Despite a disco nap overrunning by 2 whole hours - which as it turned out was something of a blessing in disguise - I was there in plenty of time to draw this conclusion from the event: this night is an instant classic. From chatting to a few people (shouting at them, rather - the sound system, though moderately loud, certainly left a lot to be desired in terms of tuning) it seemed there was quite a variety of people here - students, deserting their more usual Monday night staple Trash at The End to check out something potentially "even hipper" (they said), to people whose jobs didn’t start till Tuesday afternoon, to the pension fund administrator who had taken the next day off to recover, to a group of girls who had been birthday partying all weekend and somehow hadn’t quite finished yet ... but the people had one thing in common - they all knew precisely why they were there: Michael, Damian, and a wild party at a time when you wouldn’t expect one. Nobody shows up at a frumpy old ex-commercial building on a deserted corner of Shoreditch High Street in their party clothes on a cold Monday night just on spec.

Michael Mayer was still on the decks when I arrived - just in time to chat for 10 minutes with a West London acquaintance who had been watching the clock tick down on the start of his long journey home from out east central location. I needn't have given it a second thought - minutes later I had bumped into a a couple of groups of what can only be termed - the usual suspects. And Michael was very definitely in the process of whipping the crowd of 200+ - in what is not that large a venue - into something of a techno-fuelled frenzy. He was laying down hard infectious basslines that were shaking a lot of bodies on the dance floor - dirtier, rougher, chunkier tracks than I was expecting given his own production output and the more minimal style that his Kompakt label is so well known for.

Deck control passed to Damian at about 1.30am - I think it was at this point that Detroit classic "Shari Vari" (a remix of this having featured in numerous techno sets around Ibiza this summer, and having become something of an anthem for this crowd many of whom had been out to the White Isle in the last 2 months) raised a small cheer form the crowd. The hour that Damian then spent on the decks reminded me strongly of the set I had heard at Space in Ibiza from him - quality, compulsive groove-laden techno replete with trademarks from washed-out distorted subliminal vocals to galloping hold-onto-your-hats (insert Lazarus hat joke here) here-we-go pounding double drum-lines that kept the dance-floor heaving - and quite, quite hot - despite the increasingly infeasible hour.

The rest of the night saw me by now bouncing around the room alternating with quick trips to the cold staircase to cool down. Somewhere towards the start of that last half hour Michael Mayer had taken over the decks once again, and proceeded to guide proceedings down a more synth-oriented route. He finally wound up proceedings pretty much on the dot of 3am with the Abba-sampling single "Hung Up" from the Stuart Price-produced new Madonna album "Confessions On a Dancefloor", the hook giving the remaining 60 or so hardcore faithful something to cheer about and have a final shake on the dance floor to before vanishing into the cold London night.

Verdict: as I said above - the night is an instant classic - stand back and watch it grow into a Monday night juggernaught.

Rating: 8 / 10." />
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Damian Lazarus and Michael Mayer - Stink @ The T Bar, London
by Metro: 11-14-2005


What new craziness was this I thought, scanning my email inbox - a new monthly event on Monday nights, of all times? But reading further: Damian Lazarus & Michael Mayer, label heads of the influential Crosstown Rebels and Kompakt labels, playing a free night - perhaps i should get it together for this rather special-looking early week/late week-end party after all ...

Despite a disco nap overrunning by 2 whole hours - which as it turned out was something of a blessing in disguise - I was there in plenty of time to draw this conclusion from the event: this night is an instant classic. From chatting to a few people (shouting at them, rather - the sound system, though moderately loud, certainly left a lot to be desired in terms of tuning) it seemed there was quite a variety of people here - students, deserting their more usual Monday night staple Trash at The End to check out something potentially "even hipper" (they said), to people whose jobs didn’t start till Tuesday afternoon, to the pension fund administrator who had taken the next day off to recover, to a group of girls who had been birthday partying all weekend and somehow hadn’t quite finished yet ... but the people had one thing in common - they all knew precisely why they were there: Michael, Damian, and a wild party at a time when you wouldn’t expect one. Nobody shows up at a frumpy old ex-commercial building on a deserted corner of Shoreditch High Street in their party clothes on a cold Monday night just on spec.

Michael Mayer was still on the decks when I arrived - just in time to chat for 10 minutes with a West London acquaintance who had been watching the clock tick down on the start of his long journey home from out east central location. I needn't have given it a second thought - minutes later I had bumped into a a couple of groups of what can only be termed - the usual suspects. And Michael was very definitely in the process of whipping the crowd of 200+ - in what is not that large a venue - into something of a techno-fuelled frenzy. He was laying down hard infectious basslines that were shaking a lot of bodies on the dance floor - dirtier, rougher, chunkier tracks than I was expecting given his own production output and the more minimal style that his Kompakt label is so well known for.

Deck control passed to Damian at about 1.30am - I think it was at this point that Detroit classic "Shari Vari" (a remix of this having featured in numerous techno sets around Ibiza this summer, and having become something of an anthem for this crowd many of whom had been out to the White Isle in the last 2 months) raised a small cheer form the crowd. The hour that Damian then spent on the decks reminded me strongly of the set I had heard at Space in Ibiza from him - quality, compulsive groove-laden techno replete with trademarks from washed-out distorted subliminal vocals to galloping hold-onto-your-hats (insert Lazarus hat joke here) here-we-go pounding double drum-lines that kept the dance-floor heaving - and quite, quite hot - despite the increasingly infeasible hour.

The rest of the night saw me by now bouncing around the room alternating with quick trips to the cold staircase to cool down. Somewhere towards the start of that last half hour Michael Mayer had taken over the decks once again, and proceeded to guide proceedings down a more synth-oriented route. He finally wound up proceedings pretty much on the dot of 3am with the Abba-sampling single "Hung Up" from the Stuart Price-produced new Madonna album "Confessions On a Dancefloor", the hook giving the remaining 60 or so hardcore faithful something to cheer about and have a final shake on the dance floor to before vanishing into the cold London night.

Verdict: as I said above - the night is an instant classic - stand back and watch it grow into a Monday night juggernaught.

Rating: 8 / 10.

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