Kode9 & Spaceape (Esplanade, Singapore, 9 March 2008)

I had left London by the time dubstep nights started taking off, and since dubstep seemed one of the least suitable subgenres of dnb ever for the bedroom speaker experience, I never bothered seeking out much of it apart from the occasional podcast. (One of the differences between 2004 me and 2008 me. I don’t like this difference, but it’s also true that remaining so ignorant means I no longer chafe about Singapore’s lousy club scene.)

So I attended the Kode9 and Spaceape club night in almost total ignorance, which may be why I spent the first 20 minutes channelling Marvin the Martian and whining to Alec “Where’s the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!” Instead of the ribcage-vibrating, internal-organ-displacing bass beats I was expecting, they were just doing the sort of expansive soundscapes that tend to start and end dnb tracks, with little or no beats. I was dismayed. I had come to get my mellow totally harshed, and it wasn’t happening.

Actually, they had just taken the long view and I was being an impatient child. The music built, gradually but perceptibly, to the point where Spaceape announced “That was all just to warm you up. Now it’s time to dance!” As it turns out, I got my earth-shattering kaboom for the next two sweaty, breathless, epileptic hours. And, as always seems to happen with any club event that actually interests me in Singapore, attendance was low enough that there was plenty of space for completely uninhibited dancing.

I’m too ignorant to name any tracks, but I thought they did a great job of playing tracks that were consistently danceable but with differing intensities – we’d get sections where everyone was dancing with total gorilla abandon, and then a section of slightly less frenetic music as a respite. It is admittedly possible that I entered some zone of transcendental bliss that meant they could fart rhythmically and I’d just happily twitch and jerk along, but I do think they did a masterful job of creating and maintaining a great atmosphere for dancing. I left with ringing ears and the “exercise high” I don’t actually get from normal exercising, only from dancing. Thank you Kode9 & Spaceape, first for exorcising us of the BSS disaster demons, and second for reminding me why I love clubbing. It’s been difficult to hold on to that memory, living here.