It's been a helluva year for No Artificial Colours. Going from relative no-names to regular Beatport chart-toppers in the space of 12 months, their remixes (of Dan Bergquist, Max Belobrov and Timo Garcia) and tunes (on Resonance Records, Sleazy Deep and Nurvous Records) have become a ubiquitous feature of trusted deep house DJs needing some fodder as funky as it is functional. Props from the likes of Lee Foss might not have hurt matters, but it's the boys cohesively built DJ sets that have done them most favours, going from modest gigs in Maidstone to the most eminent clubs in Miami. Following a busy summer of UK gigs, September saw them go next level with a brief US tour, a week in the Caribbean and a stopover in Greece. Doesn't get more jet-set than that...
Brownstock Festival, Chelmsford, Essex
Ryan: “A compact, crazy little festival. We played the Gist tent. A pounding Funktion One system and the tent already in full flight on our arrival. We were up for playing the moment we walked across the mud towards the booth!”
Lewis: “With the sun due to set just before we stepped up, it was great timing and created a real nice buzz. The DJs before us (Gist Residents Adam & Joe) had done a sterling job whipping up the crowd and Saytek performed after us with an impressive live set, so it was only right for us to get amongst it! It did, however, make our flight to the States the next day a little painful.”
The Griffin, New York, USA
Lewis: “Our first time in New York, and we loved it. The city runs at a pace we like. Fast!
Visited the Empire State Building, flagship Converse store (we have an impressive collection between us) and Katz’s Deli. Check out this for a sandwich (see pic)!”
Ryan: “We played The Griffin in the heart of the Meat Packing District. It was a Bank Holiday Monday the following day in NYC (Labour Day), so there was a great vibe in the air. In an ultra plush environment! We even managed to pop in and see Crazy P play just up the road from where we were later that night!”
Groovefest, Dominican Republic
Ryan: “A brand new festival that we were more than happy to be part of. The concept is completely unique. A five-star complex, with parties going on at night for five days within the resort. We played three sets, so it was nice to be able to show some different sides to our sound. The line-up was great, with Jamie Jones, The Martinez Brothers, Dennis Ferrer, Sam Divine, Alexis Raphael, Andre Hommen, Bobby & Steve, Horse Meat Disco and more!”
Lewis: “The highlight for us was the pool party we played at with Jamie. The crowd were rocking and the setting was amazing (see pic). A great experience, and partying with people whose music we love was real cool, but could we fit another strawberry Daiquiri inside us? Probably. Roll on Groovefest 2013!”
Ryan: “One of our favourite venues in Miami. It has two rooms — one really cosy with a beefy soundsystem, just lit by a red glow; the other more of a straight-up club room — dark and loud! We played here with Alexis Raphael. The crowd are really into their music and we were happy to have an extended three-hour set. This place is a must for anyone visiting Miami.”
FEAST, 93 Feet East, London
Ryan: “It was great to be back home after a few weeks away and the place was packed to the rafters! FEAST runs every Saturday, with one guest act a week. We love to play here. The guys have been behind us since day one and supported our music from the off. We closed the main room, which we love to do, ending on Gwen McRae’s 'All This Love That I'm Giving'. It's Lewis' all-time favourite track, so he likes to slip it in where possible!”
The Real Rocknrolla, Thessaloniki
Lewis: “An intimate venue with an up-for-it crowd. Arriving just before midnight, and due to start at 1am, the place seemed chilled and calm, with couples drinking cocktails and chatting. The resident was dropping cool cuts of disco at around 114BPM. But between 12am and 1am, the place started to fill with trendy youngsters eagerly awaiting things to be stepped up. By 2am (after several straight vodka shots forced upon us by the promoter) the place was in full flow. We played until 4am. Good times had by all!”
Six Dogs, Athens
Lewis: “After doing a remix for Athens-based label Rhythmatic a few months back, we were invited to play at a showcase of theirs at Athens Urban Music Festival. The venue was called Six Dogs, the place had three rooms, two of which were open, playing laidback vibes from hip-hop to disco. People were piling onto the cobbled street outside and the atmosphere was buzzing throughout the whole place.
“At around the 1am, the club room opened and the guys from the label opened up. The room remained dark and trippy and the place soon became a crazy sweat-box. Perfect! The crowd were so responsive and it's a set we won't forget quickly! After us, Kim Ann Foxman stepped up, who took it up yet another gear. After leaving there we scoffed a feta cheese pie with one of the residents. What else could you ask for out of a night?”
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