The news of Sandwell District ceasing to exist as a label made their latest showcase at The Bunker just that bit sweeter. The nine-year-strong techno and house night provides Brooklyn (and originally Manhattan) with some of the city's premiere electronic music lineups and this night was no exception. It was only a touch after midnight and already the mysteriously balaclava'd and hooded maestro Rrose had enveloped the back room of Public Assembly in a swirling vortex of peak-time bangers. By this stage, the venue, which usually fills up much later on in the night, was already packed to the gills with an extremely receptive crowd of head-bobbers and dancers.
The front room provided a stark contrast to the first, as it remained moderately empty with resident Eric Cloutier spinning deep, warm house tracks which set the room's tone for most of the evening. It provided a welcome respite from the sonic carnage of Sandwell, and many punters seemed to enjoy their short breaks before diving into the back room for more.
This was not the case for the energetic live headliners of the front room, Juju & Jordash. The live set was a vibrant and complex display of musicianship combined with brilliant tracks, and aided by a melodica and hardware. The ante was further upped when Morphosis joined Jordash (who was performing without Juju this night) onstage and added what looked like an 808 and an MS-20 into the mix. The jacking music took on a deeper almost cosmic realm during the collaboration, which lasted up until Cloutier took the room back for the last hour.
I was jumping in between the front and back rooms quite a bit during this time, especially once Function took the reins. Time ceased to exist during his pummeling set of throbbing techno with tracks from Lemon 8, Shed and Mike Dunn leading the way until he finally closed with Laurent Garnier's classic "Acid Eiffel." The lights were turned down even more than usual during his set, which made the experience of being enveloped in his take-no-prisoners set that bit more blissfully disorientating.
The Bunker can sometimes suffer from a lack of dancing, but this wasn't the case at all throughout the night, especially in the Sandwell District-dominated back room. It's a shame that this exceptional label is hanging up its hat, but at least there's the promise that the artists involved will still continue playing out.