Finally launching their highly-acclaimed event series in Liverpool, national promoters Percolate bring their party to the city’s newest sub-club, Underground. Our man Jim Mcelhone gives us the complete rundown of how their first party fared in one of the city’s most recently talked-about spaces.
Over the past four years, Percolate have become modern pioneers of the dance music scene in London; more recently touring their highly-acclaimed parties nationwide. With their events arriving in Manchester with booked acts including Floating Points and Mall Grab, they are now debuting their party at Liverpool’s newest venue, Underground.
Krywald & Farrer, the DJ duo behind Percolate, have built themselves a strong reputation over the last 4 years. Their tight mixing and irresistible dancefloor 12″ cuts have found their way into some of the globe’s most celebrated DJ sets. In addition to their vinyl-only ‘Persie Edits’ series, the duo have mustered up edits of Diana Ross while making their appearances on many internationally-respected radio projects including Rinse FM and festival line-ups such as Gottwood.
For their first break into Liverpool’s tight-knit nightlife community, the Percolate team go above and beyond to pair two of world’s most revered selectors, both listed in Resident Advisor’s top 100 artists of 2016. Germany’s Danilo Plessow, aka Motor City Drum Ensemble, is about as good as it gets when it comes to selection, stamina and precision. A man of few words but many records, MCDE has perfected a rare talent over the years for working crowds into a groove with his fearless genre jumping and meticulously smooth record blending over seriously extended sets. Standing as a testament to Percolate’s curating abilities, MCDE was joined by the legendary, Jeremy Underground. Having rocked one of the last ever Kazimier parties, he is no stranger to Liverpool and is equally comfortable playing alongside MCDE. The pair have a distinct synergy when sharing the decks; an unmissable spectacle in this newly refurbished venue.
Underground, formally known as Bedlam, has undergone a complete redevelopment over the last year. Opting for a minimal design throughout, the venue directs clubbers’ sonic focus entirely to the dancefloor with its high-fidelity soundsystem resonating into every corner and crevice of the 1000 capacity space. The venue is now entirely music-focused, suiting the selection of high-calibre artists that have been billed to play over its opening months.
The night started with residents, Krywald & Farrer, kicking things off with an oozing mix of house and funk. Despite taking a while for the in-fluxing crowd to warm up, the transitional period that is expected at the start of a party supplied promise for this exciting duo’s future. Playing their trade as promoters, selectors and producers, it seems certain that their names will begin to climb to the top of many-a-bill in the future.
MCDE’s arrival behind the decks saw the start of the event’s main motive. Pulling out crowd pleasing disco edits such as a killer cut of Robin Beck’s ‘Sweet Talk’, this man will never lose the determination and inspiration to dig out the most fitting songs for a set; this appearance alone was sustainable evidence of his uncontended ear for selection. As he was joined by Parisian, Jeremy Underground, the night began to peak. The synonymous black and white Percolate visuals silhouetted the duo behind the decks as they preceded to explore an arsenal of explosive music. From harmonious disco grooves to dreamy acid house, a plethora of sound filled the ears of a dynamic mix of students, young professionals and the odd older group succeeding in re-living the ‘90s golden age of electronica.
A testament to his ability to gauge any dancefloor, Jeremy Underground flipped the mood with his closing set as the room’s energy levels began to subside. Laying down climatic festival anthems, including Liem’s remix of ‘Fusion Groove Orchestra’ trod the path to a more ambient vibe cleverly combined with increasingly more mechanical house & techno tracks that held the room together during these less energetic times; a successful juxtaposition to the manic atmosphere found earlier on. It was this musical deflation that everyone welcomely received. Jeremy Underground mesmerizingly narrated the end of a compelling night.
The night was undoubtedly a success for Percolate as they made their first venture into to Liverpool, a city that sometimes resents and revolts against external promoters. The blend of utopian sounds combined with a fresh club layout at Underground’s newly launched hub for …without sounding cliche… underground music has in fact set themselves their own precedence with which to follow. Despite the stigma that may or may not have been attached to the venue’s previous inhabitants, Garlands, strong opening nights like these are what Liverpool thrives off as it continues to be an important destination in Britain’s electronic music scene. For a small city that has a large number of distinctive venues, Underground must now think outside the box and continue to deliver fresh, and innovative line-ups that maintain the momentum that they have initially created and very much deserved over the last few months…
Check out 12 track ID’s below from the night. Select each image to listen to the track or hit one and let them play in the background…