The rise of Stump over the past two years has been nothing short of incredible. Their humble beginnings began in May 2016, and over time they’ve hosted parties that have showcased the likes of Dan Andrei, Raresh, Cezar, Barac and pretty much any Romanian minimal artist you can name.
So when Stump announced they’d be hosting a star-studded line-up of Cap, Cezar and Raresh, with Cote on visuals, I knew it wasn’t to be missed. What is so exciting about Stump events is the emphasis on the vibe. They encourage positivity and friendliness, encouraging partygoers to ‘bring their best smiles’ before events.
Two things struck as me as soon as I walked under the arches of The Steelyard, the first was Cote’s visuals. I’ve never seen him work his magic before but straight away his projections were mesmerising. To an outsider, the concept of having someone provide visuals for an event may seem bizarre, but it adds an extra bit of a joy and amazement to the night.
The second was the new Steelyard sound system. The venue itself is more of a vertical venue, with artists like Cap and Cezar; the sound can sometimes get lost compared to a smaller, square venue. However, even finding myself at the back of a packed out crowd; the sound was hitting me perfectly.
Cezar and Raresh were originally billed to play different sets, but Cezar’s set began with his Romanian buddy right beside him. And he didn’t leave. For the full six hours. The pair played Stump last February by playing back-to-back at The Mangle and the promoters must’ve thought ‘Why not do it again?’.
Whenever I see someone from the Romanian scene, there’s one thing that stands out… the mixing. I’ve dabbled in most subgenres of house and techno, and there’s no group that can mix to the level of the Romanians. Perhaps the track selection doesn’t sit right with you, but to a certain degree; you should be able to step back and be impressed with the blending.
The story these two told with their tracks was nothing short of superb. Roman Flugel’s ‘Bibo’ appears to be a favourite to be in minimal recently, and it’s easy to see why. The floaty melody provides a feel-good factor for the dancefloor and the crisp drop is enough to get even the shiest of dancers raising their fists.
It wasn’t a night where the tempo rose as we approached closer to the end of the night. The two remained steady in their track selection and their demeanour behind the decks. Raresh seemed to push Cezar’s serious side away and bring out his fun side. Raresh’s on-stage persona was infectious, as always. Hugging, clapping, dancing. The little Raresh finger waggle he does to the crowd. The Raresh clap he does when he knows his next track is an absolute banger.
It’s a lot easier to have fun and enjoy the night yourself when the people providing the music are doing so themselves. On the subject of fun, as the night went on and the smiles grew wider, I started to take notice of the crowd. It was all smiles, no trouble, everyone was having fun and were there for the music.
Tracks like Fortran 5’s ‘Heart On The Line‘ (bassline mix), a definitive house classic, brought the smiles and cheers to a climax. I couldn’t see Raresh behind the booth but I imagine he was doing his little clap whilst selecting this one. Cristi Cons’ recently released remix of The Secret – Azimute was also a highlight of the night, not a hard-hitting track by any means, but The Steelyard sound system made it sound pounding.
There was the temptation of an after party – with Cap, Cally, Suciu and Robson – was tough to turn down, especially after what I’d just witnessed, but the post-rave train awaited.
The Steelyard is set to be Stump’s home for the time being, and it seems a matched made in heaven. The party hosts turn 2 in May, and they’ve invited none other than Petre Inspirescu, flanked by Cally and Cote on the visuals once again. If there’s one thing I’m sure after Stump’s last event, it’s that they know how to throw a serious party.