Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sunday 5th May: Void @ Cafe 1001 / Colony vs Scand Bank Holiday Special @ Corsica Studios

Grab a cuppa. This is a long one - good to be thorough...

And so here it comes... that moment when you return to a club you went to before and had the best time ever... will it live up to it's own expectation???

Yes and no is the answer. Me and DSL saved ourselves for a Sunday marathon techno session. We stayed in Friday and Saturday and did DIY and ate like kings. Void was hotly anticipated after the last one we went to. Since writing that last review I've had a lot more views on the blog and made facebook friends with some of the VOID crew so I thought it only fair to return for the whole thing this time, not just one set. However, DSL and I are crap at being anywhere on time and then a couple of my mates from Cambridge decided to drive down and come with us and didn't arrive until mid afternoon, then I forgot about engineering works so we spent ages in transit. In the end, as per usual, we were late. I totally missed Randolph's set (sorry!). At least we tried... unlike TIR and Jammy who buggered off to see Richie Hawtin's Red Bull Music Academy pop up in Dalston (20 techno points lost to each of them by order of Ashley Borg). It wouldn't be so bad but TIR didn't even get in and has only a photo of a crowded alleyway to show for his efforts. TECHNO FAIL.

We arrived (via a shoe shop to replace a flip flop broken just as we hit Brick Lane) to a 20min queue. It was a free event. It was on Brick Lane. It was a Bank Holiday Sunday. It was to be expected. What was odd was that our mate SH already inside said it was half empty but still we were not really moving. Eventually the queue shrank and we were in after a cursory bag check and pat down. Except for Gem - Mother of one toddler and one baby and as straight laced as they come - searched to within an inch of her life. I think she found it hilarious, but when she was also then followed into the loo later and watched under the door she felt it a little less funny :/

RSK turned up much later on and again, by no means full inside, the queue was 30mins long and not going anywhere. He got to the front and we could see the security letting in only girls. Fair enough as there were A LOT of guys indoors, but then they let in boys with girls and RSK was asked to stand to one side as they all streamed past. 5 mins of that and I went out there and asked the bouncers to let him in - playing the female on my own card , been waiting for him for ages. The same bouncer who had been pretty rude to him on arrival when he explained we were inside waiting was now nice as pie. I am all up for a tight door policy and not overcrowding a place but sometimes I wonder if there is any method in the madness. God knows there were enough dickheads let in and RSK does not give off the air of a womansing letch in any way.

Jay Clarke
Aside from the above, I have no complaints. My mates from Cambridge are not technoheads but Cafe 1001 catered for them with an epic all day set from 2 house DJs in the front lounge. House music, rose, comfy seats to people watch from - happy ladies. Also a great respite for the rest of us from the banging tunes in the back room. We arrived to Jay Clarke rocking out a few old Peacefrog records, Luke Slater and Detroit vibes as young trendy things did some street dance offs at the back of the room in their white vests and high tops. I zipped in and out so I could catch up with my girls in the lounge and be force fed jaegerbombs and other assorted alcoholic beverages. I am not the worlds biggest drinker - thank god for massive burgers on the bbq to keep me sober (ish).

Kontrol Room (Dave Johnys left, Chris Page right)
Next in line was Kontrol Room (Chris Page & Dave Johnys) who in their own words take inspiration from Speedy J & Chris Liebing's collaborations, but with a bit more bounce I think. After a lot of angry techno violating the speakers like a digital army trying to escape - booming bass, bouncy mid range and metallic fence rattling high hats - I needed a break. The set & DJs were full of energy but the crowd was not. Not many technoheads in attendance compared to last time I was there and it made all the difference. Too many techno events on in London that day and I expect many avid fans were at BPitch Control's event over at Loft Studios. Without the crowd to bounce off, the relentless beats felt too much and with a whole night ahead of me this time around, some pacing was needed. Back to the lounge for girl chat and vino.

Billy Allen
The final set came from Billy Allen. Again slamming beats. I was in there for 5 mins and began to feel like if I heard one more set of 140bpm, machine gun rhythm poundingness I may go a bit mental. Maybe I'm getting old but I just wanted a little bit of soul somewhere in the proceedings. Every DJ at VOID presented a good set - it would have just been pleasant to experience a tad more variance in the day and less reliance on the same old classics that I have heard a squillion times (although that is exactly what they set out to do and they do it well). Time for a loo break.

Billy regained my interest when I came back in. No more machine guns - now I was hearing my favourite square wave sounds - like you hear in Cowgirl (one of my all time fave tracks). There were more acid noises and a few vocals here and there and altogether a bit more personality - if still way up there on the BPM scale. Me and DSL were discussing throughout the day how techno sounds pretty storming around the 130bpm mark to us these days - more room for interesting shit to occur in our opinion. Not necessarily just minimal techno, there are a lot of stonking tunes at a slower BPM you can happily punch the air to.

Overall, a lovely afternoon, but I think VOID works best for me as an end of the weekend, last chance stomp than a warm up for a longer night. I shall be back next time. Apparently Ashley may play again next time (line-up tbc) and after the last time he will need to pull some kind of magic out of that record bag to get another glowing review - you have been warned Ashley - beat your own bar or you lose techno points :-P

On that note Ashley Borg loses 30 techno points for missing Colony vs Scand (it would have been more but he pleaded publicly for forgiveness). And so... onto Corsica. Somehow Corsica escaped me for the longest time and this is only the second or third time I have been there. I love this little club. The sound system is a little worn out but it's a friendly place with intimate sized rooms, lovely air con, friendly staff and as yet no issues on the door at all. I almost don't want to write a glowing venue review as there are few such places left that the masses have not destroyed. It's a haven. A treat of a venue for a treat of a night. The line up was exciting:

Svreca - Pics from RA event page:
No queue, straight in - to a pretty empty club at that point (11pm). RSK got a round in and we bumped into friends from Slash Dot Slash and checked our coats. Midnight it was filling up but still only half way there when Svreca took to the decks. He looked moody (no doubt due to the half empty room) and this was reflected in the start of his set. Brooding, deep bass lines, haunting mid range and a sparing use of accented high end sounds - the layers built up overtime as the dance floor filled up and tribal rhythms moved along with womping huge bounding bass. It was the kind of techno you have to feel in your hips - a hefty wiggle with a stomp. I love hip wiggling sexy techno that packs a punch a
nd I was not disappointed. I ALWAYS have time for that didgeridoo sound and some slow motion helicopter blades. If I was a cat and his set was a person I would be headbutting it good and proper.

My phone battery died at this point so I could no longer send myself ill written text notes to remind me what to write here. I went old school and foraged for paper and CB who was out in reception at the time, was nice enough to lend me a pen. Here is the rest of your review as it happened:

The piss poor scribbles are partly due to the lighting conditions, partly inebriation levels and partly the fact the stage was vibrating when I lent on it.
Ah yes - Maggot from GLC was there, a face I have seen at Cable many times. And every time I work really hard not to go and grab a groupie photo for my mates from South Wales. Somewhere on the internet there is a lovely little video of me and superfan CC drunk outside a GLC gig in Camden - glorious. Another side note at this point is that I approve of Corsica's use of smoke machines. I hate when you get blasted i teh face every 2.5mins with a heavy ongoing thrust contact lense defying breeze. At Corsica they let out an inconspicious teeny puff here and there - just enough to let the lasers dance over the smoke. It's

Lee Holman - Pics from RA event page:
Up next was Lee Holman's 1hr live set. Never heard of this man before but I want to know more. His set was great. No laptop; just hardware giving us punchy crisp sounds. Hips in full flow with a definite groove starting in the shoulder area - when the shoulders get involved we cooking on gas and a cacophony of typewriters on crack had my bones dancing all over the show!

The Hacker -Pics from RA event page:
We had up to this point neglected the second room hosted by Scand. After Holman finished, we stayed for 5 mins of Ruskin and then shot through to see The Hacker. Circa 2005 I was listenning to electro a fair amount. I found the Hacker through Felix Da Housecat's collaboration with Miss Kittin and followed her to her work with The Hacker. Was itching to see him play - and play he did.
Immense bass in room 2 that made all the hairs in my nose and throat tingle. My nostrils were vibrating so much standing near the subs that I was only sporadically taking in air. Filthy dirty base dropped into electro so cool I am surprised no one died of trendiness.

James Ruskin - Pics from RA event page:
Back into Room One for the rest of Ruskin's set and by this point I was pretty torn as to where to go and what to do. Line ups in both rooms were awesome and I didn't see a whole set from anyone for the second half the night as I yoyo'd between rooms trying not to miss anything. Ruskin gave us all out war between the
gods and the aborigines with marching waves of rolling bass and lots of the didge sounds and chanting. It was EPIC. I didn't see as much of this set as I'd have liked but I have seen Ruskin a couple of times recently so felt it was OK to miss out this time in order to catch Scand's line up.

DMX Krew (or one of?!) was in room 2 playing all kinds of Knightrider type tracks. Really fun tongue in cheek tunes and all I wished the entire time I was in there was that I knew how to body-pop. It was impossible not to smile and dance about like a loon and I felt like a kid in a sweet shop. I just found out they do a monthly night on Old Street and I may well pop in sooooon.

The final set in Room One was Phase. He started off at a slow chugging pace and was my no means the best set of the night. To be quite honest my legs were starting to ache and I welcomed some 'calm' for a short while. I ducked into Room 2 half way through this set and spent just enough time in there to feel like Dexorcist had grabbed my brain with both hands and shaken it to within an inch of its life them placed it back in my head. Phase picked up tempo for the final stages, his set taking us on a journey that went nowhere for quite some time, gathering pace and finding us some interesting highlights here and there as it ambled along and zoomed to a sprint finish.

We headed home for breakfast and plans of going to Stubnitz Monday afternoon.... plans we skipped in favour of eating and sleeping. If PK sends me his mini review I'll add it on here later. We were hoping to see Alan Fitzpatrick at Jaded Monday morning but alas Jaded and it's home Cable were dealt a cruel blow and shut down the week before. Another one bites the dust as the London club scene gets ever more strangled. It will make for some interesting one off venues and pop ups over the coming year I expect. Watch this space.

There may be a review of Speedy J at Crucifix Lane next weekend. Not sure yet. If not, then you may not hear from me until Off-Sonar. OMG I cannot bloody wait to send you reviews from sunny Barcelona. Sun-cream already packed and ready for action.


  1. For future reference Abbi I always have a pen with me - got a mini biro attached to my keys.

  2. Cheers Simon :) I think I shall do the same from now on! Or get a better phone!