Super Hexagon & Future Daze
Saturday 5th Mar
In 2014 I went to Dimensions Festival. At one hazy point in the festival I stumbled into a stage where I heard something entirely different; fast paced, bouncy and full of energy. This was electro, this was DJ Stingray. Hailing from Detroit, Stingray first learned how to mix from the legendary Moodymann, so you know he's been taught from the best.
Stingray's sound is altogether different. This seems to be down to his mentality. In an interview with JunoDownload he claims he “can't tolerate hearing records at a certain pace. I heard guys speeding up records and they sounded better, more high tech, faster”. I have seen DJs pick up the pace as the night progressed. I was in awe as Artwork managed to seemly change the speed from 125 to 140 over the course of two hours back in 2013. But when I arrived at Wire the tempo was already 135, he wasn't going to ease the crowd in. You knew what you were getting and we were all ready to get it.
This wasn't your 4/4 techno, either, much like when you see Moodymann set, which is almost like a lesson in house music. Stingray gave us a schooling in electro and you really don't hear music like this anywhere else. Even more admirable was knowing he had all these tunes on vinyl. You could tell this music was his pure passion. We would probably not hear some of these tunes ever again and that was what was kind of great about it. The atmosphere was fantastic. At the front the people gathered around, jumping, dancing as close to the front as they could get. Cheering at every mix, smiles all round, everyone knew this was something special. Stingray kept it going throughout his entire set not letting up for one second. He didn't make it look like hard work at all. He just stood there overwhelmingly cool, calm and collected.
The supporting sets from Alma Construct and J. Whiltshire matched Stingray's energy and continued to keep the crowd dancing late into the night. These two will be on the first EP released on Super Hexagon Records in April. In the space of just under a year and a half Super Hexagon have established themselves as pushing some of the more underground acts and styles to come from dance music. Bringing DJs to Leeds who you may not normally see from some of the bigger, well known nights. Safe to say I am very excited to see what they have for us next.
Words by Stephen Daniels
Photos courtesy of DJ Stingray