I arrived for SEMSU’s Electro-Juice event a little early as I had been asked to set up a laptop in collaboration with Surge and SEMSU to record the entire show. HEATH:WARD’s set has since been uploaded as a podcast, available here.
The evening kicks off Adam Greenen and, following some minor issues with the desk, we are treated to fast paced but mellow beats, blending seamlessly from one track to the next. Lots of inoffensive house and ethereal synth are perfect as more of the audience arrive, buy a few drinks and lounge on level 2, catching up as the sun goes down outside.
By the time it’s dark, Makarii has taken to the stage and the atmosphere has changed, we are confronted with notably darker, deeper basslines carrying elements of hip hop and and minimalistic house..
Chatter rises and fades as crowd focus turns towards the music and, as Cholombian gets underway, I feel like the only improvement here would be some sofas and beanbags – the event is starting to get a real lounge vibe and could probably benefit from an upgrade to The Bridge.
The volume creeps up in time for HEATH:WARD to take the stage. Dubbed “the love-child of Leftfield and The Chemical Brothers”, I was impressed by his soundcheck and am even more impressed as he gets going. Seamless beat-matching and subtle shifts in style come every couple of minutes, smoothly altering the atmosphere. This EDM strikes chords in all the right places, skilfully fusing an energetic pace with a laid back attitude and, all over the room, heads nod as muted yet animated conversations continue. This was easily my favourite set of the night.
I asked SEMSU’s President, Joe Manghan, how he felt about the event: “The quality of the DJs we had to play that night was superb. I’m overjoyed that we have such talent so close to home. A high moment for me, and I can imagine many in the room, was Cholombian’s brave choice of playing all 5 minutes of the opening music from Edward Scissorhands, in between his exquisite set of trap and hip-hop. SEMSU won’t be away for long, so stay tuned.”
From the website to their complex live set ups, I’m always struck by this society’s adherence to professionalism without losing the human touch. These events are slickly organised, meticulously run, and they provide a much needed change of scene for an audience tired of toilet venues and top 40 clubs.