Just five events in and Expert Death has certainly earned respect from the Notts nightlife community with its fresh take on the clubbing experience. We hear the brand will be laying low (for now), but as Charlie Alexander recalls, it didn’t bow out quietly...
Posed as a redefinition of club culture, Expert Death 005 wasn’t just there to simply suffice casual Friday night antics, but instead to offer a refreshing evening stripped of excessive and ‘hammed-up’ lighting and decor. They wanted to pull it back to its roots and ignite that primitive appreciation for music that birthed it all. How?
“No Lights. No Visuals. No Stages.”
Clearly curated with serious thought, the line-up was a handful of DJs who push the boundaries of high energy electronica. Whether it be dubstep, breaks, UKG or leftfield techno, people knew they were not just in for a knees-up but rather a schooling in some of the great and often untouched depths of dance music. We had both ends of the time spectrum with early dubstep genie Pinch taking a peak time set and the up-comers Fauzia and Holloway going toe-to-toe for the closing hours.
This was the vision; two musical titans entrancing the crowd into a frenzy. It was raw, brutal but fun.
We went underground in both the literal and musical sense and walked into a dark minimalist setup; a murky space with a pulsating mass of people at the realm of Vladimir Reisz (George Inman). Following on from Alex’s opening set, setting the mood perfectly with plenty of sombre and off-centre selections, he served up a liberated combination of all sounds from garage to broken techno; the energy was already making its presence known with people getting physical on the dance-floor. It was welcome to see an almost ‘open-mic’ style of MC-ing which achieved the raw and honest vibe that was envisaged in the promotion, as affiliates and friends were hopping on the mic to spit their two cents. Next up was DJ Perception.
Armed with what looked like a tool-kit full of vinyl he took the night off into the abyss. Playing mostly with and around the garage genre, he dabbled between straight up 2-step and the occasional up-tempo and high energy speed garage clearly fulfilling Expert Death’s positioning of him as a “long-time heavyweight”. It was beautifully disjointed and free. This was no show and tell - the crowd were a part of the madness and the setup of the space definitely made this possible.
Pinch and Trim only added to this beautiful chaos inside. Although the mic was being brandished freely all night, when Trim stepped up it was game-time. We were taken on a journey through early dubstep with an ‘OG’ shelling over it. Albeit modestly, over the course of his set Pinch demonstrated why he deserves the title he has. It was a calculated selection that maintained the energy while simultaneously browsing the deepest depths of his musical arsenal. This was the vision; two musical titans entrancing the crowd into a frenzy. It was raw, brutal but fun.
We had an exciting prospect taking ownership of the closing set. Fauzia and Holloway took our ears to this new-age combination of breakbeat, garage and more. This was welcomed with tracks like Soundbwoy Killah’s ‘Burning doing immeasurable damage on the dance-floor. It was gone 2:30am but the space was still packed and alive.
Approaching 3am it was notable that the open-mic styled MC-ing was becoming less effective. The free reign made it possible for people who weren’t necessarily affiliated with Expert Death to seize the limelight and after watching Fauzia politely ask a young man to take a break from the mic, things began to spiral to a premature end.
Although it was a great shame the night came to a close on this note, it would be a serious over-exaggeration if I told you this ruined the experience. The Expert Death team provided us with something fresh, different and exciting. Music was central and the people were having fun. A simple formula that Expert Death did right.