I don’t think I’ve ever been the first punter inside a club before, but the musical promise of the Hype line-up had me arriving extra early on the number 39 bus from Stratford so as not to miss a beat. A quick drink in the Lighthouse pub to avoid the drizzle, a friendly frisk, a felt-tip scribble on the hand and we were in just as soon as Alan Cross (aka Dirt Revolver) officially declared this party started. Somewhat optimistically named “Autumn Street Studios” the night’s shenanigans were housed in a shabby and slightly dodgy looking industrial unit down a dark alley in North-East London – stained but scrubbed up concrete floors, flaky whitewashed walls, squishy-sofa’d hidey holes, decent drink prices, friendly staff and a cracking sound system – the way all good warehouse parties should be. Just add friends.
First up was Ettica, the super-talented bare-foot tech-house producer who to my delight gleefully ignored the courtesy dancing, foot shuffling curse of the warm-up DJ, and belted out a tough, funky set for the benefit of a few bouncing early-birds. Given how much fun he was having up there I’m pretty sure it was as much for his benefit as anyone else’s! Charlie Kane followed til 1am, romping though an eclectic set (even topped off with a dollop of UK Garage!), and the dance floor started to fill up. At least that was the impression through the smog of the hyperactive smoke machine! It took me three tracks to realise Meat Katie had taken to the decks, a little shining head peeping above the clouds like a beacon. In true Pember style, the next two hours were a full on fest of big drops and juicy groove, including some Lot 49 anthems and a few of my faves from his recent mixes (cue whooping and waving a plenty). If you haven’t checked out his Lowering the Tone podcasts yet, you haven’t lived!
The crowd were one of the most assorted bunch of clubbers I’ve raved with for a while, familiar faces from the breaks and techno scene, cool bespectacled hipsters in ballet pumps, lovely psytrance nutters rubbing shoulders with immaculate high-heeled honeyz and a few guys who I swear had gone for a pint after work and ended up going OUT out instead of making it to the Tube. All with a smile, but I don’t think some knew quite what to make of the psychadelic techno and dark, twisted breaks of Hedflux who stormed the decks with at 3am. A master of trippy acid beeps and twiddles (all technical terms I assure you) Steve’s been whipping up UV soaked festival crowds all summer and finished his set with Nanosphere’s phenomenal tune, Dark Energy, setting up perfectly for the last hour or so with Kostas G. I have no idea how to put that guy’s sound into words – jazzy dirty Latin breaks with a twist of old skool grunge? If you’ve never heard him play, get to a gig as soon as you can, or head over to his soundcloud. It’s not easy to be truly original in the dance music scene these days, but this unassuming shy guy from Oxford’s doing just that.
So all in all a great start to a new night that busted genres with something for everyone and loads of potential to head off in many different directions. Best of all, partying Friday night meant not too long to wait, head in hands, for the first train home and the chance to do it all again Saturday! Yeah, right..