Launched in September with Dyed Soundorom, Audiofly and wAFF, Abode is Studio338's new party, bringing big-scale daytime raving back to London. Rather than bringing after-hours nonsense to grotty basements or a grimy old warehouse, however, Adode's abode is Studio338's professionally fitted terrace for 1200 people, where top-quality bookings and hi-tech production aren't neglected.
“The main difference here to any old Sunday day party is that world-class terrace and [the] ever-changing and evolving sound we deliver from some of the best artists available,” says Kai Cant, one of three partners who started Abode, who also runs the night Fortay. “There’s a strong sense of family out on that terrace and a good amount of people in attendance are actually our promoter and DJ friends, so we’re clearly doing something right. Matched with that we spend extra on production and make sure each event is different.”
Since the launch Abode has hosted Fur Coat, Francesca Lombardo, Max Chapman, Nic Fanciulli, Leon, Adam Port and more, with the venue decked out with a forest theme in October and spooky décor for Halloween, while lasers, CO2 and space-age projections set the scene for total escapism. Building the terrace with groovier sounds during the day, the programme tends to take things more minimal later on with an insistence on avoiding the most obvious, in-demand sounds. “We will only book artists we feel will bring the right vibe to our crowd,” says Ben Price, the man behind Avant Garde, who met Kai while working on a roof-top party in Brixton. “The minimal techno sound wouldn't work as much on the terrace in the day so we like to keep it tech house and nothing too hard. Our two parties so far have shown that with the right combination of sounds, and not just sticking to one ‘trendy’ sound, you can create a genuinely diverse experience that our party-goers seem to love. We want to cater musically across the board.”
Conscious that 'deep house' is the sound du jour in London especially these days, finding its place within mainstream culture, Abode is keen to balance electronic music evolution in clubland with enterprise. “Electronic music is bigger than it's ever been and has [undergone] a meteoric rise in the general public's eyes,” says Ben. “It plays a massive part in the youth culture of today but I do firmly believe that a large percentage of today's clubbers are naive to the scene. It's become more of a fashion statement for some. The mainstream and commercialisation of dance music has created a divide, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I mean Ten Walls charting and Marks & Spencer using tracks for their adverts seems weird, right? I think this keeps certain crowds out of certain parties.”
Ultimately, the key to success is spending more to provide a better spectacle in order to stand out in an intensely competitive environment, Kai says. “We want Abode to appeal to everyone, and not just the people ‘in the know’ about this sort of music and scene,” he adds. “But more importantly than that, we’d say that you need to remove the necessity and reliance on making money; that’s why we spend so much on production. You need to think more about providing the right experience for your audience; everything to award-winning food throughout the day and reasonably-priced drinks to wowing them with new experiences such as dancers brought in from Paradise and Cocoon in Ibiza. And of course being different!"
Abode are running a free 'Payback Party' this month on the 17th of January with a group of up and coming DJs in London. Find out how to get there for free and more information here