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THE BIG

2 Techno for Cell AUDIOJAK @ THE CELL, LINCOLN

Clubland’s The best parties firecest of Get the get-downs last up, get month out

Audiojak locks down Lincoln’s techno scene Emergency tracheotomies: always a downer

As the glowstick-waving loony takes a break from DJ Fergie’s wall of throbbing techno sounds, he proclaims, “Call me Darren, or the Silver Surfer. Summer is surf season and from now ’til summer it’s playtime!” OK then... And boy did we know the summer was over when we were shuddering the cold out of our bones in the queue outside. Nothing is more inviting than the rumble of a 4/4 beat vibrating out from the front of Lincoln’s The Cell, surrounded, as it is, by grim discount karaoke pubs. Tonight is Audiojak’s second birthday and they have seen the likes of Jamie Jones, Erol Alkan and Ivan Smagghe rock The Cell over the

“it’s the closest thing I’ve seen to ibiza!”

Tucked away inside the 02 in Greenwich (formerly the Millennium Dome), matter is London’s newest contender to the superclub crown. Indeed, with this state-of-the-art venue, the brains and financial clout behind Fabric have not only dipped their giant Lego set in years of experience, they’ve actually made bricks with lighting inside. Top this with an Ewok village-style metal walkway and a ‘body-kinetic’ dancefloor (with 80 transducers channelling bass bursts straight into your feet), surrounded by roughly two thousand trendy students and twentysomethings, and you’ve got a whole lot of heads that don’t know where to look [[1l]] december 2008

next. There are even Dyson Airblades in the loos to super-dry sweaty paws. ‘This Is Not London’ invites the biggest names in dance to curate their own night, and tonight welcomes Simian Mobile Disco to do the honours. “The layout reminds me of the Haçienda a bit,” says James of SMD, “and the attention to detail, like the bricks that light up, is cool”. In fact the main room is wide and shallow, with both crowd and stage visible from two floors and the seating-come-rave platforms on its flanks. Up on stage, before Shit Robot smash it up on the decks and a floppy-hatted Lindstrom lets loose with a live cosmic disco session, it’s Emperor Machine

who are hammering out their sinister disco rock, guitar strings screaming like a Martian fighting machine, while their space invader logos fire into the crowd. Room two, meanwhile, is smaller, darker and thumping to the rave-electro sounds Emperor Machine: disco rock

NEED TO KNOW MATTER

Fabric’s dazzling new, more mainstream funfest Every Friday and Saturday with guest promoters, DJs and live acts such as Renaissance, Bedrock, DFA, Simian and Deadmau5 020 7549 6686, www.matterlondon.com

www.mixmag.net

The girl with the pearl necklace

what it does have is the core ingredients for a great club night: a quality soundsystem, a great atmosphere and a consistently solid music and DJ selection. With tough times befalling the night in recent months, it’s a must for any clubbers living in or around Lincoln, and here’s hoping it has the future it deserves. Alex Glen

NEED TO KNOW AUDIOJAK

Cutting-edge techno and house hits Lincoln 33–37 Mint Street, Lincoln 5/12 guests tbc 07721 302566 www.myspace.com/audiojaklincoln

The lilacrinse brigade

Dundee’s new underground session

tom horton, davide bozzetti

New venue shows its potential with Simian at the musical reins

3 Okupa my time OKUPA @ OKUPA, DUNDEE

of Riton, the enthusiasm spreading to the bar staff too. “It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Ibiza,” beams bar supervisor Steven Hanley. Not everyone agrees: “I know it’s early days,” states Fran, 22 and from Plymouth, “but it’s just a bit too clinical, too orderly.” Still, as James points out later, “the set-up and the sound are amazing. If people can get their heads around going to the 02 then it’ll be huge!” So while there may be scope for a little more naughtiness, when SMD are driving ‘Sleep Deprivation’ through your bones from the bass-ducers below, nothing else matters. Phil Dudman

joe plimmer

1 What’s the matter? THIS IS NOT LONDON @ MATTER, LONDON

course of the last two years. Started by a group of mates who wanted to do things their way, Audiojak books the acts they want to see and DJs their own parties. The manager seems more than happy with the arrangement, as they offer something truly credible and unique. On the dancefloor headwear seems to be the flavour of the month: there are red sequined cowboy hats, bowlers, trilbys and even a tall top hat (think Royal Ascot). Colour-changing bubble panels, mirrors and multi-coloured neon spray-painted mannequins dress the walls. Upstairs we find a miniature warehouse environment with a balcony over the DJ booth and a seating area, which looks like it’s been stolen from the Starship Enterprise. The crowd starts building at midnight and everyone is pumped to hear Fergie, who seems to be something of a local hero. “We would always come for Audiojak but we’re really excited to see Fergie, we used to listen to him on the radio,” one punter tells Mixmag. After playing here many moons ago the locals still remember him fondly, and as the night progresses Fergie casts his usual spell and the mannequins float from the walls to join the crowd as dancing partners. Lincoln’s a modest city and The Cell doesn’t have high-end lighting systems, a VIP area or classy décor, but

Although not an illegal party, Okupa gives the impression of having hijacked the venue it now frequents, and even uses the international squatter’s symbol – an arrow flashing through a circle from the famous Barcelona squat labelled ‘Okupa y Resiste’ (occupy and resist) – as its logo. The venue has lain dormant for the last four years and there hasn’t been much change to it during that time: the chintzy red carpet on the way in and the wood-panelled, Deep South-themed bar seem to have been left pretty much alone since its previous life as a branch of the Jumpin’ Jaks pub chain. The venue never saw a night like this before, though. This may only be its second event, but Okupa already has a following. “Last week we had Erol Alkan www.mixmag.net

play the opening party,” says promoter Jim Grieve, “and we were packed out with students. But this is one for the locals.” The 1000-capacity Okupa fills an important void in the city’s social life. “A lot of the acts I book have grown beyond my other venue (the 300capacity Reading Rooms)”, says Grieve, who has been promoting in the area since the days of acid house. “So we needed this space to put on people like Slam, David Holmes and Mr Scruff, or else we’d risk losing them entirely”. The special guests tonight are Glasgow’s ever-popular techno pioneers and helmers of this issue’s cover CD, Slam, supported by their Soma labelmate Octogen. Their shuddering, minimal techno sound is one for old-

skool ravers as well as young clubbers looking for something a bit more underground than Dundee’s usual party scene. Not so much anarchy in the UK, then, as a valuable public service for clubbers. And Okupa, the city’s newest and most credible club, is looking to invest the local scene with a bit of Catalonian squatter’s attitude. David Pollock

NEED TO KNOW OKUPA

Ad-hoc Dundee venue hosting big names of all genres Okupa, 4–6 South Ward Road, Dundee 22/11 Mr Scruff, 5/12 Benga, Toddla T 01382 203 087 www.myspace.com/okupadundee

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BIG3 Matter Dec 2008