With an almost wholesale rejection by purists of ‘safe space’ clubbing in the vein of rooftop parties and gourmet street food, there’s an easy temptation to dismiss the influx of daytime parties across Central London as being the ultimate mark of an instgrammable, gentrified type of norm. Whilst this is in many cases is justified, events like Arts house are – and hopefully always will be – there to prove there is plenty a good vibe to still be found.
Artwork, one third of magnetic man and a DJ of enviable credibility presents a string of events in conjunction with Shoreditch lynchpin XOYO running over four weeks; playing day and night parties with a handful of guests. Saturday of week three began in the blisteringly hot sun at the magic roundabout in Old Street station, a labyrinth of benches, eateries and music that set the tone at a perfectly funky notch to cruise a lively crowd into a booze filled fiesta by the early evening.
By the time Artwork himself got on at around 6pm, the atmosphere had reached its high point, with the majority of the people having transferred from the seating to the floor. Rolling through a selection of soul and funk infused with the odd housey edit, there was no doubting that Artwork was in full party mode as he left the decks to take pictures with fans and switching in some classic anthems that went down a treat with a group that was more than willing to fill in the odd chorus.
Once the time for the night party came around at XOYO, the number of people had expanded and with it the sound, with East London favourites Paranoid London scheduled to take the stage later on. Once again, Artwork was moving the chains; this time with a more intense selection of deeper, abrasive house cut with the occasional techno pumper and oddball to keep a packed room 1 on their toes.
The versatility of Artwork to hold down the day and night slots was the most impressive part of the event, holding down different crowds at different times with remarkable quality. Showcasing a precise grip of XOYO’s beefy sound system, he controlled the packed room with expertise, working in thudding numbers that sent the floor into a persistent frenzy. It seemed like less of a question as the hours racked up that he had been given day and night combination to himself- most people seemed almost disappointed as he gave way to Paranoid London at around 2 am.
Paranoid London picked up dutifully where Artwork left, raising the night to a higher level with a chaotic blend of clanging electro and acid made all the more maniacal by the energy they brought to the stage. It’s a testament to the quality of their set that the DJ duo had last year played Dekmantel, Panorama bar, Sonar among others without any press or promotional review before their self titled digital debut in December. For those coming from the day party, it was the boost that was needed, electric shocks of fizzing melodies that sounded as apt for a punk gig as it was the pounding basement of a club that fortunately has yet to disappoint with its recent series of bookings.
With the day+night ticket priced at £10 (on DICE), Arts house provided a top-notch way to spend Saturday without breaking your wallet (drinks dependent, of course). Artwork proved himself (not that he ever needed to) a master at working a party, giving the audience more than they could ever had asked of him. One surreal moment in the night saw him step down from his decks to wander around the crowd holding lit incense under a bass ridden indian hymn, the brilliant kind of quirky that was eaten up with glee across the club. Don’t miss it this week as techno titan Derrick May joins him for the last week of festivities…
Photo Credit: erinkub