Fuse has been a solid fixture of London's club scene since its inception two years ago. Regularly packing them in at their home of 93 Feet East—the venue that first housed Secretsundaze—the night has fostered a fiercely loyal following and a truly balls-to-the-wall approach to partying on a Sunday. Although the music played is stereotypically deep and restrained, the crowd are relentlessly feverish and have a sense of hedonism that shows rude disregard to the idea of work the following morning. With former guests like Matthias Tanzmann and Ryan Crosson, there have been plenty of memorable nights: yet it was their 99th party, and the surprise appearance of Loco Dice, that felt like the moment Fuse truly arrived.
Photo credit: Luke Garwood
Fuse 99 was originally billed as a performance by Tini, one of Dice's Desolat cohorts and a regular guest at Fuse, and party founder Enzo Siragusa. To the unknowing eye things were business as usual; Enzo kicked off with his trademark stripped down but warm tech house style which led neatly into Tini's more upbeat but still hypnotic set. As happens every week, the Fuse following wasted no time in turning the club's small room into a sweaty mass of humanity. However, throughout both sets there was a tangible pang of anticipation as those who weren't clued up on what was to come later in the night were slowly filled in. Although Dice's performance was totally unannounced, it seemed like word had somehow got out.
When Dice did show up behind the decks, he was met with a remarkable level of adoration. It's notable that this was only his third appearance in London in two years and his appearance was greeted with the crowd turning into amateur paparazzi. Fortunately, no one stood gaping too long. As Dice kicked in to his usual locomotive house sound, you quickly got the feeling that this was going to be a truly special experience.
Jostling for position between screaming Italian girls and sweaty suburbanite club kids while most of the nation is settling down with a nice cup of tea and the Sunday papers is a slightly surreal experience and probably not for everyone. Not that the Fuse faithful seemed to care. The party's following created an atmosphere more akin to that of full-on rave than an intimate clandestine party. Sweat cascaded from the walls and air conditioning units in the main room while the club's second room—one paradoxically bigger than the main one—became packed with revellers watching Dice on a big screen. Some of the scenes, such as the DC-10 like communal mid-set sit down, were the kind rarely seen outside of Ibiza.
Photo credit: Luke Garwood
The music Dice plays is not that out of the ordinary; percussion filled tech-house with plenty of booming low end is the order of the day. But the way he puts it together is. With deft adjustments of EQ, he creates moments of excitement out of thin air while cannily using Traktor to rapidly chop in countless loops and snippets of tracks. One example saw him chopping up segments of Green Velvet's "Flash" over a clattering Luciano track creating four definable reactions in the space of two minutes. If you wanted to read too much into it you could probably say Dice's style of mixing gives a nod to his hip-hop days. Undeniably, it's one of the most effective and relentless in dance music. As he finished his set with his own "El Gallo Negro," Dice went into show-off mode, layering loops of the same track over itself to create a ridiculous quickfire re-edit. As the track faded out, the crowd literally wouldn't let him leave, screaming and whistling until he eventually capitulated and played another record. It was a moment that pretty much summed up the day.