The individuality of the night coupled with the harmony between venue and music are the two most important factors in creating a memorable night. This couldn’t be more apt for this Tuesday night’s Hessle Audio DJ set at The Caves.
Even without the stellar line-up, any night at The Caves is usually worth a visit. With the decor reminiscent of its 18th century roots and a capacity of 400 tops, The Caves is one of Edinburgh’s most intriguing venues. The transformation from an elegant and archaic wedding venue to a tunnel, drowned in sound and charged full of gyrating students, gives the venue an indefinable quality, that attracts more attention than any other club on the Cowgate.
A venue with such character needs a line-up of a similar calibre- no better match then than the three pioneering DJs of Hessle Audio. Pearson Sound (a.k.a Ramadanman), Ben UFO and Pangea are the trio that have dominated the UK underground music scene for the past few years, ‘breaking boundaries between UK musics’, as well as creating one of the country’s most popular underground stations, Rinse FM, that specialises in promoting new musicians who otherwise would be neglected by mainstream stations and record labels. With the arrival of such a prestigious collective, it seems all too appropriate to have the trio play in a venue as rare as The Caves.
With all of this in mind, I have high hopes for what is to come when entering the venue at 11pm. What strikes me first is the way The Caves focuses its patrons’ attention onto the main stage. Unlike the clumsy layouts of Cab Vol or the Liquid Rooms, I am funnelled forward into the crowd where I remain the entire night. However, for those unable to two-step for four hours, the alternative doesn’t have to be the smoking area; the balcony that crowns the main dance area provides a perfect place to stand reservedly and enjoy the music.
The set itself is a clever patchwork of varying genres, beginning with the slower dub/house two-step and ending with the frenzied jungle that has come to be the embodiment Hessle’s sound. What’s more, instead of fragmenting the night into three separate sets, the trio plays an unusual back-to-back set that manages to incorporate all three of the DJs different styles. The result is a sound that explores every corner of electronic music, mixing heavy bass rhythms with refined drums, forever reminiscent of their dubstep roots.