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Individual Collective – The Hive Project, London



The London Techno community is not huge. Compared to the number of venues playing Pop, Disco, House and various urban genres in this city, I expect the number of Techno parties is significantly lower. So when there is more than one Techno event on the same date with well known DJs on the bill, being the smallest and newest of the three (yes three) events on that night, I expect that promoters Individual Collective were a little bit nervous.

They needn’t have been.

As Lekebusch and Capriati went back to back for the masses at Fabric, and Perc’s album launch packed out Corsica, friends, techno family and locals headed to The Hive Project in Hackney Wick to get down to a few hours serious dancing with Billy Allen, Manni Dee, DJ Skirt and Ancient Methods.

We arrived at 12:30am, having unfortunately missed Billy Allen’s set, to a small homely 250 capacity venue which hosts club nights as ‘The Hive Project’ and is a theatre and restaurant space ‘The Yard’ the rest of the time. Handwritten chalk board menus and plenty of seating gave this venue the intimate and relaxed air of a café but the bare concrete floor, copper piping, stark bulbs and huge speaker array definitely made it feel like a warehouse club.

Swapping our coats and coins for some Individual Collective branded dog tags (excellent way to not lose your ticket) we sauntered back across the tiny dance floor to the bar, dodging limbs and bodies bouncing about to a great set from Manni Dee who was busting out tracks from the likes of Surgeon. Manni Dee plays on Simon Heartfield’s radio show soon on Fnoob.com so keep your eyes peeled for his next appearance. 


As the dance floor began to get a little more than busy, security removed a huge dining table and all its chairs outside and voila… the dance floor was truly in business. DJ Skirt was up next, delivering pulsing steady bass lines, womping mid range, crisp clean high and a slick mixing style of building up towards the end of a track and long gradual break downs using the introduction of next. First track of the set was:

Apparently the visuals for the night had been a last minute scramble as the planned VJ couldn’t make the event at the 11th hour. Prism Dynamics stepped in and did a stellar job. The graphics were really crisp and clean: slow moving landscapes, branded graphics and a selection of excellent dance videos that appeared in time to the music worked a treat. Whether it was an African tribe, breakdancing Chinese men or Tom Cruise’s final credit dance for Tropic Thunder, there were treats in there for everyone.


By 2am the place was heaving. The sound was good and loud – pretty much impossible to chat at all when we first arrived but as people soaked up the sound waves a little it was possible to at least greet your mates without losing your voice. It was a welcome change to many more quiet sound levels dished out at venues lately. As I stomped about to Sleep Archive I noticed that this high volume music and lack of chat was having a brilliant effect on dance levels in the room. Only abroad do I usually witness so many people letting lose and actually MOVING. There were some serious shapes being pulled on this dance floor as Skirt dished out rhythmic loops that scooped us up and set hips wiggling like human Newton’s Cradles to scowling high pitched whines and whistles breaking into solid thumping heartbeats with some nice acid sprinkles on top.


The final set came from Ancient Methods who was definitely pounding out the more unapologetic, Berlin business end of the techno spectrum in a rare vinyl only set –  whilst still making it sound melodic and pretty in places.  Glassy synths, menacing ear scratching vocals, tinges of electro and slamming 4/4 bass lines lit the dance floor. This set was less funky than DJ Skirt with less uplifting pizzazz and far more no nonsense beats. The crowd loved both sets and personalities in equal measure.

If Individual Collective can deliver this on their first event with hefty competition, they are going to need a bigger venue. Although I hope that they stick with The Hive Project because what made it magic it was the intimate feel and true love from the crowd: a select bunch who chose this night because they knew it would be special, and they were not disappointed. 

Photos: Individual Collective, Jameel Nobeebaccus

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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