To mark the release of his new EP Rojus, Percolate and Leon Vynehall brought along the wide ranging and diverse talents of Mr Bongo Soundystem, Sassy J and Young Marco to DJ at a day party in Hackney. It also marked the opening of a new venue in the borough, Mick’s Garage, which was as charmingly unpretentious as the name suggests.
With most people outside enjoying the rare glimpse of sunshine, it was a shame that very few ears got to hear Sassy J’s brilliant warm up. As she weaved effortlessly through soul, disco and classic deep house, it was easy to see why she continues to win such a large range of admirers. Like Floating Points before her, J certainly come from the school of Theo Parrish – her style is raw, soulful and human. Her last hour was particularly impressive, as she worked some delightfully oddball latin percussion and squelcy italo disco which set the tone perfectly for the weird and wonderful sounds of Young Marco to follow.
If Sassy J carries on the tradition set by Parrish, Young Marco is undoubtedly a disciple of DJ Harvey, a selector who carries a punkish spirit in his unwillingness to conform to trends, tempo or expectations. Yet, while always entertaining and packed full of brilliant records, at times this penchant for confounding expectations can led to his sets feeling too unhinged and incohesive at times. Yet, today the Amsterdam selector managed to mix his usual blend of synthesised afro disco balearic oddities, early electro and all other manner of other sounds, into a consistent and controlled set. It was one of the most original and imaginative sets I’ve seen in a long time.
Finally, Leon Vynehall stepped up to the decks with an intoxicating brand of moody, soulful house. It was brilliant to see a home-grown talent who has truly reached his potential by moving away from releasing a collection of solid, if functional releases to making house music with true musicality and longevity. While always a solid DJ, this new found confidence was reflected in his set as the first hour particularly was the deepest I’ve seen him go, with The Maghreban’s ‘Wonder Woman’ particularly making an impression. Expertly curated, in an interesting new space, and full of wonderful and diverse DJs, it was a party to remember.