Notorious for its Wednesday night socials of old, Mansion is well known on the night life scene, and on Saturday night there was a serious party going on. Oblivious to its surroundings of quaint York, Mansion is a hotbed of anarchic, anti-establishment behaviour. For their event on Saturday night, Freakin invited one of their favourite DJs-slash-producers back for a night of class and carnage. On Saturday 7th Daniel Avery descended upon Mansion basement along with what seemed like the majority of York’s house-music loving population.
The basement of the club, with its various coves and corners, was open for the evening’s entertainment. I was there from the very start, meaning I could experience the electric atmosphere build, and soon the force of the heat and the sound of dark, rhythmic techno in the densely packed main room signalled the start of something truly special.
Daniel Avery, who dropped one of 2013’s great albums, Drone Logic, took to the decks amid rapturous ovation and applause from those who preceded his entrance. Avery notoriously holds an crucial spot in the underground dance world and since Dan’s debut dropped last year his profile has gone interstellar. His last turn at Freakin caused mayhem on the dance-floor, and this repeat visit was no exception. I’ve always been slightly undecided about whether I’m a passionate lover of disco, house and techno music or not, but there was something captivating about his set which lasted till 4:25am (much to the crowd’s enthusiasm, as we all thought it was finishing at 3).
The night saw groovy synth riffs placed over Avery’s signature pulsating beat lines. Before his arrival he had tweeted that Mansion was “one of the best small clubs in the country” – his personal excitement was reflected in the music, and the crowd were just as hyped. Avery went above and beyond and delivered an atmospheric techno set of dark, gruelling, rhythmical, motoring energy. It all flowed effortlessly through thumping acid basslines, which all too soon took the event through to closing time.
As there were no set-piece vocals, when voices emerged during the set they were invariably dark, disembodied and wickedly distorted. The result for me was wholly compelling, and allowed for a glorious transcendence that saw the packed-out venue become totally absorbed in the addictive beats.
Mansion provided the perfect hideaway host for the ransacked chaos of the occasion. The atmosphere in the crowd on Saturday was something special, and will hopefully set a precedent to bring more equally respected acts to the city. I was just very glad I’d worn the right outfit for optimum dancing in Mansion.