Having seen this night advertised several weeks prior we knew it wouldn’t be one to miss. I think it’d be nearly impossible to pin down one specific artist that made this night so special, everyone being on top form. Bearing our excitement towards this night we found it extremely surprising to enjoy so much dancing room, as we’d been anticipating the night sold out and packed from start to finish.
Arriving to the ultra minimal dub-techno of Mark Ernestus, who is better known as one half of the Basic Channel production/label duo, made for a slightly disconcerting start. Focusing mainly on Rhythm and Sound era of his discography, Ernestus cast an atmosphere across the main room that was more akin to a mate’s smoky bedroom than a hopping club. Though the material sounded great on the Funktion 1 sound system, the set didn’t sit well given the knowledge that the likes of Addison Groove and Pinch would be raising the tempo later in the evening.
At the top of the bill for the night was Berlin based Producer and founder of Skull Disco Records Sam Shackleton. I’ve been a fan of Shackleton and his apocalyptic, earth shaking minimal dubstep since purchasing Three EP’s sometime early last year. However there is nothing quite like the experience of Shackleton’s hypnotic tribal rhythms & rumbling basslines in a club environment.
Dubstep veteran Pinch acted as the perfect intermediary between Shackleton and Addison Groove exchanging his usual techno influenced dubstep for 808 dancefloor grooves. The Producer of the iconic 2007 dubstep album ‘Underwater Dancehall’ managed to push the boundaries of his well developed style over his set, showing his true versatility. After catching a small portion of his back to back set with Mala at the Ramadanman album lauch it was refreshing to see him experimenting with music maybe not associated with him and adapting to suit the set time by keeping the energy level high.
I also managed to catch a word with Pinch after his set and confirm that he is hoping fly out to Berlin to work on his collaborative album with Shackleton over the summer which is certainly something to look forward to over the coming year. Its easy to see the Shackleton influence in alot of Pinch’s work as he takes on tribal rhythms, leaning towards the techno corner of the dubstep scene.
In a recent interview, Addison Groove (Tony Williams’ footwork moniker) stated “It was either a new car, or an 808”, and I think I can speak on behalf of everyone at Corsica Studios on Saturday night when I say he made the right decision.
Williams’ live sets are yet to gain legendary status but it is only a matter of time. Having not had the privilege of being alive in the hay-day of the drum machine boom of the 80s, it was refreshing to see elements of improvisation to the set as William’s dipped in and out of unrehearsed 808 freestyles. That isn’t to say it sounded at all passé. To the contrary, Williams’ occupied the space at Corsica remarkably well, with a scattering of soulful vocal loops and an impressive scope of deep resonances – giving the sound system (and the audience) a full workout. The end of the set was suitably weird – a half-time version of Footcrab followed by some exhausting 160+ bpm tracks that left the masses a little worse for ware. However, William’s doesn’t need to play up to the crowd anymore and can allow himself to pick his own, unique path to success.
The last performance of the night was delivered by LA based producer Tokimonsta, djing using an APC40. I was slightly curious to see what Tokimonsta would choose to DJ, being the only hip-hop producer of the night. Sticking to her origins she brought out some current hip hop bangers such as ‘Drop’ by Earl from the odd future collective. In general Tokimonsta’s set provided a refreshing switch from the largely dubstep orientated night, and helped to ween us off thundering basslines.