mUmU Liverpool 9th birthday review

Michael Dowding toasted to nine years of mUmU parties with the likes of Cassy, Nastia, Enzo Siragusa and Gary Beck.

Becca Frankland

Date published: 7th Feb 2017

Image: Lee Rands - mUmU

Looking back over the years at mUmU and the calibre of artists at their disposal, passionate followers of the party (including us) were more than delighted when they finally announced that their 9th birthday party celebrations would be held for twelve hours and across two rooms. The roster was a selection of true masters of the art alongside local support, including mUmU's most consistent asset across the years, Lee Rands

Rands has been at the helm of mUmU since its inception. The London lad met owner Trevor in Ibiza in 2007 and since then the two have forged their way to the top of Liverpool's underground music scene. Their 9th birthday epitomised importance of the resident DJ and an extended four-hour set confirmed his popularity among the mUmU faithful.

The resident DJ is perhaps the most important attribute to any successful event, and Lee Rands is a perfect example. Arriving at the midpoint of his set in The Great Baltic Warehouse space, situated a stone’s throw from the greenhouse and decorated with hanging lanterns, strong LED and strobe lighting, we witnessed a masterclass from the mUmU frontman, weaving his way in and out of dub techno, house and minimal.

We stepped outside and meandered across the stones of the Gin Garden to the Greenhouse, a small and quirky venue decorated with graffiti, hanging fairy lights, plants, candles, leather couches and an old, purple Volkswagen camper van converted into a bar. The atmosphere was cool, laid-back and a perfect contrast from the warehouse. We warmed ourselves with the gin on offer (it would've been rude not to) and let Scott Martin bring the grooves. The cold air of the evening started to set in, and so filled up the graffiti covered greenhouse. We caught up with Enzo Siragusa who dropped by for a dance before his set, and it wasn't long before the space was packed and rocking to the sound of Robert Owens’ smooth 1991 classic, ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’.

With Nastia due to gain command of the already packed warehouse main room, we shifted location and placed ourselves at the centre of the crowd, wondering if the Ukrainian starlet could keep up with Jon Rundell's intense brand of rumbling techno. She didn't disappoint - we witnessed a masterclass. At one point a record jumped, which for many DJs can be off-putting, but she held it together, beat-matching the stray record back in with effortless finesse, only encouraging the crowd to get behind her even more.

Her versatility shone through towards the end of her set, dropping Special Request's jungle-infused remix of UK MC Top Cat's 1994 track 'Request The Style' seemingly out of nowhere, and relentlessly followed up with deep, broken beats, wrapped in warped basslines reminiscent of the quintessential dubstep sound, before incredibly rolling her way back into 4/4 house and techno.

Once Enzo Siragusa stepped up, it didn't take him long to throw down his unique style and leave a mark on the night by working his way through a flurry of bass-heavy house tracks with lashings of minimal here and there. It was an intense approach, with quality tracks like David Glass' 'I Wanna Know' setting the tone for Cassy. By this point the party was in full swing, the Funktion 1 sound system was shaking the warehouse from top to bottom, and the crowd were at the mercy of Enzo’s flawless mixing. Closing his set to an applauding room and with a mutual appreciation for the mUmU dance-floor, it's not hard to see why his FUSE label nights at Village Underground have become such an integral and respected part of the capital's underground scene. 

Cassy didn't take long to get into her stride either, rocking up to the decks with a smile that beamed with confidence. She knows how to work a crowd. She opened her record bag and rolled out her first track of the night, a hypnotic track drenched in funky undertones and a raw, stripped-back bassline. Sakro's 'No Time To Explain', Raum…muzik’s 100th release, sent out the message that we should strap ourselves in for a weird and wonderful blend of music. We found ourselves, along with a full warehouse, in pure adulation of Cassy. 

Enter Gary Beck. mUmU invited their good friend and regular guest back to close the party. He geared through his trademark techno sound taking the party to new levels, reminding us that nine years of throwing parties doesn't come by chance, or luck. The hard work of all at mUmU shone through this evening, and it was held together by world class DJs - now friends, a crowd dedicated to the clubnight and their music, and a team of hardworking individuals, right down to the bar staff.

mUmU's message before this party, and every anniversary party, is "thank you for dancing" - but we would like to say this: thank you for the music.

Like this? Try Skiddle Mix 119 - Clive Henry (Circo Loco)