On arrival at UNIT, which seemed to me like an odd venue for this sort of club-night anyway, it was immediately apparent that the place was spectacularly empty. Despite this, the SEMSU DJs were already managing to create a decent atmosphere to somewhat fill up the empty spaces. By the time Cholombian (2nd on the bill) had started playing, the place had filled up a little and the ambiance was much more lively as the young producer rolled out an ever-intriguing set, most notable towards the end as the songs became more fast-paced and dance-y, presumably to build some hype for the headline act, Mr Ryan Hemsworth. He certainly succeeded, as when Hemsworth took the stage, the still sparsely populated room was filled with energy, and for good reason.
Ryan delivered a diverse and consistently brilliant set of his own brand of electronic music, coloured with sounds of hip-hop, r&b, grime, soul, dance, many more. Each tune brought something new and interesting to the table, and the set flowed seamlessly. Always original, never overstated. There was also plenty for the audience to join in with – remixes of the likes of R Kelly, Usher, Dizzee Rascal and Craig David (a Southampton local believe it or not) as well as the odd familiar sample kept the crowd eager for more. It was, in fact, Ryan’s remix of ‘Fill Me In’ by Craig David that got me interested in his music in the first place, and as soon as it dropped the room was instantly enlivened and this was no-doubt a highlight of the evening. It was easy to get lost in such a soundscape and before I knew it an hour had passed and the headline set was sadly coming to a close. Past the initial skepticism, the night turned out to be thoroughly enjoyable and chilled; and I left feeling privileged to have attended one of the Canadian’s few Europe shows, even if it was hugely under-attended. If you’re a fan of electronic music at all, I’d strongly recommend you look up Ryan Hemsworth.