It was a bank holiday.
I went dancing.
On the previous Friday, Nathan Fake launched any amount of sophisticated remixes out of the Pavilion’s sound system.
On Saturday I recovered.
Now, having spent a particularly enjoyable Sunday evening throwing Techno out of a nice, reliable pair of KRK’s, I find myself back in the rather salubrious surroundings of Dolan’s warehouse. Niki’s grinding out some especially pleasant Techno (insofar as Techno can be pleasant!) and I find myself embedded right in the heart of another night of daring escapades, this time with things presided over by Danish Drum&Bass duo-turn- Industrial Techno whizz kids Northern Structures.
The balmy sunshine of the evening was unable to assail the biting cold hiding in the shade. As I walked up town this evening – at the tail end of the city’s magnanimous Riverfest – I couldn’t help but notice the considerable chill that existed in the shadows simultaneously alongside the sun’s warmth and secretly relished that dichotomy between warm and cold; the fact that things can go from extreme to extreme with little more than a step in a different direction…
Tonight, Ruán’s set has a certain indescribable charm to it. Not to say that Mr. Flood is usually incapable of delivering a top notch set; nothing could be further from the truth. But the manner in which the Void rig declares its agonizing yelp tonight is noticeable. The rig has done some vocal exercises before the gig tonight and things sound even more pristine than usual while everything glistens with the dewy, dawn-grasp of a new morning’s frost.
As NS set up their equipment and open the shades onto a cold, desolate landscape of uncompromising Techno, my breath condenses in the venue and I can feel the lymph in my glands crystallizing, as if I’ve dipped my toe into a lake, only to find my entire foot rendered frozen. A pristine brick flies menacingly through the session while something elemental whispers to you out of one of Ned Stark’s nightmares: Winter is coming.
I blow into my hands in anticipation before wiping the sweat from my brow.
Stepping up to the plate, NS’ Techno is taut and muscular, like a batter getting stuck into the first innings of the World Series. You can feel some metaphysical bicep flexing as things are sent into the stands by the singular swing of the arms. The impression that proceedings are in the hands of two professionals is unmistakable.
On the dance floor, things can tighten up pretty quickly, as if you’ve caught your entire arm in the complex arrangement of gears and cogs of an artisan’s pocket watch. There is little chance of letup here and if you must come up for some air, be sure to do so as fast as is possible; the oxygen is in danger of freezing.
Indeed, at this point in the night, before the water ends and the ice begins, all words dissolve and limbs take over. The act of allowing this coarse music to flood through me dissolves the consciousness required to cover the gig and allows me to do something I haven’t done in for a while during a gig and that’s dance my pretty cotton socks off; the ontological task of description transforms into the ontic reality of unfettered movement.
Hell, it will remain a testament to the enjoyment that NS were able to stir up in the warehouse that one of the guys actually performed a stage dive. And it’s not very often that the audience are able to see a DJ enjoying the night as they are.
In mathematics, it’s referred to as shneer2
Despite the cold, beautiful nature of the Techno played, Northern Structure’s time spent here was anything but frosty. Not only did the lads play a superb set, but I also found them to be very friendly and approachable; a combination that isn’t the easiest to come by in a world that is so often driven by egos and the transitory whims of the prima donna artiste.
To give you an idea of how down to earth these talented individuals are: it was one of those rare occasions I had ever chatted to the headline act in the audience before starting their set; a rare instance indeed.
Photos by Simon AK
Written by this guy, Mr Stuart Nealon