Tuesday, 24 May 2011

10 of the best clubs in London - my first article in the Guardian!

Travel badge: London city guide article

10 of the best clubs in London

From warehouse rave spaces to sweaty basements, clubber and blogger Wil Troup selects the cream of London's club scene
As featured in our London city guide
Wil Troup

    Cable, London
    Get down ... Cable, underneath London Bridge station


    The pick of the SE1 spread, Cable is located in a train arch underneath London Bridge station. A two-room affair, complete with slick production and a generous outdoor smoking terrace. If you want warehouse vibes and a flushing toilet this is your place. The excellent We Fear Silence promote some amazing line-ups on a Saturday, with Metalheadz, Sunday Best, Deviation and Buzzin' Fly all holding regular parties showcasing everyone from Goldie to Ramadanman, and Fake Blood to Photek. Their shambolic Sunday morning after-hours club, Jaded, is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Crowd: serious clubbers, students.
    33a Bermondsey Street Tunnel SE1, cable-london.com

    Great Suffolk Street Warehouse

    Great Suffolk St Warehouse

    The mother of all London warehouse rave spaces. This cavernous car park on Great Suffolk Street has become something of a trusty staple of late, where you can get lost among its many massive arches. Great Suffolk Street embodies the pop-up/warehouse vibe on the grandest of scales with makeshift bars and portable toilets a plenty. Recently it has played host to the likes of Carl Craig's 20 Years of Planet E, Mulletover with Seth Troxler, Eastern Electrics with Claude Vonstroke, Joy Orbison and Michael Mayer, Shake It! with Layo & Bushwacka, Cocoon parties and a host of others. Your trainers may look like they're ready for a museum when morning comes, but you're guaranteed a massive night out in exchange. Crowd: Mixed, Techno, House, Warehouse ravers, and out-of-towners due to proximity to London Bridge and advance group tickets sales.
    Great Suffolk Street SE1, see Eastern Electrics' Facebook page

    Dalston Superstore

    Dalston Superstore

    The guiding light for "raving homos" (their words) in uber-hip Dalston. Dan Beaumont (Jam Factory/ex-Disco Bloodbath) and the lads from Trailer Trash have seen their baby grow into a bastion for gay nocturnal life in E8 in just two short years. A Berlin-style, open-plan upstairs bar gives way to the rave cave down below. Despite accommodating just 120 people, the basement has seen the likes of Erol Alkan, Optimo, Prosumer, Horse Meat Disco and the soon to be huge Azari & III grace its tiny booth. Impeccable music policy, day and night, and real gays to boot. Crowd: gay, hip, musically informed, locals
    177 Kingsland High Street E8, Facebook page, blog

    Corsica Studios

    Corsica Studios

    Established by an independent arts organisation tasked with developing creative spaces in the city, the full breadth of nights here is testament to their ongoing vision of parties beyond the tried-and-tested house and techno blueprint. Housed in two incredible railway arches in Elephant and Castle, many argue it's the best space in London. Of their two excellent in-house nights, Off-Modern – a monthly art/music phenomenon with The Ransom Note's Nasty McQuaid in residence – packs them to the rafters every month, with everything from no wave to drone, and dubstep via electronica to indie, on the playlist; while Trouble Vision's "dubstep to disco with everything in between" policy has welcomed Rusko, Nôze, Zomby, and Justin Martin. Other regular nights include Bill Brewster's DJ History, Phonica Records and Bleep43. Crowd: left-field music heads, art students, hipsters, techno heads.
    4-5 Elephant Road SE17, corsicastudios.com

    Plastic People

    Plastic People

    "Definitely one of the best small clubs in the world," according to DJ Zinc, Plastic People is a no-frills, low-ceilinged, sub-200 capacity boxroom, with a distinct lack of lighting and a heavy, heavy sound system. It was saved from the brink of extinction in 2010 by a huge grassroots campaign and has been home to dubstep, funky and bass institution FWD for more than half a decade now for good reason. Floating Points and Theo Parrish both host regular all-night sessions, as does Four Tet, who even went as far as penning a track in its honour. In a jungle of mediocre bars and faceless DJ pubs, Plastic People shines through as a true champion of new music. An institution. Crowd: those that know and those that want to find out.
    147-149 Curtain Road EC2A, plasticpeople.co.uk

    The Star of Kings

    The Star of Kings - Basement

    An undiscovered basement gem in Kings Cross complete with a massive Funktion One sound system. Opened at the end of 2010. With Central St Martins College relocating to Kings Cross at the end of the summer, Star of Kings is perfectly pitched to capitalise on the area's regeneration. With a 150-capacity, dark, sweaty basement, the Thursday night "Slippery" session is already tempting the likes of Secretsundaze's James Priestly as well as Spencer Parker and Crosstown Rebels' Glimpse. Craig Richards (of Tyrant and Fabric fame) and Derren Smart's Shoplifter throw-down happens here monthly. Crowd: unpretentious. Everyone from after-work boozers to bona fide house heads.
    126 York Way N1, starofkings.co.uk

    The Loft

    The Loft

    Alongside the sadly now defunct Basement on Hoxton Street, this loft space above the old Shoreditch railway station has spearheaded a renewed interest in Hoxton clubbing. Electric Minds have pretty much made this space their own with their excellent parties, but the incredible Optimo played all night long here recently. Distinct lack of toilets, but an amazing space regardless. Crowd: friendly, mixed, tech-edged, knowledgeable.
    Above The Old Shoreditch Railway, 1 Kingsland Road E2, see Electric Minds' website and Resident Advisor



    Still the Daddy after all these years … who knows where we'd be without Fabric? Through the highs and lows of their 11-year reign, they've unrepentantly championed new, cutting-edge electronic music. You need only pass a cursory eye over their upcoming listings and current album releases to know that Fabric's finger is still firmly on the button; check the incredible new Pearson Sound mix CD, for instance. Their On & On parties rival Berlin's Berghain/Panorama Bar (the club opens at 10pm on Saturdays and runs continuously until 6am on Monday), and DJ Luciano has been known to play for almost 40 hours straight. Sporadic mid-week live gigs have included the recent full live debut of producer-du-jour Nicolas Jaar.Crowd: broad cross-section.
    77a Charterhouse Street EC1, +44 (0)20-7336 8898, fabriclondon.com

    The Drop

    The Drop

    Home to the incredible A Love From Outer Space, hosted by Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston (Hardway Bros), this is by far the best space in Stoke Newington and trumps pretty much all the other "basement clubs" farther south on Kingsland Road. Located underneath the Three Crowns pub, this is intimate clubbing at its best. Rising star Ali Love played live here last month alongside Dalston dons Disco Bloodbath. Crowd: friendly locals.
    175 Stoke Newington High Street N16, +44 (0)20-7241 5511

    Paramount Bar

    Paramount Bar

    Upmarket clubbing at a higher level. Level 31 to be precise. London's answer to the Standard Hotel in New York or the top floor of Weekend in Berlin … only more pretentious. This glass-panelled venue on the 31st floor of Centre Point boasts views up and down Oxford Street and beyond, and is one of the finest and most criminally underused spaces in London. If there's ever anything half-decent on, go. Although you will need to remortgage your flat to get a round of cocktails in.
    Centre Point, 103 New Oxford Street WC1A, paramount.uk.net
    Wil Troup runs the clubbing blog and listings website The Ransom Note
    Published in the Guardian travel section here

    Wednesday, 27 April 2011

    Woozy summer sun/The return of the 80s slow jams.

    I was at a rather trendy Wolf & Lamb vs Soul Clap night the other week. Packed dancefloor, a musical breadth of knowledge keeps things ticking nicely. So far, so good... till we gets to around an hour and a half before the end of the night and they kick down into solid early 90s slow jams. Don't get me wrong, I love a good slow jam but an hour and a half of them at 4.30 in the morning? Just don't wash these un-educated pony dust powered British ears. Sure it bangs over stateside tho...

    Anyway, Cascine very kindly sent me the lovely new Jensen Sportag single the other day and it's rather superb. With it's woozy, drunken rhythms and it's over effected vocals it sounded particularly soporific in the early summer sun of last weekend.
    "You know that feeling you get when you realise that you're in love. That's what I feel. Right here. " Well I wouldn't go that far... but it's pretty beautiful all the same.

    Check some love here:

    Jensen Sportag - Pure Wet by CASCINE

    So we were talking about Slow Jams weren't we? Right, so I get my freak on about the above and am going mmm I'm gonna love everything they do. Then this happens:

    Jensen Sportag - Jareaux from Jensen Sportag on Vimeo.

    Anyhow, I'm not gonna be rude about it as I know a lot of people love it... plus my ears have been infected with Slow-jam overkill from a few weeks back...

    Buy the first track, it's ace. Knowing Cascine it'll come in some beautifully packaged casing too!

    While we're on the Cascine tip, there's a free download of Selebreties 'Can't Make Up My Mind' which sounds like it should be on the Ferris Bueller soundtrack or some other 80's American coming of age film... and it's all the better for it. It's been around for a while... but I'm a bit slow sometimes OK.


    Wednesday, 23 February 2011

    Kevin Saunderson gives away the classic The Sound by Reese & Santonio


    Dear friends, fans and members of the music industry

    Today I’m giving away as a free download one of the productions I am most proud of:

    “The Sound” - Reese & Santonio (1987, KMS Records)
    Click Here To Download Now

    I recorded “The Sound” back in 1987 and released it on my own KMS Records label. It was a massive hit at New York’s Paradise Garage and in Chicago and of course Detroit. Once it hit the UK it became one of the earliest Detroit anthems all around Europe, a huge underground record across the globe - a true desert island techno track. It is such a special record to me because it was one of my first really successful productions and I hope that you all will enjoy this free, fresh digital download of my original 1987 version.

    The reason I have decided to give this track away for free is because of a situation that recently developed involving the unauthorized sampling of “The Sound” by Italian producers Giacomo Godi & Emiliano Nencioni (Supernova) in their release “Beat Me Back” on Nirvana Recordings. It came to my attention that they are licensing and selling, with considerable success, this track which is nothing more than a continuous loop of the main hook from “The Sound.”

    For me to hear ‘Supernova’ taking an extended loop of “The Sound” and claiming that this is their own original composition and production is both dishonest and disrespectful. My first thought was that they were perhaps naïve, but as they have apparently been recording together since 2002 this seems unlikely. In any event this is completely unacceptable, we cannot continue to let this kind of wholesale rip off go unchallenged and tolerate “artists” who completely sample recordings, add nothing of their own and then release the results as their own work.

    I have a huge affection for sampling, it’s how some of the most inspiring and ground breaking tracks of our times were created. We’ve pretty much all sampled records at some time, and cleared the sample so we can use it on our releases, but it is just not cool to take someone else’s music, create a big old loop of it and then put your name on it and try to have success entirely off the back of another artist’s efforts. This really has got to stop. For this reason, I have uploaded the Godi/Nencioni version of “The Sound” to Soundcloud so that you all can download this for free if you so wish. These producers and their record label should not be profiting from my back catalogue... this is not their track to sell.


    The Sound rip off/now called Beat Me Back By Supernova, what the hell by Kevinsaunderson

    Kevin Saunderson - KMS Records, Detroit USA

    Hannah's DJ Weekly Podcast from last week....

    Tuesday, 1 February 2011

    Metronomy's new single... really rather good.

    Listened to this about 20 times in a row when it were sent me a few weeks back...
    Give em yer email address and they'll give you the single... not a massive drag for such a lovely piece of aural pleasure.

    Wednesday, 12 January 2011

    A potent blend of cheese ground, halcyonic dream pop...

    January's been pretty decent to me so far. Even with about 4 different lergies invading my body over the past few weeks, the depression fuelled hangover from the remnants of a year passed seem to have indeed, passed me by in favour of long walks staring at the sky, lots of tea and blend of some rather beautiful halcyonic cheese ground dream pop... or some such phrase. The remix of Sea of Bees is where I derive the cheese ground element, the dream pop comes from the equally wonderful World Tour... halcyonic (there is not such a word so my dictionary tells me) completes the rather tenuous triangle in the form of an equally great Ewan Pearson mix of Chapel Club.
    Free downloads of both the Sea of Bees and World Tour. Links below.

    Forwards, forwards... that is all we can do.



    Also check the rather special Ewan Pearson mix of Chapel Club. No download but a stream below.

    Wednesday, 5 January 2011

    Break into 2011... with some quiet!

    Morning mix by Ben Pistor

    Got this sent over at the end of last year but I've been giving a fair few aural attentions over the past week as body regains it's normality again after the Newest of years.
    Possibly one dodge track on there but there's some corkers on here, not least of all Jimmi Bazzouka's Don't Hammer - a tasty re-edit of an old Jan Hammer track I've loved for time... must get in touch and find out where he got that from... anyhow... happy new year n all that.
    I've resolved to pick up the posts more so this year... we shall see eh?!