Make Me made us an offer that was hard to ignore, and at first hard to picture: Bruce and Shanti Celeste placed at either end of a 3 hour set from DJ Sprinkles (Comatonse Recordings) within the wonderfully precise and symmetrical Main Room soundsystem at Corsica Studios.
At first glance some might see the Hessle Audio signee as an odd pairing, but those familiar will know the Bristol-based producer draws much from Terre Thaemlitz, and his warm-up was a masterful curation in which he was able to present the more “hessley”, bouncy techno he’s so well known for, before levelling out, coming down and setting the room up for Sprinkles, leaving us with the dubby title track, ‘The Trouble With Wilderness‘, from his Idle Hands release.
Nothing could have been more apt than for DJ Sprinkles to open with her and Mark Fell’s track ‘Fresh Insights’. Featuring a now generation’s old – but relevant as ever – vocal sample of former Labour MP, Tony Benn. It delivered a fervent reminder that the same uphill battles are fought again and again, decade to decade, without relent and always with the same casualties. For the next hour or so Sprinkles went deeper and deeper, sociopolitical vocal samples ringing out and unsurprisingly – but, to great relief – clearing much of the dancefloor of the impatient patrons and making a few of us count along in 3 as he played her ‘St. Petersberg Three- Four Blues’ remix into what sounded like unreleased Comatonse (most likely Sprinkles remixes of a forthcoming deep house project by Will Long).
I caught Shanti Celeste as she was making her way towards the booth at a particularly deep section of Sprinkles’ set. Her facial movements gestured something along the lines of “how do I follow this?” but of course Sprinkles is always very considerate of the DJ following her, her eventual energy change would allow Shanti to come in with some nice deep house for her closing set.
Just when you thought we were in for a long night of mourning (no complaints here) Sprinkles dynamically interjects with a joyous Latin house track, ‘The Sun Will Shine’ on Slip ‘n’ Slide, somewhat decontextualizing its balaeric happiness with buckets of delay in the chorus, as if to say, “no you can’t have that”. She went on contrasting her first half of dark n deep, with the Fantastic Plastic version of The Whistle Song and the ultra crowd-pleasing Crossfaderama remix.
It’s now been at least 8 or 9 times seeing Sprinkles, and not once has a set repeated itself. She still continues to go where others won’t and play what others can’t.