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Tasty business!

We take a suck it and see approach to Chelmsford's honourable house promotion, Gist

Having to leave the immediate peripheries of London for a night out in some cases would seem an inconvenience. Whilst the weekend crowds pack into the capital to revisit the city’s plentiful haunts, those with an appetite for underground house and techno in Essex have just one location firmly in mind. 

Despite having only two parties under its belt, Gist has already managed to attract a savagely committed crowd. It seems that delivering names like Claude Von Stroke and Matt Tolfrey to the doorsteps of a crowd ordinarily fed on a diet of cheese anthems and binge drinking is capable of sparking an unrivalled loyalty for a club night even in its early stages. Offset by the seismic success of their most recent Dirtybird party which saw Eats Everything and Claude Von Stroke tear the place apart with queues backing round the block by midnight, the Gist collective have an undeniably hard act to follow with their next event.

Tonight’s Leftroom showcase however, promises to do so. This distinctly British label is renowned for cultivating some of the UK’s best homegrown techno talent during the latter part of the '00s, the likes of Subb-an and Mark Ashken, and serving as a bastion for recent bangers such as Laura Jones’ ‘Love In Me’ and more recent efforts from Simon Baker, Huxley and Kate Simko. Stepping up from the Leftroom camp tonight, however, will be the immediate family, Sam Russo, Laura Jones and bossman Matt Tolfrey.

Gist resident Adam Saville follows Rob Bishop, and his hypnotic house opening, to the decks working in the early crowd with a skilfully interwoven selection of upbeat deep house offerings, setting the tone immediately for a night of undeniably top quality tunes. Sam Russo follows, and delivers a simply mind-blowing set. For Russo, the crowd’s best reaction is to the sound of his own collaboration with Huxley on the huge ‘Jamma’s Basement’. Leftroom boss Tolfrey is up next and delivers a hearty feast of stripped back tech-funk from his upcoming album 'Word of Mouth'. Showing the boys how its done, Laura Jones, the petite blond picks up the pace with some huge techno and surging soulful house which has the crowd hanging onto every single hook.

Gist residents Gav Rayner and Harry Finn are next up to close the night with a deftly selected set of energetic techno and snare-heavy house, which, accompanied by the revolving lights, dry ice and piercing laser beams, drum up the remaining Gist faithful into an eye-rolling frenzy until 5am. 

What's clear is the Gist brand, while still embryonic, has already forged a strong blueprint for faultless label-specific curation, housed in a suitably unrefined, if not raw venue. Perhaps it’s the small town air, but Gist has proved itself for the third time running more than capable of breeding an atmosphere reeking of overpowering and intoxicating hedonism, so thick and gritty you can taste it. 

Words: Grace McCracken