The Boiler Shop is the new kid on the block in Newcastle Upon Tyne. An all-purpose venue accustomed to hosting gigs, roller discos, arts crafts and food fayres, Concept10 have made the space their own with a series of club nights which has seen some of the UK’s best DJs head to the north east. Their next instalment is similarly impressive with Dusky, Ejeca and Mella Dee taking the controls. This is just as well because they’re certainly up against some stiff competition. Omar S, Ben UFO and Skream all play across the city on the same night in different venues; impressive strength in depth for a city not immediately associated with underground music, but that perception might be starting to change.
Dusky have been producing excellent house music for years. They were one of the first dance acts I properly sank my teeth into, their cuts from across the electronic spectrum each offering a different point of entry to the dancefloor. There was the achingly beautiful “Stick By This”, the title track combining a driving bassline with an incredible cello break. Janai’s vocals on “Lost in You” and “It’s Not Enough” are flawless, with the instrumentals underneath them showcasing the duo’s nascent talent. Throw in the slightly more progressive “Lost Highway” and “Grain” and you have one of 2011’s best releases.
The versatility of the first album makes what followed all the more impressive. The next few years would see them knock out “Inta”, a muscular, piano tinged club banger, and the earworm that was “Careless”. With the trance inspired “Ingrid is a Hybrid” and “Cold Heart”, one of Ibiza’s biggest this summer, dropping in more recent times. There’s little the duo can’t do and they rightly take their place alongside the other British artists which have made these isles such a good place to be in the last five years.
They’re flanked by Ejeca and Mella Dee. Both accustomed to taking centre stage themselves, each of their record bags will be bulging with enough hits to fill the Boiler Shop in their own right. Ejeca’s Jalek has been tearing up dancefloors in his native Belfast and beyond. He’s another artist perfectly familiar with the more ambient side of house, having produced the excellent “You/Don’t” EP with fellow Irishmen Bicep.
Mella Dee completes the triangle. The most bass-heavy on the line-up, “Massimo” is undoubtedly one of the tunes of 2017. As anthemic as they come, it made an enormous impression when it was released on Waze & Odyssey’s label earlier this year. “Take Control” has a similar rolling bassline and old skool piano melody, as punchy as anything you’d come to expect from a producer who lists Floorplan and Head High as his biggest influences.
With the record having arrived on Dusky’s 17 Steps label, it’s easy to see how this line-up fits together. A carefully mapped selection of selectors to rival anything Newcastle could throw at you.
Photo courtesy of Dusky