Ever heard someone use the term ‘facemetler’? You know ‘my gosh Dave this Amelie Lens track is a real facemelter’...or ‘mate, did you see Goof last night at Printworks...he played wall to wall facemelters’. It’s a pretty broad term that various underground music fans use to describe a tune that makes them pull the same look of disgust on their face as I did when I sat down to watch the finale of Game Of Thrones. I’ve often wondered what music most aptly represents this kind of brash, visceral metaphor….well at least I did until now.

 

A few weeks back we decided to give the more typical London rave night a miss in favour of something totally removed when we decided to give ‘Therapy Sessions’ at the Pickle Factory a try. Now, admittedly the title would suggest that the night might be packing the kind of easy rhythms that your dad may have listened to after the divorce, but actually the kind of therapy on offer we can only assume, was the kind where you lock yourself in a room filled with antique furniture clutching a baseball bat and then absolutely destroy everything that dares exist within a 5 metre radius of you, because ‘Therapy Sessions’ was the filthiest, sphincter clenching neurofunk night I have ever been to...and me and Faris absolutely loved it.

Maneki Gets Darker At Therapy Sessions

The Music

As I already mentioned, this was a Neurofunk night, which for those of you who aren't aware, is effectively the darkest and most outrageous form of Drum and Bass that you can find. Perfected and adored in countries like the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Belgium, it is an unrelenting form of DnB that well and truly puts hairs on your chest and throws any semblance of glitz and glamour to the fore winds. The two headliners on the night were Limewax & Counterstrike. One sinister name and one not so much, me and Faris were having a real blast from the past having seen Limewax perform in our earlier, and admittedly far more questionable raving days (we are 23 and 24 and oh my god can we feel age coming on) and Counterstrike is the devil behind that outrageous tune ‘Let It Roll’...nothing to do with the festival although it did get played a lot there.

 

 

I will be from now on referring to ‘Therapy Sessions’ as the Tesla of raves for me because we hit top speed in there before I could so much as finish my first beer and then the rave did not let up until the end. By the time I got in the Uber (which came all the way to the front of the club thank the lord), I was operating on about 20% spine integrity and felt like I had defaulted on a lone and had a gang of angry mobsters break my legs at the knee! Neurofunk in this form is like the Dark Souls of genres to do battle with. Do a whole night of it and you can call yourself raving royalty, do it sober and you’ll know it's time to sack off work and join the UFC because you are a certified maniac. From start to finish the music was a never ending roundhouse to the head. Fast, loud, big snares, wailing syths, makes my hairs stand on end just picturing it. With some elements of happy hardcore thrown in for good measure, it made for an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the DnB musical sphere.

 

Due to the neutron star level of heaviness that Neurofunk provides, it attracts a crowd that is slightly removed from what you would expect at your average Hospital or Ram Records night. What I have always found special about DnB is that its spectrum is so broad that it can attract fans from all kinds of other genres. Because Neurofunk is so heavy, it appeals to a crowd that wouldn’t look out of place at a heavy metal concert. Lots of leather jackets, black jumpers and spiked hair, Neurofunk fans come to rock out and really invest themselves in the music. Although perhaps intimidating at first, they are an absolutely lovely bunch who really embody how music really should simply be a means to have a good time. Whatsmore, on that night, there was a Jewish gay night across the road, which made for a stark contrast if you were in the middle of the road glancing between the two smoking areas.

The Crowd

The event was held at ‘The Pickle Factory’. A venue that I am sadly not all too familiar with, in fact it was my first time visiting it. It’s a rather small and intimate venue kind of like Soup Kitchen in Manchester, only unlike Soup Kitchen, which smells of soup a little bit, Pickle Factory does not smell of pickles...although at 2am on a Saturday night, I would argue that is by no means a bad thing!

 

The intimacy of the venue really helped to enhance the energy from the music, making you feel as though there was no part of the room where the vibe could be lost. Having said that, the crowd were also so courteous that although the room was packed, moving around was fine and the chances of having a drink knocked out of your hand were slim if there at all. Also you might be wondering if the heavy metal orientated crowd spent the whole night moshing? In short, no. They seemed to understand better than many other sets of fans, that there is a time and a place, and that whilst listening to DnB and in a small venue in East London, does not tick either box.

The Venue

Overall, a wicked night, and certainly worth the trip to my chiropractor the following week. If you love a good snare, but fancy something a little different, I would 100% recommend and I personally would 10/10 rave it again.

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© ManekiCollective 2020 

London, UK

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