HIFI is an relatively new London based party centered around its residents, If you ever wanted to experience the UK’s version of RPR you don’t need to look any further than the HIFI trio. The residents include in no particular order Gwenan who is an avid record collector with a very specific sound that has been crafted and carefully considered, check this mix for her vybe here. Next we have Bruno Schmidt who contributed K / D P podcast 009 which you can check here, Bruno also is Louche resident and also the chief programmer for MITM festival, and more recently has stepped into the production world with new music to release imminently. Finally we have Andrew James Gustav who has seen a steady rise to prominence over the last couple of years, again by quite simply searching, seeking and discovering old records that carry his particular sound and style. Andrew has played for several parties Lize, Toi Toi, Undersound, Dog Eat Dog, Cartulis Day & also My Own Jupiter to name a few. Check out Andrew’s podcast for My Own Jupiter run by Nicolas Lutz here.
The setting for this party was at the underground loft studio space located in East London unassumingly this venue is hidden and off the radar. The capacity is intimate capped at around 120; the sound was clean and strong, not too forceful but delicate enough to convey the time and genre of the sort after records on air.
We arrived around 1am and the freight lift ride up always provides some interesting chitter chatter and getting to know people you don’t know but are still attending the party for the same reason you are, there definitely is an community based feeling at HIFI.
As the lift stopped, the rusty aged lift door cranked open, the slow thud of sub bass consumed your yes, the volume of conversation and people moving around increased. We headed straight for the dance floor, which was decidedly busy but maneuverable. Bruno and Andrew opened up proceedings going back to back, and what we did hear leaned more towards techno territory, break beat, & old school minimal techno, familiar samples came across as metallic coarse, dry and infringing. The crowds are all clearly vybing and enjoying them self’s and it was refreshing to see lots of people actually dancing, throwing shapes and not caring so much.
The booth looked liked it was decidedly hidden behind the stack of speakers which left more of the focus on the floor and less on dj staring which is very commonplace. As the boys closed out there set the crowd had enjoyed lots of highlights moments and the whoops, cheers and hand in the air moments underlined this.
It was Gwenan’s birthday hence the closing slot and she started around 2am, stripping things back to fundamentals, tight, slow burn mixing and steady bpm, very measured, seamless and consistent. For me the highlight came when Gwenan played a track by Accomplice, which really raised the energy and level of the party. The party flew by and time became irrelevant until the lights came on and that’s the end of the night. The room was awash with people singing happy birthday and birthday cake did appear which was very community spirited and warm for Gwenan’s birthday. Overall I would say this was another standout night were the music took centre stage and all three residents seamlessly blended and worked very well together, they all comes across as very confident when they go back to back.
The musical landscape of this party centered more on techno in varied forms, I can’t tell you artists because I didn’t know and I didn’t want to. I enjoyed the repertoire on display and the story being presented. These guys work tirelessly to dig for records old and older and it shows. The concept works, they flow seamlessly back to back and the energy is very real and raw. The very idea of residents & guests and the construction of a party have been addressed with critical attention with the HIFI guys…. music is first and foremost front and centre focus, the venue is the perfect canvas for his kind of painting and the sound system was on point, it looked like a martin audio rig with a formula sound mixer and Techniques 1210s mg5 with +16 on the pitch control so songs that shouldn’t be mixed together because of BPM can be. These are the details being analyzed and addressed at HIFI, the very basic fundamental’s of any party which the equipment and sound system play a big part.
These parties don’t happen to often which builds the anticipation and it also gives space and time for the Djs to think about the music they curate and craft with care and attention. HIFI very quickly has established itself as a party that has lots of growth potential with 3 solid resident at the controls playing music they believe in and so does the crowd.