visionquest at fabric

photography by lindsay barchan

so much has already been said about both, where does one start with a review of perennially world beating club, fabric, when headlined by current techno darlings visionquest? in the morning, when you wake up with an early party in the depths of your stomach as it churns in anticipation? on the train ride to london, where chat is dominated by what the night may hold? or at the pre-party session where everyone plays the records they’re hoping to hear on the sound system that beats all others? probably none of those, and although the queue never makes for that riveting an opening gambit, probably not there either, but i shall…

there are different lines for tickets, guestlist, fabric first members, all policed by bouncers and amiable staff ensuring you get in as quickly as possible, through the airport style security and onto a platform with wide staircases leading both up and down.  everyone behaves, not wanting to get turned away, but once inside (and having checked your coat for the reasonable price of one english pound at one of the two cloakrooms) excited patter begins to fill the cavernous stair well in which you now stand.  and so does, of course, a dull thud which emanates from somewhere deep down below…
toward it you eagerly tread, down the brick lined walls of a tidy urban staircase (where many a weary raver takes refuge later on), eventually coming to some large sets of two-way doors.  behind them, one of the most revered clubbing experiences in the world has played out, every weekend, for ten years.  no matter how many times you’ve been, it makes for an emotive moment as you approach them, for they shall forever be the doors which shield all manner of pleasurable unknowns.  push them open and you’re faced with a long, backlit bar and a cosmopolitan sea of people passing left to right, right to left; from room one to room two or three and vice-versa.  straight away you lose everyone in your crew to the vastness and the darkness. there’s no mobile reception down here either, so you’d better just hope you bump into them later on.
armies of staff ensure not a single passage way from this room to that; into the toilets; the stairs or outside to the sizeable smoking area is blocked. so, too, do they scoop up – with military efficiency – the heavy duty plastic, um, glasses from which we drink.  ‘so what?’ you bleat, but with x thousand people dropping their empties on the 3 different dancefloors for 10 odd hours, it would soon become impossible to dance if they weren’t taken care of: another subtle but essential touch which makes you feel as looked after as some fine dining bourgeoisie in a plush, city centre eatery.
photography by lindsay barchan

and so to the action in the thriving hub of the main room, with its shielded dj booth; opposing live stage; high ceilings lined with industrial ventilation tubes; pulsing-in-time-to-the-beat dancefloor and the final jewel in a crown full of them, the soundsystem…  with seth initially at the helm, it punches out a thick bottom end whilst sprinkling the percussion and synth lines on us from above.  the high ceiling means the sounds have room to breathe – there’s no reverb, they’re crystal clear and almost hang in the air just above us, blanketing us in a rich, hd sonic tapestry.

after seth’s set, during which he is distracted infrequently and always keeps both eyes on the job, the densely packed ‘floor turn on their heels to face crosson and curtiss. they stand a yard or so apart behind a desk, with a laptop each – ryan looking like hawtin, lee looking like a collegiate quarter back – both focussing hard as they begin their live set. it’s a taught journey through colourful tech, basslines to get hips stuck into and the odd vocal flex for brief moments of unifying repose.  the way the lighting randomly shifts from being beamed down on them from above, to coming in sheets from green lasers or from spots dotted around the walls constantly changes the whole dynamic of the room: sometimes it feels cavernous, sometimes it feels cramped, sometimes it disappears in a smoky fog.  whatever, the apparent architectural dynamism toys with your mind as the night goes on, only adding to the whole trip.
seth then appears in the booth behind us once again. with the bit between his teeth he sequences an arcing set which brushes up with brashy techno, warmer d-town sounds, maya jane coles edits and a deft selection of loveable classics (‘no way back‘ being the most apt of the night at 7am) which re-engage anyone who’s attention may have waned during the more esoteric passages of sound. it’s choice, dance-y, charming and clearly does the trick, for the ‘floor remains full (i mean dancing-with-your-hands-in-your-pockets full) ‘til well past breakfast time. 
without accusing visionquest of being louche at other times, there’s an underlying sense of professionalism to tonight’s proceedings. you get the impression a lot of prep went into it and that they really meant business from the word go.  they programmed a heartfelt, 360 degree musical experience (both literally and metaphorically) using  vinyl, laptops, playing back to back, solo and live though old school and new school sounds which proved as epic as are the connotations of their collective name.
photography by lindsay barchan

with kyle mf hall in the much cosier chamber that is room 3, and ben klock in the cave-like underground cavity of room 2 at various points during the morning, it’s impossible not to break off and go check them out. the former drops hip-hop influenced house beats with all the enthusiasm of a month old pup, whilst the latter slams out grainy techno shrouded in endless cloaks of reverb and echo. like the opposing vibes, the respective crowds are different, too: hall’s jump about like him, smiling and high on life; klock’s have their heads down, sweat endlessly and march deeper into their own worlds, ever further away from the drags of normality.   of course, these two rooms also offer something for those who shy away from main rooms and instead prefer the more isolated and darker confines of a smaller rave space. 

i’ve said before in my reviews that musical enjoyment is subjective. whilst visionquest turned in a ‘were you there?’ performance tonight, then, should they not be your thing, fear not… it would be hard not to find at least one event to your liking in any given week (let alone month) at fabric and, as such, there’s no reason not for everyone to try the place, at least once. as for the slight that tourists litter the place… of course they do: all the world’s wonders buzz with people wanting their slice of the action, but they go home before you will, and then it really gets good.   and anyway, there’s always the possibility they leave you with a hilarious anecdote as did one italian i spoke to who had come over from perugia, just to visit the club…
“what do you think?” i just about asked.
“it’s ok” he retorted, before continuing sans even the slightest sense of irony, “but full of tourists.”

new year’s eve by the djs

blog went dark – christmas got in the way – but is back with a selection of thoughts (admittedly intended for another outlet, offline for redesign) on new year’s eve from a number of djs across the world.  happy hunting in 2011 everyone!

lee curtiss

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

i’ve had a bit of a tradition with the wolf+lamb boys that i play for them at the marcy in nyc. we’ve had several amazing nye/nyd parties together. the best nye for me will be hopefully next year when we can do a visionquest nye.

and least favourite?

i had a few stinkers back when i first started djing 12 yrs ago, but i tend to forget those and remember the good ones, it’s better that way.

favourite tune to play at midnight?

this year it would be footprintz the things that last forever, forthcoming on our new visionquest label, it’s perfect for the ball drop.

have you any new year’s resolutions?

i have indeed, to spend more time with my friends and family.

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

i am returning to the studio to work on several different projects. i intend to write the music first and then see which label it fits after it’s done. i think that is the way to get the best results, no expectations, just write what comes out and go from there. we have a few visionquest remixes that will be out soon on cocoon, dfa and catwash. i’ll also be looking to finish another solo get physical and supplement facts eps.

ryan crosson

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?
best new years eve in recent memory was probably last year. shaun reeves and i were fortunate enough to have gigs together on nye in brooklyn for blk market and on nyd for droog in l.a. when you have to do a monster flight after a gig and then go play again right when you land it’s a bit tricky, so to have one of your best friends with you always makes it special.

and least favourite?

there have been a few crappy nye nights but one doesn’t really stick out in my mind like, “oh shit! that’s was the worst!” my worst probably would’ve been in high school at some point. chances are we went to some over-planned event that completely sucked and there weren’t enough girls…bummer

favourite tune to play at midnight?

i’ve never been one to cue up a specific track at midnight. i guess it would depend on where i am and what i’m doing. shaun and i were playing at midnight last year but i can’t remember what track was actually playing. slow hands did a pretty cool ‘auld lang syne’ edit. i guess i’ll go with that for now.

have you any new year’s resolutions?

the problem with new year’s resolutions is that i’ve never stuck with one once, ever. but next year i’d like to start exercising at some point and continue cultivating my moustache.

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

most importantly our label visionquest is set to launch in january. the first ep will be benoit & sergio. out soon is the supplement facts 025 with guy gerber, dop, varoslav, guti, greg paulus and myself. i have an ep & album coming with cesar merveille on circus company and visionquest respectively. i’m also working with tale of us, dyed soundorom, on a field recording project and on a solo album.

kris wadsworth

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

1999-2000. i have pictures of me and my boys smoking joints that are about as fat as your wrist. it was stupid. we were waiting for the y2k shutdown so we could go loot everything. it never happened.

and least favourite?

2000-2001. my friend was playing a warehouse in east detroit and got in a fight with some marine. he kicked the marine in the face so bad that we both had blood spatters on our jackets at breakfast. orange schnapps, cheap scrambled eggs, and the sense that something really fucked up happened.

favourite tune to play at midnight?

darude–sandstorm

have you any new year’s resolutions?

to keep moving forward and not worry so much.

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

a bunch of really awesome collaborations with some really talented people,
working with some new labels, being in a really cool documentary about independent
electronic musicians, and loving my dog even more!

soul clap

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

2008 for sure. We had a residency playing swanky disco vibes at this super posh hotel in Boston and all our friends joined the cougar fest. Plus we got free hotel rooms with a window that opened up to the bathtub above the bed. Special shout out to our ex-girlfriends JK and MM for helping make it a night to remember.

and least favourite?

Maybe it wasn’t the worst, but last year was pretty rough. We had a super cheesy gig in Boston that included an endless stream of terrible requests. Then we took the bus to NYC to play at the Marcy, but it ended in a river of tears 5 minutes after we showed up. Fail.

favourite tune to play at midnight?

Slow Hands has done an awesome edit of Auld Lang Syne that’s perfect for the ball drop.

have you any new year’s resolutions?

No more feeding Gizmo after 10pm. He really turns into a gremlin.

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

Well most immediately is escaping back to Miami after two gigs up north (where it’s mental) in the UK on New Year’s day. Then we have our first official mix cd dropping on No.19 in February followed by a DJ Kicks, which we’ve done with Wolf + Lamb. We also have remixes of DJ Harvey and Robert Owens coming next spring and we’re working on our album.

simon baker

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

sydney 2008/9 without a doubt, don’t usually care for fireworks but the show they put on there is an unbelievable sight , afterwards i played on the “spice afloat” boat party with radioslave around sydney harbour with the sun rising, the boat rocking, doesn’t get much better.

and least favourite?

hmm, never had a really bad one that i can remember, usually too leathered to care anyway!?

favourite tune to play at midnight?

played various tracks over the years, but westbam – oldschool baby (piano mix) is a good old school classic, never fails to go off and have a stream of people asking, what the fuck is that track with the piano. good happy vibes for nye.

have you any new year’s resolutions, what are they and why?

to look after my ears and protect them more. i had a recent scare with a perforated ear drum. i have the monitors far too loud, and need to start been careful

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

my debut album called traces due out on 2020 vision in feb. remixes by radioslave (out now) and art department to come soon.

rob james

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

my fav new year would of been in leeds a couple of years ago, i went to back to basics vs dirty disco at my house. it was all about the afterhours though.

and least favourite?

my worst was in blackpool where i’m from. i was still in the queue at 12 and when i managed to get in there was a power cut and so we were sent back outside where it started raining. it was horrible.

favourite tune to play at midnight?

you’ll have to wait and see…

have you any new year’s resolutions?
yeah to finish a lot of tracks that i need to finish, i like starting new tracks when i get a new idea. so i’ve got loads that need finishing. also to get back to the gym, i used to be really into my fitness when i was in the army and now i’ve let it slip massively.

what are your immediate projects in the new year?i

want to experiment with different types of electronic music from disco, house, new edits and techno. so not sticking to the same sound.

subb-an

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

below 2008, it seemed like the courtyard in birmingham was going to explode!!!

and least favourite?

when i was too young to go out and had to listen to the raves on the radio whilst in a sulk!

favourite tune to play at midnight?

there’s sooooo many… but this year it will probably be a special sas edit that we’ve done just for the night.

have you any new year’s resolutions?

to take things up another gear with more music, more gigging and more parties!

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

i’m just finishing up a release for crosstown, sorting out the years releases on my label one records and some projects for some exciting labels

jet project

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

destroying shine in belfast by dropping plastikman, spastik to a packed main room is def gonna be hard to beat.

and least favourite?

we’ve been really luck and not had a bad one in over 10 yrs…

favourite tune to play at midnight?

can often depend on event’s that year, past midnight tunes have included tracks by james brown, prince, the beastie boys, and various house and techno classics..

have you any new year’s resolutions?

launching another label as extended play is getting into its stride now and fairly stacked with releases but we are getting so much great music sent our way.

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

start work on our new single and album project for riva starr’s snatch! records, dj tours in oz, asia and the states

russ yallop

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

probably the millennium, gatecrasher did a party in the don valley stadium and it was 25,000 people all in front of the same stage so atmosphere was really special.

and least favourite?

got hazy memories of one in particular where me and a mate in a bid to save money got raucously drunk before going out, then of course couldn’t get in anywhere. not sure where we spent the countdown but the night ended with me walking the 2 hour walk home, pushing my ko’d mate along in a shopping trolley. bad times.

favourite tune to play at midnight?

i suppose it’s compulsory to play something anthemic, i’d probably choose something like deniz kurtel mix of fables & fairytales for this year.

have you any new year’s resolutions?

just the standard ones really, ie doing less of something ‘bad’ and doing more of something ‘good’.

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

i’m on the case with various musical projects, though next year i’m looking forward to starting using real vocals. not my voice you’ll be glad to hear, i need to track down a good female vocalist with a lot of patience!

tony rohr

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

one of the great ones that come to mind was in sicily (2007?) with alexi delano and josh wink. we were all playing different parties, but somehow i met alexi for an amazing 3 hour dinner. then i went to go drink about 5 litres of wine with both him and josh. i think i ended up losing about 200 euro in bets with alexi about abba of all things. haha… classic! the party itself was pretty amazing…. i think. it’s a little cloudy there.

and least favourite?

same one… we realized the promoter had fucked over both the club and the booking agents for fees and flights the day after.

favourite tune to play at midnight?

i actually only djed once at a party on nye when it turned midnight. it was a house party thrown by my friend in his loft, and it was going into 2000. so of course i played prince’s 1999. you really can never go wrong with prince at a house party.

have you any new year’s resolutions?

this year is to finally learn more german. i’ve been going to germany for close to 10 years now… enough is enough!

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

include the much anticipated double pack oddmatik on clink recordings in addition to my album oddlantik avenue for cari lekebusch’s h-production label. oh! and we are re-releasing my classic track slowburn on weave digitally with some killer remixes in 2011 too!

joseph capriati

what’s your favourite new year’s eve ever?

the best for me is playing in a big techno party or festival together with lots of friends. since i started to play every new year eve i can’t imagine a 31 december without gigs, i love to start the new year on the decks!

and least favourite?

the worst new years eve i think is to stay sick at home!

favourite tune to play at midnight?

i could start the year with a big pad intro or something like that 2 minutes before the midnight, and then after the countdown at midnight, insert a killer kick and bass!!

have you any new year’s resolutions?

for next year i hope to do better and better with my job, make good records and play a lot. that’s what i really want to do first!

what are your immediate projects in the new year?

for 2011 i’m going to work hard for drumcode, i will release a new ep for adam beyer in the first half and another in the second half of the new year. also i planned some new important remixes for strong labels like soma, tronic, bush etc.


Warning: split() [function.split]: REG_EMPTY in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/te/sh/no/teshno.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/tanzaku/functions.php on line 69

detroit house and techno ~ the interviews


something i wrote for idj mag in the uk – thought it worth sharing…

the intro…

the re-release of robert hood’s ‘minimal nation,’ and carl craig’s re-instatement as musical director of the demf, are momentous events, not far behind us. shadows of the first and second wave detroit forefathers, then, perennially loom large over the shoulders of any new motor city blood. whether that pressure is why techno headlines have come mainly from berlin in the last couple of years or not, is now irrelevant: detroit’s where it’s at in 2009.

read the rest of detroit house and techno (…)


Warning: split() [function.split]: REG_EMPTY in /websites/123reg/LinuxPackage21/te/sh/no/teshno.com/public_html/wp-content/themes/tanzaku/functions.php on line 69

lee curtiss ~ interview

another interview from a series with detroit’s current champs.

how did you get into all this?

“all of this”…. i like that, you make it sound like you’re asking how i ended running cocaine for the mafia on some documentary on the history channel. but seriously, i’ve been making music since i was a teenager, so once i started listening to dance music and djing, i think the progression into making the music was inevitable, and once i started producing full on, i realized quickly that i wanted to make djing and producing my full time job. the rest just kinda filled in from there.

read the rest of lee curtiss ~ interview (…)