Life at THUMP isn't a constant barrage of pummelling, club-shaking 4/4 kicks. Even we, from time to time, like to lose ourself in something that doesn't immediately get us rolling out fists in the air like pavlovian pugs. Over the last year or so, Nabihah Iqbal's been soundtracking our quieter moments. Her music as Throwing Shade is all subtlety and wooze, shimmer and gauze, hauntological digital bubblebath music, skewed avant'n'b that sounds like James Ferraro if James Ferraro had spent his youth soaking up the eclectic soundscape that is London's multiverse of radio stations, record shop wafts, and half-remembered songs half-remembered from walks past clubs late at night.
In addition to her studio output, Iqbal's DJ sets and her bi-weekly show broadcast from the coolest hut in the world —the NTS studio — show her to be a keen scholar of truly global sounds. We decided to be a tiny bit reductive and asked her to wander round her memories of London and have a think about her favourite club experiences past and present. The following ten of the best are presented in no order.
Copeland Industrial Estate, Peckham
This was the most fun outdoor/warehouse space for parties in London but sadly it no longer exists in the way it did — I think Converse took it over and made it look all snazzy. I went to so many good parties at Copeland, which lasted all night 'til the morning. There would be two or three different spaces, each with its own soundsystem, and you could wander in and out. There was a big open space in the middle where people would hang out. It was best in the summer. I really miss those nights.
Principals at Dance Tunnel
This is such a fun party run by the super DJ trio that consists of Bradley Zero, Nic Tasker and Charles Drakeford. Guaranteed 100% tunes and every time I've been, I basically didn't stop dancing for the whole night.
FWD at Plastic People
Another party spot which no longer exists. Rinse FM's FWD night was/is such a good showcase of underground and up-and-coming London music, especiially with regard to genres such as grime, UK funky, dubstep etc. I think it happened at Plastic People until mid-2013, and then moved to Dance Tunnel, where it still takes place. I just remember how conducive Plastic People's wall of speakers was to all the heavy bass sounds.
This is a night that I used to run together with my friend and fellow producer Felicita. We used to put it on at various venues around South and East London and it was basically us and a bunch of our mates getting together and sharing all the music we'd been making. We both performed live/DJed at these events, and we had people like SOPHIE, Palmistry, and Ana Caprix all coming through as well. The nights were always so much fun and I really hope we can rekindle it at some point! Everyone is just so busy with their own things these days but I'm sure we can make it happen again.
Rhythm Section at Canavan's Pool Club
One of my ultimate favourite dancing parties in London! It's become a bit of a phenomenon nowadays and is always completely rammed, but I remember the early days when it just felt extra special. It's run by Bradley Zero and happens once or twice a month, on a Saturday night. It's a total sweat box and people dance so hard. I always feel really happy when I'm there.
The Pattern-Cutting Factory, Dalston
This is a warehouse space in a big building right by the canal, on Kingsland Road. There used to be loads of really good parties on here. I think Top Nice used to put a night on. I think the space is still there but I'm not sure if parties still happen.
Visions Video Bar, Dalston
Visions will always have a special place in my heart! It's a grimey, sweaty little basement club on the Kingsland Road and it's mostly full of pervy guys but it's always fun! They usually play R&B, bashment, hip-hop, that kind of thing... It gets super packed and seems to be the club that stays open the latest on the 'Dalston strip' so people always head there after other parties. It's an important place to me because it's the place where I played my first ever live show as Throwing Shade.
The A and the E
This is a night run by James Massiah, a poet/DJ/thinker, at different venues around town. The music, energy and crowd is always good and everyone dances a lot.
Bushes at Life, Old Street
I DJed at this night once and it was a really cool little party. It's run by a guy called Danny Pickthall and it takes place in the basement of a sushi restaurant called Life on Old Street. It's an amazing spot: pretty basic with bare concrete, but the soundsystem is good and it's kinda off the beaten track when it comes to going out spots in East London, which makes it feel more special.
Special at Le Baron, Mayfair
This is my own night that I put on from time to time around London. When I first started doing it, I held it at Le Baron, in Mayfair — now known as The Scotch. I wanted to put on a party in Central London, because there weren't any really good parties that happened in Central. They were always in East or South. It was a really fun night! I just used to get different friends down to play. I had people like Bradley Zero, Jon Rust, SOPHIE, Nic Tasker, and Darq E Freakr all playing and they all always brought the party! Obviously! It's been a few months since I've put it on because I'm just so busy with other things at the moment, but hopefully I can start it up again in the near future...
Throwing Shade's Fate Xclusive EP is out now on No Pain in Pop. You can listen to, and buy it, here.