Review: Half Baked 8th Birthday at Studio Spaces

    © Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (

    What started as a Sunday daytime party many moons ago has evolved into an event which has just celebrated its 8th Birthday. The Half Baked team have always kept things fresh and original – from their bookings, the production of their events and not forgetting their record label which launched in 2013. We celebrated with the crew at Studio Spaces, with a line up of amazing artists spread across two rooms; friends, stacks of records and a few bicycles…

    Harry McCanna and his partner in crime Jake Hodgkinson opened up the party, with an eclectic mix of groovy minimal numbers; the sort of sounds you would hear at one of the NorthSouth Showcases that Harry has been putting on at The Lion & Lamb in recent months – alongside fellow Half Baked member Sam Bangura, as well as long-term friend Dale Mussington. Local lady Georgia Girl is someone who has put in a lot of work in recent years on the London scene and made her Half Baked debut, proving her reputation as a top selector.

    There is a real sense of togetherness both behind the scenes and on the dance floor. Sam Bangura gave us a warm welcome and introduced me to other members of the team that I was yet to meet, before catching up with familiar faces like Greg Brockmann and Bruno Cabral who runs the London based brand. Everything about the event was organic and fresh – the DJ’s playing felt at home with Bruno and the organisers. As always, there was a relaxed vibe throughout the club.

    Vera - © Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now

    After being eased in with music from the residents of the party, Vera played an amazing selection of music – her futuristic and space-inspired sounds definitely blew some minds and got everyone on the dancefloor moving. Her love for these specific sounds is clear when listening to the music released on her label Melliflow, which she runs with Alexandra. Vera really knows her music and her knowledge shone throughout her set. Next Sammy Dee took to the decks, building up the mood in the main room whilst rummaging through his many records and delivering percussion-heavy music from the past; as well as some more recent releases – something that the Perlon Co-Founder has made his trademark sound over his career and taking full advantage of the new sound system which was installed a few weeks back at Studio Spaces.

    The second room was a bit darker in both look and sound. Mike Shannon set the tone for the room, throwing out some thumping bass lines and getting some hands waving. Following Mike was Robin Ordell and Lamache, who went back to back for a few hours and played really well together. I had never seen this duo share the decks before and it’s something that would be nice to see again – there were smiles all round and as hard as it was to follow Shannon’s set, they took it on and nailed it.

    Le Loup and Seuil are Half Baked regulars who perform under the name Hold Youth, a project that has seen them play across the globe as well as holding their residency at Rex Club in Paris. As well as playing together, the duo release music on their imprint of the same name. Their style on the night was a good reflection of the music they put out, as well as some deep house cuts guaranteed to get some shoulders swaying in the dance. The French duo never disappoints.

    Hold Youth (Seuil & Le Loup) - © Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now

    Hold Youth (Seuil & Le Loup) - © Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now

    Back into the main room, John Dimas was digging through his bag and mixing seamlessly. His style is instantly recognisable, using records with elements of acid, long and dreamy atmospheres and funky baselines to move the crowd. Playing a handful of his own productions, his set really orchestrated what he is capable of and why he is one of the leaders of the underground.

    After a quick cigarette, we headed back to the second room together; where Objekt had just stepped up to the turntables. It had only been a few moments ago that we were talking about the influence of 90’s jungle in modern times and how many producers have incorporated the dreamy pads from the Roland JD 990 and other pieces of boutique hardware to set tones in their tracks, as well as the incorporation of heavy drum breaks.

    Objekt’s sound demonstrated what we were speaking about perfectly. As we walked in, we heard the dark and growling sound of a Reese bassline; bursting through the sound of industrial drum patterns that replicated a jungle beat, only at a 125bpm tempo. Throughout his set, this talented artist (who was recently ranked #03 in Crack Magazine’s 50 Most Exciting DJ’s right now) really surprised me with his track selection and ability to touch on a wide selection of sounds whilst keeping a natural flow through his set. It’s clear to see why Bruno and Sam have had their eye on Objekt for a while and it was really nice to see a promotion book a slight wild card.

    Francesco Del Garda - © Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now

    OddMann (Greg Brockmann & Oddsoul) - © Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now

    The distinct sounds of Francesco Del Garda were tumbling out of the main room as we walked back after watching Objekt do his thing for an hour or so. Del Garda’s selection of skippy and glitchy beats brought even more diversity to the main room, with dashes of funk and jazz coming through in places; as well as punchier techno based rhythms.

    Closing the party was immediate family members OddMann, a duo who represent the brand with passion and recently released some of their work on the label, entitled ‘Dark Habits EP’. Greg Brockmann and Odd Soul bounced off of each other, using their deep cuts and carefully selected records to see the crowd through until sunrise, and then on to the afters…

    Overall, the night was ten out of ten. The diversity in music without straying too far away from the beaten track made it all the better when bouncing between the rooms. As mentioned earlier on, the unity radiating from the team as well as the party goers was important and good to see – smiles all round and friendly faces – how it should be! The sound and facilities provided by Studio Spaces (soon to be re-branded as E1) were above par. I’m sure many of us have had some really hot and sweaty nights here in the past, however; the new air conditioning system made it comfier to sway to the beats throughout the night and the sound system was tweaked to perfection.

    All photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now.


    Upcoming Half Baked Parties:


    Upcoming Half Baked Releases:

    HB011 – V.A – Oddmann, Seuil, Mike Shannon & Henry Hyde – Early 2018


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