- Thom White
Tonight, three very different producers come armed with three very different sets. Hot Plate and Worried About Henry, two of the city’s prolific promoters of electronica and house music events, as well as everything in between, have come together to present this grand mesh of styles. In 24 Kitchen Street, it’s about to kick off.
The tragedy of being the first to grace the stage at any event is that you’re the welcome music to people’s entrance to the venue. You become the background music to their first round of drinks; it can be hard to break through and grab their attention while the night is so young and they’re waiting for the place to fill up. Unfortunately for ALECTRONIK, who takes on the challenge of being the first to take to the stage, this is his battle. His mix includes a heavy Caribbean and Latin American influence; the rhythms are quite often either centred around a skank, grimy reggae groove or a Latin American triplet feel. It certainly gets heads nodding. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a crowd here or not. The evening’s first dancers fearlessly parade themselves under his guidance. The real crowd may be yet to properly form, but this set has at least caused a ripple in these otherwise calm waters.
One lengthy and calamitous changeover later, up steps THOM WHITE. It’s a dramatic stylistic shift that is immediately noticeable. The crowd, now that there’s enough gathered heads to be legitimately referred to as such, turn towards the stage and are drawn deeply into the atmosphere of the mix. It’s a set that clearly leans toward the monuments of acid house or Selected Ambient Works 85-92-era Aphex Twin, with a little 1990s house thrown in for good measure. A very weighty, very dark, very deep mix, as stimulating for the ears as it is for these people’s feet.
And finally, here’s MURLO. At this point the place is full of people and they’re all on their feet. It’s a fitting welcome for the producer; he’s one of the UK’s most exciting new talents. With his new EP, Odyssey, he’s here to turn this little crowded room into quite the sonic landscape. There’s grime, bassline and RnB in the mix, giving an instant bounce that propels the set. Murlo also showcases some pieces from his new release, such as Into Mist and Roman Baths. His own music carries with it a very geometric feel; there are certain progressive complexities that make it hard to imagine them fitting in to a set like this. But as the styles change to something reminiscent of a louder and more up-tempo Boards Of Canada, the transition is barely noticeable. This is a truly diverse mix which lends from both of the support acts. Just as dark, ambient cuts are faded into heavier hip hop and hyphy-sounding grooves, this is a truly rewarding, rich set. Everyone moves, and continues to do so until the very last beat has dropped. This is Murlo’s crowd.