!(feature_l)http://relayer.s3.amazonaws.com/articles/spreads/531f894f6f167200020000ed.jpg!Almost year after opening the doors to their Hackney Wick club Autumn Street Studios, Bloc celebrated with an all-night set from Detroit techno original Carl Craig on Saturday, March 3rd. For the last 12 months the Bloc crew have been restoring faith in their abilities to curate underground dance parties with respected artists who always seek to develop their music further. Omar S, Clark, Juan Atkins, Green Velvet, Dopplereffekt and Marshall Jefferson have graced the warehouse space, but this was the first time a sole figure had taken over selection duties for an entire Bloc night, and it was a real treat for the Bloc faithful.
Craig was in a patient mood. We arrived just before midnight – about 45 minutes into his set – but entering it was hard to know if there was any music playing. It was only when we reached the cloakroom that we could hear a slow ambiance emanating from the main room, and at the bar we could spy Craig happily warming up to what would become a full-on techno rave. But he restrained himself until almost 1am as the crowd built and settled in for the night. After a drink and a chat with the fellow clubbers, it was time to step onto the dancefloor.
Bloc have done a fine job perfecting the soundsystem at Autumn Street Studios, and the crispness was made full use of by Craig. During the slow beginnings the depth was needed, then as he switched to 4/4 and ramped up the speed, the beefy bass and clear high end ensured tunes such as Octave One’s “Blackwater” were received with relish. Indeed, the Bloc crowd are such an informed bunch that it takes a lot to get them excited: Craig’s set had them loving every minute. Helped along by some impressive lasers and a friendly atmosphere, this was a night that further proved Bloc have made themselves a fine foundation to build from.
Next up for Bloc is Boddika and DJ Stingray on Saturday, April 18th. For details go to www.bloclondon.com.