Redtrip Corrosive - Review
Reported by Pearsall
Submitted 30-06-03 12:22
You know it’s been a good night out when you wake up the next day with mysterious bruises; true to form I woke up on Saturday afternoon with a purplish-green bruise about the size of a 50p on my forearm. I have no idea how it got there, but it’s proof if it’s needed that this was a seriously good night out.
Redtrip Productions is a large crew of friends, most of whom have known each other for years, all coming from the western outskirts of London. Sick of the increasing predictability of London nights (8 hours straight of hard trance? er, no thanks), they decided to set up a night that would showcase a much wider spectrum of underground music, with the main room covering hard trance, techno, acid, nu-nrg, and even freeform hardcore from the residents Slacky, Flip, and G-Whizz and from various guests, and a backroom with a totally open music policy that has seen electro, house, breaks, drum n’ bass, psy-trance get an airing, all expertly hosted by resident MC Steelz (who is actually really fucking good... usually mc’s get on my tits, but he actually has talent and knows when to speak and when to shut up and let the music do the talking).
This was their third party at the Electrowerkz in Islington after previous events in November and April, and I must admit that I was a bit worried as I made my way from Angel tube station to the venue that it might turn out to be a total disaster. There was a lot of competition on the same night (No Limits, Oblivion and Knowwhere, etc.), the club scene generally quiets down in the summer, and in my more despairing moments I’ve often felt there was no market in London for something that was doing something seriously different from the norm, especially outside the Brixton Axis of Bosh. I was greatly relieved when I popped through the doors just before midnight to see that there appeared to be at least as many people as at the height of the previous event (where I played some old skool jungle classics in the second room). After a quick scout around and saying hello to people I know I popped into the main room just in time for the last bit of Latex Zebra’s set. He was playing stomping European hard trance to a growing and appreciative dancefloor crowd. The room was set up really nicely with a good array of UV banners, video screens and lights, and the soundsystem sounded better than I remember in the past. Going on the photosets there was also a laser but I don’t remember that haha (damn pesky alcohol).
After stowing my bag behind the decks I went off to socialize with the massed ranks of BangingTunes forum people; being all dj’s of one form or another we mostly stood at the back of the room drinking beer and occasionally nodding our heads. For those who’ve never been, Electrowerkz is a cosy little venue on a side street just around the corner from Angel tube station. Some people think it’s really dirty, but they probably never went to truly grimy places like the Pleasure Rooms, Tyssen Street or the Drome! The setup is a good-sized, well laid-out main room and a smaller bar area with a small space for decks and a dancefloor at the back. There’s also another room upstairs but on the night that was being used for a different promotion (a Goth thing I think). Bar prices are, by London club standards anyways, not that bad... £2.50 for a Red Stripe in a club isn’t terrible! Like all good small clubs it has a cosy feeling to it that promotes friendly vibes and because it’s on a side-street it doesn’t get any passing traffic pissheads (except me haha), only people who are committed to the music and having a good time. After chatting with various people for a while and checking out Catjane’s psy-trance set in the second room I made my way back into the main room to catch Slacky and G-Whizz thumping techno b2b. By now the club was starting to fill up really nicely and the atmosphere had really started to pick up. The dancefloor was full of people doing mutant aerobics to the dark but driving techno... even me, in the fat and lazy state that I have settled into recently was moved to shake a leg! Of course, the lure of the chat was never far away so I went back into the bar area to talk to Sean, who is over from Edmonton in Canada to party for the summer, and listen to some dnb (don’t know who was on, sorry).
Following on from Slacky and G-Whizz were Italian trancers E-303 and Fabry from Antiworld. I caught a good portion of their set and it was quality dark and driving trance that avoided the six-month breakdowns and Frankfurt Ravefrau vocals that so often, well, totally gross me out and ruin the less hard/fast side of trance. They were followed by G-Whizz and Slacky who returned for another back-to-back set, this time on a more firing acid tip than their earlier set, which had been more on the more percussive side of London hard techno. It’s been a while since I’ve had a blast of pure stomping acid techno and it was fucking great. Screaming acid, pounding bass, top mixing, flying bpm’s... can’t be beat. It may be sneered at by chin-stroking techno purists who wank over anything Jeff Mills puts his name to, but at 3 am in a dark room packed with people going wild it’s a force to be reckoned with.
Next up was the K-Tech live pa. After some technical teething problems that meant that Slacky and G-Whizz continued for longer than anticipated, Jamie (K-Tech) got everything sorted and was able to start his set. I must admit to being hopelessly biased as he’s a really good friend, but from when the fat acid of his first tune ‘Drop’ kicked in the dancefloor was taken to a new level (just read the reactions on the review threads either on HarderFaster.net or BangingTunes.com). Twisted synth action and dirty driving bass propelled tunes like ‘Mintrancee’ ‘Weeken’ and ‘Spark’ into the brains of everyone in the room like a neural drill, before detonating the party with the monstrous set-closer ‘It Endz’. Someone described it as being a bit like Tinrib, but with all the campness stripped out and replaced by dirty techno action, a sentiment I agree. The reaction was huge and hopefully might persuade him to make more of an effort to contact labels, dj’s and promoters and get his music out to the masses. Get on it, Jamie!
By this time I was throwing extremely foolish shapes on the stage (all in the name of a laugh, innit) and was ready for Flip’s set to close out the night. It was a hard act to follow but he did an excellent job. Ok, admittedly by this point I was really really really drunk (cheers to G-Whizz for sorting me out with beers after the bar closed) but I really enjoyed the thundering hard acid trance he was dropping. Even towards the end when he started upping the bpm’s into hardcore territory the dancefloor was still busy and the atmosphere was still really good (how many times recently have you been at a club where the end of the night feels like people are just marking time until the tube opens?). The end was proper fast and furious stuff and I was loving it... it’s always good to see the dancefloor full of mentalists stomping like their lives depend on it right through to the bitter end.
All in all it was a superb night out, and much better than their last party in April. I had a good time at the April party but there were some teething problems (inevitable in any new promotion), that had been sorted by this time. For instance at the last one they played really fast stuff for the last two and a half hours and the dancefloor died on its ass. This time they kept the pace down until right at the end when it wasn’t so much to ask. It’s cool to see people putting the effort into doing something different and being able to recognise their mistakes and correct them quickly. I predict good things for these guys as everyone I spoke to had a really good time and was really pleased to go to a night and hear different things all through the night, and not hear the same tunes over and over again. Check their website for more info on future parties; I think that the next one at the Electrowerkz is in October, but keep your ear to the ground as I believe they may soon be unveiling a series of more regular parties.
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Other Features By Pearsall:
Interview: JP & Jukesy
Pearsall's Guide to Record Shopping in London
Review: Zoology - The Summer Trance Party (01/08/03)
Interview: Carbon Based/Finrg Collective (Finland)
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.