By now the Bugged Out crew know what they're doing when it comes to parties. After all, they've been throwing them for 21 years now. Since their first bash — headlined by UK techno luminaries LFO — they've created a small clubbing empire, with club nights and festivals, compilations and magazines all forming part of the BO operation. Given that, it's hardly surprising that Bugged Out managed to pull together such an exciting mix of talent for their warehouse project Halloween special, with the likes of Carl Craig, Tiga, Skream and Daniel Avery all making appearances.
As usual the atmosphere was buzzing upon arrival at the warehouse below Piccadilly station. With sets well distributed between rooms one and two, it was necessary to tactically switch dance-floors throughout the night. We started on a great foot wading through the already fast moving crowd to get to the Paul Woolford and Gerd Janson B2B (more on that later). From that point on the night effortlessly proved to live up to expectations. Because we're really nice, we've decided to give you the lowdown on our highlights.
THUMP'S HERO OF THE NIGHT: CARL CRAIG
Alright we know it's obvious. Still, Carl Craig absolutely owned his closing slot. Delivering a strong and varied mix that still stayed true his Detroit roots, his calculated selection of tracks had the sweaty droves literally gawping in awe. Using Octave One's "Black Water" to ease us into his groove, the crowd later gratefully received Gary Beck's "Say What" – in what was one of the best reactions of the evening. We've heard him do it before but his use of the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey as a set interim worked a treat. It was the kind of moment where —even if you've seen it happen before— you wrap your arm round your friend's shoulder and tell him it's "more than just playing records". Craig showed us once again why he deserves that headline status.
THE SECRET WEAPON – FELIX DICKINSON
With an encyclopaedic knowledge of Balearic, cosmic disco, acid house and everything in between, Felix Dickinson was a stellar choice for Store Street's second room — a space that isn't always the easiest place for selectors or dancers. On Saturday night it was sweltering and the sheer length of the space can make it quite imposing on a first visit. Luckily, our secret weapon of the night was there to turn it into a joyful nirvana for the best part of 90 minutes. Dickinson — an early associate of DJ Harvey from back in the Zap days — is one of those rare things: a crate digging party DJ. His set was full of beguilingly brilliant cuts (see below), that had the Shazam gang out in force.
TRACK OF THE NIGHT
It was our secret weapon who ended up drawing for our track of the night. Dickinson was spinning record after record that we'd never heard before, but we did recognise this one. Watching the crowd react in the manner they did to his slightly more esoteric selections was a testament to both his ability as a selector and the kind of open minded crowd that both WHP and Bugged Out have picked up over the years. This tune was a highlight of the night out and a perfect song to soundtrack our senselessness the morning after.
TIGA GOT EVERYONE EXCITED…EVEN IF THEY DIDN'T WANT TO BE
There's no arguing that Tiga managed to work everyone into frenzy with his live set before passing the torch onto Daniel Avery. This was particularly the case when performing his own track "Mind Dimension". Hearing and seeing this track delivered live seemed to add that special something needed to send everyone bouncing off the walls. Even if people started off laughing, they ended up earnestly fist-pumping and singing along to the hook, "Every time I look in to your eyes I see the future". It's also great fun to hear a DJ fearlessly shout "Happy Halloween!" at a party. A bold and irresistible outing from the Montreal native and emblematic of Bugged Out's enduring taste for barefaced fun.
GERD JANSON AND PAUL WOOLFORD'S BACK-TO-BACK WAS ONE OF THE MOST CLEARLY BACK-TO-BACK BACK-TO-BACKS WE'VE EVER WITNESSED
Yep, we know this video is technically cheating. Sorry.
There's been a few very special collaborative sets across this year's WHP season. Nothing played out in quite as blissfully a binary fashion as seasoned polyonymous purveyor of the underground Paul Woolford going cut-for-cut with Running Back head honcho Gerd Janson. Firstly, their set was a perfect appetiser for proceedings in the main room. They steered the masses firmly towards fever pitch with a super-tight set which firmly introduced newcomers to their individual record collections. If the hazy silhouettes behind the decks didn't give it away – the eyes-down icier selections of Woolford would smoothly transition into the defiantly upbeat sounds of Janson. No move sums up Gerd's sweltering side of the coin quite like his choice to drop Joakim's rework of Todd Terje's "Strandbar".
Despite both being well known and experienced names, this set was proof that Bugged Out – even after two decades – are offering of much more than just yearly bouts of nostalgia for woebegone ravers who can no longer take the whole weekend off work to get to Bognor Regis. Ignoring that one guy in the Joy Division t-shirt who was making really loud noises that weren't words, this was a halloween spectacular rooted firmly in the now.