World Cup football and nightclubs don't mix. Both techno music and that shiny leather sack — to a similar level — require an audience's full attention to really enjoy, so combining the two simply doesn't work. So when news broke that England's first game of the tournament would kick off at 11pm on a Saturday, it posed something of a headache for club promoters.
Some just decided to start parties later or stick their residents on to an empty room. Others, however, embraced it with open arms, with Egg LDN doing the place up with bunting flags and constructing a giant screen behind the bar of its notorious garden, offering an opportunity for London's many techno heads to enjoy the game and get on it. Back of the net!
Well, not exactly... arriving somewhat dejected after witnessing Balotelli use his absurdly styled bonce to all but crush England's hopes of qualifying, ironically we hear the venue was actually busier during the game. “The result killed it a bit,” our host at the door informs us. However, that hasn't stopped a large percentage from putting the numbing futility of supporting Hodgson's group of no-hopers to one side and hitting The Terrace, where we find Paul C & Paulo Martini knocking out viscously layered funk groovers over what's still a crammed congregation.
The veteran Italian duo who have committed cuts to Hot Creations, Moon Harbour and Nick Curly's 8bit, as well as Monika Kruse's Terminal M imprint, are no strangers to working a crowd. Obviously boosted by the football score, their energy has in turn helped disperse the disappointment of even the most hardline members of the Barmy Army, and the place is primed for the leading lady of techno to take to the booth.
With NY garage and house down on the Ground Floor, it's the room upstairs with a warehouse vibe, pumped full of dry ice, that's catching most attention — much of which can be attributed to the relentless power of its custom-built Flipside soundsystem. Installed last summer — when they renovated the bar to reveal the room's original bare-brick features and allow for an extra few hundred (taking the capacity to 700) — DJ Mag had heard many-a-story of its fabled rig, but never expected this. Coming off the back of a period of reinvention at the club — improved door policy, tighter booking — the new bespoke system and re-fit marked the next stage of Egg LDN's legacy. It's now competing with the big boys.
Made up of two massive black/red stacks on either side of the raised box-like booth, the jet engine force of the system hits us with a rhythmic patting on our hollow chests as soon as we enter. Humongous in sound, the highs are crisp and not so harsh they drown out nearby voices. In fact, while ear-plugs are advised, unlike with some large hi-end systems, without them it doesn't feel like our drums are being popped or perforated.
To say 'Energy Flash' sounds big would be an understatement; its demonic acidic line is so tangible that Beelzebub's face can almost be seen emerging from the luminous smoke. Chunky cuts with a bulbous bottom line, like 'The Alarm' by Point G, are not only infectious but they add extra dimension to Monika's set, which by now has the dancefloor squished at the front — their arms, fists and hands stretched towards the booth above.
The saxophone of 'The Man With the Red Face' sounds as sensual as it should, putting a delectable cherry on top of a set that's full of energy and expertly timed throughout. Tasting even sweeter because of the carefree smiles of the techno queen in a top hat, she's clearly — like the dancefloor — having an amazing time and in the process proving her crown.
Next up is 2000 and One who, with over 20 years of DJ experience under his belt, knows exactly where to take the crowd. Keeping it rolling with the druggy funk of Frag Maddin's 'Hello Jones' on Area and the like, this dancefloor isn't going anywhere anytime soon — and it's already 6am.
Is that because of the World Cup? We'd actually forgotten...
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.