[acid-jazz] Event Review: El Diablo's Social Club

From: Jon Freer (jon-freer_at_excite.com)
Date: 2004-08-22 22:44:59

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    Event Review: El Diablo’s Social Club, Manchester. Saturday 14th August 2004.

    Clubbing often falls prey to destructive forces. Whether it be to the money milking fraternity who endlessly chase the pound signs and disregard any sort of integrity, or the super-cool brigade who always aim to be on the wave crest of whatever’s currently hip or fashionable. This creates a scene dominated by vacuous ‘glamour’, throwaway musical fads and DJs whose reputation is built on their aptitude to judge market changes, not their record selection or ability to pull a crowd. When the situation is at a stage where many people step out into the nocturnal world with more of a desire to be seen drinking and cavorting in the hippest venues than to enjoy themselves, it leads to an atmosphere as flat as a bottle of coke opened, and left out for days.

    However, as usual, it’s the underground visionaries, with their genuine passion for the music they promote and a hedonistic attitude that keep clubbing genuinely exciting. These knights in shining armour compelled to put on stimulating parties may be in the minority, but between them they offer a perfect answer to the more populist big name DJ driven, guestlist chasing aspect of clubbing. Manchester is a city blessed with a vibrant underbelly, which counteracts the dearth of faceless name chasers. El Diablo’s are without doubt part of this crew, and alongside disco-terrorists, the Unabombers, and a handful of other likeminded souls, keep basements, lofts and other spaces rocking vibrantly to an open-minded soundtrack. Parties of this nature remind you why you should leave the comfort of your sofa and embark on nocturnal escapades. With or without the addition of artificial stimulants, events like El Diablo’s mid August bash leave you buzzing days later from the memories!

    Detached from the rest of humanity, yet not a million miles from other venues, this secret shindig took place in a crypt-like basement, which would have been warm enough for even Lucifer to feel comfortable. The heat and sweatiness did slightly detracted from the enjoyment, but the low ceilings and lack of personal space added to the intimacy. There wasn’t a great deal of room to manoeuvre, but it was possible to move across the room, and just about the right number of people had been granted entry to the venue. Once the party got into full swing, the whole venue became the dancefloor, with a sea of like-minded souls dancing the night away. The electricity and hypnotic nature of the atmosphere was incredible, making this soiree a truly life-affirming experience. Musically, the four turntable artistes span a beguiling array of discoid and housey numbers, tougher electronic grooves and a splattering of 80’s influenced cuts. Somehow managing to switch between genres seaml!
     essly, the Diablo’s managed to get an excellent balance between old and new, as well as spinning an invigorating mixture of obvious and obscure records. Highlights included Erro’s demanding “Change For Me”, a grimy electroid reworking of Seelenluft’s “Manila” and A Guy Called Gerald’s spine-tingling “Voodoo Ray”. When needle left the groove of last tune, as well as the pleading cries for ‘one more’, there were many people visibly shell-shocked. This shows the emotional strength of such a party, where people were deeply moved by what they’d just witnessed, heard, and by the very nature of this type of the event, been a part of.

    Jon Freer(jon.freer_at_wrongsteps.com)
    *Website: www.mosoul.co.uk.
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