Review: Jeff Mills & Ben Klock At The Hydra

Art & Culture

When reflecting upon London’s nightlife in years to come this moment in time will be seen as dark, uneasy and unsettling. As I write this fabric is undergoing it’s well publicised licensing review which for better or for worse has set a precedence for the state of London clubbing in 2016. We have a night tube with nowhere to go and everything is expensive…

Thankfully for at least a short while we can rely on The Hydra to bring a glimmer of hope to our capital, for now.

Running intermittently from September to New Year’s Day The Hydra this year welcomes Floating Points, Theo Parrish, Ben UFO and Moodymann to soundtrack it’s winter season. For one of its first, and in my humble opinion the biggest, parties of the season we saw Jeff Mills, Ben Klock, James Ruskin, DVS1, Lakker and many more take over the confines of Wapping’s Studio Spaces in what was an eleven hour, Berlin inspired rave. 

Wandering into the basement maze that is Studio Spaces we were first greeted with Ireland’s Lakker providing the doom in the main room. Originating from Dublin Lakker on one side created suspense with tunnel driven, Drexciya-inspired electronica reminiscent of the sci-fi leanings of Detroit techno. On the other side they created expansive, and at times overbearing, soundscapes from a dark world, something which would fit between No Man’s Sky and the upside down from Stranger Things.

This episode of The Hydra was not for the faint of heart, something we realised after our stint watching Regis and Dvs1 tear it down in room 1 and room 2 respectively. Once we made it through to 7am with the help of around 5 litres of water and an industrial fan in the seating area it was time for the night’s headliners: Jeff Mills and Ben Klock. Somewhat expected due to his intergalactic leanings Jeff kick started his set with Cerrone’s ‘Supernature’, an immediate welcomed relief from the 4/4 battery we’d taken over the past six hours.

From that point onwards the night merged between Ben’s big room techno to Jeff’s otherworldly 909 wizardry, at times taking a near 10-minute intermission to simply demonstrate his prowess behind arguably the most famous drum machine of all time. We hit the daylight around 9am, eyes worn, a slight ringing in the ears, t-shirts sodden and brain slightly worse for wear. If 2016 will be cited as the year in which London clubbing began its decline then at least we’ll be going out with a bang.

Photos courtesy of Jake Davis. 

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