Nothing is ever straight-forward when I go clubbing in London.
I bought a ticket some months back with a couple of friends to go to tINI And The Gang at Studio 338. Shortly after I found out that Ricardo was playing fabric the same night – aaaarrrrgh. One of my friends thought we’d agreed to do the daytime portion, the other thought the night time portion. I didn’t care.
Of course, one could only do the day and one could only do the night. Sigh. If only I was young enough to be able to do 12+ hour sessions still!
And then on the week before the party, I heard that the rather ambitious refurbishment of Studio 338 was nowhere near complete. I resigned myself to the idea that the party might be in that indoor section of the club which wasn’t exactly what I’d paid good money for.
I was very marginally tempted to sack it off but my Saturday started with huge dollops of joy and I was well up for it by 2pm. Nearly 11 hours later we arrived at the club, checked our coats in, grabbed a drink and headed to the dancefloor. Which was the terrace.
We’d missed the car park session and everyone was in the terrace. The steel structure looked impressive and there were notable amounts of space above-head.
By time we were on the dancefloor, Mandar (caps lock??) were doing a live set though seemed to take it disturbingly banging straight away. The crowd were seemingly not really set on the idea. Thankfully they did lapse into more of a house groove. I cannot say that I was enchanted or impressed – to me it seems like their live set needs some work.
There is no doubt that S.A.M. and Malin Genie are talented producers – the third, Lazare Hoche, that makes up Mandar, is an unknown quantity to me.
It will be interesting to see where they take their live project.
What also still needs some work is the terrace itself. By the time tINI started, it was getting pretty chilly. You could even say cold. I even had to go get my coat – and I’m northern.
The steel structure was there but unfortunately polythene is not suitable insulation. Preferable to having the party inside but clearly I cannot give a representative review of the terrace or even the party itself, given the semi-built scenario.
It was one of those ‘party must go on’ situation. Most of the crowd accepted the imperfections, we put our coats on and got down to a pretty damn fine set by tINI.
The other imperfection was the sound. It seemed a tad low – perhaps due to the lack of sound-proofing, one assumes there was only so far they could risk it, but there will need to be a lot more power when the terrace is complete – it really did not fill the room.
Oskar Offermann was probably the DJing highlight of the night, for me. And for my friends. Someone who has only recently come to my attention, his set was packed with very danceable house music, maybe verging on the techy at times. Though the crowd was really thinning out by this point.
I’d recommend a listen to his Resident Advisor podcast.
We left shortly before the end. We’d made the best of it given the varying circumstances and late arrival (North Greenwich isn’t the easiest from Berkshire), though clearly there will be a hell of a lot more to come from Studio 338 once the refurbishment is complete.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the club – in terms of large London clubs, it is arguably the second best, and has admirably good intentions so I’d really like to give it a high score.
Sadly I can only really give the night a 5.6 out of 10, though all of the aforementioned circumstances really do have to be taken into account.
I’ll be back.
Next up I’m pondering a few options. Nina Kraviz and Carl Craig at fabric on 4th June. Vera & Alexandra at Pickle Factory on 24th June. Art Of Dark 5th birthday with Onur Ozer, Andrew James Gustav, Sonja Moonear and more. Or Ricardo Villalobos at fabric on 16th July.
Maybe I’ll do them all. Maybe I’ll do something entirely different. As always it depends on available friends and available finances.