Hessle Audio - All Night Long
Friday 30th January
When first hearing about the three founders of Hessle Audio performing back to back all night long, it became apparent that this was a rare opportunity to see the trio in full swing demonstrating their individual talents behind the same set of decks. Today, we see that the Hessle Audio boys consisting of Ben UFO, Pearson Sound and Pangaea have grasped the power of their combined performance and are now playing together at the biggest venues around the country. Founded in January 2007 the UK based dance record label have been successful in breaking musical boundaries from all genres, with their main incentive being to use dance floors as spaces for people to experience new music and to become a part of what the label is all about.
Bringing Hessle Audio back to Leeds where the fun all began were Wire club, who were more than happy to play host for this night of deep, groovey and hard hitting sounds. Upon arrival to the event, we walked down a dark staircase to the entrance of the club to find a half empty smoke filled room with red neon lights leading up to the main acts warming themselves up for the night ahead. For the first hour the trio took it easy playing a selection of slower tracks consisting of dark bass lines and more imaginative soundscapes. They, as the crowd watched, were waiting in anticipation for the room to be padded out with bodies so the night could break into full force. This, as you can imagine didn’t take long as dead on 12 o clock the mixer levels were cranked up and a blast of a body rattling kick overpowered the crowd.
Instead of playing one track each, the Hessle trio took turns in performing a variety of self-selected songs before passing the decks onto the next in line. The flow of tracks were remarkable and having this time to mix in more than one song allowed each member their own chance to put a memorable stamp on the night. Not only have they proved that they are some of the most critically acclaimed artists to date, but they also showed the crowd that their mixing skills are up there with anyones. By one o'clock the night was in full swing and the boys were more than ready to unleash even more powerful sounds that they'd been holding back.
Throughout the night, the crowd witnessed a selection of different varieties of techno and house music, all playing on different aspects of what the genres can offer. Starting their set with lighter, melodic synth based techno, the crowd were instantly locked into dancing beats that were easy to follow and very enjoyable to listen too. Disco Nihilist's Relentless Drums bringing a big reaction at this point.
On the hour the sound system seemed to increase in volume consuming people further into the music. Later on in the night we began to experience a new array of hard-hitting techno beats that pulsated through the bodies of the audience. These driving rhythms all succeeded in keeping the crowd alive and the music interesting. Among the space aged sounds and laser beam noises that lay behind the pounding thuds, the DJ’s often took time to play beat less noise that varied from the sounds of mechanical meltdowns to harmonized synthesizer pads leaving the crowd standing in admiration before the next intense beat kicked back in.
Toward the end of the night a progression of dungeon like techno bled from the speakers incorporating hints of acid and some self-promotion. We were lucky enough to hear new tracks from Pearson Sounds latest album, due to be released mid-February that reminded everyone why they came in the first place. Glass Eye is certainly a track to look up and a good insight in what the rest of the album has to offer.
From start to finish the night proved to be a memorable one, keeping the crowd in high spirits throughout. The transition of music proved to be worthwhile as the more intense the music got, the better the crowd reacted and if they keep performing nights like this one, there'll certainly be many more to come.
Words by Jimmy Caldwell
Images courtesy of Wire