If there's one particular 'crew' within the world of house and techno that always seems to spark a wave of excitement and anticipation when they announce they'll be throwing a party in London (or anywhere else for that matter), it's the Innervisions gang. Over the years they have cultivated a discerning following, procured through their consistently impressive DJ sets and live performances and the equally strong output from their label. Yep, ask anyone who's been and you'll find the resounding response from all and sundry is that there ain't no party like an Innervisions party.
Which brings us to the latest visit to the capital, a special showcase hosted by one of east London's most impressive new(ish) venues – Oval Space. Located just off the Hackney Road, Oval Space has only been around as a rave venue for a couple of years but in that time it has evolved into a seriously good place to throw a party. Throw together Innervisions and Oval Space and you've got the recipe for one of the year's most highly anticipated events.
On the line-up for this particular party is Marcus Worgull, Dixon and Âme, plus a live set from Henrik Schwarz. Upon entry you can feel the buzz in the queue, having heard that everyone's beloved Dixon is due on at 11.30pm. Sadly we missed Worgull's warm-up, but judging by the atmosphere at 11pm, he's got things off to a great start. The inside of the venue has been switched up nicely — with two-tiered platforms placed all around the DJ booth, even behind it, so ravers can get themselves a good view of what was going on should they wish.
The atmosphere is already peaking by midnight, Dixon's masterful command of the decks is always a joy to behold and tonight he's on typically impeccable form — working his way from more melodic grooves like 'Uncertain Change' by Footprintz through to tougher, stripped back joints like Point G's forthcoming 'The Walk', but always with a gripping energy to keep the whole thing together. He doesn't relent for the entire set and the amount of sweaty ravers is indicative of just how enjoyable his set is. Straight up after Dixon, Henrik Schwarz boots up his Mac and gets to work with his live set powered by the ever trusty Ableton program. Henrik pushes the energy levels up a notch with his performance, interspersing frenetic beats with the odd dash of vocals – such as the excellent collab he did with Kuniyuki 'Once Again'. Schwarz provides the night's peak, after which Âme brings things a notch, which is a slightly disappointment. No doubt the music was still of a ridiculously high quality, and there were plenty more moments of euphoria and enjoyment (particularly when the shuffler's favourite 'H 2 Da Izzo' by The Martinez Brothers was dropped).
To close, all four men rompe their way through a b2b2b2b session that finishes the night off perfectly – again, maybe not as strong as Dixon and Henrik's individual performances, but still pretty damn good. You just have to listen to the conversations in the queue for the cloakroom to realise just how good tonight was, plenty of positive comments and Facebook the next day was awash with much the same.
A great night.
Words: Marcus Barnes
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