Julio Bashmore b2b Ptaki @ Phonox, London (04.09.2015)
I couldn’t be happier that we’re bringing this blog back to life with a recap of the first party ever to be held at highly anticipated new London club Phonox. Why? Because we had a brilliant night and it would’ve been a bit disappointing to have our first blog post in months be a negative one.
Phonox occupies the venue of former Plan B and is brought to us by the people behind certified favourites XOYO and The Nest. The club’s MO is a classic and much needed one – one act behind the decks all night long on Fridays, a resident DJ and his always unannounced guests on Saturdays, respect and fun on the dance floor, restraint from spending the night on your phone screen. Entrance is always a fiver when you buy a ticket in advance and always a tenner on the door, regardless of who’s DJing that night.
The resident DJ in question is going to be one of Glasgow’s finest, Jasper James, who will make Phonox his home for an unspecified period of time (His father is Sub Club‘s Harri, who, alongside Domenic, has held a residency at the legendary Glasgow venue for 20 years now so I won’t be surprised if Jasper becomes synonymous with Phonox in the future). He will always bring guests but the club will never announce them – their way of making sure that people are there for the party and not for the popularity of the name on the bill.
It all sounded so good that last night we headed to Brixton from the Eastest of East London, determined to check out this potentially magical place on its first night. In the DJ booth: Julio Bashmore b2b Ptaki all night
And oh, let me count the ways in which the long journey was totally worth it!
One of the biggest issues with today’s club culture and one that has been frequently brought up by both DJs and punters, is club line-ups so long that the DJ booth turns into a dispassionate and musically uninspired assembly line where DJs come and go, one right after the other, incapable of getting a real feeling for the crowd and vice versa.
The huge difference that having one act play all night long makes was incredibly obvious last night. Julio and Ptaki could truly settle in and play such an array of tunes that one could never get bored. From house with a breeze of disco to techno, to acid house with Middle Eastern elements (can someone please tell me what that track was?) – our need to keep dancing only deepened as the night progressed and I’m not the kind of person to stay at a party just for the sake of it. The first whiff of monotony and I’m out, indifferent to the alleged level of hotshitness of the selector (or my alleged level of partypoopery for that matter).
That said, I can see Phonox turning into a club where DJs have just as much fun as the people on the dance floor and that’s a special reciprocity that has been missing from dance music events and especially dance music dedicated festivals (this is a topic that deserves its own opinion blog post that I hope I have the time to write at some point in the near future).
As if to reiterate their quality vs quantity policy further, the club’s capacity was kept at an optimum level I don’t think I’ve experienced in a London venue before. And it wasn’t for a lack of a queue outside the doors! I couldn’t believe that I could actually dance, like dance dance, instead of the usual movement of my body, produced not by my brain’s command to it but by the chain reaction of other bodies’ pushing me around. It was brilliant and I can only hope that it stays that way in the future as I have to admit that XOYO, one of my otherwise most favourite and often visited clubs in the city, has felt increasingly too crowded for me recently and, subsequently, harder to enjoy.
Yes, I’ve written a lot, maybe too much for a simple club night revue but I like to give credit where credit is due (and I also haven’t written a blog post or just written for my own enjoyment in a very long time so I’m really basking in it now). If the early morning journey home didn’t have to be a bazillion hours long, we’d probably be buying tickets for another Phonox party already. We are most definitely going to check out a Jasper James night at some point in the near future and if that long-awaited night tube starts running soon then we might even become Phonox regulars!
For now I just want to say thanks for a brilliant night – keep it up and have a smashing official launching party tonight! We’ll be back soon.
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