Monday, 29 March 1999

Waterden Road

First party Waterden Road


Back again to Hackney Wick, a mother of an industrial estate in East London. Down past an array of trucks and after the usual hassle at the door (parties in London are never free or just donation) we're in. Now, I'm quite excited about this party because in the main room is Bedlam, with live sets promised from 69db, Crystal Distortion and les Boucles Etranges, who are all making amazing records at the moment but never seem to venture across from France.

Unfortunatel,y I was to be disappointed. There was no stuff up saying who was playing when and no-one I asked seemed to have much idea. I was hoping to hear some teknival sounds but what seemed to be going on was a sort of extended jamming session over the DJ which meant the overall music was cluttered and only good when the DJ played a good track, which wasn't often because he/she was trying to play looping repetitive stuff so stuff could be added over the top. A case of too many cooks perhaps.

Another downer was the rig which was set up in Spiral style to be as loud as possible, which in a long, thin, low-ceilinged room with a speaker stack only at the front led to quite a bad amount of distortion (although also some interesting sub bass sensations). The toilets in the corner of the room were filled to overflowing which is pretty normal, but here they were feeding a big puddle which you had to walk through to get downstairs, so the piss got spread all around the floors and the stairs were dripping.

Downstairs we had a dub system, Ooops playing crisp jungle, but I didn't stay there long, and either side of Ooops two fluoro trancey rigs. These were Aardvark and Schpank. The latter redeemed itself in the morning by setting up a huge inflatable floor of a bouncy castle type thing which filled their room. It was quite surreal to witness tanked up ravers cavorting around on this big green air cushion. Upstairs Mainline had a good-looking set up and played some cool distorted gabba, but were at a severe disadvantage in that their space smelt of rancid butter. The reason being that it had once been filled with huge food processing machines, and I've heard since that the building as a whole was used as an abattoir.

This was an alright party but it promised so much more, so it was a shame it didn't deliver. The atmosphere was never that good either, since it felt slightly empty and there seemed to be an air of people standing around waiting for everything to kick in. Or maybe that's just because I was in that sort of mood, it's hard to say. We left at about midday with the music lapsing into super muffled syncopated drum and bass, and get trapped in the world's most horrible car boot sale next door. And then the pub.


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