Pryda Warehouse party in London

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  • The Pryda Warehouse party was never supposed to be a warehouse party at all. It was originally intended for superclub matter, but as a result of the club's closure earlier this year, instead took place at the Ewer Street Car Park in London's SW1. This abrupt change in venue from a purpose-built and meticulously considered clubbing environment to the small and contained industrial arches of a car park, rendered the event wholly intriguing. Would headliner Eric Prydz's big sound translate to a smaller, more underground space? Would the matter crowd warm to this new venue, if indeed they even bothered to show up at all? Photo credit: Vickie Parker A curious line-up added further layers to the intrigue surrounding the event. It was a mix of the established and the up-and-coming. As one delved deeper into the schedule of the night, it became increasingly difficult to avoid asking whether it would—or even could—be successful. Could a set by Eric Prydz, a performer whose name immediately conjures images of girls in thonged leotards and legwarmers thrusting to "Call On Me," really complement Gui Boratto, whose rise to fame within the techno world was tied to releases on Kompakt? Furthermore, did the distinctly minimal sounds of French DJ Popof and the dubby techno and house of Rossko really belong under the Pryda Warehouse cloak? Arriving at the party just after midnight, I caught Gui Boratto's set from the start. From his opening track until his finale, I was plunged (almost unaware of the growing crowd around me), into a world ruled by his distilled trancey sound. Boratto seduced the audience with anthemic tunes such as "Take My Breath Away," while intermittently dropping in remixed tracks led by dreamy female vocals such as his version of Massive Attack's "Circus Paradise." Having encountered live performances from Boratto prior to this at big festivals and mid-sized clubs, it was evidence of his ability to tailor his act to its setting. Whereas his outdoor set amongst the skeletal mineshafts of Melt last summer was beat-driven and techno-orientated, his Cable club performance earlier this year was more melodic and dancey. In this case, he paid tribute to the warm summer's evening, playing up the emotional quality of his sound. Photo credit: Vickie Parker Eric Prydz soon took to the stage, and for the next three hours largely showcased the diversity of his Pryda label. Over the course of his set, he contradicted any preconceived images of taking to the decks armed only with chart-topping hits. This isn't to say that he shied away from being a showman; whereas Boratto had the crowd captivated by the sentiment of his music, Prydz played from an onstage fortress of lasers and LED towers. Although the car park with its stone walls, graffiti and portaloos was about as far away from matter as you could get, the crowd's enthusiastic response to Prydz and the energy that surged through the room during his performance was proof that consideration of the venue as ill-fitting could only be superficial. The Funktion One system saw to it that sound quality did not disappoint, providing the entire night with impressive bass and a striking clarity. Yet, despite this obvious professionalism, it hardly took away from the relative grimy feel of the night. The arched ceilings and packed space injected a rawness into the rave that would certainly have been lost to the often overwhelming stadium-like spaces within superclubs like matter. This was not the kind of party where a toke on a cigarette could lead to being dragged out and dumped in the street like a convicted criminal. This was the kind of party where you danced like a maniac in puddle-filled concrete spaces, and where girls were hauled up onto boy's shoulders to sway in time to the music. Photo credit: Vickie Parker Having used up most of my energy over the course of Prydz's performance, I found it difficult to greet Popof with the same enthusiasm. Fortunately he read my thoughts and made his mark on the night with a set that was darker in tone and calming in its minimalism. Attention that was at first directed at the deep rhythmic patterns of tunes such as "Mr. Orange," subtly evolved to focus on tracks such as "Serenity," providing an ambience reminiscent of Boratto's earlier performance. Musically, the night evolved like a masterfully constructed album; diverse but coherent with a distinct progression that left almost every participant left looking like a hot, sweaty mess.