October always feels like a very dynamic month for cities like Liverpool, new students arrive keen to sample what the city has to offer. In return, Liverpool goes under a sort of renaissance period with clubbing with heavyweights such as Ben Klock, The Black Madonna and Moodymann all gracing the city this month. Tonight’s event is suitably as big on a more underground scale, with Wiesbaden’s Florian Kupfer and East London’s Deejay Astral performing for Meine Nacht.
In little over a year Meine Nacht has seen a steady stream of upcoming producers such as Kornel Kovacs, Denis Sulta and many more make their Liverpool debut. Part of the appeal to their success, has been their ‘Unseen Places’ series, with diverse locations varying from an iconic Victorian pub to an old prison station.
Sadly due to being let down by the original planned venue, this wasn’t possible tonight, although this venue is far from your typical club and is equally unique. It's a former packaging warehouse backing onto a much loved skate-park in the heart of Liverpool’s clubbing Baltic Triangle. With it’s kitchen lino flooring, you feel you’ve stepped straight into a very well organised house party.
And it’s not just the venues that are diverse, with Meine Nacht’s promoters making a promise to themselves never to repeat the same bookings, it’s a refreshing attitude to take, a risky one too, but it ensures each experience is wholly different. They’re also careful not to become a victim of their own success, knowing they could easily expand to bigger venues, but prefer the more intimate feel, with a devoted audience, many of which tonight only happy to share tales from previous events.
Inspired by Berlin’s inner city pop up’s, perhaps, this all sounds a bit gimmicky, but I can ensure you it’s not, and what’s clear from speaking to promoters Jessie and Orlagh, this is a labour of love, and if they wasn’t enjoying it, they simple wouldn’t be prepared to put the time it takes to organise such a night.
Derry born, Liverpool residing Orlagh AKA Or:La is warming the crowd up nicely with rolling deep selections such as 'Midnight Hours' by Delano Smith, blending seamlessly with rhythmical broken-beat tracks. It’s an exciting time for her, with Or:La’s own forthcoming productions, and her own label Im Tanz with Meine Nacht co-founder Jessie forthcoming, it won’t be long until she's seen as the main billing as well as responsible for getting the night underway.
Tonight’s event is long sold out, leaving a Facebook wall full of unsuccessful pleading for any spare tickets. By the time Florian Kupfer takes to the stage, the venue is close to heaving, and a struggle to find a pocket of space to dance ensures. In the pre-event description, Meine Nacht had described Kupfer as the quintessential booking, I could see why, the venue was a fitting location for his raw and intimate sound.
Kupfer best known for his lo-fi emotive techno productions and analogue hardware jams with plenty of tape hiss, provides over the course of his two hour set, an uncompromising mix. Challenging the audience, and in process shifting the dynamic of the evening considerably.
It’s a rewarding listen however, and through the thick distortion and various pitched down distorted voices, tracks range anywhere from sonic atmospheric textures to jacking techno grooves, to Nitzer Ebb’s 'Join The Chant' with Douglas McCarthy's fierce shouting filling the confides of the space with angst, whilst Kupfer violently thrashes and cuts, mixing in an almost anarchistic nature.
With it’s stark black walls, and minimal red lighting, focus remains away from the DJ, however just above the DJs head in a quite prominent position is a large #SaveFabric sticker, an important reminder of the on-going battle the Farringdon club currently is facing.
Closing the night is left to Deejay Astral, formerly known as Palace until earlier this year, Deejay Astral also is known for his lo-fi aesthetics, used to create hazy atmospheric soulful music. With releases on Bristol’s Shall Not Fade vinyl only imprint and previous Meine Nacht guest, Mall Grab’s Steel City Dance Discs label, Deejay Astral seems to be building similar hype that his former moniker was associated with.
Late-summer release 'Aquamarine' which features towards the end of his set, seems to combine the best of both aliases with distorted dreamy vocals over a more garage bassline. He blends between melodic woozy chords with more Chicago sounding drum tracks, with the dancers remaining taken on a deep emotional journey throughout the final hours.