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Klockworks – Village Underground, London

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10688208_900957683266069_7739597738088505092_o.jpg Well I just cannot fault any element of the first UK Klockworks. It was pretty much outstanding. We arrived early to a half empty dance floor and the relaxed and abstract sounds of Etapp Kyle. As the crowds grew so did the set – a perfect balance of people and music. I was really impressed with his judgment of the crowd and concentration on mid range heavy tracks from the likes of Svreca’s Semantica label to really get everyone excited, in a good spirits and dancing all over the show. Not one person was standing still – and the best thing… no one was having a gossip. All attention was on the dance floor and that carried on all night. 

The overall sound quality at Village Underground was far better than I have ever experienced there before. Drapes added to the back wall and hanging in the apex of the ceiling stopped the sound getting lost upwards and instead, wherever you were in the room you could barely hear yourself think above the tunes. No need to speak when you’re all consumed by amazing music. The highlight of my evening was an airing of Jaydee’s Plastic Dreams – it’s been a while since I heard that at full volume.  By the end of his set, Etapp Kyle was bringing in more and more tough, heavy bass lines and the crowd (including myself) absolutely loved it. A perfect warm up for Jeroen Search’s live set. 

As the first bass beat was thrown out by the subs and rocketed through our stomachs, a huge cheer went up from the crowd. Dutch DJ and producer Jeroen Search was on top form. The bass carried on impressing – low enough to punch you right in the guts but not so low as to lose its swing, with syncopated rhythms keeping a really great energy level throughout. There is something about an offbeat snare drum that just gets me every time – transforming hard industrial tracks into something lively and full of character. Together with loops and bleeps and machine gunning mid range, this ninety minute live set was just pure magic.

Raised up with his kit on a higher platform than the DJ set up, there was no self-indulgence from Mr. Search. He was just playing exactly what the crowd wanted to hear. It was great to be able to see him play, even from the back of the room. I like to see a DJ as they play and more clubs need to see the value in a proper raised stage! 10603827_900957513266086_4746111677850514603_o.jpg

Visuals on the night consisted of abstract monochrome graphics on a huge screen from artist Heleen Blanken. Each DJ set was accompanied by close up film of chalk patterns being drawn on a blackboard, reeds swaying in the wind, jellyfish pulsing through water – every frame a subtle change, every movement graceful and serene as light and dark, sun and shade sat juxtaposed yet harmoniously on screen.

Rounding the night off was a five-hour extended set from label head Ben Klock. As the bass galloped double time and the tsss of high hats filled the room, every hair on my face tickled as the subs kicked in. The first couple of hours were full of tough beats and a good stomp, which were changed up around 5am for more layered sounds and a lift in mood.

It was heating up down at the front and the venue provided free bottled water to the dedicated front row, which was a nice touch – as was the Chupa Chup received on the way out. All these little touches go a long way to make you want to go back to a place and put you in a good mood for the journey home… sucking a Chupa Chup and perusing the club flyers with your mates, planning future parties on the night bus, with a smile on your face a techno beat in your heart.

I didn’t make it til the 8am finish but if Facebook is anything to go by, tracks like Klock’s own “Subzero” brought the house down and the final tune of the night was “Rej” by Ame, which is always going to be a stunning end to any party before you walk out into the sunshine.

Words: Abbi Barham

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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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