A decade has passed and whilst a global recession crippled businesses the world over, it was down to the most dedicated and innovative entrepreneurs to baton down the hatches, keep calm and carry on.
Promotion company Just Jack has managed to do just that, providing Bristol with programming parallel to that of some of the most active cities in dance music. With an undisclosed lineup prior to opening the gates to Motion nightclub – students, veterans and everything in between amassed outside in their droves, rubbing hands together in the crisp night air.
But inside things were heating up. Korean Berliner Hunee was housed within a train carriage that dwarfed the entire stage of the Marble Factory – rest assured, his set with Rush Hour co-founder Antal was anything but a train wreck. Percussive, almost tribalistic Chicago house anthems overlapped disco-infused boogie ballads, with a well received drop of Joanne Wilson’s Got to Have you.
All the while in the main room, the barometer was swinging – with shoulders side by side from wall to wall. A B2B that merged both sides of the atlantic, presented Bristolian DJ October with New Jersey giant DJ Qu, and what was perhaps the standout set of the evening. With a similar outfit to their performance on the Fact stage at Bloc, the pair delved into their respective distinctions – with October and his eclectic ear of warm lo-fi house to obscure 80’s dream-pop & Qu who can flip a techno track on a 115 bpm lazy edit like it’s no biggie.
Just Jack have a keen eye for the details and the decorations were evidence of this. A 20ft high omnipresent clowns face (familiar to that of the Saw film series) made a return from the Freak Boutique party Just Jack had thrown a few months before, and towered the main room stage. With spinning eye balls (utilising 3D projection mapping) and an effective lighting display that didn’t have to rely on over saturated strobe lights that can all too often ruin a night, the overall effect was highly immersive – in conjunction to the wall of sound.
Handing over the baton in the main room, came a live set from US group Phuture. Known for being one of the first groups to use a TB303 in an Acid House track, it was little surprise to hear that thunderous 303 take centre stage in their set, amongst an array of Roland Aira machines. The set was palpable (if what slightly uninspiring) and created a suitably high octane atmosphere for Steffi to then take over, bringing with her a blockade of big room techno, thwarting any preconceptions of this being a sheltered student party. The Panorama Bar resident had brought her record box, and by god did we know it!
Drawing the night to a close was a surprise sunrise-set from Seth Troxler and Eats Everything, and by this point the crowd had filtered down to an assortment of fresh-faced students, dicey drug dealers and grinning scenesters that had all seemed to depart from their hang-ups, looking to ride the final wave. The 3-hour B2B session was quintessence of that all to familiar feeling you get when you’re peeking on a pill, and chatting love-duvvy bullshit to a work-colleague you’ve come to know for the past month, yet feel the need to share your most delicate secrets. In short, a rather perfect way to conclude a decade of dance!
Words by Peter Malla