Manned with a £1 glass bottle of Irn-Bru and wearing trainers near enough destroyed by the previous night, I thrust myself away from the speaker and onto the train back to Stirling. As I stare out the window on the way, it’s time to consider if it was all really worth it – the travel, the hangover, the money. On this particular occasion, that consideration doesn’t require too much thought. This was a night not to be missed.
Cabaret Voltaire has become a venue somewhat synonymous with EDM and in particular house music in the past few years. The capital club puts new music and breakthrough genres ahead of the pop and chart that dominates much of the city. Duke Dumont, meanwhile, is currently one of the spearheads of the movement that has brought house music to the forefront of modern culture, so it would make sense to presume that combining this particular artist with this particular club was bound to be a match well made. It certainly panned out that way too.
The Blasé Boys Club line up rolled out some fat beats even before Dumont took to the stage. Big basslines dominated funky build ups and creative hooks, and it was clear that their sound was perfectly suited to the reverberating cave corridors of Cab Vol and the top sound system in place.
Duke didn’t waste any time when he did take to the decks, dropping chart smash Need U (100%) early on to test the acoustics. Safe to say that the sound carried well, reverberating down the boutique set up to blast the crammed in crowd with that now famous synthetic twang.
Several other favourites followed as Duke kept the crowd dancing with a template derived from progressive, catchy build ups and fat, funky basslines that took a different shape and form each time.
From the mellow melody that drives MNEK feature Hold On through to The No Money Blues, a number driven by a persistent backing beat before bursting into colour, there is a range of rhythms and tempos in the producer’s locker, and he knows how to blend each neatly into the next when producing on the live stage.
Plenty of new sounds and remixes were offered up and taken in well, but the hits were still the understandable crowd pleasers. A teasing second of the hook to current hit I Got U was interjected occasionally into transgressing beats before the single dropped to mass reverberation from the crowd. The jubilant tune has a more friendly, chilled feel to it when on the radio, but when the big speakers kick in with the booming backing bass usually hidden behind steel drums, the transition to club life is made with deafening success.
While I Got U may have adapted well to the club environment though, The Giver was created specifically for this purpose, and proved a real highlight of the night. The former track is captivating without a powerful bass driving the track, but the latter boasts a blunt bassline in excess. The arrogant blasting slammed through the venue like an acoustic tidal wave, putting the giant speaker set up to its best possible use.
The artist still had more left to give too, with a final rendition of his remix of HAIM’s Falling to end the night. The chilled out melody of the song brought the night to a jubilant end, with the high pitched vocals playing nicely off the irresistibly blissful rhythm.
The perfect venue for a night which proved to be a tantalising taste of big hitting house music and buoyantly blasting basslines. A welcome treat to Edinburgh.