- Batu and co. deliver a memorable homecoming show.
- It's been five years since Batu’s Cardinal stole our hearts. His label, Timedance, is currently at the forefront of Bristol's fringe techno scene, following in the footsteps of outlets like Livity Sound, Happy Skull and Punch Drunk. Thanks to stellar guests and an emphasis on inclusivity on the dance floor, Timedance also quickly became one of the city's key club nights. That Batu chose The Trinity Centre, a community-based space, for the party's birthday homecoming felt ideal.
Very rarely am I so excited for a night that I can't sleep. But in the lead up to Saturday, all I could hear was disjointed kick drums and off-beat synths. Anina, a key figure in the Bristol scene and a Timedance regular, opened the party, showing the crowd why she's one of the most sought-after DJs around. Metrist, who released one of my favourite EPs on Timedance as L.SAE in 2015, layered sounds and switched tempo with ease, displaying a real sound-design approach to DJing.
Shackleton did what he does best: banger after banger, drums upon drums, cheeky riddims that were always lively but never tired you out. The crowd was energised and ready for more chaos. Enter Giant Swan—you know things are gonna get wild when Robin Stewart takes his top off. Raucous and yet completely in tune with one another, the duo's live, brash electronics put the crowd in a trance. One particularly enthusiastic raver shouted over the noise: "cor blimey, what a belter!"
One of the most important aspects of any night is the sound. Weighty, powerful and clear, Saturday's Sinai Sound System consumed you wherever you stood. The ground-level booth added a layer of intimacy needed in such a large venue. Timedance, after all, is as much about the people as the music. Genuine friendliness and warm smiles all round made the experience extra special.
By the time Batu stepped up, everyone was eager for more bass, more drums and more bangers. Keeping it real at 140 BPM, he switched between dubstep, grime and club, merging pacey sub-genres into one super-genre. Kode9's remix of "Skeng" by The Bug was met with a string of "Oi Ois" and "fak offs." The room was still packed as the lights went up. The crowd was desperate to carry on—I'm pretty sure I even saw someone shed a tear. I get why: this was one of the best nights I've ever had in Bristol.
Photo credit /
Photography by Ollie Kirk For Here & Now