The recent torrent of interest in techno is a relatively new phenomenon, particularly in the UK where hitherto it has been overshadowed by dubstep (and the later bass music explosion). Since then the London party scene has been flooded with countless parties ostensibly showcasing the ‘harder’ strains of 4/4 dance music. Sadly most of these nights end up being cynical parodies of what they purport to do; playing instead watered down tech-house and what can loosely be termed as techno albeit of the lowest common denominator, played to people who don’t know the difference or more worryingly so, don’t give a shit. Reassuringly, in a marketplace with these seemingly never-ending vistas of diluted musical offerings, enigmatic collective VOID have been catering to this need for no nonsense techno.
Since their inaugural party at the sadly now defunct Public Life, VOID have gone from strength to strength, having played host to Berghain legend Ben Klock. With an upcoming party this Saturday with DVS1, MPIA3 & Forward Strategy Group; VOID have satisfyingly managed to fill a niche within the London scene for underground techno. Not bad at all for a collective that was taking its initial steps at the start of last year. Stray Landings had the chance to speak to founder, organiser and resident, Randolph Quan, who was more than happy to share a few words on the ideas behind VOID.
Alongside Randolph, VOID is composed of a band of likeminded souls ranging from musicians and promoters to those of the bureaucratic and administrative persuasion, all passionate individuals dedicated to the music industry, with extensive and eclectic influences; indeed Jay Clarke also works as a graphic designer. Talking to the founder, his dedication to music and the running of VOID clearly emerged, not so much using it as a platform to bolster his own career but to nurture that of others, while concomitantly throwing a great party. Initially pursuing a career in photography before opting for music, Toronto native Randolph first discovered dance music when he emigrated to the UK, and began immersing himself in the vibrant party scene and discovering the abrasive sonic textures of imprints such as CLR and later Ostgut Ton.
The influence of these formative years is apparent with VOID, where the aesthetic is strongly derived from the hard stripped down German variant, but remains firmly rooted in showcasing underground UK techno talent and ultimately giving the discerning clubber something other than the usual foreign big name billings. The desire to foster home-grown talent and “invest in the local community of artists”, while simultaneously shining a light on the UK’s burgeoning underground scene seems to be at the heart of VOID’s ethos.
Throughout the chat, Randolph reiterated the emphasis on promoting British techno, with VOID as a platform for emerging artists like resident Jay Clarke, Billy Allen and duo Kontrol Room. The upcoming party see DVS1 doing his first headline set with no curfew, which will no doubt see him dig deep into his crate. So despite still being in its embryonic stage, the artists associated with VOID have already managed to make ripples in the local techno community; Clarke has seen his tracks played by the likes of Marcel Dettmann, and Allen not only has cut his teeth at superclub Fabric but runs his own imprint (Candela Rising) that focuses on intricate sound design and the outer reaches of electronic music. In a world of ephemeral and musically inconsistent club nights, VOID are a cut above the rest.
Catch DVS1, Forward Strategy Group ,MPIA3 and all the VOID residents at Corsica Studios, Saturday 10th November.