Review: Fred P At The Pickle Factory
Friday evening can often be an occasion of mixed emotions in London, some choose to bury themselves under the covers following work, others choose escapism, some choose dance. If you were obliged towards the latter you might have found yourself in the darkened corners of The Pickle Factory in the small hours last Friday. As the start of his new quarterly residency for the venue, Fred P took the helm at the 200-capacity space last Friday, playing all night long. The atmosphere of the night was relaxed, friendly and lively, with the room slowly filling up with groups of people who were dancing freely and uninhibitedly right from the off.
The Pickle Factory – Oval Space’s darker, moodier subsidiary venue which opened in October last year – stands as the perfect intimate space for the soulful and emotive sounds played by the New York based deep house producer.
As always, his show attracted a crowd of sincere music lovers, that steadily filtered in through the course of the rain-flecked night, gravitating straight towards the speakers and away from the cold outside. As a friend of mine said: ‘wow, everyone is really here for the music, aren’t they?’ At the centre of this all stood Fred P – equanimous and self-assured – his signature warm sound present from the start and slowly rolling out with the calm rippling movement of waves.
The night began with a chilled, sparkling and soulful ambience, but the downtempo sound gradually evolved into a more melodious and dynamic ensemble, the grooves becoming smoother and deep. Fred P is not one for giving much away – always acting rather as the composed centre of the storm that surrounds him. However, you can always tell that when his head started to bop that the song incoming had character. Highlights were plentiful and sprinkled throughout the night – including the hypnotic looping intensity of ‘Secrets’ by Golden Donna, and the soulful, honeyed vocals of Lee Ann King in Nick Holder’s house edit of ‘Desires of the Heart’. Coming after the release of his sleek and sublime Modern Architect EP earlier this year, the set veered progressively towards a darker, denser and more driving percussive sound as the night advanced, to the delight of everyone present.
It was when he dropped ‘Mouth to Mouth’ by Audion that the crowd peaked.
Fred P has a special talent as a DJ for taking his audiences on gliding and evocative voyages spanning across genres and decades. All conducted with a steadiness of hand that makes his myriad influences flow together. It will be interesting to see whether he sticks to the same sort of sound across his upcoming residency, mesmeric and magical.