Now this I was really excited for. It had been in the books for a good while, having lived in Manchester for the best part of three years, there was no real shortage of home grown talent coming to play in the UK. But seldom do pioneers of a genre come to visit more intimate spaces. It was something else altogether to have the Godfather of House ‘Frankie Knuckles’ and Detroit Techno innovator Kevin Saunderson play at the same daytime street party in London, well now it just makes other dance music street parties seem utterly bland in comparison.
Found had done an amazing job this year. The party was located on Wilson Street in Shoreditch and as we made our way it wasn’t hard to start hearing it. Admittedly we arrived late, (lets pin the blame on unorganised mates) but despite the dread of the usual hectic line waiting; here it simply didn’t exist, it was incredibly easy to get in. There wasn’t a hassle of long queue’s and uncomfortable searches and I had a stuffed backpack.
The staff were friendly enough and coming in you were thrown inside a party with such a great air about it. So though we missed out on seeing the warm up acts, Voyeur and the Mendenez brothers, it was more than made up for as we began to hear Kevin Saunderson starting up on the decks with his signature sound.
I can tell you two things I noticed immediately arriving and settling in; there was so much colour! Absolutely exuberant colours, everyone so full of life and there were all likes of people here to have a party from the amateur hipsters to the seasoned pro’s, the fashionistas, the students, the holiday muscle and the oldies sporting their worn out TB303 tees. It made for quite an eccentric collection of sights and sound but that’s the thing, nobody was a dick! People were easy to get along with and the mood was so chilled. This is hardly surprising when there was a healthy sized bar, Mama’s jerk station with all its deliriously intoxicating smells creating a glorious atmosphere and when everyone’s jamming with beers in their hands to Kevin Saunderson blasting through an absolutely sublime Funktion One system. It couldn’t be more appropriately designed for a smaller scale open air party.
Kevin starting up was a good moment to arrive; this is a man who has been through generations of cycles of music. Playing records from every little crevice of that spectrum; his own Detroit techno pieces to even the most contemporary house tracks such as the MK remix of ‘Look Right Through’ by Storm Queen. It was a relatively short but sweet set taking a range of only one hour and a half but for what it was Kevin Saunderson made it his own. He even offered up plenty of the classic hands in the air tracks such as ‘Big Fun’ by Inner City and oh boy were their hands in the air for that. He demonstrated his knowledge of the times twisting his own tracks with a twang of a newer sound by playing the 2013 House Of Virus remix.
Boom! ‘Velocity Funk’ by E-Dancer comes in and in one swift move, Kevin shows the crowd what he’s famous for in the world of techno, a classic track that still shakes the foundations of the dancefloor.
His set had to finish eventually and the transition from Kevin Saunderson couldn’t have been better received.
Frankie Knuckles immediately comes in with brilliant latin vibes. You couldn’t help smiling a little, knowing that you were here to the envy of many people who had just missed seeing the house god at play. A symphony of house hits is one way to describe his set. As soon as the break of ‘Your Love’ by Jamie Principle kicked in it just created the perfect atmosphere to the open air revel. Hi hats and all the tricks to keep the pace of the party going, Frankie knuckles knows how to spell his trade for the new generation. Amongst the chorus of ‘Say My Name’ you could just glimpse around at the cultural collective of Londoners, northerners, Bristolians and people from across the country who were enveloped in the beat of the event. Everything fit like a jigsaw with invariably no chaos. Even from afar you could make out the man’s characteristic smile as he drops in a new track.
The groove and the energy was at a top level for the man. There were just so many moments throughout his set which sounded so great, you’ve heard the misplaced terminology ‘uplifting piano’; a retarded term used by the more clueless event promoters but well Found gives meaning to an otherwise senseless term with beautiful piano layers amongst the plentiful kicks.
It was a scenic location in between the Flying Horse, a Church and towering offices with curious eyes peering in the from the rooftops. Found definitely felt more like I was still at a summer festival With balloons floating about and girls on shoulders with umbrellas bopping around and an absolute sea of beautiful faces, I could be forgiven for thinking so.
More exotic percussion and latin sounds continued to be heard as the set progresses; party music at its finest. Synchronous claps with precision, no overkilled use of effects and one thing that could definitely be told true, is that there is an element of mystery behind the sets of these guys.
Of course, when Frankie played ‘Give Me The Night’ by George Bensen, I couldn’t have called for a better song to tear the crowd into full swing to call the end of the set. Whatever people were doing previously everyone was instantly facing Frankie as one hive mind in the rhythm of it all. Cutting down the layers to leave only bass and beats, Frankie owned the game right ‘till the end.
Found did an unbelievable job with a hard-to-top line up, it was as if a little bit of the ‘Festival’ had held itself in the street party from start to finish. What’s in store for next year’s party, well who knows but it’s bound to be huge!
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Written By Suthan Logan