Icicle and Distance drop their last deliciously deep, dark dubplate as the crowd gratefully roars with appreciation for the last hour's tantalisingly fresh set. Weaving round hundreds of glistening bodies to the back of room one, the silky smooth sound of MC Fats adoring that oh so classic bassline of ‘So Good’ begins to fade into ‘Gin and Juice’ as the double doors that lead into room two are propped open by three Shogun soldiers in alliance, brandishing the unmistakable bright white Japanese logo which embellished their matching black t-shirts.
Standing at the steady flowing bar, chatting revellers look up to the balcony as ladies lean over waiting for friends to rejuvenate and remove themselves from the secluded seating area. Directly under the balcony Friction bobs his head to the same old school beat as the 30 strong dance floor embrace the alternative set. The hip-hop continues with Big L, Snoop Dogg and Warren G, Drake and Roots Manuva each prising more heads from the edges of the room to the floor to “wave their hands in the mother f*cking air and wave those mother f*ckers like they just don’t care!”
Without prior warning the Shogun samurai throws caution to the wind. 'Come down operator with the 99 remix'... and drop. Girls wind, men salute with gun fingers and everyone sings, “It’s the waaayyy, it's the way, it’s the way”. The ever increasing crowd go wild for the garage and Friction spins the track in reverse for the rewind.
The party vibes continue with garage legends such a Wookie being played out until the end of the set, which finishes with the unlikely but beautiful choice of the XX’s ‘Crystallised’.
Mingling throughout the room, artists and ravers exchange skanks and smiles in the super club that holds the atmosphere of a house party, happy, carefree and integrated within a stunningly seamless backdrop of bountiful bass music. Friction and dBridge, playing an intoxicating mix of tracks, mirror the brilliant black sky of the night, vast amounts of dauntingly dark, yet superlatively soothing black d&b, flecked with melodic shimmers, twinkling vocals and starry samples, shining through as mesmerising breaks in the darkness.
Words: Nicola Elliott
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