Orson warmed up with Hops, a Hard Wax staff member and regular producer on Version's label. The duo eased in with a string of atmospheric house records, all of which bore some subtle connection to bass music—for instance, Kevin Saunderson's "Just Another Chance," an early example of the Reese bassline that would become a cornerstone of jungle. Hops turned the heat up with a bunch of classy rave tunes, all of which were a total mystery to me—lots of breaks, lots of stabs, all of it perfectly measured and expertly deployed. As Thomson got ready to play, Hops brought the party to an early peak with Pearson Sound's "Untitled"—one of the Hessle Audio producer's two big moments that night.
By the time Ben UFO started, the room was packed to the gills—people were dancing on the benches that line the small room, and the queue outside, now full of people hopping over from Wax Treatment (where, oddly enough, Mala was playing), had slowed to a halt. Thomson spent an hour or so maneuvering through spooky house and techno before arriving at the night's main vibe: slamming, irregular grooves, exemplified by tracks like Asusu's "Serra" and Pearson Sound's "Blanked" (the night's biggest track). Dancing modestly and sipping his beers, silhouetted by the orange light on the white tiles behind him, Thomson stayed at full-tilt for the entire three-and-a-half-hour set, gliding through a seemingly endless sequence of angular rhythms and crafty drops. The sweaty, teeming room was utterly locked in.
Around 6:30 AM Thomson handed the reins back to Orson and Hops, who saw the night out with a blistering medley of jungle and dub, as flawlessly executed as their earlier set (even the small mistakes felt professional, like Orson's deft removal of a dust bunny, or Hops's decision to flip the final record, a massive vocal reggae tune, mid-track). Thomson watched the whole thing from the front right corner, smiling and dancing till the lights came on at 8 AM.