Fast approaching 5 years in the business, Rhythmatic have continued to host parties throughout London with an unrelenting ethos of exhibiting the industry’s rising stars. Having gained acknowledgement and plaudits from some extremely reputable figures amongst the EDM community, Rhythmatic have stayed true to their philosophy of mostly putting on intimate events with a heavy bias towards the quality of music and showcasing up and coming DJs.
DT headed down to the most recent Rhythmatic offering in Shoreditch to sample their latest offering. The postcode caused some confusion as we tried sniffing out an entrance to Hoxton Basement. The postcode suggested the entrance to be on Hoxton Street though it was unassumingly signposted with A4 arrows to be around the corner on a side street. Whether done by default or not, this was an effective deterrent to drunken punters looking for a late night drink and polluting the musically oriented crowd. Once inside, the venue boasts an intimate space with low ceilings and exposed brickwork, which all sounds rather cliché, though for an intimate night as Rhythmatic was, the venue was well suited to the ambience of the night. A small bar area proved ample for a crowd around 300 strong.
Having settled with a drink and acclimatised to our surroundings, our efforts to glean set times for the night turned out to be in vain and we settled to accept proceedings as they unravelled. We were assured that Maayan Nidam would be playing for at least 2 hours and that was a satisfactory outcome to all the rooting around we had done for set times.
On our arrival the perfectly competent Stathis Lazirides, a Rhythmatic resident, was controlling the crowd with his groove laden techy beats. Stathis has established himself as a regular feature of the Rhythmatic nights alongside Archie Hamilton and it is clear to see why. For the want of not stealing the limelight from the headline acts they play very polished sets packed full of anticipation and this served as a great aperitif to the evening’s headline acts.
The line-up suggested Maayan Nidam would play the headline set at the end of the evening, it was somewhat of a surprise therefore to see her taking to the decks rather earlier on at around 3am. The slight framed lady, originally hailing from Tel Aviv and now based in Berlin has a handsome 30 releases under her belt; so she tells me, somewhat tongue in cheek, when I single out and compliment a particular album! She is arguably more renown for her performances behind the decks though. Having spent two years on the Cadenza Records roster and recently playing at the Crosstown Rebels “Day Zero” party. Maayan has been described as versatile and as having the ability to transcend a crowd to a “special place”. For me it is the lack of downtime in her sets that is the most valuable asset she has. Not only did she manage to fluidly interact with the audience and appear to enjoy the music herself, but her set did not feature those moments where everything goes a little flat and the crowd are left anticipating the next beat to set things straight.
The headline set went to the tousled man from Amsterdam, San Proper, who also channelled his unbounded energy into the crowd, sharing the enjoyment of each new track as it dropped along with the revellers. San played a very composed set largely house based with an emphasis on the groove. A true performer, San jived around behind the decks, at times head at mixer height with fingers wrapped around knobs on the mixer as he teased the crowd with EQs and effects before some monstrous drops. Towards the end of the night Maayan played an impromptu back-to-back set with San, which was a real treat! Entirely improvised, without structure or preparation, as they both felt out the mood and married it up with vinyl.
The crowd, venue and quality of line-up created an unfaultable evening. With such an incredible night’s music and whispers of San and Maayam playing the afterparty we were hungry for more. Wristbands bought from the bar and address obtained, in confidence from the staff, we jumped in a cab for what seemed like an eternity to arrive at the discreetly hidden away afterparty in northeast London. We were escorted down a side street and ushered down a narrow staircase into the back of a basement bar. A no frills venue with a bar, DJ booth and dancefloor. As the venue slowly filled, Ceri played a mix of house and techno that was bang on the money. We were sat at the bar and were joined by San and Mayaam, after some shop chat about music and DJ lifestyles Maayan took to the decks at around 7 am for her last set before flying out to Berlin. To have such highly regarded musicians casually taking to the decks at an afterparty, a platform with such freedom for expression, is always an absolute honour to experience. As Maayan stepped down from the booth there was a common sentiment of “one more”, her set being just as, if not more, potent than what we had already heard from her. Sometime around 8 am San Proper joined resident Ceri in the booth. The two of them playing back to back, one record each, a very fluid set of deep techno that lasted several hours and looked like a lot of fun for them both.
All in all the night was one that will remain in our memories for sometime as music was the solitary most important ingredient for all in attendance. With such a united purpose in a party, things rarely go wrong. Rhythmatic have the likes of Bruno Pronsato and Sebo K gracing their upcoming line-ups for the first half of 2013 and so looks set to continue the rest of 2013 as strongly as they started it.