Hot Creations WHP – A Reflection

Art & Culture

The Hot Creations band wagon rolls on, this time to the Warehouse Project.  Judging by the buzz around it and the hen's teeth of a guestlist, the show probably sold out more quickly than any of the other WHPs this year, which is saying something. 

But as with any musical band wagon, there is an inevitable underground backlash that rolls close behind it.  As someone who was once a keen backlasher of anything that became too popular, I've been following the Hot Creations story with interest, kind of hoping they don't leave themselves open to too much lashing, but also kind of hoping that what I hear in Ibiza next summer is not so dominated by the analogue basslines they have helped to make so popular… the question was, in the event of that happening – that move in fashion towards the next best underground thing since sliced bread – will the Hot Creations boys still be worth watching as performers?

Yes.  Resoundingly, yes.  It actually didn't take this weekend's WHP project to convince me this was the case; it was in fact the moment I walked into the Space Terrace a couple of seasons ago to be greeted by Jamie Jones dropping Ian Pooley – Quattro (a percussive beast from the turn of the century), which set the tone for a set that had dimension way beyond the sound that helped put him top of the bill.  He would have been well within his rights to just stick to what was current and everyone would have gone home happy anyway, but no, not a bit of it.  

Never the less, there was just a little nag in my head before going to the WHP that with a couple of mainstream successes, Hot Creations had become even bigger since that moment in Space, and that they now have a Radio 1 audience to cater for as well as the rest of us.  Success can sometimes do funny things to people, but Jamie wouldn't let me down, would he?  For everyone's sake, please let the Ian Pooley-Barometer remain accurate after tonight, I thought.  It's never been wrong in the past.

Thankfully, Jones kept all pre-conceptions in tact with a set that went in all kinds of directions.  The first 15 minutes was standard, current Deep House, but then, before you know it, he was bowling out this rattling Tech House that sounded like a psychotic Nic Fanciulli.  Still not sure how he got there.  By the end he was into a bit of profound melodic territory, which was interesting.  Some of his changes of gear worked, some of them didn't, but the point is, he was always trying something.

The same with Richy Ahmed.  He's a proper crate digger.  Could easily tow the Hot Creations line, given his position as trusted lieutenant, but if you catch him on the right night, he'll play all sorts.  And Saturday was no different.  He was only on for about an hour, but he imposed himself.

Then there's Maceo Plex.  Yet another man that draws the distinction between his production and what is necessary for the dance floor.  A shame his set clashed with Jamie Jones', but in the half hour I caught, he absolutely tooled it out – he's just such a relentless DJ, probably my favourite around at the moment.  Although given what he's done with his Techno moniker Maetrik, maybe his DJing style isn't surprising… it's like a cross between his two production hats, where melody meets aggressive, industrial beats…. absolutely ideal.

Back in the main room, Carl Craig finished the night off with what was mostly straight forward Techno, with the odd interruption, like his remix of Tom Trago – Use Me Again (I'm still not sick of that one).

But the main thing to take from the night is not the detail, but the philosophy.  There is still plenty of dance floor entertainment to be had courtesy of the Hot Creations lot, and wherever their label goes – even if it becomes a commercial hit factory – you can be pretty sure that as performers, they won't forget where they came from.

Mike Boorman