33 & 1/3 Presents: Stanton Warriors - 3.9.2004
Author: Cameron Adams
Monday, September 6, 2004Outside: rain, eight degrees, worst party atmosphere ever. Inside: jackets off, 33 1/3, fullest Prince of Wales I've ever experienced. Wherever they go, the Stanton Warriors are renowned for bringing the ultimate party vibe with them. There's just something so jump-around-and-have-fun about their sound that it manages to lift the spirits of the darkest soul, and it's the reason they draw such a crowd. At 12:30 there was just enough room to move without spilling your drink over someone. That wasn't going to last long, but luckily Brewster wasn't giving us time to relax because the tracks he was throwing down forcibly moved you onto the dancefloor and wouldn't loosen their grip. Brewster's a pure veteran who knows exactly how to cater his set to the night -- in this case a bunch of funky, bass booming, breakbeat monsters that fitted in perfectly to the Stanton sound. Midway through his set he played one of the tunes of the night, an absolutely huge guitar wall of sound that filled the Prince of Wales corner to corner; turned me around halfway to the bar.
As 2 o'clock approached, Brewster dropped in a bootleg sampling the infamous rastafarian drawl from Prodigy's "Out of Space", and you knew the time had come. That dancehall-meets-huge-breakbeat signature sound of the Stantons signified their arrival, and they loudly applauded Brewster along with a fully appreciative audience as he wound the Prodigy down into silence. Then, with one finger, Dominic pressed play and ignited the Prince for the next 3 and a half hours.
I've never seen a dancefloor get *more* crowded as it approaches 4am, but the Stanton Warrios managed to do it -- people jamming onto the floor, spilling over into the bars, trying to find some space to move to their infectious sound. The first hour was full of funk, typified by the Freestylers meeting with the Plump DJs in "Push Up". While Dominic worked the CDJs, Mark spent most of his time mixing from the Apple laptop which he'd brought along. I presume this lends them much more flexibility in what sound they play, letting them work in their own edits and samples on the fly. However, it didn't quite gel for me: there were quite a few moments of silence when someone had flipped the wrong crossfader, or the phrasing between beats and vocals was off and there'd be 20 second slices of beats followed by 20 seconds of breakdown -- hard to get into a groove.
Their second hour saw the pair take a more furious and consistent route -- less messing around and more huge bass lines. At one stage I had to check the walls for cracks because the room was literally shaking from the shockwaves that they were dishing out. The loudest cheer of the night had to go to the moment that Chicken Lips' immortal bass hook vibrated through the speakers. The Stanton's own remix, "She Not In", sent the dancefloor crazy.
In the last period, the Warriors fused the sounds of the first two, making for a furious and funky finale. The floor was still packed (you know it's full at the Prince of Wales when even that spot behind the column is taken) but I'd found a perfect spot behind the lighting desk for a little boogie. It had hit the scheduled departure time of 5:00, but Mark and Dom were still going -- Lynt's better sense graciously allowing them extra time on the decks. The duo were getting deeper, maybe even losing a bit of their energy, but as they signalled for just one more, the track I'd been waiting for all night finally arrived. An awesome update of "The Virus" took it from an old school breaks number to a huge room destroyer. The perfect way for them to sign off.
Lynt finally managed to jump onto the decks at about 5:30, somehow managing to keep the energy of the room up. But sorry dude, the Stanton Warriors had drained me. Although they hadn't mixed it as flawlessly as the Stanton Session, they'd certainly delivered the Stanton sound. "Pick it up, it's like a virus".