I arrived at this party feeling slightly frazzled after what felt like a long and very cold walk down to Commercial Street from The Egg’s live gig at Cargo. I managed to walk past the venue several times before being clued in by a passing punter to the anonymous-looking black door down a side street (yes, sometimes there is such a thing as too secret a secret location...) - but that changed quickly once I stepped inside, eager to hear just what respected Berlin-based producer Jay Haze had in store for us.
First impressions: excellent, bouncy minimal techno rocking the edging-on-pretentious crowd of techno scenesters and students - there were certainly a few "Richie flips" and "Ricardo beards" on display in the crowd; although more the guys than the girls, I’m glad to say.
Lump (aka Arttu Snellman) was in control of a slew of laptops and effects boxes as I checked out the venue initially, playing a perfect warm-up set - on the dance floor some people were hanging out, chatting, having a drink and starting to dance. The music was minimal but still very bouncy and danceable, and the party had a very laid-back "German party vibe", helped both by there seeming to be a sizeable German contingent hanging out around the DJ booth and by the fact that the party's advertised end was not till 10am.
Jay Haze took control at about 2am and immediately upped the tempo a little whilst keeping it bouncy, the basslines very crisp and authoritative. At one point early on I recognized Holden's "The Wheel" but most of the selection was both equally excellent and unknown to me - always a good combination. Jay played for 2, maybe 3 hours, leading us through a set of excellent minimal - and occasionally not-so-minimal - techno, complete with the occasional breakdown and at one point an absolutely spine-tingling fat bass kick. In particular Jay's transitions were often subtle and frequently unexpected keeping the crowd moving and interested.
By the end of Jay's set I was feeling the pace a little and took the opportunity to chill out and check out the upstairs level (no music but an open bar) before heading back down for one more hour with one of the residents on the deck. To sum it up - an excellent night of fresh, underground music that would put many bigger nights to shame. Well done Run Sounds, Happy Birthday.
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