Reviewed: Shogun Audio at The Steel Yard
Since “Freedom Day” and the re-opening of clubs, there has been a flurry of rescheduled events that I have been itching to go to and this Shogun Audio night at The Steel Yard night was right at the top of the list. When you pair a label like Shogun Audio with a venue like The Steel Yard you just know from the off that you are in for a treat. Selectors of the highest calibre and a venue that holds no bounds when it comes to sound systems. Unintentionally since the re-opening I have been to The Steel Yard around five times and when I say it is quickly rising to my favourite club in London I mean it. The vibe and sound system are just unparalleled and I couldn’t wait to get back in there after setting my eyes on the stacked lineup that Shogun Audio had collated.
Up first was someone whose name has been ringing in the ears of many Drum & Bass fans, Monrroe. Now Monrroe is someone who’s been absolutely killing it lately, coming off the back of his recent ‘Warsaw’ EP release on Shogun Audio I couldn’t wait to see what he had in store. Being one of the first acts on for the night is no easy task, you’ve got to set the mood and get everyone riled up for the rest of the night and Monrroe certainly didn’t fail. Serving up a wide selection of melodic liquid and deep rollers, Monrroe carried us through the first stage of the night with ease. One track in particular which really got the crowd going early on was Monrroe & Riya ‘Closer’, a lovely liquid number paired with some insanely soft vocals, which we all know is the perfect combination.
Now I don’t know if it’s just me but since raves have got going again, I can’t help but get so immersed that time feels like it’s just absolutely shooting by and before you know it it’s time of the next set, Pola & Bryson w/ Visionobi, Ruth Royall and Kojo on vocal duties. Pola & Bryson got things rolling with a fine showcase of their ‘Beneath The Surface’ album which had only been released the day before the event. The 15-track album is nothing short of spectacular as it truly encapsulates their versatility as artists, from melodic liquid to soulful rollers. The journey of the album transferred to the rave as things started to get darker as the set progressed, spinning one of my favourites from the album, Pola & Bryson ‘Anaesthetist ft. Strategy’. A dark thumping roller filled with airy pads and some cold vocals from Strategy. Hearing this body of work in a club environment after the past year was just incredible, it’s the sort of music that hits just as hard at home as it does in the club, but finally having the chance to experience it in a club just makes it that little bit more special.
The clock had now struck 3 am and after 4 hours in the main room of The Steel Yard, it was time to stroll on over to room 2 for Sustance. Easily one of my favourite producers right now and also recently fresh off an EP on Shogun Audio, I was absolutely buzzing for this one. Stepping up to the decks, Sustance got things rolling straight away with an eclectic mix of dark, eerie steppers. Room 2 was perfect as it provided the intimate setting needed to match the darkness of the music. Playing some seriously cold hard hitters, such as Sustance ‘Quasi’, and Alix Perez ‘Empty Words’, Sustance had room 2 shaking. Proper grit your teeth stuff.
After a short sit down to recover from the absolute carnage which took place in room 2, we got straight back into the action and managed to catch the remainder of GLXY’s set in room 1. We’d recently seen these guys at Studio 338 along with Sustance so we knew just what to expect. Keeping the energy high at around 4:30am is no easy task but boy oh boy did they deliver. Staying within the theme of the night, they spun a wicked selection of dark crunchy rollers and vocal-driven stompers before tailing back off into a burst of soulful numbers to get everyone ready for the final set of the night. I’m not sure if it’s to do an appreciation of being back in the rave but soulful, melodic liquid is connecting so much with ravers in the rave at the moment and it couldn’t have been clearer during GLXY’s set. Tracks like Linguistics & GLXY ‘Searching For ft. Charlie Perry’ and GLXY ‘Wild Love’ were perfect examples as the vibe at 5am reached an all-time high for the night.
We couldn’t stay for the final set of the night, Gest, but regardless Shogun Audio undoubtedly know how to throw a good party and with the roster of artists they have been building recently they are quickly becoming an even bigger force to be reckoned with within the scene. I cannot wait to see what else they have in store for the remainder of this year and next.