OK: So it was only Ali playing this night, but to say that he was superb would be an understatement. It was a relentless sonic assault which lasted for a regrettably short two hours, dictated by Ireland's draconian licensing laws. His set was soulful, muscular and for many people I spoke to, the first inklings that techno and not electro house might be the genre for them.
In the next room was dubstep king Skream, while electrohouser Fake Blood and Mad Decent man Diplo took control of proceedings in Tripod, the largest of the four rooms. Something to suit everyone then. Sure, the minimal techno aficionados can be a pretentious pain in the ass, but I couldn't help feel that the majority of the crowd here were wasting their time watching Fake Blood. I popped in towards the end of his set, and lo and behold "Mars" was emitting from the Funktion One. Too predictable for my liking.
I headed back to Tiefschwarz and to my regret, a half-hour into his set the dance floor was still half-full—or half-empty depending on your viewpoint. I've seen Damian Lazarus in Dublin in similar circumstances and on that occasion the look of dread on his face was enough to know he'd rather have been elsewhere. Luckily, Ali didn't let the situation bother him and he ripped through a fresh sounding set featuring Jamie Jones and a few of Tiefscwarz's new productions.
It was at about half-two that I imagined that Diplo must've been giving it loads to the kids in Tripod. Apparently it's predominantly electro, with a few surprises thrown in to the mix but I was hesitant to leave Tiefschwarz for even a moment. Towards the end of the night the room has slowly packed up in what I view as a testament to the skills of the man behind the decks. Despite the sudden popularity of electro house, thankfully there is still just enough room in Dublin for underground music.