Posted by: pascoesabido | July 3, 2008

CIRCOLOCO with the Hint of an After-Party

CIRCOLOCO@TheEnd, London 28-06-08
Don't get nightmares

Don't get nightmares

Despite the Balearic authorities temporarily closing DC10, Circoloco’s brand of underground techno-treats continues its waltz across Europe. The notorious clown’s face, disturbing to anyone whose childhood was ruined by Stephen King’s ‘It’, is instantly recognisable, while residents Tania Vulcano and Clive Henry ensure Circoloco’s reassuring gold standard is upheld by handpicking a selection of techno’s finest to accompany their forays. Over the last nine years its Italian promoters Andrea and Antonio have taken the party – born from the womb of DC10 – to Rome, Barcelona, London and beyond. Although originally limiting their excursions to the winter months, 2006 saw the night assume permanent residency here at The End in London.

On this particular Saturday night, the queue outside is – as always – long enough to draw envious looks from Alton Towers, its protruding tail snaking all the way around West Central Street and spilling out onto Shaftsbury Avenue – even at 3am. Although lacking the sun, sea, and stupid-cum-sexy fancy dress of its Ibizan counterpart, The End shows why Circoloco works anywhere.

After successfully creeping past the enormous queue, inside appears to be more of the same: everyone considering a cigarette break is forced to wait all over again for the ‘one-in-one-out’ policy. For anyone wanting to give up smoking, forget hypnotherapy, just spend a Saturday night at the End; while those who once enjoyed the occasional cigarette will soon be ardent anti-smokers.

Once in, the End’s dark underbelly beckons: the basement is throbbing, and the crowd – already warmed up by Clive Henry – are stomping and shouting to Pedro’s twisted bouncy techno. Every so often a new break or sample calls for a moment of appreciation; a deep breath to fill the lungs and suck up the vibrations, embracing the warm tingling under the breast-plate that forces a smile. If this doesn’t ring a bell, try it. Next time something special is played: stop dancing… take a deep breath… and appreciate the tingle as you slowly exhale.

Circoloco had also hijacked AKA bar, where the Man Make Music collective take charge. Sketchy, Noel Mas, and then Another Amit provide welcome relief for those who want to escape the dungeon downstairs, all the while stretching Circoloco’s musical pedigree. The crowd are treated to a top-notch tech-house party with a twist of rave, as the boys sport glow-sticks galore; Noel Mas even takes it interactive, launching handfuls into the air above a grateful dance floor, neon confetti raining down to ensure all are complicit in the mischief.

Back downstairs, Fabrizio turns it deep and dirty; he slaps down one filthy record after another in an attempt to recreate the dark twisted main room in DC10 where people forget their own name. The bass rumbles through the custom-built walls, as people dance in their own little worlds – not a place to dwell if you intend on keeping your sanity. But luckily the Lounge provides the perfect remedy, Luciano Esse endearing himself to the London crowds – not the Luciano, but not too far off. Word had already spread that he was the one to watch, and his set should make his Chilean name-sake proud – even dropping a Nina Simone remix used by the techno legend. In pursuit of good music, the lounge soon packs out – not helped by AKA’s early closure – and certain body odours that should be kept personal are shared with the group. But help is at hand.

Downstairs, the crowded party keeps on keeping on until 6am, but for those with an appetite for more music and space, the after party kicks off at half-five. AKA reopens its doors under the Jaded banner, allowing our very own editor Ben Gomori to supply the faithful with his own interpretation of ‘early morning’ – his deep techy-house successfully returning movement to all those struggling legs. Slowly-but-surely people drift in from every corner of the London clubbing scene, linked by a common goal of wanting to keep dancing. One dedicated techno-connoisseur even gets out of bed especially for it despite having a quiet Saturday night, swapping breakfast for beer to make some shapes on the dance floor. Unfortunately, I can’t claim to be so hardcore, and 7am is bedtime.

Circoloco has been an established night at the End for two and a half years and seems unlikely to stop soon. However, if denied its DC10 home-in-the-sun, the brand will probably lose its current magic. The powerful memories that fuel so many clubbers could be in finite supply. As good as Circoloco’s off-shoots are, the real thing is incomparably better. Fingers crossed that won’t happen, and if it does, Antonio and Andreas are sure to create another Mecca in the sun someday soon.

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