With the mood surrounding London’s nightlife being one of despondency in recent years, it is events like these that renew our faith in the scene. Intimate, personal and with slamming selections to boot, the positive aspects of musical culture that so many thought were lost have finally shone through in a big way. With everyone coming together in support of Musicians Against Homelessness, a charity that raises money for homeless charities through music events, the night was an entirely positive affair.
Despite being slap bang on Hackney’s main high street, you would be forgiven for strolling right past ‘Behind This Wall’. The entrance is brilliantly unassuming: a single open door tucked away between two shops that leaves many questioning the accuracy of Google Maps. Diving down a steep set of stairs and into a warmly-lit basement, Sirkett, surrounded by some lovely potted plants, had already got things up and running. The venue’s intriguing nature, coupled with some inviting tunes emanating from underground, meant the dancefloor soon started to pack out. Filling the room with uplifting housy cuts riddled with synth licks, Sirkett brought about a party atmosphere that got the crowd moving. Funky and soulful with plenty of vibes, his smart selections perfectly set the tone for the night ahead.
In the midst of a mini-heatwave, these cosy settings were already hot enough, but the Mother Earth residents inevitably cranked it up a notch. Wasting no time, the duo came straight in with some heavier jazzy tracks that raised the energy of the basement. Colourful and rolling keys accompanied by sonorous sax hooks, epitomised by Swag’s Spiritual Mix of Blaze’s ‘My Beat’, kept the crowd moving regardless of the venues ever-rising temperature. Despite the essential trips upstairs for some fresh air, the dancefloor remained packed for the entirety of Mother Earth’s set. A fitting testament to a quality performance.
With the fun now in full swing and the crowd in great spirits, it was time for Jasmine Lori to put her stamp on the night. We were swiftly guided away from the familiar four-on-the-floor territory and introduced to some garage cuts for the first time. It was a welcome variation that allowed the event to avoid the homogeneity that can so often plague all-night house marathons. Jasmine Lori’s one-and-a-half-hour set was a big one, a seamless journey across a wide array of genres that kept things energetic and interesting. Selections such as ‘4am Wakeup’ by Warren Clarke and ‘Liquid Night’ by Route 8, with its squirming acid line, went down an absolute treat with the crowd. Majestic 12’s ‘Beautiful’ was an emphatic end to a massive set that rightly earned the big applause.
Entering the final stages of the night, we were left in the very talented hands of Rothwell. Slickly showcasing his skills, the selector took the reigns and brought things down a notch with some more downtempo picks. Whilst Rothwell’s selections were more enriched with melody, they still maintained a lively bounce that kept the crowd moving until the very end. A more ambient approach paired with the hypnotic visuals that engulfed the decks meant this was a perfectly-curated wind down to a hugely vibrant night. Songs such as ‘My Precious Thing’ by Llorca and Larry Heard’s ‘Deja Vu (Musaria Mix)’ imbued the set with an element of emotion that can so often be lacking within dance music. A wonderfully satisfying and enriching finale. Artsclub and Mother Earth promised nothing but good vibes in an intimate setting, and they really did deliver.
The artsclub selectors are back for another late one at Behind This Wall on the 20th September with the veritable Hans Down crew; if this party was anything to go by, then the next one is not to be missed.