Corsica Studios | January 26th
We entered Corsica Studios at about 11:15. That counts as ‘early’ for most club nights. Not so for this one.
As we arrived, Room One was already filling up: ‘house heads’ around the back and sides, nodding along in sagacious approval; young-ish student types in the middle, dancing with commendable abandon; smokers shuffling along the front, doing an odd half-dance, half-walk as they traipsed outside … we were expecting to walk in on a warm up set, secure one of those big sofas near the bar, and beer our way through the first hour while waiting for everyone else to arrive. No need, it seemed: Double Trouble Vision Pt. 2 was already well under way.
Theo Parrish and Marcellus Pittman were on ebullient form, smiling and bouncing around the booth, nodding heads fully-engaged as acid house met Detroit machine funk. We’ve been to this venue and commented on the impressive sound system before, but whatever Theo and Marcellus did made it even better. That they played vinyl and only vinyl might have had something to do with it (we’d imagine that Theo would say it did), but it sounded cleaner, crisper and – yes – warmer than ever. Kudos to that unsung hero of club nights then, The Sound Person, and to the two men from Detroit’s unwavering commitment to sound quality.
Room Two was less busy until about 12:30. The ever-reliable Park Ranger pulled out another solid warm up set, earning his growing crowd with a smart selection of melodic, contemporary house music. By the time he’d finished, both rooms were pretty full – no mean feat given the headliners next door.
We then went back to Room One, and found ourselves rooted to the same spot (stage left, about five people deep, backs to the stage) for, roughly, the next five hours. Theo & Marcellus took us through ‘80s boogie, ‘70s disco, funk, and some newer, Detroit-influenced deep house. We heard Made In The USA’s Melodies, Skyy’s First Time Around, Earth People’s Dance, and Savage Progress’ Heart Begins to Beat. Sometimes the genre-hopping seemed a little incoherent, but the mixing was tight, achieved through heavy leaning on the EQs, and the pair’s enthusiasm (especially on the disco cuts) proved infectious.
Room 2, whenever we popped in, looked just as good. Bicep continue to impress with their knowledge of mid-90s house, but are savvy enough to know that trends in dance music change very rapidly. They played records from outside the Kerri-but-not-Kerri genre too. There can’t be many ‘forgotten gems’ from that era that remain as described, and we might be heading towards a situation, analogous to the Northern Soul scene of the late 1960s, where audiences tire of it before DJs do. Moreover, you can guarantee The Mid-‘90s House Backlash, when it comes, will be swift and merciless. It’s encouraging, therefore, to see that one of dance music’s most popular acts have, in many ways, preempted it.
After Bicep came Lauer, who played the kind of house music Pitchfork might (oxy-)moronically describe as ‘retro-futurist, post-Chicago, pre-industrial house house’. Whatever label you give it, it’s fun, has a vaguely ‘80s feel, and kept people dancing long into the early hours.
All credit to the teams at Trouble Vision and Corsica Studios, then. Both are delivering line-ups clubbers (and music journalists) want. Both have matured into London nightlife institutions. And both can add this write-up to a growing collection of (we apologise in advance for this pun) RAVE REVIEWS.