Foreign Muck

By Benjamin Lehmann

The Foreign Muck parties have been bringing a wealth of exciting musicians over from the continent these past three months. D'Julz, who is celebrated for his acid-driven funk sound, and Luciano, a Genevoise master of the new electro, have already guested.

This time round it was Ivan Smagghe of Blackstrobe fame on duty, with residents Boris Horel and Greg Sonata playing deputy. Ivan’s music will be familiar to many of you: the groove is slow and jacking, something like disco, driven by frantic hi-hats and searing hooks. Boris and Greg reside at Sketch in the West End, and are well-known for their SOS parties. They get quickly down to business with some choice electro cuts from German labels like Microlux, then head towards more housey pastures, taking in a great new mix of Poodle Records' Never Gonna Make It en route. The Key have done a great job with the sound system, and far from swallowing the tunes, it reveals the intensely detailed sound design that has gone into both percussive and instrumental layers. Ivan Smagghe takes control around 3am with some truly poisonous songs, full of the influence the new romantics have had on his sound. It's very funky, it's very dark, and the assembled love it. Jacking bodies crowd out the dance floor right into the early hours of the morning, as Smagghe explores more brooding corners of the music, making use of some quality breaks to keep the pace up. New cuts from Swayzak and his own Blackstrobe are particularly devastating. At 6am the atmosphere is still electric.

This is a group of producers who are taking a new approach to their equipment, pushing familiar electro sounds into unfamiliar territory and letting them stand proud in the mix. But nights like this show how much there is for the body in the sound, and how devastating it can be on the dance floor. Foreign Muck returns on December 5 with a special appearance from Jef K, head honcho of the Crack & Speed label.
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