Whenever a conversation starts about people’s favorite clubs in the world, fabric London is usually one of the first clubs to get a mention, and with reason. Celebrating over 20 years of active serve to the dance music communities of one of the largest metropolis of the world, fabric has become synonymous with the genre it showcases for anyone who ever steps foot into the UK. Alongside the Warehouse Project in Manchester it has been featuring the best line-ups of underground house, techno and bass in England bar none. I happened to be in London on a Saturday night where the club hosted a Minus night in Room 1 and a Nonplus show-case in Room 2 so naturally had to venture in to check it out.
A couple of minute walk from the Farringdon tube stop, fabric operates a fairly strict no-phone policy, asking its patrons to not take pictures or videos but rather enjoy the night without being on their phone. Entry was swift despite the pretty heavy pat down. Granted, I was walking in at 3:30am but considering the night was billed as going until 9am I felt that gave me at least a little rest before the next day’s sightseeing activities I already had planned.
Immediately I realized how big the club was. With multiple levels, dance rooms and chill-out areas, it is easy to get lost if you don’t know your way around. Room 1, where Fabio Florido was giving way to Julian Jeweil, was packed to the brim with a sound system that impressed my ears even though I was already wearing DownBeats ear plugs. I found it hard to enjoy my time there as it was so packed, and was quickly warned that on big nights the club can get packed with “clubbers” who are there for clubbing sake rather than to enjoy a particular artist.
Now knowing that, I made my way to Room 2 where Boddika had taken control of the room with a bass-heavy set of personal tracks including “Severed Seven,” his collaboration with Joy Orbison, and “Heat”. The dance floor wasn’t too full which was a blessing, giving my friends and I plenty of room to groove.
We returned to Room 1 for the end of Julian’s Live set. It was my first time seeing him and I was pleasantly surprised by his performance. Typical Minus minimal techno but with a flair, dropping hints of harder drumlines than other Minus artists have accustomed me to hear in the past. As he finished, he gave way to the headliner of the night: Richie Hawtin. Fresh off a festival appearance at The Social earlier that day, the Minus head-honcho delivered heavy basslines with a characteristic minimal backdrop. Barely any vocals and plenty of build-ups as usual perhaps but seeing him work a room of that power and with that sound system was a treat.
While the room was at capacity as he got on, the dance floor cleared up a little as the night wore on, leaving comfortable space for those braving the early hours of the morning to see Hawtin close-off the night.
Overall, the night was a home-run. Great music, amazing sound-system and despite a few stereotypical clubbing douchebags here and there earlier on, a good crowd. I was perhaps more pleasantly surprised by the cost of drinks, $7 for a beer in expensive London and free water (yes FREE, take note US clubs!), and by the friendliness of the staff. Eager to help and assist they held doors open for patrons going to the bathrooms or smoking section and were always willing to help no matter how drunk the patron needing it seemed to be.
Fabric didn’t surprise me but that is only because of the reputation it already has. It remains one of the top clubs in the world without a doubt and a must-visit destination for anyone stopping through London from abroad. And if you happen to live in the English capital then I truly hope you have already experienced a slice of this underground heaven!