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Review: Sankeys Opening Party Part 1

If Sankeys keep these parties up, I may never sleep again.

Everyone has been itching for summer to really kick off and as nothing says the season's started like a bit of Steve Lawler, it's no surprise Sankeys was packed last night. With a line up including the VIVa Warrior himself, Nina Kraviz, Darius Syrossian, Waze & Odyssey and Hot Since 82, Wednesday brought us Part One of the two day opening extravaganza Sankeys is supplying us with, a line up which was definitely worth the wait. The queue outside was full of not only music lovers but sun-drenched IMS-goers who had come straight from the first night at Dalt Vila, and the atmosphere was already buzzing thanks to the festival and the excitement of one of the first opening parties of 2013.

One of the highlights of the night was Darius Syrossian's first set in the Basement. Opening with his forthcoming release ‘Days Without You' was a great way to ease the crowd into a stellar performance crammed with his signature eclectic mix of tubas, hi hats and metallic jabs that, thanks to Sankeys' sound system, you can feel echo satisfyingly through your whole body. As always seems the case with Darius' sets, everyone was united by how good the music was and this vibe continued through his second set later on.

Meanwhile across in the L.A.B., Hot Since 82 was treating the crowd to lots of his own tasty edits. His darker tracks in particular, like his remix of Yousef's ‘Beg' with its haunting vocals and grimy bass line were a great soundtrack for this ‘no frills' vast underground lair. Another L.A.B. highlight was the new people's choice Sankeys resident Finnebassen, who filled the room with his deep melodic sounds, sneaking in two new original productions before the end of his slot, which will be released very soon. Catching up with Sankeys owner Dave Vincent, he was keen to talk about the L.A.B. (nee BOX) and how much work had gone into perfecting it. He wanted it to be a place where DJs could be inspired and experiment and it clearly served its purpose last night as we saw Darius and Lawler play an impromptu back-to-back set for the last hour which had the crowd going wild. The expansive space in the L.A.B. is a plus and since raising and levelling out the floor (compared to last year's amphitheatre style) it feels even more spacious. I like a good low grubby ceiling as much as the next underground club-goer but in this room there's no worry of putting the roof through with an over keen ‘house hand' and you can go wild to whatever the DJ'S concocting.

Both Lawler's sets, in the main room and in the L.A.B. were a banging mix of old and new tracks from long-time artists but also up and comers, such as new Hot Trax artist Patrick Topping's ‘Walk On', showing that Lawler still does his homework and puts a real effort into curating a varied and diverse selection of tunes.
Nina Kraviz finished in the Basement with some lethal techno and scratchy crescendos, playing a strong set which made everyone even more reluctant to brave the daylight and the journey home.

Sankeys have set the bar pretty high for both themselves and the other clubs this season, and now with seven nights on each week if last night was anything to go by, this summer could definitely be theirs...

Words - Lydia Laws, Photos - James Chapman

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