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8th April 2011

Live: Continue @ Sankeys

Scuba vs SCB, Dark Sky, Pangaea, Instra:mental, XXXY Sankeys 11th March 2011 4 stars

Anyone who’s been foolish enough to attend Sankeys’ infamous Full Moon party would be shocked to hear that the venue boasts one of “the most comfortable clubbing experiences in the world.” This claim, which accompanies DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs list, clearly has its advocates as the Manchester club beat some of the world’s most celebrated haunts to the top spot.

Thank heavens then that there’s not a group of glow-painted lads huddled around a bucket of vodka-Redbull in sight, and instead Sankeys confirm why they were awarded the no.1 spot by booking some of the most influential producers in electronic music.

Manchester based DJ and producer XXXY begins proceedings in the main room, displaying his talents within the future garage realm. As a crowd grows, tastemakers Instra:mental take the stage. Famed for their minimalist drum and bass, Autonomic podcasts and NonPlus record label; they demonstrate why they’ve been hailed two of the best in the business- dropping favourites such as ‘Underground’ and ‘Bodikka’s House’ and a rewound ‘When I Dip’, brings a wave of elation to an already jubilant room. Next to the decks is Hessle Audio co-founder Pangaea. Flattered by merrymakers’ demands for a rewind of his ‘Inna Daze’, he follows this with another of his very own creations, ‘Memories’. Stranger tracks are to follow, as London trio Dark Sky revel in a remix of Gerard Bulter holler “this is Sparta!” yet the crowd appear delighted at their bouncing rework or Timberland’s ‘Promiscuous Girl’.

Headliner Paul Rose, who tonight plays back to back under his aliases Scuba and SCB, has a busy schedule; living in Berlin, producing a new album and managing one of the most diverse labels under the ‘dubstep’ umbrella. “Dubstep’s a tricky one now,” he told The Mancunion, “the genre’s been narrowed down to fit more of a mainstream ethos, which is a shame as the original intentions have been lost. For instance, in 2001 nights like Forward were so exciting and no one had the slightest idea that it would explode as it has, everyone was just plugging away in vein hope that it would take off. But the scene in London is a bit stale now, hence why I moved out to Berlin.”

Playing a techno fuelled set, its clear that Scuba is trying to move away from his previous roots. “There’s a freedom in Berlin to experiment and play what you want. I feel they’ve got the clubbing experience right as well, especially at Berghain. It’s a lot more hedonistic there and never too crowed- they tend to pack out so many British clubs.” The exclusive German club has become notoriously difficult for travelling Brits to gain entry, but Rose is unaware of any hostility: “It’s a special place, we run a predominantly techno night there called Substance and, seeing as we’re a couple of English guys, we’ve had an incredible reception.” This, a reception that seems to have transcended boarders as the gyrating mass remain until the 5am close, to see out the superb set.

Sophie Donovan

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