Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Clubs: In the mood ... for techno, electro, ska or big bands?

Ever since techno music began to hit the clubs in Detroit sometime around the mid-1980s, it has been constantly evolving and mutating with just about every European country developing its own distinct 'take' on the genre.



Berlin and Stockholm are currently the home of techno's most influential and innovative DJs, although eastern Europe and Spain are catching up fast.

Damien Schwartz, who plays Stiff Kitten on Saturday, is one third of a Madrid-based group of DJ/producers and owners of the influential Net 28 label, and are currently at the forefront of Spain's techno movement.

The other two members of the team, Tadeo and Alex Under, have previously rocked clubs across Northern Ireland, but clubbers can expect to hear something rather unique and almost avant-garde in Damien's set tomorrow night.

And support comes courtesy of a trio of local mixers, Paddy Towe, Phil Lucas and Chris McGinn who, collectively known as Twitch, recently took over the Saturday night residents' slot at Stiff Kitten. Doors open at 10pm and admission is £10.

ZZ Saturday night sees the start of a brand new residency for the Hydroponic Hi-Fi folks, a team of DJs and MCs intent on brightening up Belfast's dismal autumn landscape with some sun-soaked, bass-heavy Jamaican vibes.

The Raggamuffin Social launches at Queen's Union's Speakeasy bar with a punchy live show, rich in the rhythms of roots, reggae, dub, dancehall and ska, straight from the decks of DJ Michael McKeown and the microphone of MC Krow.

Billed as the only event of its kind in Ireland, the Belfast-based reggae collective have been honing their craft over the past year with live appearances at clubs and festivals all over the country.

They've also been spending time in the studio, with both a forthcoming single and some exclusive remixes to look forward to, a few of which will most likely get an airing tomorrow night.

ZZTonight at Belfast's Front Page, club night Ecker celebrates its first birthday with an appearance from Tubejerk, aka Tim Wright, an innovative pioneer of experimental electronic music.

In addition to his work as a composer and sound engineer with one of Japan's leading contemporary dance companies, Tim has an impressive back catalogue of singles and albums, dating back to the early Nineties.

Alongside Tim, Ecker's resident DJs Terry Keeley, T-Polar and De-Twist will be ensuring clubbers get into birthday party mode at the Donegall Street venue. Doors open at 9pm, admission £8.

ZZ If modern music just doesn't fly your flag, there's a chance to re-live the glory days of, er, the blitz, rationing and blackouts, as wartime cabaret show, The Burlesque Blitz, scores a direct hit on The Empire on Thursday.

Celebrating the kind of wartime spirit which kept their history-soaked host venue thriving during the dark days of war, promoters Penguin People are hoping that this indomitable essence is still very much alive, despite the current doom-laden economic climate.

It's a rare chance to shake off the mortgage blues, don a zoot suit or Bacall-style ballgown, jitterbug the night away to the strains of Glenn Miller and enjoy the performances by the night's live acts.

Sadly, the days of getting tuppence change back from a shilling after paying to see a show at the Empire, two fish suppers and the last tram home are definitely long gone. Tickets cost £15, but for a night of sheer nostalgia, it's money well spent.

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