Monday, 27 January 2014

Bonilla presents: Genius of Time, Leif and Matt Pond @ Antwerp Mansion, 25.01.14

Going toe to toe with a plethora of heavyweight Saturday night crowd-pullers is a tough ask for anyone, so first time promoters Bonilla had a job on their hands at the weekend. Hoya Hoya, Hit&Run, Wigflex, Craig Charles and Pangaea were all turning heads, but this cosmic disco vibed line-up held a different allure and as Matt Pond’s scene setting slot drew to a close, the gathered crowd was a good size – plenty enough people to warm Antwerp Mansion’s draughty climes, but with enough space to bust a groove without tripping on anyone’s heels.

Almost immediately after taking the musical baton, the headlining Swedish duo Genius of Time shake the cobwebs from the far corners of Antwerp Mansion’s main room, swapping previous gentle taps for their hefty sub-thwomps. Although away staging a ‘Pre-launch Party’ at the new Underland venue in Ancoats (established by former members of the Mansion team), it was Hit&Run’s extra soundsystem rattling the floorboards, sending shockwaves through the Rusholme venue’s core to move bass hungry dancing shoes into action.

The set mostly comprises the cut and paste percussive dexterity of cosmic house, with occasional nods to sweeping synths and hi-hats on the drum machine. Punctuating an otherwise vocal-less set, the crowd favourite was the addition of the ‘Love Thang’ vocals by oft-sampled 70s group First Choice, but no sooner had hands been raised to their remix’s infectious rhythms, than the mix ended, hands lowered and the numbers subsided to wander the Mansion’s dilapidated rooms elsewhere.

That left Freerotation Festival favourite Leif to see out the final two hours to a fluctuating dancefloor, with a set more intriguing than his predecessors’, but perhaps less appreciated, including hints of samples as disparate as The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ and Jon Hopkins’ single ‘Open Eye Signal’, infiltrated by jazzy saxophones and a wide array of percussive styles across his record selections.

Words: Ian Pennington

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