There’s really something to be said for putting on just the one DJ for the evening. They get to search the hidden corners of their record bag, and pull out all sorts of leftfield selections that they would never get the chance to play in a shorter set. Not only is the music a bit more challenging, but as the promoters don’t have to cover the fees of multiple artists, tickets are usually reasonably priced.
Enter One Night With…, a new venture at Leeds club Wire that has an ethos of booking one DJ, brand or label for the night, and letting them do their thing. For their launch, on March 28th, they booked Roman Flügel to play an extended 6 hour set. For me, Flugel has always been one of those DJs who I know must be pretty good, as he is one of those very European auteur-style artists who have been around for most of my lifetime, but I’ve never listened to him in depth. Furthermore, I was quite happy to keep it this way and go without too many preconceptions.
When I arrived at Wire, the first time I’d been there in months, I remembered how much I loved the club. It’s only a really small (300 capacity) space, but it has all you could really want: lots of good seating areas, the dancefloor and bar being well separated, and of course a weighty Funktion One soundsystem.
Anyway, I arrived at about 12, and the club was quieter than I’d expected. I assumed this is one of the downsides of an all night booking, there is no real pressure for the crowd to get down early if they know whoever they’re seeing is there all night. Regardless, Flügel was warming up with a few unidentifiable cosmic disco oddities, which meant a healthy proportion of those in the club were on the dancefloor.
As the club got gradually fuller, the tempo of the songs on show got noticeably quicker, and it wasn’t long before Flügel was building a vibe with some fine house and techno cuts. I was surprised to hear Paleman’s ‘The Day’, as I didn’t really think the current, reasonably uninspiring, UK bass scene would be interesting European DJs, but it was met with a good reception from the crowd.
By the peak time of the night, the club was packed and Roman was going full throttle. During this period he was mixing a quite unique brand of synth heavy not-quite-house-or-techno, and while his selections were nowhere near crowd pleasing fodder, he was whipping the crowd into a frenzy because his whole set thus far had been leading to this point. This gave him the opportunity to unleash his recent collaboration with Simian Mobile Disco, ‘Hachinoko’. I’d never heard this out before and the shimmering breakdown pretty much tore the roof off, capping what was an excellent performance and another string to the bow of the argument of quality over quantity. The next edition is on May 16th with Steffi & Nick Höppner representing Ostgut Ton, and it is not one to be missed.
– John Hardy