Reviewed: Solid Grooves at Printworks
In the words of LL Cool J: “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years”… Exactly seven, to be precise.
Last weekend London’s beloved Solid Grooves made a triumphant return to Printworks, finishing what they had started in an almighty fashion. Bibi and the gang had a point to prove, having their last party cut short due to the unfortunate silliness of a single individual. With that book left open on the table for quite some time, it was firmly slammed shut with a lineup many may deem to be just what the doctor ordered.
As we made our ascent up into the aesthetically overwhelming press halls, we were greeted by the nearing of heavy kicks and rolling rhythms. Just what you would come to expect from a party so distinctively recognisable by its audio trademark. Upon breaking into the seemingly endless corridor of the press halls, we immediately sunk into the flow of rising London talent Rossi, falling instant prisoners to his quirky, dub-tinged flavours laced with lucidly sultry vocals and injections of glitchiness.
A peak time crowd, eagerly filling the venue to the hilt from the early hours of the afternoon can only mean one thing: a highly-charged mass of people, crying out for great track selections and a good time.
As we moved blissfully through the gears with Grooves resident and longtime friend of ours, Ramin Rezaie then onto the delightfully wacky Reelow with his chunky, bouncing vibes, we were well and truly into the swing of the party. Seemingly so were thousands of other appreciators, as the pressure in the room continued to rise and rise in the most positive sense.
Drop the clutch and kick it up another level, it was time for an eagerly anticipated b2b with Latmun and Detlef. Providing a level of electricity that they have been championed for on many legs of their world tour together, they certainly didn’t disappoint. The playfully eccentric sounds of Latmun seem to just blend seamlessly with the grit and fatness of Detlef’s choice cuts, just like peas and carrots alongside the finest cut of lamb rib on a Sunday afternoon.
You have to ask yourself, is it socially acceptable to take a breather after such an emotionally demanding b2b? But when you’re faced with Michael Bibi into Steve Lawler then into the pair of them b2b, you pretty much find yourself delaying the inevitability of FOMO if you even consider anything other than getting lost in it. And that is exactly what we did. Over two and a half hours of two of the industry’s finest talents, going solo and then toe to toe. What a delight!
We then swung briefly into the Dark Room to catch our buddy Marco Strous laying down some badly behaved beats, having the situation (ie. the crowd) completely under control whilst noticeably really getting into that magic bubble that comes with being stood in front of a mixer and a room full of people.
Back out into the main room and the sounds of Darius Syrossian were breaking things up nicely. Some may say a bold move to introduce an artist on a different tip, but we think it’s good to keep things moving and it definitely stopped any possibility of things becoming too samey. A blend of thumping house, disco, techno and everything in between; just Darius being Darius really and doing a damn good job of it.
Lastly on to the tall, elusive figure of Pawsa. Unfathomably cool and laid back in his personality, with a ridiculous level of suaveness to his productions and performances. Rounding off the day with what was, for me, the most enjoyable set as I am a huge appreciator of the closing set. With great responsibility comes great pressure, and people often forget just how difficult it can be to play last especially when every single artist before you have been on their A-game.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable day out at one of London’s very best event spaces. It’s probably bested that you can’t get any signal in that main room, for fear of Shazam’s servers crashing indefinitely. We can’t wait to catch up with SG again when they take to Studio 338 on their ‘Road to Ibiza’ tour!