Live Music + Gig Reviews

MSTRKRFT @ Turnmills, London

24 February 2007

If the fashion police were working this side of town this evening, they’d have been in for one heck of a stretch of overtime. But the gits weren’t, which meant a gamut of pyjama-clad-giant-glow-in-the-dark-glasses-wearing punters taking pictures of themselves were left to roam freely the maze that is Turnmills.

With good reason too. Apart from it being the launch party for MSTRKRFT’S excellent Looks album, half of Modular’s roster and assorted friends had been dragged along for an evening billed to run from 10pm till noon the next day. With beverages averaging 4 a pop, more spurious stimuli was in order to see this marathon through.

After the novelty of laughing gas on tap (or balloon if you will), we eventually found the main room, stumbling into a space of blue light and too much smoke. Hot Chip were hiding in the corner somewhere for their DJ set. One of our party was sickened by it being a time warp to blurry 90s northern nights. I related, while our editor-in-chief smiled and felt at home.

Room two resembled a new rave orgy on the Northern Line at 6pm. There was nary a place to swig a drink, let alone have a dance for the Klaxons DJ set. There were mirrors and red drapes and platforms everywhere. The Greeks would have been proud of the scene, which although threatening to turn into a swingers party and being extremely claustrophobic, had a strange insanity to it that made you want to stay.

I needed a drink and a breather, and decided to map the venue, playing count the glo stick along the way to the bar. I reached 59 as I parted with another 4. A massive shift in the space time continuum occurred, meaning I don’t recall what happened for an hour or so before I found myself dancing on the stage for MSTRKRFT.

Last time round at Canvas, Jesse Keeler smoked a lot, drank non stop, and pulled his hood off and on every so often, and not much else, leaving Al-P to do most of the work. The division of labour is more equal this evening as the pair work their way through their two hour set.

Their finest mash ups (Metric’s Monster Hospital) went toe to toe with body-breaking cuts from the Looks. The 12 inch version of Work On You spliced and scuzzed the sound system to its knees, while Easy Love and a thudding Paris sent the main room into overdrive.

By Green Velvet’s silky arrival there were discussions about Beth Ditto’s voluptuous entrance, and rumours of full nudity from the Gossip singer by the end of her guest DJ spot.

Our troop had disintegrated by this stage. Some hidden in corners, others lost on the top floor in 80s electro. There were clubbers toting Kalashnikovs, blowing bubbles and making out by fire exits. Every so often there was a tug of my hair and a plead for pills. I closed my eyes for a moment and wiped the sweat from by brow line. It was carnage, but very welcome carnage.

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MSTRKRFT – Fist Of God
MSTRKRFT – The Looks
MSTRKRFT @ Turnmills, London