Seven days have passed since we enjoyed a special party from one of London’s most esteemed party starters, but the momentous memory of Fuse’s birthday weekend remains deeply ingrained in our conscience. Ten years of partying, ten years of celebrations. It was a righteous occasion, one that cemented the reputation of a homegrown London brand as the respected party that it is. Classic grooves, an ebullient crowd and a tasteful atmosphere that indicated the Fuse family were back in town.
What started as a Sunday morning afterparty in the heart of Shoreditch has now grown into a globally respected party imprint. But, in last weekends instance, things were brought back right to where they started all those years ago: a Sunday morning afterparty at 93 Feet East. This isn’t our first Fuse, nor our last, but it’s certainly the most special one we’ve attended.
It is impossible to choose a standout set from either session, simply because every performance had its niche. Each had a slight spark, generated by each artist’s unrelenting ability to mix seamlessly. But it was the craftsmanship that really hit home, burgeoning the emotional turmoil that had been bubbling under the surface since an abrupt exit in 2012. This was a homecoming, after all, and one that had been long overdue.
Part One – Studio 338
We began the evening session in a midst of outright anticipation. Our last Fuse dose had been a month ago, where the Halloween Infuse party delivered an exceptional collection of unreleased gems. As such our next encounter had been long overdue. Upon arrival, it was evident that the acoustics in the Greenwich venue had been tweaked, as The Terrace thumped with driving kicks intertwined with unanimously crisp hi-hats. Each resident forged a performance that set the tone of the evening perfectly, as time soon passed in a flurry of lights and thumping beats.
Worth particular mention was the performance from Michael James, whose set in The Loft was as low-key as it was impressive. Finding the upstairs room was a mission in itself but, once there, the soundtrack was simply impossible to move from. Low ceilings and pulsing red light formed the backdrop for a set that had an audience whooping and cheering right the way through, with an atmosphere that felt more intimate than that of downstairs. It was a simple set up, but one that delivered the goods. A particularly good moment was hearing Rossi‘s RKinN, the B2 of the very first release from Modula Records. A driving minimal cut, all hands were in the air as the wobbling bass was brought in to a suitably receptive crowd.
Downstairs, production took centre stage, as the light screens behind the stage showed photos of some of the memories that had been made over the years. Photos of Enzo, Seb, and Rich from the early days had us grinning from cheek to cheek, as smoke cannons and confetti showers peppered the dancefloor. Cheesy? Not in the slightest. This was a genuine party, one that celebrated the Fuse ethos in an emotionally positive manner. To reminisce or to simply get a flavour for what things were like at the Greenwich venue, have a watch of Enzo’s set here. It doesn’t disappoint.
Part two – 93 Feet East
Whilst that cozy, home-like feeling that comes from the usual showcases at Village Underground was slightly understated given the scale of Studio 338, the afterparty was where the family feel truly blossomed. This was hands down the star of the show. Sandwiched nearly cheek-by-jowl in the renowned Shoreditch room, as residents flittered in and out of the booth, the role of the DJs in this rather excitable household were evident: provide a constant beat to keep all of the family entertained. Familiar faces and new ones alike bopped along to a rolling rhythm, one that hopped around the space like a yo-yo. An unreleased record from The Willers Brothers was a highlight played by Rossko, alongside a number of classics from Fuse’s back catalogue. Beefy, chunky, dubby, groovy… all suitable adjectives for a sound that’s inextricably linked to the Shoreditch venue we found ourselves in.
The atmosphere was electric, as people crammed past each other to eke out the small pockets of space that adorned the room. Once you were in, it was hard to leave, with people relentlessly funneling in. But the second room offered the perfect contrast to the first. With a similarly thumping soundtrack, provided throughout the day by the likes of Ittetsu and Lee Rands, the freeness to move and dance without being cramped provided a welcome respite to the heaving nature of the main room. Whilst the atmosphere may not have been as thriving at points, the records being played were just as punchy.
By 6 pm we had to call it a night. Rolling right the way through from the previous session had begun to take its toll, as we stumbled out onto the thriving bustle of Brick Lane. We were upset we hadn’t stayed until the end, but our necessary dose had been administered. The Fuse sound is addictive, as the bleepy squeaky madness reals you in with vigour, before bouncing you around in a flurry of excitement.
Upon reflection, we had no complaints. None at all. The atmosphere in 93 Feet East was something money simply can’t buy, one that we will no doubt remember for years to come. As goosebumps and shivers continue to present themselves at the thought of how good that party truly was, there is only one thing left to say.
To the Fuse boys and all those involved, we salute you.
The next Fuse event will be taking place at Village Underground on the 1st of January, featuring three back-to-back sets from the likes of Enzo and Seb, Subb-an and Adam Shelton, and Rich NxTand East End Dubs. Tickets for Part One are available here.
The Fuse 10 U.S tour will also be taking place in February next year, from Brooklyn to Miami and Chicago to Los Angeles. All details and tickets available here.
Photo Credit: Kris Humphreys