2015 in Tunes: Part 1/3

Posted on: Dec 22nd, 2015

BY PHIL LUCAS

Going into 2015 we were still on a high from our final gig of the previous year where Twitch favourite Levon Vincent rounded things off for us in 2014 with a great Mandela show. We took a break in January but began the year with the return of the Hessle Audio trio of Pangaea, Pearson Sound and Ben UFO

 

FEBRUARY

We decided to kick things off in 2015 with a Mandela gig and the clarity of the sound system in the bigger room was perfectly suited to the high production quality associated with Hessle releases and many of the tracks the trio play. Anyone who has seen them before know that Ben UFO, Pangaea and Pearson Sound don’t stick too rigidly to this style, Ben is known for his ability to drift between genres and play plenty of curveball tracks without them ever sounding obvious or contrived, Pearson sound has a tendency to take things more off kilter and broken beat, maybe from back to his more dubstep based times and Pangaea generally resides in the tougher end of the spectrum playing more techno than the other two Hessle founders. All-in-all, these 3 together have a unique understanding of each others styles and together provide an amazing depth of style and on the night they didn’t disappoint. My memory is a bit hazy of this gig, this being one of the few tracks I knew on the night but perfectly captures the frenetic energy they created:

Exium / Reeko – ‘Electrica Phenomena’

 

For our second gig in February we decided to do something a bit different with excellent Dublin based label Apartment Records taking over the night. Label boss Kenny Hanlon started proceedings with a great mix of styles from the deeper end of things right through to the industrial tinged, a highlight being Victrola’s excellent melancholic masterpiece ‘Maritime Tatami’.

Victrola – ‘Maritime Tatami’

 

Northern Ireland’s own Superior Inferior, Graeme from Belfast’s ONE events and now label One Electronica, took over and took things a bit tougher ahead of The Cyclist who was performing live. Those not familiar with The Cyclist should check him out, and his live set didn’t disappoint with his rough, nasty basslines perfectly at home with the low ceilings of The Bunatee, a personal favourite amongst his set was Heart of Stone from his 2015 release on 100% Silk:

The Cyclist – ‘Heart of Stone’

 

Rounding off the evening were seasoned purveyors of fine techno, TR-One who kept things tough and amongst an expertly programmed set of mostly techno dropped this beauty:

Adult – ‘Hand To Phone’

 

MARCH

We kicked off March with a huge Mandela gig with Paul Woolford and Midland back to back, Paul had played for us previously on a couple of occasions and this was Midland’s Twitch debut having previously played for a couple of other Belfast promoters. These two DJ’s have played together on a number of other previous occasions and you could tell as they seamlessly switched places throughout the night building things up to a crescendo of the Rob Hood remix of Carl Taylor’s ‘Debbie’s Groove’:

Carl Taylor – ‘Debbie’s Groove (Rob Hood Remix)’

 

After playing just over a year earlier with Funkineven at The Hudson, we knew he was perfect for The Bunatee, his style is bass-heavy house and techno music but he effortlessly drifted into classic Masters At Work House:

Elements Of Life – ‘Into My Life (You Brought The Sunshine)’

 

His set was predominantly based in the darker end of things with many of his own productions being the basis for his set, this was a particular highlight of another great night and we were grateful to bring over one of the UK’s most exciting artists, this track had The Bunatee going crazy with an unrelenting acid line:

Funkineven & Delroy Edwards – ‘X’

 

APRIL

We kicked things off in April with a very special gig in a very special setting. Jika Jika invited us up to Derry to play a sold out gig at the Bunker, a multi-story car park built into a hill underneath the former Ebrington barracks, a very, very special venue! We warmed up for Marcel Dettmann and Midland and even deep tracks boomed in this place due to the almost entirely concrete surroundings!

Midland kept things tough with Levon Vincent’s ‘Woman Is An Angel’ being a highlight:

Levon Vincent’s ‘Woman Is An Angel’

 

The one track that really stood out for me at this gig is Dettmann’s final track, the timeless ‘Relax Your Body’ by DFX, a perfect end to an excellent set from former Twitch guest Dettmann who provided 2 hours of consistently great techno:

DFX – ‘Relax Your Body’

 

Following on from the amazing Bunker gig in Derry we had a double header alongside Nocturne where we combined forces with Jordan to run 2 huge events with some massive guests, starting with a very special Bunatee gig alongside house music heavyweight Move D. Jordan and myself were on warmup duties and I was really grateful for that opportunity and our back to back set worked well ahead of a DJing lesson from Move D, a DJ without fear when taking things deep at peaktime and maintaining the full attention of the crowd throughout and they followed him wherever he took things musically all night long! Two memorable tracks from the night were Floating Points huge ‘Nuits Sonores’ and Traumprinz under-the-radar vocal house anthem ‘Never Let You Alone’:

Flo Po – ‘Nuits Sonores’

 

Traumprinz – ‘Never Let You Alone’

 

For our second co-promoted gig with Nocturne it was a huge double bill in The Mandela with Shed as Head High and Prosumer as part of the Power House tour. I was unfortunately at a wedding and missed this one and only have the following track I.D. and the usual array of phone recorded videos to go by but it seemed like another belter by all accounts:

Soft House Company – ‘What You Need’

 

He also played his excellent remix of Murat Tepeli’s ‘Forever’:

 

As with most Prosumer sets, he dug deep and track I.D.’s were few and far between! Shed also dropped his remix of Twitch classic ‘Yours’ by Steffi (feat. Virginia):

Steffi feat. Virginia – Yours (HH-MIX)

 

Part 2 coming soon…