Rooting through a backup drive the other day, I came across my earliest volume of mixes – the Mixes For Fixes series which I did some 6 or 7 years ago. Mostly these were high energy trance mixes that followed a template which I still use to this day and this mix is still probably one of my best examples of how to construct a trance set. Given that I’ve long since removed myself from the trance genre, listening to this felt strangely refreshing and I grinned like an idiot all the way through.
So a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of opening SonicTonic – a brand new night up in Hinckley run by DJs and good friends of mine, Mono and Laura May. Aimed at re-energising an area that was once a hub of underground dance back in the 90s, SonicTonic is certainly an ambitious effort, especially in the face of current adversity and a shining light amidst the steady, progressive fall of bigger clubs.
Hosted at The Bounty in the centre of Hinckley, the once iconic club’s somewhat misleading exterior hides a gem of a refurbished venue inside and certainly has the potential to attract clubbers new and old once ’Tonic gets a foothold and gains traction. Given Mono and May’s passion and experience (they’ve DJ’d the circuit for a while but this is their first clubnight) this shouldn’t be a problem. Indeed, the steady demise of midlands clubbing in recent years could certainly help the underground migrate in this new direction as dedicated clubbers are again forced to look for equally dedicated venues. SonicTonic is it!
Mono and May’s intention is refreshingly old school, harking back to that era when music told stories and the dancefloor remained consistently energised throughout the night, building through layers and shifting through gears. There are no hour-long, quick-fix sets here. No DJs plying their pre-fabbed mixtapes. Sonic Tonic is a musical journey. It’s a night for those that want to be on the dancefloor from the start and not leave until the lights go up.
That vibe and atmosphere was certainly evident from the dedicated crowd who knew their music and remained throughout. Smiling faces. Friendly banter. New friends made. That feeling of a private party or reunion between long standing friends despite never having met any of these people before. Its a vibe unique to the clubbing fraternity and it was in abundance here. For me, the pleasure was in warming up with the kind of progressive music that got me into this scene in the first place, and though its always great to get good feedback, it was more exciting to know that there is a demand for that kind of progression and not your quick fix EDM bollocks!
To top it all off, Mono and May’s effort and professionalism was exemplary. From their application in putting the night together to looking after all us DJs, I can only hope to play for them again. Regardless, I’ll be front and centre anyway; nights like this are too few and far between!
Photos courtesy of Kimmi’s Photography
Next up, I’m delighted to have been invited up to Leicester by my good friends Mono and Laura May for a proggy tech fest. Here I’ll be at my most comfy, playing the warm-up set for a brand new night of progressive house, techno and trance. Bring it, bitches!!
Fucking hackers! Seriously! I’m not gonna flatter myself and assume I’m being deliberately targeted, but it seems to be a thing with WordPress sites that if you don’t keep on top of your updates, then vulnerabilities in your site (and I’m guessing the host) are exploited. Constantly. Either way, this has happened one too many times now and it’s pissing me off. Fucking hackers, man! Go get laid or something!
At this year’s Brighton Pride, Hush will be taking over the Volks yet again for another Hard Hush, musically motivated event, teaming up with London Hard House night Twist and headlined by Tidy resident Charlie Goddard. The last Hard Hush all day event, the Macmillan Rave For Life fundraiser, was an amazing day with a fantastic turnout and this looks set to be as big, if not bigger, as Hush couples two rooms of stellar talent with the biggest day in Brighton’s calendar.
Room 1 will be hard house and hard dance fronted by Tidy and Twist, with Room 2 filled with underground house and techno hosted by Trickstar and fronted by Elements of Groove.
I am, of course, delighted to be playing and, not wanting to wish my life away, can’t bloody wait!!
For full details, head on over to the event page: here!