The problem with Carnival was that my body is so gosh-darn conservative it only let me be in one place at one time. Ask any of my partners in crime last night and they’ll tell you I was racing back and forth between rooms like a ping pong ball. Sankeys had truly united the sounds of the underground, presenting such a choice selection of artists, each with a unique offering, that my Fear Of Missing Out was resulting in serious commitment issues.
I kicked the night off with Bones in the Box – a space which I absolutely love. Its darkness and tiered floor surrounding the raised DJ booth looks impressive, feels communal and yet is still a good space to fumble about disoriented in, should one choose such a direction for their evening. Bones was steadily swinging the room into gear with some leisurely badass bass lines; an enjoyable set, but I was hanging out for the imminent arrival of my two-stepping hero from Sheffield, England - Blawan, which was to occur any minute . . .
Except it never did.
Sankeys I love you, I do, but where was Blawan?!? He’s a little-known name in Ibiza, which I was hoping last night would rectify, but his savage garage and techno fusion still has yet to terrorise the White Isle. At time of writing the interweb still hasn’t come through with an explanation regarding Blawan’s no-show; I can only hope Sankeys sorts a re-match soon.
Back in the Basement and the mountainous DJ Sneak had just taken the helm, his jacking house instantly shaking the room into a higher gear. Mixes were speedy as the Chicago house legend relentlessly threw classics in our faces, some highlights including Auntie Flo – Oh My Days and Let the Beat Control Your Body – Brodinski feat. Louisahhh.
Though housing like a maniac in the mainroom for the bulk of Sneak’s set, I peppered those hours with frantic dashes back to the Box for everyone’s favourite monobrow - Boys Noize. He was easily the odd one out on the bill in my opinion – but rose to the underground challenge brilliantly, reminding us all there’s a world outside of techno and house and that electro can be just as deliciously dirty, when done properly. With the absence of Blawan, Bones and Boys Noize had longer sets to play with, but I couldn’t say Boys Noize had a great deal in the way of light and shade. Given the extended hours available to him I’d have preferred if he’d taken the sound in a few different directions, before inevitably returning to the carve-your-face-off-with-razors electro drop. In fairness, however, he did carve our faces off really, really well . . .
Cajmere (who you may know better as Green Velvet) manned the Basement from 4:30, inviting its temporary inhabitants into the weird and wonderful house world he seems to permanently float around in. It was impossible not to groove about to hits like Millie Vanillie – Green Velvet feat. Russoul, Au Seve – Julio Bashmore and the frenzy inducing Spastik – Plastikman (Richie Hawtin). Incidentally, during Cajmere I briefly dipped into Spektrum (successfully hosted by Departure) at a very opportune moment, the room exploding to La La Land – Green Velvet, as homage to the big tripper next door.
Cajmere continued into the wee hours and just when our bodies started to give way, our arms to flop and our dancing relegated to the left-to-right grandpa shuffle, our ears caught one of the most familiar bass lines of this season and last – the Jamie Jones remix of Hungry for the Power – and everybody found that last little bit of energy to carry it on until close.
Fellow ravers will be able to re-live the madness - or hear what you missed - this Friday as the Radio 1 team were there to record parts of DJ Sneak, Cajmere and Matt Tolfrey for an extended Essential Mix which will surely be immense.
Carnival Cities - The Underground (Manchester, UK) meets Defected In The House
22 Jun from 23:59
LAB - Defected In The House
Boutique - Rebels
Jiggy b2b Kan.e