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Review: Loco Dice at The Liquid Room, Edinburgh, 4th April

The techno titan touches down in the Scottish capital for the first time.

Nightvision has upped the ante in the Edinburgh clubbing scene over the past eight months by throwing two series of parties that have brought several international DJs to the capital and kept natives content with its diverse yet rigorous music policy. This time round was Tunisian techno titan, Loco Dice, who has been at the top of the house and techno pile for sometime now. Looking at Dice's sheer longevity and contribution to the scene, he has little to prove to anyone. Saying that, this was a debut set in the Scottish capital for the Desolat boss and the extensive hype surrounding the event put him out there to impress.

Due to Dice's extended set the club opened at 9pm and Pulse and Animal Hospital residents were on controls in The Annex, as everyone anticipated the upstairs antics to start. As we got into the main room around 11pm, Dice's protégé – Hector - was spinning some minimal techno to get the room primed for the appearance of the Düsseldorf man. Dice appeared to be on an eardrum assault mission from the get go. He was playing much of his own material such as his remix of Crab At The Green Hunter by Mr Tophat & Art Alfie that gives off a hypnotic vibe underpinned by techno stomper tendencies.

After a much needed 10-minute breather we headed back inside to deeper, darker and faster techno from the veteran - keeping us captivated with the artistic use of his effects controller - with an abundance of reverb and delay. This allowed Dice to create drops on the fly that give his sets a unique shape and intensity. His own intricate, entrancing vocal-touched remix of Neneh Cherry's Everything was last on the playlist. This is one of my favourite remixes from Dice and it left the Edinburgh crowd asking for more. In my own critical opinion, however, his set was somewhat indolent and predictable; it definitely fulfilled the expectations of the Edinburgh crowd, but perhaps fell short of exceeding them.

Over the years Loco Dice has proved to be a lynchpin in major parties, such as Sven Väth's fabled Cocoon at Amnesia but this year it looks like the two could be in competition - Dice has announced with a weekly residency at the San Rafael venue. This in itself will put a smile on many faces around the White Isle, as well as reminding Sven and Marco Carola not to rest on their laurels in arguably Ibiza's premier club.

WORDS | Ramsay Muir PHOTO | Nightvision

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