A brief word of advice, should you ever wish to foray into the questionable profession of music journalism: it's probably not the best idea to begin your busiest week of gig attendance with a rave. That said, the best ideas are generally the most boring, so of course we stayed out last Saturday dancing until dawn at Warp Records' Brainfeeder party at the Hearn Street Car Park. A wise man once said, "Prudence never paid," but then again rarely does music writing... so what were we talking about again? Oh yeah: we got our rave on!
If you've never been to the Hearn Street Car Park, it's the perfect place for a party. Tucked away just south of Great Eastern Street, it is indeed a building where cars go to park, but for nights like this the entire ground level transforms itself into a club. One room in the middle has the sound system, whilst the rest of the spacious venue remains open for drinking and chatting. It's a refreshing change of pace from being claustrophobically shoved into an oversold warehouse space with no room to break from the action. With enough room to roam, you can have a dance and then take time to clear your head away from the music.
By the time we arrived, we had unfortunately missed Glasgow's Rustie and Hudson Mohawke, and it didn't help when our friends told us how fantastic they were. We can only hope they make travelling south a regular event in their diaries. We did, however, arrive in time to catch all of Kode9's set, and as we've mentioned here before, that's something unlikely to ever disappoint us. Fast and lively, Kode9 quickly shook the stereotype that dubstep is too slow and low for the dancefloor as he increased the intensity with each track. With the crowd worked up so much, it was going to be a difficult act for Flying Lotus to follow.
Perhaps it is because our own bias has been so heavily-weighted in favour of dubstep lately that on the heels of Kode9's futuristic bass wobble, even Flying Lotus' generally compelling beats felt as if they were looking backwards. With a host of fantastic MCs dishing out rhymes, in any other setting Flying Lotus would likely have shined, but sandwiched between two dance DJs, he was put in the unfortunate position of slowing the pace at the prime party hour.
Digital Mystikz were up next and took the opportunity to sonically take the lights down further. Dark washes of bass flooded the room as everything suddenly started moving in slow motion, though perhaps that was a side-effect of 3 a.m. and too many cans of Kronenburg. Regardless, it worked, and closed the night wonderfully for us.
Although suffering from a slight identity crisis owing to hip hop and dubstep not being as natural bedfellows as one might have thought, the superb venue and quality acts easily made Brainfeeder one of the better ways to have spent your Saturday night. It seems that the Hearn Street location is fastly becoming a Warp favourite, so we're looking forward to what they have planned for it next.
Photo of the crowd at Brainfeeder taken from daveknapik's Flickr photostream.