In this week’s Electronic Blanket, I’m sticking to my Newcastle roots of one and a half years and plugging the local student talent around the city. Recently, I was privileged enough to receive an invitation to a very exclusive house party in Jesmond, and when I say exclusive I mean that they hired a bouncer on the door who had a very strict guest list. The party was Part 2 of a series of blowouts labelled Operation Fern Avenue (I wasn’t cool enough at the time of Part 1), and its theme was Deep Sea Divers and Shipwreck Survivors.
I’ve lived in Jesmond for almost a year now so it seems crazy that this was the first party I’ve attended in the area with actual, physical DJs performing, as opposed to a standard Spotify-to-Bluetooth-speaker setup which is usually overpowered by the shouts of sloshed students. Obviously every DJs dream is to be hailed by a club crowd eventually, but you’ve got to start somewhere and nothing can beat the community vibe of a house party, especially one with limited numbers. Once the living room had been plastered with tin foil and various inflatable marine animals were hung from the ceiling, student DJs Vandnai and Shalom completed the process of converting a Fern Avenue property into an underwater rave. In such an intimate space which enabled interaction, the social sea between DJ and dancer was bridged and it felt less like they were there to do a job, and actually part of the party themselves.
There are so many local DJs in Newcastle which I hope I can tell you about whilst I’ve got free reign of this column, but I’m going to start with a pair that produce their own music: Six Sunsets. I’ve heard a lot of hype about this duo over the past year but ignored it due to hearing the phrase ‘Six Sunsets are fucking shite’ thrown about which led me into thinking they mustn’t be worth the listen. Little did I know that this is actually the signature catchphrase that they came up with themselves, and not actually a review from disapproving listeners. I’m glad I realised this because their stuff is actually right up my street – it’s twisted and weighty with bass. Members Luke Chipping and Jake Nevens self-describe their sound better than I can, as ‘the bastard child of dubstep, breakbeat, hip-hop, UK Bass, dub, garage and hardcore all rolled into one mutant that its parents don’t really want to be seen with in public’. The Six Sunset guys themselves don’t have any problem with the public eye however, as they’ve been playing an increasing number of shows around Newcastle, including sets alongside Ivy Lab for Full Circle, and DJ Q and Benton at Shabba, two club nights at World HQ. Their first major vinyl release 6S001 is available for pre-order now so get ya hands on that.
As students in Newcastle, we’re spoilt for choice on club nights to attend and this often results in a lot of catastrophic clashes. However, far from complaining about the diversity of electronic music events, I’m going to inform you all of a fairly new night called Nocturnal Nature. This was launched in August 2015 as a weekly House and UK Urban Music night at The Cut, and following the success of this it’s now set to take the bigger venue of World HQ by storm. The guys who run the event are students at Northumbria, and have managed to book My Nu Leng collaborator Taiki Nulight as the headliner. This is just another example of students interested in electronic music working hard and achieving big things on the scene.