It's hard enough to review an event when you've contacted a promoter to get on the guestlist, and they ply you with free drink tickets when you get in the door. But when your website's logo is on little cardboard circles behind one of the DJ booths and scattered around the interior of the club, it's nigh on impossible. Needless to say, there are conflicts of interest ahoy in reviewing We Love...RA. So let's acknowledge them, nod their way and move along. OK? OK.
There are some indisputable facts we can present: There is nothing else like We Love... at Space on the White Isle. No club has enough rooms to work with. No promoter has enough interest in talking to so many different people to ensure that each room is radically different than the last. On this particular Sunday, we had Carl Craig and Derrick May headlining the Discoteca; Matthew Dear, Steve Lawler and Miss Kittin at the terrace; Motor City Drum Ensemble, jozif and Ryan O'Gorman spinning records in the Red Box; and Tirk and Bear Funk DJs cooling things down in El Salon. (There are rooms that I'm forgetting, by the way. Possibly two or more.) It's a dizzying proposition.
Photo credit: Sophia Spring
What's more fascinating, though, is how well-suited each DJ seemed to be to the room that they were placed in. Craig and May delighted in playing nothing but big room techno with Craig often extending breakdowns well past their expiration date. Lawler was absolutely masterful in keeping his breakdowns tight and economical, ensuring the Terrace stayed right with him throughout his set—perhaps the best of the night. The trio in the Red Box (and other assorted Burlington Project DJs) could get more exuberant because of the tiny dance floor. Afforded the best opportunity to bang and educate, MCDE was just as apt to drop obscure deep house as he was Tony Lionni's "Found a Place."
Unlike other nights where you're forced to place all your hopes in one or two DJs delivering a fantastic performance, We Love... has the unique advantage of weathering a dud or two. Every time I got bored, I had plenty of other options. Who knows? Maybe the DJ upstairs was playing the set of their life. Say what you will about the crowd, the club, the whatever, it's a credit to the group's curatorial team that they don't take that advantage for granted.