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Monday, November 26, 2012

10 Years of Ricardo Villalobos at fabric 24/11/2012


To have a truly awesome night out, it takes more than just one’s favourite nightclub, favourite international DJ and favourite resident DJ.  There has to be the initial idea, finding a dancing partner, the week-long build-up of excitement, the over-excitement leading to an accidentally messy night a day or two beforehand, something of a mission to get there/get in, interactions with randoms, the odd hot chick on the dancefloor always helps, the beautiful distress of the journey home, the Sunday afters, a big smile on the Monday along with a caffeine overdose, oh and a review on the blog.

Ricardo Villalobos is my favourite DJ in the world.  However my favourite dancing partner in the world announced to my beforehand that 7am was her limit…I kind of suspected that he wouldn’t start until 8am given that fabric was open until 2pm so was not expecting to catch any of his set…but I remained hopeful.

Margaret Dygas was certainly not my favourite DJ – I saw her at fabric for their 12th birthday and she was dull as (though I wasn’t on form myself that night) and also I downloaded a set of hers and again of no interest whatsoever.  But enough people do rate her highly and I am very happy to say that she did deliver on the night, mixing deep house with more upbeat house and tech-house, and keeping it interesting.

I do not remember the live act.  Maybe I was there, maybe I wasn’t.  I suspect I was there for half of the time.  Not really my cup of tea but always willing to be surprisingly impressed.  I guess I wasn’t.  Live acts are useful though to create some more dancing space and this left me with some good space for the wonderful Craig Richards.

One of the reasons I like him so much is that I never know what kind of set to expect from him.  Sometimes filled with disco moments, sometimes more techno, other times house or deep house – this time was much more up-tempo tech-house than I was expecting which suited my mood and my desire to have a good dance, and I actually recognized 3 or 4 tracks that he played, including a fantastic minimal track that was either Ricardo’s or one he played previously, not sure.

I did a bit of sitting down too.  The stairs seemed a nice place to be at times except perhaps for the projectile vomit landing just a foot away from me.  More sitting down than usual, perhaps cracking open the beers at 1pm was not the best idea, but what am I supposed to do in the run-up to an exciting night at fabric – ironing?  As if.  I also nearly went in room 2.  I say nearly as we just sat nearby it – techno of the variety that is played in said room most weeks is just cold and dark to me, I am unable to enjoy it.  Techno was for the depressing times of the credit crunch – I am a very happy chap now Labour are out of government and dark music has no place in my life.  We also spent about 3 minutes in room 3.  There was a good track playing.  But room 1 has just such a huge appeal to me – it is my favourite room probably in the whole world (perhaps Amnesia might just about beat it thanks to the ice cannons but I haven’t been there this year so have forgotten it).

On the subject of room 1 – Ricardo is the DJ for me that makes the very most out of the room.  I have seen him probably around 10 times, mostly superb, mostly at fabric, a couple of averagely good sets – though the first time was just totally mind-blowing, I could not believe what I was hearing.  Sadly I was still into trance and funky house 10 years ago so I wasn't around for his first ever set at fabric (would love to hear from someone who was there).  My first time was around 2006/07 and I haven't looked back.  I have converted probably around 20 friends to the delights of fabric but sadly only one or two to the slightly more challenging delights of Senor Villalobos.

Aptly in time I finally discovered some wonky delights and settled into the very, very busy dancefloor which was a total delight as everyone was in their spot and nobody was moving, it was a very Mediterranean dancefloor – unlike the English and tourists they always seem to want to get to the middle of the dancefloor rather than dancing around the sides.  I still have a vague tan from Ibiza (at least compared to the white of my backside) so I fit in well and can swear in nearly all European languages if not feeling the intimate lovely crush that Ricardo creates.

The music quickly descended into what can only be described as a beautiful electronic mush, I couldn't quite decipher whether tracks were being played backwards, or vocal samples backwards, whether the sudden short scratching was down to Ricardo’s beauty or just unusual tracks – it was nothing like I had heard before and totally wonderful.

I could have quite happily stayed much longer, however both myself and my dancing partner have to be alert for our 9-5 jobs especially with the delight of month end this week and cannot afford a slow day or feeling crap for half of the week so sense prevailed – and as I wasn’t expecting to still be there for any of Ricardo this special hour really was the icing on the cake.  One is clearly getting old - I even voted for a police commissioner a couple of weeks back.

Cue then a rather special taxi journey home, the taxi driver unable to find Paddington station, not that it is a major landmark at all – he dropped us off nearby (ish) so we had a long confusing walk, followed by rushing to get the train and a walk of shame through almost every carriage to find a seat – topped off with another wobbly walk of shame through the shambles of the being renovated Reading station and seeming thousands of people that we had to zig-zag through to get out.

Without doubt I will be back at fabric soon, though not until 2013 now, and I hope that I actually get to see a full set of Ricardo next time - we did consider getting up at 5am and getting the train from Reading but the logistics are a tiny bit painful.  Maybe next time.

Super excited about the weekend coming with Onur Ozer, Cassy, Carl Craig and a little matter of Sven.  For me, a fantastic line-up with a good variety.  Not sure what I will make of Great Suffolk Street car park after the middle-class comforts of fabric and if the sound-system is as bad as the one at Brixton earlier this year for Sven then that will be the last LWE event I attend no matter who they book in future.  I see no reason why I should not get a Funktion One sound-system at minimum when I pay £15-£25 for a night out and may start only going to events with a an acceptable sound-system in future.  I can see a Facebook campaign (anyone else fancy starting it as I am rather busy?!).

Already thinking about next year's plans and I really have to see Ricardo again, of course, along with tINI, Seb Zito, Enzo Siragusa and Nina Kraviz.  They are my priorities.

Totally awesome night and despite feeling like a beautiful classic car trying to run on coal, I have a big smile on my face still - 9.5 out of 10 for a rating, could only have been better by a little more of Ricardo.