacienda Club in Manchester, where he quickly gained recognition as one of the best DJs in the city. From there, he went on to create his own record label, with his own music production company. He has released several albums and singles, and has worked with many of the biggest names in Madchester music. In this article, we take a look at Mike Pickering's career and how he helped shape the Madchester scene.

We'll discuss his journey from a DJ at the Hacienda Club to a successful producer, and look at some of his best-known work. Mike Pickering was born in Manchester in 1959. He began his career in the early 1980s as a DJ at the famous Hacienda nightclub. His sets were heavily influenced by American soul, funk and hip hop.


was also part of the team responsible for launching the Factory Records label, which was home to iconic acts like Joy Division and New Order. In the late 1980s, Pickering became a member of Factory Records’ house band, The Happy Mondays.

He co-wrote and produced several tracks on their seminal album Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches. He also produced other Factory Records releases like The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly and A Certain Ratio’s Force. In the 1990s, Pickering formed the group 808 State with Martin Price and Gerald Simpson. The group released a number of influential albums, including Newbuild and Ex:el. The trio also collaborated with Bjork on her album Debut.

Pickering has been credited with helping to spread UK dance music around the world, as well as inspiring other DJs and producers to pursue a career in the music industry. In recent years, Pickering has continued to stay active in the music scene, performing at clubs and festivals around the world. He is also an A&R consultant for Sony Music UK. He has also released several mixes on his own label, Skint Records.

Recent Work

In recent years, Mike Pickering has continued to explore his passion for music production and DJing, releasing singles and remixes on labels such as R&S Records.

He is still an active member of the music industry, frequently collaborating with other DJs and producers. His most notable recent work includes a collaboration with German techno producer Tobi Neumann on the track “My Soul” in 2016, and a remix of UK producer John Tejada’s “Lose It All” in 2017. Pickering has also kept busy with live performances, playing shows at clubs and festivals around the world. In 2018, he co-founded a new label, The White Hotel Records, which focuses on releasing music from up-and-coming artists. He also appears regularly on BBC Radio 6 Music. In addition to his musical endeavors, Mike Pickering is a dedicated philanthropist.

He is a patron of the Manchester Music Education Hub, and has been involved in numerous charity events to benefit those in need.

Early Life and Career

Mike Pickering was born and raised in Manchester, England, and was part of the local music scene from an early age. After studying music technology at Manchester Polytechnic, he went on to become a DJ at the infamous Hacienda nightclub in the late 1980s. It was here that he helped to popularize the “Madchester” sound, mixing together acid house, punk rock, and other styles of music. Pickering soon found himself at the center of the Madchester scene and he started to produce his own tracks. He worked with seminal bands like The Happy Mondays and 808 State, helping them to hone their sound.

He also released solo singles such as “Tribal Gathering” and “Voodoo Ray”, which were widely hailed by critics. Pickering went on to work with various record labels, producing tracks for a range of artists. He has also released several albums under his own name, including “This is How it Feels” and “The Art of Listening”. In recent years, Pickering has continued to produce music and DJ around the world.

808 State

Mike Pickering is one of the most influential figures in the UK dance music scene, and his involvement with 808 State has been instrumental in shaping the genre. Pickering first met the members of 808 State in 1988, and the two quickly formed a close friendship.

He was an early supporter of their music and encouraged them to pursue their musical ambitions. Pickering worked as a producer on several tracks for the group, helping to shape their sound and bring it to a wider audience. Pickering also provided financial backing for several of 808 State's releases, including their breakthrough album, Ninety. His involvement allowed the group to expand their reach and gain more exposure.

He also helped to promote their music in clubs and on radio stations, helping to further popularize their sound. Pickering's work with 808 State has had a lasting impact on UK dance music. His influence can be heard in many modern genres, such as drum and bass and garage. His influence on the genre has been so great that he has been credited with helping to create the “Madchester” sound that became popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Overall, Mike Pickering's involvement with 808 State has been integral in shaping the UK dance music scene. His work as a producer, promoter, and financial backer helped to bring the group's sound to a wider audience, and his influence can still be felt today.

The Happy Mondays

Mike Pickering has had a lasting influence on the Madchester music scene, and perhaps his most significant contribution has been to the seminal band The Happy Mondays. Pickering was a founding member of the group in 1980, and served as their producer from 1983 to 1988. He helped to shape their unique sound, which blended elements of rave music and indie rock.

Pickering was also responsible for introducing them to Factory Records, the influential label that released their first two albums. Under Pickering's guidance, The Happy Mondays achieved a string of UK hits, including 'Step On', 'Kinky Afro', and '24 Hour Party People'. His production skills also helped the band to create their signature wall of sound. He also worked with the band on their third album, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches, which is seen as one of the most important albums in the Madchester scene.

Pickering's work with The Happy Mondays made him one of the most influential figures in Manchester's music scene. His influence can be heard in the work of many other Madchester artists, and he remains an important figure in British dance music. Mike Pickering is a legendary figure in the world of Madchester music. His influence has been felt throughout the world, inspiring DJs and producers to pursue their own musical dreams.

From his early days as a DJ and producer in Manchester, to his work with The Happy Mondays and 808 State, to his current projects, Mike Pickering has left an indelible mark on the UK dance music scene. His pioneering spirit and dedication to innovation have helped shape the music landscape as we know it today. His work has left a lasting legacy, and he continues to be an inspiration to aspiring DJs and producers everywhere.

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