Brazilian flair came to East London when Kubile hosted One Night in Rio soundtracked by Miguel Campbell’s label Outcross Records. On Friday, February 28th iCan Studios in Hackney Wick became a underground house warehouse party with a flamboyant side thanks to the production gloss from the Kubicle ladies.
For the second Find Me In The Dark at London’s Corsica Studios, the power and pace of the techno was upped considerably as Shed’s alter ego Head High was joined by Pariah in the main room for two headline sets which underline the new clubnight’s commitment to the underground dance scene. The darkly-lit main room was again densely packed while Marquis Hawkes and DJ Richard took control of room two.
Ahead of the last parties in 2013 for Manchester’s clubbing series Warehouse Project, the organisers have been rewarded with a Best Club Series gong from the DJ Mag Best of British awards. They’ve welcomed 150,000 revellers through the doors of the Victoria warehouse over the last three months, but their New Year’s Day party will be the curtain call for the current space as they look to move to a new venue in 2014. There were difficulties to overcome from the opening weeks, but WHP has bounced back with an impressive series that notched up another hit when Bugged Out! took over with a three-hour headline set from The Chemical Brothers.
Underground house and techno clubnight Find Me in the Dark took over London’s Corsica Studios on Saturday, November 30th with Omar S, Kassem Mosse, Tin Man, Palms Trax, Free-Care and Asquith playing the tunes. The packed-out venue had a lively vibe that embraced a wide-range of styles reverberating through the intimate space for an impressive debut.
Radio 1’s Annie Mac may have had a baby back in May, but she’s back on the road with her Annie Mac Presents clubnights mashing up garage, house and electro with special guests. For the Bristol leg of her 2013 tour she brought along chart-topper Duke Dumont, singer/producer MNEK and Cyril Hahn for the main room at In:Motion while local promoters Dutty Girl took over the Tunnel. There was a lively party spirit in the skate park for the sold out night, though a chill on the dancefloor before peak time and an oddly off-par Annie Mac left the stage set for Duke Dumont to impress.
A new party took over Vauxhall’s Fire and Lightbox venues to celebrate Halloween with a headline set from Omar S and a host of jacking music in what was dubbed a mini label festival with a spooky twist. The Random Magic Halloween on Saturday, October 26th was packed with fancy-dressed revellers, including some ghoulish prosthetic efforts, a Michael Jackson Thriller-style and, oddly, a Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, while every effort was made to turn the dancefloors into a creepy environment. But it was the music that impressed the most with Futureboogie Recordings, the Classic Music Company and Horse Meat Disco haunting Fire and the Mirror Arch while JG Wilkes and JD Twitch – aka Optimo – played all night long in the third arch.
The first of three shows for Bloc’s second season at Autumn Street Studios was a vibrant affair with a packed out Hackney Wick venue enjoying a diverse range of electronic music. Regular Bloc spinners Joe Hart and Rubin were joined by live acts Dopperlereffkt, Legowelt and Dave Monolith plus Alex Lover Fever on Saturday, September 28th for an all night session which never let up.
FOUND Street Party revelers were promised an education in house and techno when Kevin Saunderson and Frankie Knuckles played in the heart of London’s financial district, and they left following an uplifting lesson from the pair. It was the second time FOUND had closed off a street near Liverpool Street station for a day of dance music: late summer warmth, a crisp soundsystem and an enthusiastic crowd ensured the party helped many deal with their post-festival-season hangover.
Underground electronic music festival Dimensions held its second year at Fort Punta Christo in Pula, Croatia from Thursday, September 5th to Sunday, September 8th. From the people behind Outlook Festival, it featured headline sets from Model 500, Mount Kimbie, Tony Allen, Gilles Peterson, Theo Parrish, Moodymann and Daphni spread across a beach, boats and an abandoned fort from 12noon to 6am daily. We were there in what would be an impressive four days of music
South West Four celebrated its 10th anniversary over the August bank holiday weekend with another two days of dance music on Clapham Common. Saturday’s revellers braved the rain to see headliner Armin Van Buuren along with arenas hosted by fellow trance star Paul Van Dyk plus SW4 regulars Carl Cox and Mark Knight. On Sunday the sun shone and we were there to take in the music.
This year Guy Gerber kicked off a new Ibiza party: Wisdom of the Glove at Pacha. The weekly Wednesday night has featured Gerber with special guests, plus glove-wearing magicians, shadow puppeteers and fortune tellers paying sacrifice to a centrifugal £150,000 glove. Michael Wright was in Ibiza for the night featuring Guy Gerber, Four Tet, John Talabot, Midland, Shaun Reeves and Bill Patrick on Wednesday, August 22nd to get a feel for the first season of Wisdom of the Glove.
House and techno has been the at the heart of club brand Eastern Electrics from its first warehouse parties in 2008 to a debut weekend camping festival at Knebworth over the weekend (August 2nd – 4th). It has been putting on collaborative nights and extending its reach slowly, building up to an event spread over three days and two nights with more than 140 acts. We were on-site Friday and Sunday to see what the evolution of the their labours produced.
After a year break, the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts returned with aging rockers The Rolling Stones headlining alongside relative newcomers the Arctic Monkeys and Mumford and Sons making a surprise appearance at the top of the Pyramid Stage bill. Notching up its 31st edition, the festival saw 135,000 descend on Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset, and proved to be one of the finest yet.
For the 20th anniversary of Sónar Barcelona, there was the promise of a new venue for the three daytime segments, a revised layout for the two nights and huge anticipation for an event that prides itself on innovation. Headline acts such as Kraftwerk, Pet Shop Boys, Paul Kalkbrenner, Diplo, Skrillex and Major Lazer indicated the organisers were prepared to mix the old and new, while the introduction of Sónar+D offered more interactive elements than ever before. From Thursday, June 13th to Sunday, June 16, more than 121,000 visitors from 102 countries visited Sónar for an edition that sets it up well for another 20 years showcasing advanced music and new media art.
Bedrock has become a regular clubbing fixture on Easter Thursdays in London, and this year label boss John Digweed took on a mammoth seven hour set to see in the four day holiday. It also marked a Bedrock debut at Vauxhall’s Area, with support from Tim Green, Tom Middleton, Jimpster and John Barber, but it was Digweed who took centre stage.
Model 500, Juan Atkins, Billy Nasty, South London Ordnance, Joe Hart and Rebel Intelligence played the first Bloc London night on Saturday, March 9th. The latest incarnation of Bloc is as a series of 10 clubnights, and this was the first debut at the stripped-back warehouse space in Hackney Wick which Bloc organisers have taken on as their own.
A three-hour set from Cocoon head honcho Sven Väth was the centrepiece to the label’s London showcase which also featured a six hour marathon back-to-back session from Cassy and Carl Craig. The Cocoon Heroes Into the Magic night marked the start of December and brought with it a lively dose of techno at Great Suffolk Street Warehouse.
The long-running Lost parties have been the first to bring many of the biggest and most prestigious names in techno to London, but on Saturday, November 24th they were bringing some of the best back. Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Mark Ernestus and Tevo Howard all made a rare stop in the UK while Kyle Hall was on an exclusive London appearance. They were divided across the three rooms of Vauxhall’s Area which was packed with techno lovers eager to see their heroes in action.
Legendary Radio One DJ Pete Tong headlined his night at Bristol’s In:Motion, but it was Booka Shade who stole the show. On Friday, November 16th All Gone Pete Tong took over the main room at the city’s skatepark during its flagship clubnight season along with The 2 Bears’ Raff Daddy, Blond:ish and Booka Shade. Crack Magazine, Electroquisite and Revolution put together line-ups for the Tunnel and Cave with Ewan Pearson, Laura Jones, Bowski and Luke Langson among the spinners.
Bestival is a music festival synonymous with fancy dress. So who better to host a Halloween Epic on Saturday 27 October, held in Peckham’s Bussey Building?
Sunday Best’s resident DJs Sombrero Sound System kicked things off in room one, warming up the crowd as nicely as the candles in the jack-o-lanterns that were decorating the warehouse space.
Coma celebrated its first birthday at The Nest in Dalston with Rolando, James Ruskin and a Surface Records showcase that thundered through the basement club. It was a first visit to The Nest, opened in 2010, with its intimate atmosphere and a focus on progressive electronic music.
Soltek relocated from their residencies at London’s CAMP and the Gramaphone to a three-room night at Vauxhall’s Hidden for an end of summer party featuring heavyweight spinners Addison Groove and Dusky. The line-up also including J.Phlip, Ossie and Dexter Kane had clearly caught the interest of the house heads as there was still a queue to get in past 1am, while inside the pumping bass was throbbing through the trio of arches and stirring up the dancefloors.
The South West Four Weekender party vibe continued right through to the early hours of Monday morning with Pete Tong, Sasha, Scuba, Eats Everything, Dyed Soundorom and Eli & Fur behind the decks at The Electric Brixton. The afterparty kicked off before the dust had even settled on the day festival down the road in Clapham, and the atmosphere was just as lively with many revellers doing both along with an injection of fresh-faced ravers.
In Groundhog Day, a weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again. Similar to SW4 reviews which find themselves regurgitating the same standard form year after year – fantastic hard hitting line-up, let down by a limp sound system (thanks to local licensing restrictions). Yet each year young clubbers are lured back by promises of PA companies and noise consultants. Like returning to an ex, we all know it will end in rank disappointment – somehow the promise to change makes us convince ourselves may all be different this time.
Eastern Electrics made the leap from night time warehouse parties to a daytime festival with a hugely successful debut at Area 12 in Greenwich. Picking the mid-Olympics weekend proved to be a bonus too: London was abuzz with events all over the capital as well as Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah set to compete in what would be dubbed Team GB’s Super Saturday. With so much goodwill, all the Eastern Electrics crowd needed was a soundtrack to their day, and they were well served with Jamie Jones, Julio Bashmore, Nina Kraviz, Damian Lazarus, MK, Crazy P and Azari & III on stage throughout the day.