The Village Underground made for the perfect venue for Secretsundaze to host their acclaimed Sunday party. With huge skylights allowing natural light to flood the huge Victorian space, there was a relaxed daytime vibe but with all the advantages of a roofed party on a drizzly day and the atmosphere that generates. As the afternoon went on, the light and airy room morphed into a dark and hazy space where neon messages appeared on the wall and golden flickers of light were sent spinning around the room from the large disco ball that hung from the ceiling. The visual transformation of the room ran perfectly parallel with the music to create a total and thoroughly enjoyable invasion of the senses.
Photo credit: James Lange
Building an atmosphere is certainly an art, and it's one that Giles Smith and James Priestley have mastered—particularly when at the helm of their own parties. Their ability to warm up a crowd ahead of their guests' slots and then cool them back down again is second to none—just one of several factors that has managed to set their Secretsundaze parties ahead of its copious London rivals. As usual, the pair took to the decks early and in their typically unassuming manner, kept the dance floor alive with a constant stream of lively and percussive tracks. As the venue began to fill, the duo delved into deeper territory, sending the crowd into hypnotic appreciation as the event gathered pace.
23-year old Wbeeza was up next and received a fond welcome from the crowd as he took over the reins to deliver his raw and unique take on all things house. The south London native flew straight out of the blocks and played exactly the kind of tireless set that has built the lofty reputation of his live performances. Sporting a pair of the finest shades this side of Shoreditch, and a grin any Cheshire cat would be proud of, Wbeeza clearly enjoyed his performance.
With darkness now pouring through the skylights, the room had transformed into an atmospheric whirlpool of smoke and lazers for Âme's headline slot. Kristian Beyer was the sole representative of the duo, but it didn't take him long to set the house alight. A firm favourite with Secretsundaze, his blend of old and new is always understood and appreciated by this crowd. No moment summed this up more appropriately than when a modern edit of Lil Louis's "Club Lonely" brought the entire house down. He continued to lay down groovy basslines, often with a funked up and deep house feel, with the crowd lapping up each track to the very end.
Photo credit: James Lange
So with Âme's fusion of current and classic tied in with the venue's accentuation of light and dark—this was truly the perfect afternoon to see what Secretsundaze is all about. As the night drew to a close it became apparent that everyone in attendance, whether a first timer or a seasoned veteran, was in agreement.