Set in the renovated Elektrowerkz, a single room held the techno, with breathing space in a spacious area with pool tables and a reasonable bar, and a smoking area, all arranged cosily. Complementary, rather than attention-hogging, visuals ran behind the decks, and the lighting was similarly cool, but familiar and subordinate—green lasers, etc. It seemed that from the room itself to the dynamics presented by the layout, everything was tuned, ultimately, to simply maximise the efficiency and impact of the pressure waves coming out of the speakers.
Photo credit: Martin Lesanto-Smith
Degiorgio set the scene, with clean drums, the volume and clarity of the high-mids in the system also helping to pop out their sharply rhythmic qualities. Slater then took it on a course directed more by melodic lines, and Sims charged out the end, with vinyl control but still no slack in the beatmatching. But all of it sounded fresh. And rightly so: Almost certainly a good chunk of what they were playing was unreleased.
This all adds up to a draw for the music lover rather than the trend follower, and the unpretentious crowd were accordingly up for enthusing about Sandwell District or the CLR podcasts. The small size also meant you quickly got to know people and see them round. It seems that, by trimming the excess so as not to dilute, Machine have hit upon a purer form of what's great about underground techno clubbing.