Much has been made of Proud2 predecessor, matter, and its inability to pull a crowd during its short tenure at Greenwich's 02 complex. By London standards, the club's in a virtual no-man's land, wedged on the "wrong side of the river" in the city's Docklands area. Skip the complimentary shuttle bus from North Greenwich station and one could almost trick themselves into thinking they were making the mission to an abandoned warehouse rave, such is the desolate industrial setting that flanks the Thames-lined path to the club.
Just recently Proud2 was a wonderfully weird juxtaposition of the commercial mixed with the countercultural, as progressive psy-leaning Halycon hosted a lineup more suited to a side stage at Boom festival than a venue modelled on a "Las Vegas-style clubbing experience." Nevertheless, the contrasts were titillating: a couple of poi spinners honed their craft at the back of the dance floor, while scantily clad Jagermeister girls circled the club spruiking shooters; guys rocking dreadlocks grooved side-by-side with a gaggle of 9-to-5ers still wearing shirts from the office, while, all throughout the club, the aroma of neglected underarms lingered in the air.
The music was the great equaliser. D-Nox & Beckers, playing London for the first time since the release of their album Distance, eschewed deep, jazzy vibes and worked their way through tribal, bleepy tech house and upfront progressive house before finishing with King Roc's stomping re-rub of their 2008 cut "Beefcake."
Minilogue duo Sebastian Mullaert and Marcus Henriksson played a rare gig under their Son Kite moniker, but focused on musical hypnotism over the rolling psytrance that established the project. The Swedes eased it into first gear with subtle acid warbles and sparse tech percussion that gradually morphed into spiralling thumping prog, before a eccentric xylophone key patterns spilled through the speakers. You could be forgiven for thinking that Mullaert and Henriksson were channelling Shpongle.
If D-Nox & Beckers and Son Kite had been the foreplay, Ticon sealed the deal with sixty minutes of uncompromising, reverb-heavy progressive. The buzzing, bass-heavy sonics that inspired regular groans of pleasure from the crowd were definitive proof that it's well worth making the trip beyond the usual party haunts of London Bridge, Shoreditch, Hackney and Farringdon to seek dance floor pleasure.