Printworks 2018 Opening: The Hydra

Printworks, nestled in an industrial estate in the Canada Water area, just south of the river, is a great example of urban regeneration. It is in the space of what was once West Europe’s largest printing facility responsible for printing the Metro and the London Standard and has now been transformed into a 6,000 capacity multi-dimensional venue. This reuse of existing archaic architecture for new cultural facilities is certainly pleasing in today’s throw away society. Although not as romantic as the squat-cum-clubs of the Berlin scene, Tresor and Berghain, it is still a powerful feeling. Along with the area, Printworks itself is constantly being improved and fine tuned, everything from sound and lighting configurations to crowd flow and drink purchasing systems (no more drinks tokens, yes) which makes me extra excited to witness the second season of events, having a complete overhaul of its audio visual equipment this time round.

For the opening party the Hydra took the realms in curating the dance. Long time legendary party coordinators in London, it’s no surprise they put together such an impressive line up. On entrance it was smooth, a short walk through the winding complex greeted by friendly staff cracking jokes and making you feel relaxed and not tense on edge like the airport style security of some London venues. The building opens up as you start to get a shear size of the space, illuminated with tube lighting installations and ambience with a growing bass thud, enticing you into the cavernous space of Printworks’ main Press Hall.

Revelers in the main hall printworks
Revellers in the main hall Printworks

The sound of Red Axes filled the room with surprising clarity, the improvements to the main room sound system are instantly noticeable; a lot fuller and richer sound through ought even at the bar area. It is a vast improvement to the patchy and often overworked and blast-y sound in the main room before. The duo were bouncing through with clean heavy hitting rolling techno making you forget it’s only early afternoon, playing late night club bangers with worldly acid tinges and playfulness of their productions, such as a the M.A.N.D.Y remix of “My Warehouse” by Roland Leesker. As they build with more cheeky percussive tunes, a hallmark of their sounds, teasing pan pots and tin drums over mystique sounding psychedelic chanting style vocals. The vibe got progressively psychedelic, imagine acid campfire, everyone gradually losing themselves in the over powered strobe lights and then dreamy twinkly percussions like you’re laying back looking at the night sky, then BAM pounding beat back to your feet. A very good set, although relied on cutaway drop a bit too much creating a sense of plastic tension rather than sincere, but still very textbook.

On occasions the lighting in the main room was very overwhelming and distracting, especially the ridiculous amount of lasers and strobes, which become disorientating at times. If they’re well engineered they’ll be fine, but nothing on the epic beam setup of last season. The full on lighting was almost blinding at times making it hard to navigate, but on the whole the crowd flow down the sides of the main hall allowed for good access without getting too crowded, with exits whenever you needed. Coupled with the more solid sound coverage, it was much less hectic than prior configurations.

Room 2, nestled away at the back of the Press Hall hosted nordic rave legends Prins Thomas and Lindstrøm for the later end of the day. I was instantly a little disappointed to find the crisp and clear VOID acoustics had been replaced by a much more boomy and overpowered system which did not sit well in the room, although it still did a fair job. Prins did not disappoint however, playing heavier than usual layering upbeat techno and powerful disco to cosmic effect. There was a lot of positive dancing and happy faces, upbeat ethereal party time; weaving in twinkly synths as though we were dancing in the stratosphere while laying on huge bass keeping us from drifting off in space. A tune that stuck out from his set was Bawrut’s remix of “Devozioni Dialettali” by Enzo Avitabile, although the main highlight had to be an almost 10 minute long rendition of “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer involving rolling Chicago hats and claps yet withholding the vocals, somehow more satisfying in simply respecting the magical arpeggiated beat that Giorgio Moroder concocted.

Kerri Chandler looks out over the printworks crowd in the epic Press hall
Kerri Chandler looks out over the printworks crowd in the epic Press hall

The finale came in the form of House legend Kerri Chandler, hailing from New Jersey, he steps up, straight into high energy drum roll double tension tempo claps slapping the slider to his own beat. He knows a party and truly turns it into one, expertly blending from big room techno bangers such as “Bang’t” by Geeeman to euphoric disco house “Let Love Enter” by The Disco House Lovers and high-energy punchy numbers like “Work It Out” by Karizma, to modern house classics like “If Only (Lehult)” by Liem and “Never Grow Old” by Floorplan. You could really tell he is a class above the rest the way he effortlessly swept away any lingering residue and fatigue from an afternoon of heavier tunes and filled the crowd with ecstasy and new energy. The set was accompanied by a huge bright disco ball, sparkling down the vast hall, a lighting fixture which was tasteful and added to the music. Overall a great way to end a solid selection of music and set everyone up for a beautiful rest of the weekend.

The epic disco ball glistening perfectly in unison with Kerri Chandler's infectious grooves
The epic disco ball glistening perfectly in unison with Kerri Chandler’s infectious grooves

Photography by the talented Jake Davis at Hungry Visuals

Floating Points Live @ Electric Brixton 

Floating points is a name you’ll probably be familiar with for songs like Vacum boogie and Nuits Sonores, really funky fresh dance tunes, with heaps of soul. This trademark sound was incubated through many intimate sessions at London’s Plastic People club, of which has sadly shit its doors at the turn of the year.

That being said, if you look further back into Dr Sam Shepard’s roots you see a highly educated neuroscientist with background in classical music, he started out as a choir boy in Manchester before learning to play an array of instruments. His debut album Elaenia is a cosmic culmination of Shepard’s varied musical career, placing it in genre hard pushed for comparison – spiritual jazz is the phrase which often comes up to describe it. You can read more about his album when he sat down with Katie Hutchinson from the Guardian 

The Live show was a great rendition of the album interspersed with some intense and interesting experimentation and improvisation, a highlight was a five minute techno drum an bass solo with mesmerising strobe lighting throughout. The whole orchestra were incredibly tight, even if they did look a little bored throughout some of the extended breakdowns – bringing out real highs and deep lows, You can fell how much Sam enjoys playing with the crowd.

Overall the gig was a good musical performance and Electric Brixton suited it well – my only criticism was that Shepard lacked much real showmanship such as introducing and closing words, which would’ve really help bring together such a disconnected and experimental set like this; Something he can definitely work on to take the show to the next level from musical expression to spiritual transcendence.

If you enjoyed the album then you should do all you can to try an catch an upcoming live show, if you prefer his older releases and Dj sets then you may be left a little wanting without that persistent funky rhythm to dance to.

Five years of Grey skateboard magazine video

It’s been a very bleak few years for skateboard print magazines, but luckily we have Grey – a real Phoenix from the ashes. In its small form size its super easy to grab from your local skate store an read on the go. Always packed with the interviews you wanna read an shots you need to see. Grey magazine have been a truly essential part of the UK scene for the past few years, an it shows with this brilliant retrospective

 

Here’s to another five more amazing years of Grey!!!

Cheers guys!!!

Chris Oliver goes in for his Vans Excursions part

Chris Oliver keeps to himself, letting his skating do the talking. His latest part for the Vans Excursion series is no different; heavy tricks from start to finish you cant take your eyes away!!!

Nice variety of spots and tricks including fresh takes on many iconic London locations, with a chilled original soundtrack.

This is a proler edit not to be missed.

Four Tet – Live Performance @ ICA, London, August 24th 2015 with Video

In todays day world of USB stick playlists and lip syncing, it’s getting hard to tell what really is ‘live’ music? This goes doubly for electronic shows, where some of the most popular ‘acts’ consistently pump out pre-baked shows for extortionate price tags. Luckily we still have acts like Four Tet, currating ridiculous line-ups for honest prices  while also pioneering a truly live electronic experience – a unique journey through the sound and vision of Kieran’s music.

Four Tet plays live

Four Tet’s show last night at the Institute of Contemporary arts was a prime example of this, a simply beautiful electronic a/v show like nothing I’ve seen before; A perfect matrix of lights dancing to the sounds of his latest piece Morning/Evening sprinkled with classic tunes along the way.

This was a special show and I’m pleased to have grabbed a few clips to share; I can’t recommend enough Four Tet’s Live shows, catch one near you: http://www.fourtet.net/index.php/live/

 

Four Tet's Live setup surrounded by lights
Four Tet’s Live setup

See Kieran go into a few details of his Live setup https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KIvnLBF7vU

Globe EU Tour kicks off today in London – Rodney Mullen, Chris Haslam, David Gonzalez, Mark Appleyard, Louie Barletta and more!

Globe are kicking of this summers European Tour, #GLOBEEUTRIPPIN, at Southbank today @ 3pm. All their best skaters have made the hop across the Atlantic including legends Rodney Mullen, Chris Haslam and Mark Appleyard; full roster can be seen on the flyer.

More details on Sidewalk

 

Globe EUTRIPPIN skate tour a
Skateboarding video by Sidewalk

Trouble Vision – Dark sky, Seven Davis Jr, Love Glove, Daniel Wang @ Corsica Studios

This was my first night at Corsica Studios, making the trip mainly to see Dark Sky who are one of my favourite up an coming acts in the UK bass scene,  really on it with their debut album imagin. They put on a solid 3hr set  and didn’t disapoint!

That being said, I was absolutely blown away by Love Glove in Room 2, a vinyl only DJ crew bringing the disco boogie soul jams.  I am indebted to Trouble Vision for putting these guys on the bill, and introducing me to something special. They had the room bumping with love, positive vibes an cutting shapes; I’m so stoked for these guys, cant’t wait to catch them again.  They were for me the highlight of the night, getting my blood pumping an moves  flowing as soon as I walked into the club.

Big up Corsica crowd

 

Which brings me onto Corsica Studios itself, a truly ‘underground’ club with no frills an honest service from everything to the music acts, door policy and the bar. They know people are coming there for the great music an keep that at the focus of the club, not letting anything else get in the way. It consists of two rooms, room one a nice intimate space with a stage an bar round the corner, with room two round the corner, being slightly smaller, both powered by the funktion one system. More than enough to keep both rooms pumped!!!

The club is a great size, large enough to host a good variety of sounds, yet small enough to really incubate the feel good vibe throughout the crowd. Corsica Studios is a proper club and definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already been, Kompakt records are hosting what looks to be an epic night on the 20th March ft Weval (live) the Dutch due fresh on the scene for their first UK show.

 

VX Fresh new web series from Milk Skateboards – Harvey Miller

Milk Skateboards came out of nowhere in 2012 and have been pushing UK skateboarding ever since, They have both a refreshing art style, note one of my favourites Henrys cat graphic by Rob Mathieson, great board quality and a rad team. They’re also a local company to me, and everyone I’ve met who been involved have been safe!

Of course, if you’re from the UK I’m sure you’re already fully aware of Milk Skateboards and have come here for the skate action. Kicking of their new web series VX Fresh is Harvey Miller with a powerful gnarly style, the first trick is a krook powerslide down Euston Banks and the edit doesn’t let up the pace. With this level of skating in throwaway clips for web edits, I’m doubly stoked for the full length film coming soon…

Other videos from Luke Petty

VX FRESH – Harley Miller from Milk Skateboard Co on Vimeo.

 

Stay tuned for the next edition of VX Fresh