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.
The city of Detroit is undisputedly the origin point of techno. Even today it’s still heralded and respected as techno’s birth place and the city still manages to continue innovating. As well as housing the founding fathers of the movement, the city has inspired fresh generations of talent, each with their own desire built on the city’s solid techno foundations. At fabric this Easter weekend they welcome a selection of artists from the Motor City who operate across these generational lines, bringing two distinctive visions of the future of music along with them: the old and the new.
Taking inspiration from the Mayan prophets and the parties they all enjoyed in Detroit during their formative raving years, Visionquest will be bringing their own hopes for a new phase of party-making to Room One. The four sided DJ outfit made up of Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss, Ryan Crosson and Shaun Reeves are set to launch their Visionquest 13 tour with fabric being what will be their only London club date together this year.
“The ‘Thirteen’ concept is to create a series of thirteen immersive environments where we alter spaces that you may already know”, comments Troxler.
“We’re stripping it back from what you might know and refocusing on what’s important, which is the connection between us and the people who are there”, Reeves continues. “There’s a lot in the theme of the event about the old cultures and new cultures, the old and new paradigm on a big scale and a small scale in our lives”.
Then, across Rooms Two and Three, Kevin Saunderson, who alongside Juan Atkins and Derrick May was himself part of the movement that birthed the techno music we love, will be presenting ‘Curators of Techno‘. A new project established to set the old and new guards of Detroit talent side by side, ‘Curators of Techno’ shows respect for both generations inviting them to interact with each other and simultaneously present each of their own sonic identities. “It’s about the evolution of Detroit techno and the way that the originators have influenced the talent that followed”, Saunderson explains. “The main aim of the tour is to let the world experience this great history of producers/DJs, from the beginning of Detroit’s early days up until the current, working together on the stage and performing”.
In Room Two Saunderson will be calling on Kenny Larkin, a musical innovator in his own right who found home on the iconic European labels R&S, Warp and Peacefrog, to bring his sci-fi techno soul to the proceedings alongside sets from Saunderson himself and Kyle Hall. A definitive product of the new wave of Detroit, Wild Oats label founder Hall has firm alliances with his Michigan forefathers having provided a recording home for Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir and Scott Grooves, but more importantly he’s defiantly forged his own path, with his own productions garnering the same kind of international respect his older cohorts also command.
Room Three is where all of this motoric energy will come to a head though, as Patrice Scott, a Detroit native who himself is directly inspired by Saunderson’s work, will be anchoring the room as well as going back to back with Kyle Hall. Alongside a back to back performance from Saunderson and Seth Troxler, this’ll be the spot where the old school really collides with the new, with the two physically jostling against each other to create something new, fresh and completely unique.
Visionquest Thirteen – Curators of Techno
fabric, 77a Charterhouse Street, London
23:00 – 08:00
There’s a sense in modern electronic music that people are always striving for something else. As a collective, internet aware listenership, we’re constantly looking for that piece of music to provide inspiration. Whether you’re looking to isolated producers or a group of peers and the work they are currently releasing or you’re digging backwards through the inconceivable archives of recorded music, there’s always a thread that you seem to be chasing down. People don’t really seem all that content to just sit back and explore the realms of what’s possible in the moment. There’s a real emphasis on progression, keeping moving and making new waves, but exploring the possibilities of what’s current is something that is very much in the mind of Berlin resident Call Super (aka JR Seaton), who cements the existence of Houndstooth label with his four track EP, “The Present Tense”.
“With every record I sit and write through process” Seaton ponders, “Frankly it’s much like painting. Depending on that process and my mood, things come out a certain way. The present thing is to do with how I feel we live now, and my response to that. It’s to do with being in this permanent kaleidoscope of influence, with so many things bouncing off one another and distance being compressed to nothing and that leading to one being bombarded with everything one wishes for culturally. I don’t feel retro, or futuristic, or anything because of that. Because of that I feel lost in the present and that’s wonderful”.
As a result, what Seaton does over these four tracks is explore different ideas and channel different energies into his music. On the A-side of the vinyl release “Threshing Floor” pivots on the heavy 4×4 kick drum, with Seaton cloaking it with swathes of sound that shimmer and pulse like they were rippling in a pool and yet “Leosengor” is almost the antithesis of that approach; all bubbles of synthesizer, stuttering stop/start drum patterns and woozing melodies that seem to melt through the spaces the drums create. In fact, the whole EP is a multitude of approaches with “Siglo Grey Vision” and “No City Of Choice” on the B-side further fleshing out the Call Super arsenal with morphing drones and sprawling dial tones on the former and huge chunky drum textures prevailing on the EP closer.
This Saturday Room One welcomes the return of Italy’s exponent of robust minimal techno, Marco Carola; an artist who seems to command a reverent level of loyalty amongst his fans. He’ll be standing next to Fabric resident selector Terry Francis and Items And Things signing Madato. “Madato first caught our attention with his track “The Night’s Rumours” which featured on Magda’s fabric 49 mix and he’ll be backing up that initial pique with a live set that promises pure techno bravado”, says Fabric.
R&S Records stalwarts, Pariah and Blawan, mark the UK live debut of their bass heavy techno collaboration, Karenn in Room Two alongside sets from Craig Richards and Peter Van Hoesen, who released his new album “Perceiver” on his label Time to Expresss last month.
Room Three welcomes New York’s young gun M A N I K, who originates from New York, where he found notoriety in the city’s nocturnal hotel and loft parties’ melting pot of sub genres from avant-garde house to jacking indie pop and everything in between. After three years of stellar releases on labels from Ovum, Culprit and Poker Flat, “we can almost picture for ourselves the scenarios of the NYC DJ going off by night, which we are looking forward to experiencing in our own Farringdon way this Saturday as M A N I K makes the journey from the East Coast city stateside to Room Three next to dexterous duo Blond:ish”, comments Fabric. – Read Fabric’s interview with MANIK here.
M A N I K will be joined in Room Three by new act on the block, BLOND:ISH, who have releases on Kompakt and Get Physical already, graciously exploring the realms of deep house, electronica, nu disco combined.
Arnaud Le Texier warms up for Melt Music with G-Sounds 06…
Arnaud Le Texier is an artist with plenty of knowledge and substance behind him, having been on the electronic music scene for over 10 years before even commencing with his Safari Electronique label in 2005.
A night of Visionquest & The Nothing Special is quite the opposite…
Visionquest are… Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves and Lee Curtiss, the most innovative and exciting new breed of DJ/Producers to come out of the city of Detroit in a generation. Their remix of Kiki’s “Good Voodoo” on BPitch Control has gone down in history as one of the summer’s biggest underground hits and together they have released tracks on leading labels like Crosstown Rebels, Spectral Sound, Get Physical, Circus Company, Supplement Facts, Wolf+Lamb, Wagon Repair and Minus. Continue reading “Visionquest & The Nothing Special at fabric” »
What a year 2011 was for Maya Jane Coles. Voted ‘Producer of the Year 2011′ by DJ Mag, named ‘Best Breakthrough DJ 2011′ by Mixmag, debuting at No. 9 on the Resident Advisor ’2011 DJ Poll’, scooping ‘Best Newcomer 2011′ at the Ibiza DJ Awards 2011, many magazine covers and the likes of Anja Schneider, Ellen Allien, Damon Alburn and Tricky all queuing up to offer their praise.
Well that was 2011 and this is most definitely 2012, where the bar is set to be raised once more for this rather unique 24-year old, British/Japanese producer. With Maya already lined-up with some interesting release projects to be announced, some huge remixes and of course – the big one, the release of Maya’s debut album.
Indeed, heralded in by a New Year’s Eve set that saw Maya take over the Room One decks at Fabric for the midnight hour and followed by the New Year’s Day party at Manchester’s WHP the next day. Maya will play in over 20 countries in the first 6 months of 2012 and has already been announced as the Sunday headliner at “Bugged Out Weekender”, as well as for festival appearances at “Field Day” and “Hideout” with many, many more international dates to be announced including a UK Tour, Asian Tour, Miami Dates and of course a return to the White Island of Ibiza.
Maya Jane Coles – Cutting It Fine /// Hypercolour
What will crown 2012 is Maya’s album and the only comment coming out of the MJC camp at the moment is that “…it truly does not sound like anything else you have heard before but, in what we would like to think is; in a very good way indeed…”
UK Tour Dates
03 Feb @ Stealth, Nottingham, England
04 Feb @ The Rainbow Warehouse, Birmingham, England
04 Feb @ Just Jack, Bristol, England
10 Feb @ The Arena, Middlesbrough, England
11 Feb @ Mint Club, Leeds, England
16 Feb @ The Twisted Pepper, Dublin, Ireland
17 Feb @ Audio, Brighton, England
18 Feb @ Fabric, London, England
24 Feb @ The Arches, Glasgow, Scotland
25 Feb @ Shine, Stiff Kitten, Belfast, N.Ireland
Maya Jane Coles
Along with the birthday weekend, New Year’s Eve is one of those dates that has always been set in stone at Fabric. Perceived by many as the night of the year there’s a level of anticipation that comes with the turn of the calendar and to mark it the club opens it’s doors for a full 12 hours; broadening their horizons from 9pm in the evening until 9am of New Year’s Day. Switching up their usual rhythm structure to accommodate the extra hours they’ll be calling on their residents Craig Richards and Terry Francis to set the pace. Always at the top of their agenda, whilst often stealing the limelight away from those their selection skills mesh with, they’ll be welcoming old friends and new ones as Room One greets the emphatic newcomer Maya Jane Coles, Cocoon’s self confessed sound freak, Tobi Neumann and something of a unsung legend in Lil Louis, whose heritage and seminal “French Kiss” record still stands out to this day in house music’s rich history.
Room Two will play host to one of Fabric‘s longest techno compatriots, Adam Beyer, who’s currently at the top of his game with his Drumcode label acting as a major inspiration for many aspiring producers and as a respected worldwide platform for talent. He’ll be joining Slam, Fabric‘s long time residents who’ve been celebrating their Soma label’s 20th anniversary this year with releases galore and non-stop touring and Alan Fitzpatrick, who’s making his second ever official visit to play there.
Fresh from a year of running underground house parties in London, Toi Toi Musik will be taking to Room Three to provide that club within a club intimacy the space has become renowned for. Having already accumulated an incredible honour roll of previous guests, this NYE they’re bringing Wagon Repair‘s The Mole, Cristi Cons and their resident and founder, Claus Voigtmann.
FABRIC NYE 2011
21:00 – 09:00
77a Charterhouse Street