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Review: Maya Jane Coles & Friends at Building Six, London, 31st October

A spooky spectacular for Halloween

Roaming lights probe into the darkness illuminating hundreds of faces, some drip with blood, others are ghostly white with dark, sunken eyes, in one of the corners catwomen look on as vampires make their way to the busy dancefloor. Above them are two stories of fellow ghouls looking down in anticipation as a certain Maya Jane Coles, the host of this demon-filled party, takes to the decks and unleashes the first track through the ring of speakers encircling the main room.

Greenwich's cavernous Building Six (formerly Matter, and for a brief period Proud2) is where a couple of thousand revellers have come tonight and it's remarkable to see how much of an effort many of them have made in their costumes for Halloween. What's even more remarkable, given everyone's unusual appearance, is the distinct lack of camera flashes or people posing for selfies; these clubbers came here to dance and that's exactly what they have been doing for a good couple of hours as Maya steps up at 0130hrs.

She's only given herself 90 minutes, and even though it's her night has taken the selfless decision to take the warm-up slot, leaving the peak-time for her very special guest. This did mean Maya never really went for it with her track selections, instead keeping things steady and bumping along. There were some moments that threatened to carry the crowd up to the next level, such as the big vocal refrain in Darius Syrossian's Dombak or the techno bleepiness of Tripmastaz's Taped Chrome, but for the most part this was an atmospheric set that undulated along as chunky riffs occasionally appeared then left before outstaying their welcome.

"The catwomen certainly enjoyed it, as did the slightly worse for wear South Park characters."

Whilst it was refreshing to see a DJ happy to hand the limelight over to a guest, this did mean that guest had to deliver the goods, never a problem when it's Damian Lazarus. The Crosstown Rebels boss did leave this reviewer a touch concerned though as he took a little while to get going, a full 30 minutes of his 90 minute set, in fact. But when it came close to 0400hrs he started to let loose some real weapons, the highlight being Maceo Plex and C.A.R.'s Mirror Me (Dark Dub), a great track in and of itself but especially so when contributing to the slightly spooky atmosphere a Halloween party can warrant. The catwomen certainly enjoyed it, as did the slightly worse for wear South Park characters. There were other big selections too, Gorgon City's new track Money, which is a welcome turn underground for the duo, and Anton's Make Mirrors stood out and generated a strong reaction from the dancefloor.

The only drawback, the delay in getting the night tube up and running meant a very long bus trip back for some. Once that starts (fingers crossed it ever will) Building Six may finally become the fixture it deserves to be on the London clubbing circuit and will feature parties with line-ups as strong as Halloween's, week after week.


WORDS | Andrew Fulker

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