There’s something really exciting happening in London at the moment. Seemingly disparate threads are entangling. Something is coalescing.
Two years ago, when I first moved down to this city, the best nights in town always took place in a squat in Elephant & Castle. Squeezing through a heavily padlocked door and into the basement of a makeshift venue, I felt like I saw so many of the best DJs this city has to offer and who are now defining a new energy within it.
This isn’t a “scene” as such and those parties are not where it all began but the spreading of connections on- and offline has been palpable ever since. These nights were just one part of that. Now, everyone seemingly knows everyone else and some incredible things are emerging from these energetic collisions in the night around London’s unofficial underground.
From this underground, various groups have emerged into the light. DJ collective SIREN have been the most present, a video installation shown at Somerset House late last year shining a light on various individuals who had previously appeared in these dank spaces. Since then, it seems the spotlight has shifted and brought wider attention to other incredibly talented people.
At the end of last month, I was talking about this sense of momentum with Jennifer Walton whilst sat outside Dream Bags & Jaguar Shoes in Shoreditch before the launch party for new occultural hub Most Dismal Swamp. Her new EP, out on the label very soon, is incredible.
Although I missed the opening of Swamp Protocal at Arebyte Gallery, the label launch party in the Shoreditch basement — featuring sets from Anni Nöps, Astrid Gnosis, Exploited Body, Iceboy Violet, Jennifer Walton, and Mang — was an amazing night.
Beyond this, Most Dismal Swamp, even prior to its official launch, has already caught the attention of a lot of people as being a new node drawing in the energies of so many talented people.
If you’re not already, keep an eye on them. They are a powerful node which, for me, has given an appropriate name to something very special emerging from a city on the edge: a most dismal swamp-thing indeed.