A Love from Outer Space is the cosy brainchild of pals Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston. It's a third-Thursday-of-the-month get-together that has kept the folk of East London entertained with unique beats and quirky gems for the past few years. Just recently, the Thursday night philosophy paid dividends: It was the beginning of the Easter weekend, where the night could be approached with wild abandonment and no fear that usually accompanies school-night-raving. It was also an excuse to celebrate Weatherall's three-disc mix for Ministry of Sound that was soon due to hit shops.
Weatherall has been labelled a "dance music veteran" more times than anyone would care to mention, but it seems necessary to pay homage to his many years at the forefront of the electronic music scene. He was crafting Essential Mixes when half of today's clubbers were in nappies, all while playing house, techno, disco, funk, rockabilly and everything in between to crowds across the world. Working alongside one-half of the Hardway Brothers and London rave-den Cable resident Sean Johnston, this was a team that had mastered the tried-and-tested combination of a good atmosphere and a "no music policy" music policy. Joining the founders were Berlin duo Trickski, Daniel Avery under his Stopmakingme moniker and Glaswegians JD Twitch and JG Wilkes, AKA Optimo.
Photo credit: Daddy's Got Sweets
Upon entering the club, Weatherall and Johnston were playing dubby and sleazy slo-mo creepers. Traipsing through the dingy corridors and into the smaller second room, Dan Avery was enticing those seeking a little more energy into the fold, with a BPM speed that was still on the ploddier side of the spectrum but with rumbling basslines that made your ears itch. Avery has made a name for himself through his razor sharp productions, regular slots at Bugged Out!, a residency at Fabric and as the founder of the Kill Em All label. He showcased a series of records that that were rave-heavy yet diverse, with undercurrents of electro, snifters of acid house and waves of breaks and early '80s riffs. Avery treated his packed dance-floor to Intruder's acid house /techno crossover "Amame," and when the decision was made to drop Lil Louis' "French Kiss," it was received with hollers, whistles and stomping of feet before Optimo took over.
It was anyone's guess what aural direction the Glasgow duo would send listeners before they began, but it became apparent very quickly that this little sweatbox was to continue with the groove-heavy vibes following Avery's exit, with another two hours of fist pumping to one-half of Optimo JD Twitch. (Far removed from the "sleazy post-punk nuggets to apocalyptic disco bombs" billed on ALFOS's original blurb.) As much fun as that was, once Wilkes, the second half of Optimo took over (following some sound issues which almost saw the set cut short), it was time to seek out some of these disco oddities that had been anticipated from the evening.
Upon taking a trip back to room one, it was clear that the dark disco soul vibes were being condensed into one hazy package, as the A Love from Outer Space heads took back the decks from Trickski after their two-hour set. Inebriated groups of girls in frocks and moustachioed guys in shirts waved their arms and sang along under the 4 AM pink lights as the twosome played their narcotic grooves, until the gaudy strip lights were lit and it was time for the squinting revellers to leave their bubble and journey home—overall, a successful start to the Easter break and a lot more fun than church.