The recent Dimensions Soundsystem nights at Wire have been ones to watch out for if you’re keen on the darker, heavier realms of dance music. After Helena Hauff blew the roof off at their last event, now it was British electro pioneer Carl Finlow and American DJ Stingray’s turn to work their magic behind the decks.
Opening proceedings was Dimensions Soundsystem’s own Dave Martin, whose rolling techno got everyone in the mood for what was in store as they trickled in through the doors. Industry stalwarts linked to the Dimensions festival, the trio Martin is a part of alongside Simon Scott and Andy Lemay have a wealth of experience and well over a decade of DJing and record collecting under their belts.
Next up it was Carl Finlow AKA Silicon Scally’s live show. His entire set was made up of his own unreleased productions, a notable feat even for a master of his craft. He began with reasonably light electro without feeling the need to turn the master up too much after Dave Martin’s heavy opening set. As it progressed he slowly built up the tempo and volume, adding harsher sounds and heavier drums over the last half hour before it was Stingray’s turn to dazzle the audience.
It’s worth mentioning here that Wire’s often lad-dominated crowd was thankfully not short of female representation this time, a welcome change from Helena Hauff’s Dimensions Soundsystem set when there was a little too much testosterone floating around Wire’s basement. I can recall a group who came from an LGBT night at HiFi, slightly apprehensive about the change in vibe, commenting in amazement at how many girls they saw when they arrived later on as Stingray was finishing his set.
Stingray himself was in ridiculous form, as those that see him play out have come to expect. Constantly mixing tracks and chopping and changing with consummate ease he played slammer after slammer, highlights of which were Underground Resistance’s ‘Final Frontier’ and DJ Assault’s ‘Shake it Baby’. Very few DJs look more relaxed on the decks, an especially impressive trait considering he’s almost always doing something. The trademark black balaclava, gifted to him by Drexciya’s James Stinson, adds to his ice cool persona, but also raises baffling questions about how on earth he can play in roasting hot nightclubs without overheating! He ended his set on an insane selection that I’d find difficult to categorise. It brought back memories of the final track in his Bogotá Boiler Room, when he dropped a slower, genre-defying track out of nowhere.
After Stringray it was the turn of Simon Scott and Leeds up-and-comer Alex T to somehow match what Stringray had laid down before them. They both did a stellar job right up until the 6am close, with Simon Scott putting on track after track of unheard white label EBM gems, as well as Australian techno in the form of HMC’s ‘6AM’. Alex T did well to keep up with a DJ as experienced as Si Scott, dropping tasty numbers like the ethereal sounding ‘Penal Colony 2’ by Deniro and Garage track ‘Watch Ya Bass Bins’, the latter of which got one hell of a reaction.
With the next booking being the legendary Marcellus Pittman on March the 31st, we can definitely expect Dimensions Soundsystem at Wire to continue to provide the goods for the foreseeable future.
Photo courtesy of DJ Stingray
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