05 December 2014 © Chris Cooper / ShotAway
When the lineup was announced in early Autumn, it was clear that the organisers were intent on creating a vibrant source of heat for the frosty British winter. What better way to do that than congregating a few hundred partygoers and have them frantically searching for their spilt marbles after being put into a state of music-induced shock. Studio Spaces – located between Wapping and Shadwell in East London – served as an ideal space for the resounding bass lines and kick drum fractures played by Detroit house masters and German techno pioneers.
Upon entering after a relatively short stint in the queue, it was evident that this was to a no-nonsense affair. Apart from the main DJ booth, the only visual thrill that the room had to offer was the lightened ‘Exit’ signs. The music provided the vivid, colourful memories of the night… that is if you didn’t get too caught up in the whirlwind of jazzy grooves, timely fist pumping anthems and intense joints of dry pulsating percussion. We were happy to see what looked like a back-to-back set of the Sound Signature crew, after stationing ourselves optimally in the middle of the cataclysmic Funktion-One speakers.
Theo Parrish gave way after laying a retro bumper with smooth female vocals, to Marcellus Pittman, who entered with the late 90s classic, ‘House Music’ by Eddie Amador. The unforgettable lyrical hook resonated purely through the room as the rotary mixer (with bass cut) effortlessly gave the mid-levels that extra edge. This built nicely into the drop of the main piano loop which sent the crowd into a frenzy. The bouncy mood was maintained as more Latin-influenced numbers were played, with indulgent piano solos and heavy bass thumpers which were deeply appreciated by DJs and dancers alike.
We ventured into the main warehouse where, behind some black fabric sectioning off the bar area, we found Motor City Drum Ensemble playing amidst a foray of lasers beaming from disco balls which hovered above the crowd. This was the perfect setting for the disco and almost garage-style house being played in the borderline tropical climate of the hot room. Another serving of nineties house with ‘Do You Love Me’ by Lil Louis; which had many happy screw-faces mouthing ‘take me higher and higher!’ as the track visibly elevated them on the dancefloor.
Back in the studio room, there were flavours of South African house charging through. Shoulders were seen popping as ‘Move It’ by Rhythim is Rhythim graced the eardrums, before more funky bass lines gave extra lean and poise to the dogged commotion of shapes on the dancefloor. It was also a treat to see the enigmatic Redshape hypnotising the loyal warehouse crowd with his darkened tones and relentless stepping pulses.
Despite the large rooms which could have fit even larger numbers, the serious no-messing atmosphere gave the impression at times of a small hidden recess. This was especially so with minimal space for a breather if you didn’t want to venture out into the cold (but who would want a breather anyway… right?). However, this was mainly a testament to the great selection which more dictated than reacted to the crowd, who were incredibly happy to follow.
Upcoming events at The Hydra: Ostgut Ton Nacht (12th Dec) with Marcell Dettmann, Ryan Elliott and Anthony Parasole; Electric Minds NYD (1st January) with Dixon, John Talabot, Levon Vincent, Move D, John Roberts, Christian Löffler and Dolan Bergin.