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Musika with John Digweed, Agoria, Rebekah and Harvey McKay

8th October

Night-vision @ The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh

Now in its fifth ‘season’, Nightvision has worked to establish itself as an Edinburgh stalwart, a firm favourite with locals and students alike, bringing big-name dance music to as wide an audience as possible. Lineups cater for the diversity of the scene here with this year’s bookings ranging from Bristol bass duo My Nu Leng, to House legend Lil’ Louis, to reclusive crate-digger Mr Scruff.

Much like Manchester’s Warehouse Project, Nightvision pleases popular demand without confining itself to specific subgenres. Friday, 8 October’s show in collaboration with Edinburgh-based collective ‘Musika,’ featuring John Digweed was a prime example of where this approach both succeeds and struggles.

The show was set to suffer from some serious setbacks with a crowded and confused booking roster, as well as a last-minute revocation of their extended license. Nightvision also abandoned the venue’s second main room, the ‘Warehouse’, where the heavier elements of the lineup would perhaps have felt more at home. A lineup that included veterans John Digweed and Agoria alongside the more alternative Rebekah, all in the same room in rapid succession, baffled many.

Due to these often unavoidable consequences, the promoters were forced to push Agoria’s set time forward. As the second-billed artist, and a key selling-point of the night, stepping down from the decks at midnight left several people disappointed to have missed his performance. Despite this early setback, John Digweed followed to deliver what he has been world-renowned for since the early 90s: drop-heavy progressive house; a big-room Ibiza-esque experience, complete with a no-holds-barred lightshow of blue and green strobes that you would expect to find on the White Isle. Digweed managed to play a relevant set, yet also referenced his extensive back catalogue of progressive House music, bridging the age gap between younger and older members of the crowd and also marrying the more commercial and underground sides of the lineup.

Continuing in this vein was Scottish favourite Harvey McKay, Mixmag’s Techno Page’s ‘most regular contributor’. His releases on Glaswegian staple Soma Records, Drumcode, and Digweed’s own ‘Bedrock’, series affirmed the first ever commercial compilation produced for a nightclub, preceding the likes of ‘Fabriclive’. McKay’s consistently 4×4 tech-house offerings maintained the crowd’s unwavering energy throughout the peak of the night. This suitably laid the groundwork for Rebekah, whose piledriving, kick-driven brand of techno has secured her a reputation among underground purists for over 10 years.

Rebekah brought the rapacious, modular-sounding tones of the Black Country to Edinburgh, echoing fellow Birmingham locals Surgeon and Regis.From the outset, Rebekah morphed the pace of the night to create a darker, more urgent musical experience than the more commercial acts who led up to her. Nightvision certainly risked the cohesion of the night with a closing act this ambitious, yet it delivered a natural sense of progression through the various shades of dance music on offer.

In other words, Nightvision and Musika put on a successful night to a full venue, despite several last-minute difficulties.

Photo: This Is Our Vision

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