Got off the tube @ Oxford Circus and walked past Soho. That brought back a lot of good memories from my last two trips. Arrived with almost no line at 10:15. First person I see is Derek Plaslaiko setting things up. Hung out with him periodically throughout the night, which was fun since I was there by myself and haven’t met enough London ers to know who was there. Speaking of , this little insert is my review of the evening:
Magda absolutely killed it. Despite a few turntable difficulties that she navigated through with poise, her set was nearly flawless and covered a lot of ground. I caught almost all three hours. Lots of glitchy/clicks ‘n cuts material, both techno and electro, but some older bleepy techno thrown in for good measure too. She went through one phase where she played a lot of very bizarre electro not long before Hawtin came on that was unlike anything I’ve heard before. Favorite cut of the night was (I think a remix of) “I ain’t f*cked all week”. The crowd was really responsive and energetic, much moreso than I would have expected for the riskiness of the material she played, and older (less raverific) than on my previous trips to The End.
Unfortunately, I missed most of Clark Warner, who on any other night would have been my first choice, but I don’t think I’ve seen Magda play in three years and I really wanted to give Hawtin another chance in a receptive venue, especially after all the great reviews I’ve heard recently. When I ran over to the lounge to get beer, Warner was playing excellent stuff, from some early industrial stuff to Burial Mix to disco. Nothing less than the eclecticism you would expect.
Hawtin came on to a frenzied crowd. Magda could not have set him up much better, and she played a little into his set, which only increased the anticipation. I didn’t recognize many of the tracks he was playing, but it’s evident he’s exited the pure locked-groove mode. I guess ‘minimal’ is the best way to describe it, although he does so much effects work the end result is anything but. I must tip my hat, b/c this was *by far* the best track selection I’ve heard him play, especially for the first hour or so. I was very into it, and I am not generally a fan. If I was to give a really harsh criticism, I’d say that *at times* the effects overload can create a ‘progressification’ of the music, with similar peaks and valleys. However, there were plenty of times when the effects work was stunning, and his general mastery of his gear is unequalled. Sometimes his hands move at Mills speed, adjusting buzillions of settings in a few seconds. I’d be interested to hear reviews of how the rest of the set went, since I reluctantly left around 3:00 to find my way to the closest bus stop. It was nice that it was pretty full, but not teaming in there. It was a really comfortable audience size.
Final Scratch through a Sony VAIO seemed to work very well if not perfectly, for what it’s worth. Also of note: they were using his old effects unit, the Ensoniq DP-4 rather than the Lexicon b/c that one broke. Didn’t miss a beat if you ask me. This ought to shock some people: the record at the back of one of his crates was Pepe Braddock’s ‘Burning’. I would’ve really loved to hear him play that. Also cool: The End has the sound settings for regular DJs permanently programmed into their system – you could tell, and Hawtin was really punishing it (in a good way).