Don’t you just love those spontaneous nights out, and no Cheryl I don’t mean when your friends from accounts ask if you fancy a 2 for 1 cocktail as All Bar One….We are talking a real spontaneous night, you know? With over priced alcohol and the threat of a random cavity search. Can you guess where we went, and don’t be smart and refer to the title like a normie.
Yes Fabric is finally back to its full three room arsenal, and we couldn't be happier! It seems like only yesterday we were all having our nightlifes in London being thrown into disrepute by those squares at Islington council over a dire need to build some more flats for people not to live in, so seeing the home of the UK’s rich music past, present and future donning all three of her rooms, was truly magical. Magic that being said, that came out of absolutely nowhere as Faris and I had both gone to work that morning expecting a middle class Friday evening in front of the sofa with the comforts of The One Show and plenty of pillows to stifle the smell of our farts, but alas the dungeons of Farringdon called us fourth. We needed it in the end anyway….if getting kicked off an empty tram for having a bike and then realising a whole bottle of soda water has exploded in your bag isn't enough to send you on a therapy night out then you are stronger than I.
And what a way to kick off the marvelous return, High Focus, Technique and Tumble Audio gracing the halls. The three combined gave us a night that had everything to love in it about UK Hip Hop, Drum and Bass, and House. Here’s what we saw on a room by room basis.
The main event on the night gave us a legendary lineup from the gentleman at High Focus records. When we think of the kind of rhymes that we can find around the British Isles, it's hard for our minds to stray from the unmistakable power of UK Grime, but Grime’s more hip brother Hip Hop is also permeating from the underground scene. The reason why Hip Hop is alive, kicking and thriving in the UK at the moment has no small part due to the rise of High Focus Records over the last 8 years.
Their stellar line up of MCs have been making huge impressions in the underground scene, and their label has produced household rap names like Ocean Wisdom, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and The Four Owls. Due to our fetish for more electronically orientated beats, Faris and I didnt actually catch a huge amount of the performances, but we did however often take a breather to wipe sweat off our foreheads whilst leaning over the balcony and spy the scenes that unfolded below.
The artists at High Focus are consummate performance kings, and the energy that radiated up from below was intense. The crowd were eating from palms all night. The Four Owls in particular came on stage and immediately their stage presence became known….a shiver went down my spine whilst I was in the smoking area kind of like when the grounds keeper wakes up in the Shining (watch it). They play off each other incredibly well, and bring a dedicated fandom to every event they show up to.
A spiral staircase took us up to the smallest room in the manor and one that fucking surprised Faris and I a lot. At about 1ish we were in the smoking area getting some not so fresh air and a kind wook walked past and said ‘check out room 3...you won’t regret it’. Now usually that would freak me out because I thought mystical guides were exclusive to my repressed memories and Middle Earth, but I was about 6 pints in by that point so I thought nothing of taking this whimsical creatures advice. We eventually took the climb at 3am to catch man like Fish, and what a rascal he was. I can’t really describe his style for you but do you remember those trashy end of year DJ Earworm mixes? You know the ones where every shitty UK top 40 tune gets crammed in to a 5 minute long mega mix? Well if you don’t I can’t really help, but that's what it was like except every tune banged, a ridiculous hour that meandered through House, Bassline, Trap and Dub, what a fucking ride. We descended the stairs weak at the knees and mouths agasp. That must be why they call him fish! Our girlfriends didn't like the set but fuck em, best of the night!
In room two, was a showcase from new label of Drumsound and Bassline Smith origin, Technique Recordings. You can always tell Technique from the logo...its of that steering wheel that you definitely shouldn't go anywhere near on a Sunday morning you fucking degenerate. And what a showcase it was, showing off the likes of both new talent and old. We managed to catch up and coming due No Concept, or atleast the second part of their set thanks to militant security check, thanks again Islington squares. And they smashed it out the park, bringing fire to Fabric with all the intent that you expect from bright eyed newcomers.
Afterwards we grabbed some moments skanking to a bit of Phantasy, a man who’s experience on the decks goes back further than Bruce Willis’s hair line. Over the past couple of years he’s been cutting his teeth as one half of the DJ crew behind SASASAS, so it felt almost weird seeing him play on his own, but he smashed it, and we had a right knees up skanking about next to some foreign exchange students who were clearly well out of their depth and had probably just gotten lost on the way to Piccadilly Institute.
We also got to sample some classic dancefloor beats from Tantrum Desire, a man whose signature tune Airhead made a famous appearance in Dimension’s Snowbombing mix at Printworks, I remember listening to it when I was living in Holland and being so fucked off that I had because I was going to a Techno rave that night and it had totally thrown head off the prospect of any BPM below 170. Drumsound and Bassline Smith were also a pleasure to see as always. Overall incredible vibe, and nobody fell off the ledge...or at least not that I saw, and that's all we will say of it.