So, we have definitely survived. The tents have been duly folded away, the camera crews have left and the Ancient city of Tikal once again lies quiet. We're about one month past the proposed Mayan Armageddon date, yet there still seems to be a distinct lack of chaos. That's not to say, however, that there haven't been any explosions aside from the nonpocalypse.

Call it what you want, but there has to be something to pinpoint as a cause for the talent emanating from Manchester at the moment. Hush now, I hear you… How many times have we heard an idiot from Manchester talking about other idiots from Manchester with that unmistakable brand of arrogant Manchester idiocy that we have all come to loathe. But this time, I promise things are different. As our state ushered in the generation of the futile, the gods that once were found themselves rejected, cast aside in search of something different. The revolution is as continual as it is multi faceted - more a compilation of ever evolving short stories than a retrospective autobiography. One of my favourite chapters begins with the protagonist duo of Ben and Martin, known to some as Sways Records.

"It all started with the Marder really," states Ben, an inventive trio with himself and Martin at the helm. "We were in a band in Manchester, and the scene at the time… well there was no scene. It was shit. The promoters were shit, they just wanted to make money, and you could only play three venues - The Roadhouse, Night & Day and Moho." In a city harbouring half a million people, this clearly wasn't good enough – So they packed up and left. A recording session under the tutorage of Steve Albini - their "hero at the time" - took them initially to Chicago, followed by a stint in Glasgow to release their EP. A tour of Europe touched Norway, Berlin and Copenhagen, but whilst the reception was great, they couldn't help but wonder why this was the way it had to be.

The explosively political 'I'm Perestroika' from the Marder.

"We thought why do we have to go to all these places… Chicago, Scotland, Europe, just to do what we wanted to do. There was nothing here, and at the same time as us being pissed off, everybody was getting pissed off. The fact that we had to go elsewhere, when you're in this city with all of its history - it just didn't make sense. The problem was that the people who were in control were trying to keep it like a fucking museum. Luckily, in 2009, they fucked off and left it to the people who cared."

"For us, it was like this is where it's at and something exciting is happening here. We thought if we could provide something for the bands and the artists that we like then that's what we'd do." At the same time, whole hosts of people with similar rationales were appearing all over Manchester. "There was a group that decided they wanted to change things. There were quite a few; Now Wave started that way, Underachievers, Suffering Jukebox, Comfortable on a Tightrope, Pull Yourself Together, Islington Mill, us. We don't want to take credit for being the first who changed things or anything, but things changed because of this rejection of how it was. The origin of Sways was failure really."

And so it began. Local ideology had changed, circles had begun merging, and the foundations had been laid for what was to come. Surely though, for an unforgettable story, we need an unforgettable setting? Enter der Fuhrerbunker. Lying in the shadow of the Strangeways tower, the Fuhrerbunker exists as an architectural extension of the Sways spirit. In the day it's a studio, at night it transcends into the most exciting venue in the country… In between, it's whatever you want it to be.

Tonight it houses a small roster of individuals, all there to contribute to the same thing in some way or other. "It's fucking lively isn't it!" announces Ben. "It's unique because it's like a HQ in some respects. It's an intriguing space, you know? Not many people have that, like a physical space. Just look at tonight, We've got room one; BLOOM, Yousif in room two, this going on in here." At this point, Yousif (Kult Country Frontman) bursts into the room, underlining the point Ben had just started to make. "Ben, have you got two minutes? You need to hear this, you need to fucking feel this!" He's been crafting some rather intense Arthur Russell inspired techno as a side project, and within a few moments, we're all stood unanimously nodding, in some Salford variation of the Boiler Room. As the track finishes, he disappears with CD in hand, off to get his track played at a club. It serves as a first hand embodiment of the entire sways attitude.

Resuming the chat, I ask Ben and Martin to tell me about the label ethos as succinctly as possible. There are shouts of degeneracy, subversion, institutions and regeneration. There's a few heckles as everyone offers up their own versions of a label ethos; 'the city lies in wake to what is owed', 'the E's have run out', 'metabolic talent'. Amidst the laughter, Ben sighs, "I really should think of these things beforehand." A few minutes earlier, Yousif had told me to ask him one question, and in a roundabout way, it was exactly the same one. His answer is more specific to his experience with Sways, but as far the idea of a label ethos goes, I don't think I heard anything better. "Sways is the most important record label I've ever come into contact with; it'll probably be the most important of my generation. There's people that I've known since being 18 in Manchester, who all said they were going to be musicians from the very first day I met them - from David De Lacy (Great Waves) to Jamie Lee (Money). Then years later, we all end up in the exact same channel. You can put that down to coincidence… I don't, I call it fate."

An early - yet brilliant - recording of 'Slowburn' by Kult Country.

Amidst the various online extensions of Sways lies an intriguing motto though - 'Independent label and Cultural Regenerator'. I ask Ben if that would in fact be the label ethos. He replies "No, that's not an ethos. That is a grand ideal that we will never reach. We will fail." As interesting an answer as it is an ideal.

With this in mind, the conversation moves on to the subject of peaks and endgames.

"When it's like this, like tonight, it's great. We don't need 200 people, or 1000 people, or 5000 if we're at the Apollo. We don't need all those people in that room to tell us what we're doing is good. We're enjoying ourselves tonight. We have the other rooms full of new music, and we're just talking art, film and bullshit in this room. That keeps us happy," reveals Ben. It's some outlook really. It's all about having fun, creating something real, and within that, bucking the trends we have come to expect and furthermore, hate. "You know some bands are all about fucking publicity…. fuck that," he says. "We're Anti-Publicity, that's far more interesting. Why sell yourself? You see these bands doing the same old photo-shoot; they're looking all moody, and there are a few trees, or they're sat against a tree, you know. Is that supposed to evoke some sort of feeling? Why? It's constant fucking publicity." Martin elaborates on the point, "Its embarrassing isn't it. Why are you so insecure, why are you so bothered if people like you? It's like being in fucking school."

I ask them what exactly Anti-Publicity means, and if that's even possible in today's world. "I like to think that even though Facebook and twitter are there for businesses to sell things, I don't think we use it in a business sense. We don't go, Oh, you need to pay money for this. We're just trying to have a good time. If we invited 200 people down tonight, and they wanted to come, then that's far more pure than trying to sell the idea of something to someone, and getting 1000 people down to get them to pay - you know, fuck that. If you want to write about it, that's beautiful, we appreciate that and we love that, but we will not go searching for it."

2013 will be Sways biggest year to date. There are rumours of this and that coming out here and then, and with the bands that come under their umbrella, it'd be advisable to pay attention. There's the Louche, Ghost Outfit and Naked on Drugs to name but a few. After introducing the world to the (insert superlative) talent of Money, there's been Emperor Zero, Great Waves and Kult Country (keep inserting superlatives). Then there's the mysterious entity known as BLOOM… they've only just surfaced with little to nothing known about them, aside from a cryptic Charles Manson dubbed intro video. "This year we're going to give you new music that you will fall in love with. We're gonna put out our first LP, which is massively important for any label. The first LP really establishes the standard, and it's a huge album too. There will be lots happening. We'll be putting out the single by one of the best new bands in Manchester too," he summarises. The conversation soon trails off to subjects such as Jimmy Savile, the culpability of the BBC, and the consequent similarities to the Catholic Church – albeit travelling through the Wizard of Oz and Jimmy Page to get there. Soon enough, the Fuhrerbunker has been traded for the local pub, and you can only imagine where the interview goes from there.

'Schizophrenia', a mysterious teaser from the new project, BLOOM.

This is merely a section of the Sways chapter, and who knows how it'll end. I could tell you about the Bunker in more detail, and how the atmosphere there is incomparable to anything I've experienced before. I could tell you how it places the visiting band inside a square wooden cage, to be surrounded by excitable onlookers akin to those attending a Roman gladiatorial fight. I could go beyond the Sways chapter, as there are numerous others who deserve to be celebrated in this rising of the Northern capital. One thing is for sure though; Manchester produced the best new music in this country last year, and if Sways have anything to do with it, that statement will remain true 365 days from now. The general consensus with the now confirmed Mayan anti-climax, is that the end of the cycle wasn't actually signaling the end of the world. Instead, the believers now claim that it symbolised the beginning of a new era… Who knows, maybe they weren't so stupid after all.