Last month, R&S Records held their first London party of 2015.
The legendary label has maintained a dedicated fan base, with many a trendy clubber spotted wandering the streets of east London wearing t-shirts emblazoned with their famous horse and triangle logo.
The label’s club night, titled In Order To Dance, features a typically stellar line-up of DJ talent including New York’s Quays, homegrown producer Lone playing a B2B audio-visual set with Konx-Om-Pax, alongside two of the label’s more recent signings Moiré and Primitive World.
The event’s kicking off at Moth Club, one of Hackney’s newest hangouts situated on Valette Street, a stone’s throw from Hackney Central station. It’s been a club for military veterans for around four decades now, and has recently been taken over by the Lanzarote group, the masterminds behind venues like The Shacklewell Arms, The Adam and Eve and The Waiting Room, and turned into an eclectic events space. Bingo, karaoke, club nights, you name it, they’ve got it.
It’s not hard to see why R&S, a label with a vast back catalogue from artists such as Aphex Twin, Jaydee, James Blake and Nicolas Jaar, would choose a venue such as this for their London party. The interior is akin to something out of a David Lynch film with its pine-panelled walls, gigantic booths and military plaques and medals sitting proudly on the walls. The ceiling is an explosion of gold glitter. At the back of the room the stage looks exactly like the one that Brian Potter of Peter Kay’s ‘Phoenix Nights’ used to grace, complete with the (slightly tacky) gold tinsel curtains.
Out the back, the veteran’s club is still ticking over with a gathering of ex-servicemen who are sipping on pints (probably a damn sight cheaper than the ones in the main room), dressed in their military attire and appearing more than happy to have their club taken over by a bunch of dance music aficionados. “I’m glad it’s being used,” one silver-haired gentleman remarks. “I just don’t like this music.” There’s also a hidden drinking den upstairs, which only the ex-servicemen hold the key to, and another nook that’s available for hire.
The night gets well and truly underway with some ambient beats from New York export, Quays. He weaves in one of his most recent tracks ‘U Stay’, with its strained synths and hypnotic vocals. Quays has been getting some acknowledgment recently for his stripped back, industrial sounds. He has a rather unusual method of releasing tracks — he premieres all of his tracks over a voicemail number.
Two of the label’s latest signings are next to grace the decks: Primitive World and Moiré. Their choice of tunes errs more towards the tougher side of techno, taking the crowd on a darker journey.
Proceedings come to a conclusion with a mind-bending audio-visual set from Lone (pictured above) and Konx-Om-Pax. They’ve become a regular pairing on the underground scene having previously teamed up for Lone’s debut AV set back in June last year, and a Boiler Room session in Moscow. Glaswegian Konx-Om-Pax is credited with creating videos and artwork for the Nottingham-born producer. Serving up a mixture of psychedelic synths, Lone shows off his innate ability to mix the old with the new. One minute it’s like you’re taking a trip down the rabbit hole in Alice In Wonderland, and the next minute Lone lifts you right back out of that hole with some '90s rave throwbacks.
With the bass still beating in our ears, revellers pile out of the Moth Club in search of the after party. It’s safe to say that the return of R&S was a resounding success. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait so long for the next instalment.