The ever elusive Animaux at Mansion, who’s Facebook posts are almost as cryptic as its flyers, opened their top floor for a night of deep bass and techno house. York-based DJ Habitual opened the night with a heavy-set bass act bringing to mind the hard hitting mechanical drops of Detroit house. Taking command early with relative ease, Habitual opened the doors to the more alternative tastes of Alex T and Endeser, who handled the middle chunk of the night respectively with creative license and flair. Endeser in particular added a nice contrast to the night, incorporating elements of jungle and dub to create a vibrant mix that brought many people from the bar to the floor.
The venue, which can only be likened to a bare regal dining room, looked as though it had maximum capacity of 100, and as a result left the event feeling like more of a house party than a club night. That being said, the effect of the sets being played in such a small area intensified the experience, with the bass and treble of the speakers rattling around the room.
This is an experience the clubber would never have in Kuda or Salvation. With its stripped down approach, Mansion is like a more classy Willow. Its creaky floorboards and disgusting toilets are all irrelevant when compared to the experience itself. Unlike Willow, the emphasis is placed heavily on the music. The mixing from the DJs here is almost unnoticeable, so clean and effortless is their craft, and the tempo is consistently constant, thudding and infectious. This isn’t a night where you are likely to hear Fatman Scoop or Calvin Harris…this is real DJs doing their own thing.
And maybe this is where Mansion fits into the York club scene. Fibbers is its only rival in terms of a ‘pure’ clubbers club, but acts such as Manchester’s Palace bring a underground, if not refined sound, to the York club scene that doesn’t ask for the wide appeal that Fibbers can’t afford to lose.
Palace, who headlined the night, offered the strongest set of all the acts. A nuanced but thudding display of techno-house, the tired audience still seemed to reciprocate the delivery and execution of what was a relentless set of non-stop beats and bass to close the night in style.
It would be a lie to hail Mansion as the alternative club on the basis of this night, although it proved from this event that it can bring in acts that cater to an underground scene that York so desperately needs.
The Basement, reopening this week, has a bigger capacity and all the potential to become the ‘rave dungeon’ that it is built as. Couple this and the music together and 2015 looks like a very promising year indeed for the young venue.