Fabric presents Visionquest ‘Thirteen’ – Antelope Skull & Tron Lazers
Antelope skull and Tron lazers…
Words: Stephen Reynolds
Fortunately I was lucky enough to have Fabric nightclub on my doorstep from an early age and after one exclusive night back in April 2008 it quickly became my regular stomping ground. It has always been a daunting club for me, the descent down the steep dimly lit staircases, usually littered with various pickled individuals, followed by the emergence into this vast cavernous space unlike much else I have ever visited before.
Visionquest are also no strangers to Fabric’s hallowed halls, making annual visits, with their latest to showcase the recently announced ‘thirteen’ tour. An earlier press conference had left much to the imagination with the boys only revealing that they would be creating “immersive environments where they will alter spaces we already know”. At least we are safe in the knowledge that Seth will be able to gain a job in marketing if Visionquest falls through eh?!
After seeing what they had done previously with DC10, kitting it out with wigwams and other Mayan décor I was excited to see if they could create the same atmosphere within Fabric, however, when I arrived the club seemed in the same state as I had left it two years previous bar two blank screens and a small antelope skull above the DJ booth. Fortunately the music was on top form with Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves, Seth Troxler and Lee Curtiss all playing b2b2b2b delivering that combination of techno tracks layered with Detroit basslines and Visionquest favourites.
3am hit and the main room seemed to refresh. As many left for the kebab shops the music became progressively harder and we began to hear those familiar Detroit sounds more and more. Then the production really kicked in as the spiral lighting / lazers drifted over the crowd and these two solid white lines appeared upon the walls turning Fabric’s main room into a gigantic scene from TRON. I seriously had not seen Fabric like that before and found myself and others for periods just staring at the show they had created.
The stage had been kept off limits until Shaun appeared with his guitar and armed with Seth and Ryan one either side, began producing live samples with a seamless change over from the booth. It was a welcomed change of pace and again the music and light production co-ordinated brilliantly.
Room 2 and 3 played host to a man who witnessed the birth of Techno in Detroit, Kevin Saunderson. He was joined by the just as experienced Kenny Larkin, Kyle Hall and Patrice Scott to form the ‘Curators of Techno’. I dipped in and out of these rooms and loved the progression in sound from broken chopped up Techno to the solid industrial sound that Detroit is famous for.
Although it was not the night I was predicting, it took nothing away from the show they had put on. It was refreshing to see the promoters and production team work so closely, thinking about their audience as they progressed throughout the night, keeping them entertained with ranging visual and musical options. It was also good to see why Fabric has remained cemented in the top 10 clubs in the world – it is their ability to get the small things right, fast queue, no nonsense cloakroom and efficient bar staff, as well as producing crisp and perfected sound and lighting displays.
Loco Dice London Weekender – A Night To Remember
Lock N Load show why they organise events…
Words: Mike Taylor
Loco Dice is a man with a huge reputation and if history tells us anything it’s that he knows how to throw one hell of a party. Renowned for his extensive sets and unrivalled energy the March bank holiday weekend saw his Desolat family take over London’s venue, Electric Brixton. After the original Sunday rapidly sold out an additional date was quickly added giving birth to Saturdays line-up; Hector, Martin Buttrich, Robert Dietz, Guti and Loco Dice.
Walking through Brixton you could instantly feel the energy in the air, a wonderful variety of cultures and nationalities were descending upon Electric Brixton for a night of sensational underground house music. We were not disappointed.
Now firstly, I must admit Electric Brixton has to be taken with a pinch of salt, it is not an exclusive clubbing venue so the acoustics are never going to be fantastic for electronic music. Also if you are a fan of warehouse raves, this probably isn’t going to do it for you. I on the other hand quite like it, it’s nice to have diverse clubbing spaces. What it does offer is two tiers much like a theatre, adding a unique feel to the clubbing experience and its raised stage provides great opportunity for some fascinating production. Everything about the night was accomplished with precision and the execution was flawless. Both the entry and cloakroom queues were fast and controlled and bar service was great considering it was a sell out event. Even the venues narrow corridors which can quickly get overcrowded were quick to be resolved by the door staff. Over the years I have seen various showcases held here, including both Cocoon and Cadenza but this has been hands down my favourite.
Hector opened the night and perfectly demonstrated how a warm up set should be performed. It seems to be something of a lost art nowadays with huge line-ups of artists playing whatever whenever, thankfully the Desolat crew know how do their job and they do it bloody well. He supplied us with a fine selection of downtempo tech-house and raw, gutsy deep house, never picking up the pace too fast. Subtle fades, long breaks and extended mixes helped ease the ever growing crowd into his hypnotic march. It was a march that was only destined for one place; the relentless stomp of Loco Dice by 5am.
When it was time for Martin Buttrich to take centre stage the tempo had quickened and the crowd had thickened but never to the point of being overcrowded. Playing live for 45 minutes he cycled through some of his greatest productions with tracks like his “Around The Bay Remix” provoking amazing reaction. He presented us with a sound much more industrial to Hectors and a handful of techno tracks had even made an appearance before Robert Dietz took over.
Having seen Dietz at this exact venue on Boxing Day 2011 and being a big fan of the Cadenza boys, I knew the onslaught we were in for, doing what he knows best he most certainly did not disappoint. The atmosphere had reached a new high and Dietz now had everybody eating out of his hands, a thrashing of upbeat, balearic influenced tech-house hit the crowd. Looking calm, collected and focused he mixed with finesse whilst the huge drops and unrelenting bass-lines kept the crowd moving. Dietz never plays nice and the music never lets up, there is little resting time when he is performing.
Guti was the last hurdle before the Desolat main man was to take over and like Martin Buttrich he was playing live. I am a huge fan of Guti and in my eyes he can do very little wrong. His productions show real essence of musicality, something that is often lost in electronic music and his live performances are full of energy. As is usual with Guti he pioneered a real Latin infused sound and showcased much of his own music, including tracks “The Other Side Of Hustler”, which I am still awaiting for release since hearing last June. Watching him bound around his array of hardware behind the decks is always inspiring to see and he was responsible for what was the magical moment of the night. The lights were up, everybody had their phones recording and a warm melody partnered with some serene chords captured everybody’s heart, like an excitable child I quickly went to facebook to ask him the track name, he tells me its a new track off the album!
This meant it was now time for the infamous Loco Dice, the dance floor had started to ever so slightly thin out, leaving a dense crowd of Loco Veterans. Straight from the get go he played a much harder sound. Short breakdowns, fast mixing and heavy use of delay, reverb and echo, this is the Loco Dice trademark. It is obvious once you go and see Dice play why he is revered as one of the greatest DJ’s on the planet. Accompanied by some extravagant visuals, the production of his set came into its own, mind bending shapes and images spiralled around the backdrop of Dice, leaving on-line an outline of him jolting behind the decks to be seen. Armed with his Desolat vinyls he played much of the 5 Years Desolat album with tracks like Shlomi Aber’s “Mancha” but also some new favourites like Pirupa’s “Bam” (out on 08 April) and Stop Files “Cichito”.
Desolat have once again shown they can throw an exquisite party, my only criticism is that I would love to see more of Guti and Buttirch Live, unfortunately there are just not enough hours in a night. Electric Brixton also did a sublime job, it was an event that could of easily been oversold and run risk of being ruined, thankfully this didn’t happen. Everything about the people we met, the music we heard and the service provided was top notch. To both Electric Brixton and Desolat… I look forward to hopefully seeing you again soon.
nofitstate… down the rabbit hole
A journey into Geddes’ Wonderland…
Words: Mike Taylor
Photos: Beth Crockatt
Grey door. A bland image to instill in ones mind and an unassuming entrance to any venue, but a grey door was all that met us. The only sign of any life that evening was a handful of smokers standing outside, who kindly reassured us we were in the right place. Walking down the stairs caused me to envisage the famous Alice In Wonderland scene falling down the rabbit hole. Once at the bottom we were greeted with an interesting, unique and truly fantastic venue; a hired space with its original intent being an art gallery. Stripped white walls and plain brick backdrops set the scene for the evening, with a touch of homemade soundproofing in thick curtains lining the side walls. Low ceilings and minimal lighting were the finishing touches in creating this fascinating underground space. An orange tinted, filtered spotlight stood alone in lighting the room creating a warm glow in the DJ booth, this was a no nonsense gig and the music was to do all the talking.
NoFitState main man Geddes took the 12-2 slot before the infamous Ellen Allien. The crowd quickly started to thicken and the smokey, sweaty, underground rave feel was in the air; this was a Berlin inspired party. Geddes bestowed us with a fine selection of quality deep house, the kind you can no longer find in Beatport’s lists, the kind that seemed to disappear 5 years back, but is now making a massive resurgence in the underground scene. Tracks like Martinez Brothers’ “H 2 Da Izzo” sent the crowd into a frenzy as he effortlessly mixed into a harder, more techy inspired sound approaching the 2am mark. Once Berlin’s finest, Ellen Allien took stage things quickly became that much darker, that much more German.
Her sound varying massively from that of Geddes; linear, dark textured, heavily synthetic techno had finally made its appearance! It was woven masterfully amongst a more ambient sound, infused with fading synths, techno with an almost natural flow embedded in its heart. Mixing between the two resulted in an emotional set with real feeling and destination. She is a lady with raw passion and unfathomable energy, watching her move behind the decks is always a joy and just adds to her already incredible charm. The last 30 minutes of her set ignited the building, both the energy and the vibe in the room were electric.
Simon Baker stepped on just after 4am and with total finesse he continued the assault of high energy music, acid bass lines brutally assaulted the crowd bringing out a few ‘bass faces’ in the room. Tracks like Flashmob’s “Pieces” received amazing response and it was humbling to see Geddes and Ellen suddenly become one of the crowd as they stayed to watch Simon close. Utilizing both the turntables and the CDJ’s and with a huge smile on his face he started the descent into a housey sound approaching the closing hours, rounding things off with tracks such as “This Is House” by Sante and MD X-Press.
Geddes and NoFitState have once again thrown a truly sublime party, they always attract a perfect crowd and the sound is forever on form. With the heavy duty line-ups and fascinating venues you will always find yourself coming back for more!
Electric Brixton Returns To The Future
Electric Brixton returns to the future…
Words: Hector Westropp
Friday 25 January saw Electric Brixton, a venue normally host to electro DJs and Indie bands, throw open it’s doors to an experienced crowd of deep house devotees in an eclectic showcase of European and British talent; the first birthday of the increasingly popular Return To The Future
With venues like the Electric, it is little wonder Brixton is fast becoming known as a hotspot for underground talent as the mainstream names takeover Shoreditch. While big enough to fit a decent amount of people, it doesn’t suffer from a boxy feel; the layout is both stylish and has some character to it, always a problem with many new clubs tailored to fit function rather than design. The atmosphere was good, more focused on the music than starting fights or drug culture, which in itself is a rare quality in the current London underground scene it seems.
First on the decks was Italian minx Silvie Loto, bringing with her some of the haunting and emotional grooves that are running rampant around the Italian underground scene right now. Her set was laid back with a fair amount of kicky beats thrown in for good measure and a raw style which highlights a decent amount of talent. Just back from a summer in Ibiza, after impressing the masses at Amnesia, she is quickly making a name for herself with some fresh sounds.
Francesca Lombardo, owner of Echolette Records and signed to Rebel Agency was next up, bringing some quirky tracks which leaned on higher pitch build-ups and bouncy drops. Perhaps a lesser known face among the main room lineup, she quickly dissipated any concerns about her talent by reading the crowd well and showcasing some really strong mixing ability, leading the way perfectly for Seb Zito whose style of techno infused with a more progressive sound was well received. Seb’s big bass is always a big part of his style and it definitely wasn’t lacking, by the end of his set the atmosphere was lively, leading the way for a night of solid underground grooves.
3am saw two of the most talk about DJs, both residents of Circoloco, Matthias Tanzmann and Davide Squillace take to the decks. Their styles differ massively; Matthias with a repertoire of hard hitters which play on both tribal and rounded beats and Davide, who utilises a more techy and off-key sound with ad-hoc vocals. The duo wasted no time in getting the crowd pumped, unleashing some really big drops and carefully orchestrated break downs, bringing it all together with some pretty special mixing. The crowd appreciated the skill, knowing it was a rare opportunity to witness masters of different styles linkup perfectly with no loss of pace or definition. As 7am rolled around, a still packed-out Electric Brixton was a sea of sad faces, nobody wanting to leave, everyone loving the sounds the two of them were able to produce so effectively.
Room 2, by far the smaller of the two, also played host to some big names; British born style leaders Lee Brinx and Death on the Balcony. Each brought forwards a strong set, showing that while it is usually the European names which draw the crowds, it is rare for a headliner to produce something as personal and unique as is possible in a more intimate environment.
All in all, the night was a showcase of some fresh and experienced European house talent, working side-by-side in a venue which, while normally known for live acts, is fast becoming a great space for deep house.
Select*Elect: keeps the dance-floor moving
Select*Elect presents ‘Café Sturz’ with Jimpster, Foehn and Jerome…
Words: Hector Westropp
Photos: Magdalena Alcantara
Select*Elect is quickly becoming known throughout the London scene for hosting parties that are well organised, exclusive and always have a great atmosphere. With people who want to have a great time always packing out the club, the mood is electric and the DJs never fail to disappoint. Continue reading “Select*Elect: keeps the dance-floor moving” »
Virginia will really make you Melt
Making the crowd Melt…
Words: George Pearse
So they say when something ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And with Melt 5 having taken the night cosmic, ‘more of the same’ was understandably order of the day. After the elation that the guest-slots of Nick Hoeppner and Tama Sumo gifted those present back in May, the 6th of Melt’s bi-monthly parties needed some heavy DJ artillery. Their call to arms was answered once more by a deadly male/female dynamic. First up was Frenchman Zadig, both playing a live set, and making his debut in London clubland. With him in the trenches on a soggy July night was Virginia, the acclaimed Panorama bar virtuoso, in town for her first UK show since rocking Fabric last December.
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Select*Elect goes ReSolute
Heart of underground in secret locations…
Words: Hector Westropp
Photos: Reenie Wilkins
The true heart of underground music is a mysterious thing in London; it hides behind secret doors in secret locations, waiting for those with a real passion for House music to seek it out. The Brixton Gallery is one of those places; a low key arena for people to cut loose in an environment free of rules and limits, to seek out a place to get away from stress, unleashing the sounds of truly astonishing DJ’s.
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Carlo Lio mixes SCI+TEC Past, Present, Future
Music has a colour…
Words: Natasha Stokes
It’s been three years since SCI+TEC released its first and only Past/Present/Future mix, the compilation album where label boss Dubfire sliced and diced defining tracks to create a comp that was more mashup that a straight mix.
Now Carlo Lio is stepping to the plates for his own spin at reworking SCI+TEC past and present glory for this eclectic house and techno label. At the same time, he’s also launching his next EP on SCI+TEC, with other summer releases including an EP for Carl Cox’s INTEC, and remixes for SOMA, BANG BANG, MB Elektronics, and Lio’s own Rawthentic.
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