6:00 am, Holywell Lane.
Enzo Siragusa had just finished his outstanding 7:30h all night long set, the fourth in the last few years.
This time, the event was running just after the Cutting Headz x FUSE afternoon rave at Tobacco Dock, making it even more special. In fact, after a 2 hours back-to-back with Archie Hamilton in the underground Car Park of the Shadwell venue, FUSE head had the chance to spin records from open to close, a great opportunity to deep dive in the vastity of his collection and build up a diverse and exciting set.
The groove was perfectly constructed throughout the whole set and the energy, as well as people enthusiasm, was constantly rising. Right in the middle of the night, brand new “Dangerman” from Enzo and Martin Buttrich resonated from the Village Underground soundsystem, and was quickly followed by some mysterious unreleased material as well as unique mash ups, one straight after the other. In a constant crescendo, and with lights already on, FUSE main man closed the night with track characterized by a powerful vocal and housey vibes all around (an edit of James Lewis – Unity), in mine and my friends opinion the perfect way to say goodbye.
It was immediately clear to everybody in the group of people I was with that the night was one to remember. At the same time, we wanted the party to keep on. The fun we had as well as the desire to dance more were both high, hence the decision to reach one of the craziest after-party that East London recently generated.
Arriving there was quite easy also for people that did not know the area, however the cold was at peak winter levels and made our trip a bit unpleasant. We walked through the side of a non-specified trail part of the bigger grid which is characterizing the East sector of the UK capital, from Thames up until North.
We took more than usual to reach the place, but eventually we arrived in front of a wooden structure gently floating on a stretch of water, from which the music was already resonating loud.
What immediately caught our eyes was that the venue was not easy to access as sitting on the shore opposite to the pedestrian walkway. This was made to benefit from a small clearing to give the venue an outdoor space that increased the total capacity. From time to time, with no elements of predictability, the structure was slowly moving to the other side giving the attendees the chance to either enter or leave the venue.
Thinking back, this small detail contributed to create a magical atmosphere as the venue itself was quite inaccessible and the guests could walk in or out only at random intervals. You know when you enter and you don’t know when you are going to leave, in true after-party fashion.
Once jumped in, we immediately went downstairs to find some shelter from the cold weather, around 6 degrees. The early hours light was already present in the sky creating amazing colours thanks to the complete absence of clouds.
The first step I moved down the small stairs, I quickly recognized Ricardo Villalobos – Heike (Villalobos Mood Mix) coming out loud from the massive speaker powered by CORE Soundsystem and placed next to the entrance. That was definitely the right way to start the morning adventure.
By the time the sun was up and prepotently entering through the small windows, we were already dancing in the small and packed venue.
ADMNTi, who played at Apt London the Saturday night, was going b2b with Laidlaw, fresh from 93 and Friends at 93 Feet East, and Joseph Williams who recently played for FUSE and Art Of Dark. The trio were mixing a blend of minimal and microhouse creating perfect afterhour vibes. The crowd, came down from different London events, was clearly having a great time.
The three DJs were moving smoothly, synchronized like a single artist and the selection was really on point. It was not hard to notice that the three had some affinity behind the decks. Even when the music got shout down for 10 seconds due to a technical issue, they managed to quickly bring back the energy level dropping a powerful bassline just in time for when the volume kick in again, making everybody cheer.
While ADMNTi mixed in ‘Whispered Story’ from the next Half Baked record by Sakro, I randomly bumped into Valentino Kanzyani, who had apparently just arrived and was set to play later during the morning. For the moment, he was there to enjoy the morning with no work duties, and his smile was contagious.
I walked outside to explore the area and pay a visit to the loo, spent some time on the sofas disposed under the trees and, coming back inside, I bought a beer and some water. On the other side of the canal people were keep on arriving and quietly waiting their turn to jump in. From time to time, one of the organizer was shouting inside that we were next to approach the exit side and that, for those who wanted to leave, was the right opportunity.
It was around 10:30am and my working week was to start in around 20 hours, so I had to choose wisely my next moves. When the trio dropped Ricardo Villalobos – Everywhere you go, they made my decision very easy: we were staying more. In the end, is one of my favourite tracks ever, and who does not want to hear it in full length from a loud soundsystem? Its vocal made us loosing track of the time even more.
At some point, not shortly after, Valentino Kanzyani took over, starting with an acid cut that convinced several people chilling outside to come down and see what was happening.
The Slovenian artist was probably inspired by the magical surroundings, and mixed a flawless and stripped down set, setting the right mood and confirming his experience in selection as well as behind the decks.
Around midday, the party end was still around 10 hours away, but we decided the next stop on the walkway was the right one to jump down, and we left behind some friends that wanted to stay a bit more.
Walking home, I was feeling tired like I had an additional working week in the last 24 hours only, but at the same time, a smile was running from ear to ear.
pics by Larry J