Calling from East London...

Words by: Polly Lavin
Posted: 6/12/10 11:56

Calling from East LondonFor the country that dominated 90's dance music until Berlin became the clubbing destination of the noughtie's, a new wave of artists who relocated to its shores such as Canada's Caribou and the UK's very own Gold Panda, Four Tet, Fuck Buttons and James Yuill are bringing quality back to a lagging scene, whose biggest hype of recent has been 'Dubstep'. Developing their work from an acoustic background but, using software such as Cubase and Ableton to create music with an electronic twist they are the new breed doing things differently.

The hub of this creative scene is East London and prior to re-generation for the London Olympics the area was one of the cheapest in the capital to rent. Artists, bohemian's, creative's and promoters latched onto this in the late 90's, first moving into Shoreditch due to the cheap rents and availability of big Victorian buildings for studios. Clubs followed, warehouse nights firstly and then commercial premises, finally the arrival of Fabric cemented the area's status.

In the last couple of years more underground clubs and artists have drifted into areas such as Dalston and Hackney and below is a preview what's happening this month in East London.


Eat Your Own EarsEat Your Own Ears - Dalston, East London
The promotions company which London native Tom Baker started back in 2001 at the tender age of 24 has steadily been making a mark to become one of the city's most high profile promoters. Cutting his teeth in a variety of jobs including A&R for XL Recordings and assisting at La Scala where he learnt his trade and made key contacts, the early strategy of promoting shows for bands he held a personal taste towards has paid off for the now 33 year old who borrowed money in the early days to buy sandwiches. Music policy for promoters has changed over the last decade with a more eclectic range of tastes to cater for and the company aims to connect into this by promoting a wide spectrum of music which defies genre classification. In their own words EYOE "Programme unexpected but complementary line ups at our events with the hope of bringing together different groups of music fans, creating new audiences and delivering inspiring music to all."

Not only does EYOE hold events across a number of venues such as Cafe Oto, XOYO, The Scala and Shepherds Bush Empire it was also behind the programming of one off events such as Domino records 10th birthday gig and Concrete & Glass, a music and art festival which took place in the East End in 2008. Baker is also behind the music programming at 'Field Day' and 'Underage' (which he co-curates with its 16-year-old originator, Sam Kilcoyne) two of the capital's big festivals that take place in Victoria Park every summer. Past activity at the boutique countryside festival in the city has seen electronic acts such as Richie Hawtin, 70's electronic rockers the Silver Apples and folk singers perform in the one space. Known for the quirky approach he takes to make events special, Field Day of past had a village fair feel with Baker buying in straw bales for festival go-ers to sit upon, hessian sack races, carrot eating competitions, egg and spoon races and tug of wars. All we have to say is watch out Vince Power.

In the last month they've promoted Four Tet and Caribou at The Coronet in South London and 11 shows in 12 days with 3 more this week including  Eat Your Own Ears special xmas party, Monday 6th Dec at XOYO with Cocknbullkid and the big one on Thursday 9th Dec with Matthew Dear live at XOYO.

Check for info on future events

That Mixmag ThingThat Mixmag Thing - Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, East London
Over the last year the powerhouse that is UK clubbing magazine, 'Mixmag' have thrown a series of events at The Queen of Hoxton in East London. The concept is a return to the promotions the magazine ran in the last decade that saw around 150 branded nights taking place across the UK every year. With free drink promotions on constant rotation, Fri Dec 3rd will once again see them take over the venue from 4pm with mulled wine, Christmas carols and a roof terrace they are transforming into an apres ski paradise. A whole host of headliners such as Robortom, the new pairing between Tom Middleton & Rob Da Bank (Radio 1/Sunday Best) who are setting clubs alight with their rework of Paganini's classical standard, '24th Caprice', Tiesto's warm up act, Mason (Animal Language), Simon Baker of 2020 Vision, Django of Southern Fried Records, Craig Torrance of Moodmusic/Murmur, Kissy Sell Out, Urchins, Twiggy Garcia and The Squatters of San City High will all play for free!

Mixmag's deputy editor Duncan Dick explains to me what the ethos is behind the event "Our night is about putting on something free in a city that can be expensive to go out in and bringing the pages of Mixmag and brand to life. The crowd tend to be hedonistic good looking youngsters, jaded journalists like me, mixed with a lot of industry people and creative types"

Check for info on future events

CAMPThe City Arts & Music Project (The CAMP) 70 - 74 City Rd, East London
Open for around 2 years and located in Shoreditch, The City Arts & Music Project (The CAMP) is a temporary, two floored space designed by Central Saint Martin's graduate Andres Ros. Nestled somewhere between a café, gallery, late-night music venue and bar, it is part owned by James Priestley of Secretsundaze and most nights are free entry, attracting a mixed crowd. The music policy is to offer interesting, alternative musical styles through a mix of live bands and DJs. Artists and promoters who have performed or hosted nights include Chromeo, Reggae Roast, secretsundaze, Horse Meat Disco, Eglo Records and Floating Points, Innervisions with Ame & Dixon, Sud Electronic and many more. December 2010 looks even better with DJs and producers such as Levon Vincent, Steffi, Pepe Bradock, Tamo Sumo, Move D, Nicolas Jaar, Gadi Mizrahi, Ame and Mark E making appearances.

The CAMP also hosts a progressive arts program and invites guest curators to produce original exhibitions, acting as a multi-disciplinary platform for mainly young emerging artists both locally and internationally. The initiative provides an alternative space to exhibit artists' work whilst hopefully creating a community along the way and the venue was part of London Design Festival (Sept 2010) and East London Photography month (October 2010).

As well as art and music events The CAMP's creative program also covers a huge variety of cultural events from film nights, spoken word events, live jazz to comedy nights with activities in December 2010 to include arts and crafts Christmas and office Christmas disco's. Think eclectic, think art and think cool. CAMP encompasses everything that is right about East London at present.

Check for info on future nights

Eastern ElectricsEastern Electrics, The Star of Bethnal Green & Various Warehouses - East London
Much like the Horse and Groom, The Star of Bethnal Green is another pub located in the East End throwing top nights and operating as one of the main venues Eastern Electrics and Mulletover have thrown parties at. Since 2005 Electric Minds and their word of mouth parties have gained notoriety with founder Dolan Bergin programming eclectic producers such as Mark Seven, Mock n Toof, Fabrizio Mammarella, John Daly & Stevie Kotey at early events. In 2007 Bergin started a label, covering all A&R, art direction and label management under the same name to accompany the night. Releasing work from artists such as Mark E, The Mole, Toby Tobias, Ilija Rudman, Michael J Collins (Wolf & Lamb), Faze Action and Innervisions's Lil Tony & Yam Who? in less than two years the label was receiving support from artists such as Ame, Sasse, Prins Thomas, The Revenge, Milton Jackson, Harvey, Danny Krivit, Idjut Boys and Will Saul.

Events outside of the UK during 2010 included a boat party and club night at Croatia's Garden Festival, an album launch in New York and other dates in Paris, Switzerland, Italy & Berlin, huge warehouse parties jointly organised with Secretsundaze, a number of loft parties taking place above East London's Rich Mix Cinema and gigs with artists such as Marcel Dettman, Tony Lionni, Move D, Mark E, Commix, Marcus Worgull. For 2011 the loft parties will continue, a tour of Australia, Asia and the U.S.A will take place and Garden Festival has confirmed electric minds to host their boat party and club night.

This month will see a 12-hour NYE party that George Levings (Commix), label artists Duffstep, Dolan Bergin and Cosmic Truth will play at. The party takes place in a 2 room basement warehouse in the heart of Hoxton that is used as a gallery by day and a full Funktion One rig and with no noise restrictions will be in use well into New Years Day. Early bird tickets start at just £7 and can be purchased via Resident Advisor. For all venue details & address please email, nearest transport is Old Street for New Years Eve event.

Check for info on future nights

SecretsundazeSecretsundaze - New Years Eve, The Red Gallery, 1 - 3 Rivington St, London, EC2A 3JL
Now in its 10th year of existence Secretsundaze were one of the first promoters to run events in East London. The duo behind the brand, James Priestley (he who has his finger in every part of East London nightlife) and Giles Smith are throwing a New Years Eve party this year at The Red Gallery, a relatively new warehouse and gallery space in Rivington Street, Shoreditch. Expect 3 rooms of music with residents Giles and James and Chez Damier (Balance, KMS, Prescription) in tow. Since re-launching his DJing and production career last year and with the increase in popularity around house music Damier has had something of a renaissance. He has released a number of essential tracks over the last 18 months and also had one of the biggest underground hits of the year with the magnificent "In My System" championed by Villalobos. Joining him on the night will be young Irish talent Space Dimension Controller (R&S, Clone) and another Irish artist John Daly (Feel Music, Drumpoet Community) who will make his live London debut.

A 2nd room will play host to one of NYC's hottest labels, Throne of Blood, label artist Populette and label boss James Friedman. Having formed in 2006 by James and The Rapture, the label has steadily built to become one of the hippest and most hyped labels around with all the main DFA / LCD players.

Room 3 will welcome the Non-Sense guys, whose monthly residency at Plastic People and regular East End Warehouse parties, have been a must for those seeking the obscure discerning beats. Tickets £9.50 - £24.50 + bf Available, Phonica Records/The CAMP/Resident Advisor


Other venues worth checking out in East London
The Horse & Groom, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen


Lauren Lo Sung
Erick Morillo
Valentino Kanzyani