Zoology 8th Birthday: Reviewed
Reported by Agnes Klos
Submitted 25-11-09 07:06
Balloons were hung, zoo eyes decorated the ceiling and some of the coolest underground DJs were booked – all for a very special night at Club 414 – Zoology’s 8th Birthday. If you’ve missed out eight years of clubbing with this unique party you have loads to catch up. We sent our correspondent Agnes Klos tells us what really happened at the last Zoology.
As a first timer to Zoology I was curious to find out what stood behind the name. The party, has not only won two HarderFaster Best Club Night awards but also takes place in one of my recently discovered clubs - Club 414. Although located in Brixton, it has quickly become one of my favourite clubs, especially after the successful Magnetix Halloween party. So it was no surprise when the 8th Birthday of Zoology cemented the venue as the number one underground club for me. There is no other clubbing area that has such a warm vibe, the coolest music lovers and committed DJs. As a girl, you can easily go it alone with no hassle involved, meet some wicked people and leave with a bunch of new friends.
“Cups up everyone, eight amazing years!” said the co-promoter of Zoology, Chris Dormer, serving champagne to everyone. In addition, lovely sweet cupcakes with a delicious icing brought smiles to many faces. The party kicked off with DJ Forth warming up the gradually increasing crowd. After him one of the Zoology residents, Markus Buhmann, took over the decks with his chunky, breaky house and trance sound. Markus told me: “I wasn't there too long as I was playing reasonably early. The birthdays are always fun, seeing all the regular faces and meeting some new ones, roll on number 9.”
If you came after midnight you could expect to dance to the likes of RedCaT (over from the US) and Latex Zebra. These two are no ordinary residents, with RedCaT running the (sadly now defunct) record label Vinyl Zoo and Daniel Nugent aka Latex Zebra being the other co-promoter of Zoology. RedCaT described often as a ‘peak time player’ joyfully combined for us funky techno tunes with some progressive and hard trance. While Latex Zebra jumped in onto the wave straight after him and kept us bouncing with his unique mixing style. He might be known to some devoted clubbers from parties like Hard House Academy or Frantic vs. Wildchild (and of course bad polls – Ed). LZ, entertaining us with his most-beloved European techno trance, prepared the ground fairly nicely for the next guest DJ, Nick Rowland.
But before we move to Nick Rowland I was lucky enough to grab the Zebra upstairs after his set and ask him how he liked the party: “Overall it is a good night, not our best party ever but certainly a good birthday. It’s nice to have a lot of our friends there, would have been nicer to have some more.
“Impressions, a good up for it crowd as always it seemed, receptive to the music. Everyone was really friendly, set of the night... I can't pick mine can I?! Probably RedCaT as I don't get to hear him as often as he lives in New York.”
The wise Zoology team invited one of the scene’s best loved producers and DJs, Nick Rowland, to play the main set for their 8th birthday bash. His set was brimming with good thumping hard house and uplifting trance, making the dancefloor red-hot for those dancing till 4am. Nick’s adventure with music started as early as at the age of four, with his talent later on spreading into engineering music for some of the UK’s largest dance music labels, including Riot!, Nukleuz, Tidy, Y2K & Six:Thirty.
A big downside to the party was the fact that the number of participants was not very high. The Portuguese bartender told me from behind the bar: “It is much nicer if the dance floor is crowded and then you can easily hop in without being noticed. The energy coming from the people is then completely different as they energise one another. If you see people around you dancing like crazy and screaming with joy you instantly want to be part of it. But if there is a small bunch of clubbers dancing some people feel to shy to join in, even though they like the music. It’s a shame as it’s a good party and more people should hear about it.”
After 4am the party went a bit downhill with clubbers wondering around, chatting more than dancing and spreading into the hidden corners around the club. The music got a bit mundane and stale with an hour of trance served by Jim Wild and then another hour of techno beats coming from B.S.E but there seemed to be no change in the music throughout the sets. Personally, I believe people need some change and surprise during the DJ’s set to keep them going. Sometimes there needs to be a sudden alteration of the style to get the full attention of the crowd back on the table again. Unfortunately, these elements were lacking a bit till 6am and people started leaving the club.
I must also admit that the party got slightly boring and the only thing that kept me going was the upstairs bar where hot drinks could be purchased and toys were handed to keep us entertained. The club benefits immensely from it as it is a fabulous place to chat to people; DJs who just got off the decks and ordinary clubbers. The place is so cosy it almost seems that talking to DJs is an everyday thing – not always the case in other clubs.
Yet my feeling of boredom didn’t last too long as Adam Symbiosis stepped into the DJ booth and got the house rocking. He didn’t have an easy task as it’s pretty hard to make people dance to almost the end of party. But he gradually slowed down the music, from the previous DJ’s 145bpm to a nice rhythm and then began building his set up. His verbal encouragements from the DJ box and seeing him enjoy himself while playing magically forced the only survivors in the club to come back to the dance floor.
It suddenly got crowded again and the party reached boiling point when the Dirty Funkers remix of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana was dropped on us without warning. It was definitely my favourite moment of the party and something worth capturing in my memory. Adam melted trance with break beat and some classics tunes like Deep Inside with ease - even if you didn’t like one of these music types you still felt glued to the dancefloor!
After two hours of jumping to Adam’s set I believed that nothing would move me and force me to stay on the dance floor but to my surprise I felt inspired again when genius ERC ramped things up with some classic driving trance tunes. There is nothing better than being kept dancing till it's time for breakfast and if you haven’t heard of him before it is worth following him wherever he plays as you are guaranteed to dance till your shoes are burning hot.
On one hand, it is shame that just a small batch of clubbers heard Adam and ERC’s closing set. But on the other hand, those who knew how genius these guys were behind the decks stayed bravely till the end for them. So maybe in the end, it was a clever trick from promoters who wanted to keep people there! Well, at least for me it worked, I heard all the DJs throughout the party. If not for them I might have ended up in my warm bed at 3am.
I had to leave the club with great sadness at 8am to rush straight to my daytime job. You might wonder how one can survive a ten-hour shift after a party. Well, I must admit that the positive atmosphere of Zoology and the great love for music kept me lifted and awake throughout the day however I might not recommend it for first-timers, though.
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Photos courtesy of Agnes Klos. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Agnes Klos:
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.