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Monday, August 11, 2014

Ricardo Villalobos @ fabric 09/08/2014

I hadn't been to fabric all year.  And I hadn't seen Ricardo Villalobos, my very favourite DJ, since last summer - when I just couldn't get into what he was playing.

London clubbing is a mission even though it is only 30 minutes away on the train, it is difficult to persuade friends to make the mission but my best friend and another good friend agreed well in advance to it and my excitement was already building a week ago.

And then they both pulled out on me on Thursday.  FFS.

And then both changed their mind again on Friday.

Being in my mid-30's I do get these strange thoughts of "Do I still have the stamina?".  10pm on Saturday night and I was tired and wishing that they hadn't changed their minds.

But one compliment for my mullet at Reading train station shouted by a slightly trashy and trashed young lady and I was back in the zone.


I have to say that fabric welcomed us with open arms - the barmaid on the top bar with blonde hair was so happy to serve us and had a massive smile - it was like we were doing her a favour, as though it was her dream job and she was loving every minute of it.  Impressive.  fabric if you are reading, she deserves a pay-rise.

The security were perhaps a little too, erm, welcoming - I didn't particularly appreciate having my balls grabbed however it did reassure me that I am not gay as I have still not had an erection since.  And it kind of balances out the groping the girls sometimes get from the occasional vile sleazebags that fabric sadly doesn't manage to keep out.  Go to Leicester Square if that is all you are out for.  Cocks.

Onto the music, and I enjoyed Vakula.  I had never heard of him and he was playing some nice techy sounds and then brought in some disco which myself and my best friend loved - dancing away like as if we were born in Studio 54 except without the quaaludes - our other friend couldn't cope so we went on tour for a while.

I am not keen on room 2, I never have been.  Dark and crowded, much too hot with a seemingly greater percentage of tourists - and it just doesn't flow well.  San Proper did play some decent house music but I wasn't especially taken.  We must have been in there over an hour though this is a bit of a guess so I must have enjoyed it.  We also popped into room 3 for about 20 seconds.

I cannot remember much about Pearson Sound.  Apparently I was rather wasted at one point.  What I do recall was some interesting sounds.

fabric isn't fabric without Craig Richards.  I would be highly unlikely to consider going there if he wasn't on the line-up.  Such a class act, never seeking the musical attention - just playing track after track of quality underground music and this was no exception.

We met a few really nice people - particularly Alan (if I remember his name correctly) - a jolly fine chap who recognised me from reading my blog.  He must be a fine chap if he reads my blog.  If you are reading feel free to join us on 30th August.  And I must mention the guys that complimented my mullet towards the end of my stay - thank you for your kind words, I can confirm that I really do have a mullet and repeated pulling of it will not remove it.  I accepted it as a loving gesture.

Back onto the music and it was Ricardo that I went to experience mostly - he came on around 630am and from a couple of metres away he did seem to look exhausted.  I didn't get that good a view though so I could be imagining this.  He is such an exceptional talent and general life-inspiration to me - I hold him as dear to my heart as I do Margaret Thatcher.  Which I am sure he would be delighted to know.

Musically he was on form - flitting between the dreamy, repetitive minimal that I love and tracks verging on techno, never really letting it go into full-on party mode, keeping the suspense brilliantly.  I was relatively sober by now and just admiring his mixing - not every mix was spot on, that is par for the course with Ricardo - one in particular seemed like he had just flicked the crossfader from one track to another without realising as the tracks were totally different in tone.

But in return much of the mixing was totally inspirational - the timing and execution was generally just gorgeous, I was stood there dancing away but concentrating on the mixes, trying to study for ideas for myself and just wondering how the hell he did it and made it all sound so brilliant.  I am itching to have a mix.

We left around 9am, fully satisfied and still able to walk - I could have lasted longer but it was probably wise to leave when we did given that my two friends had to be in work the next day.

I wish I could tell you some of the tracks that he played, there was some absolute beauties - and monsters but delightfully I did not recognise one single track, despite listening to over 200 new tracks every week.  Maybe next time I will have the brain to Shazam a couple.  I might even take 10,000 photos with my flash on.  Or not.

Apparently he played Andruic later on - gutted I missed that total geniusly fucked-up track.  One of my favourite Ricardo tracks ever and there are so many so choose from.


The train home was of course horrid - boiling hot, standing room only and we only just squeezed on - I was sweating profusely and probably not at my most beautiful given the look of disdain on my fellow passengers faces.  Perhaps they just didn't appreciate my mullet.  50 minutes of standing up was just the journey home that I dreamt of.  And then my friend asked me if I wanted to get the bus.  Erm...

I like to put numbers on things - hell I keep a spreadsheet of how happy I am on a daily basis with a score of 0-10, so this will be no different and I rate the night out at 8.6 out of 10.

Next up for me/us is Nina Kraviz and Marcel Dettmann (who embarrassingly I have never seen) - techno is a third love, significantly behind house and minimal.  Bizarrely techno is more enjoyable to me when at work or walking home from work.  I love a good techno stomp whilst walking home.  Does anyone else walk faster than normal to techno?

I am also really looking forward to seeing William Kouam Djoko.  Only ever heard one mix by him but really enjoyed it.

Of course all 3 confirmed friends that are up for it could well cancel on me.

The back-up plan is Pied Piper and Lisa Maffia on 5th September, innit.  Honest bruv.