I’ve had a love-hate relationship with techno nights in Dublin recently. The line-ups have been stellar, the DJs have delivered, but it always felt as though something were missing – that kinetic energy that makes a night special. So when I heard that Subject x Mutate were hosting an event called Index on the Dublin qauys, I was hoping for something different. With Mord Records invited for the opening night and a line up including Ansome, Charlton and Bas Mooy, things were looking good already.
The exterior of Index is rather unremarkable; darkened windows and unmarked door, if you weren’t looking for it you could easily walk by without knowing a dank techno basement awaits below.
Walking in I was greeted by smiling, friendly bouncers, a good start that set the tone for the night. Next I walked down a dark tunnel that led immediately to the dance floor. As soon as I made it to the end, I could feel the energy that was brewing inside. It was palpable. Charlton was in the middle of his set, a dark figure doused in brightly coloured lights that shone from behind him. The space felt large yet intimate. The powerful beams penetrated the crowd, refracting against individuals as though we were on stage too. It created a sense of surreal and immediate reality.
Charlton played a varied, experimental set, ranging from throbbing acid to clanky, thumping tracks that swelled up the whole room. To end his set he slowed it right down with a smooth rap track, laced over a jagged, off-staccato beat.
While Charlton’s set felt transcendent, Bas Mooy’s sound felt distinctly more grounded. His track selection seemed to change the very composition of sound waves, distorting them till they were thick and stodgy and settled around my body, trapping us in a sea of beautiful, murky techno. He played banger after banger, mixing in textured, grainy tracks to sustain the energy and ultimately decimated the dancefloor with his trademark, bomb of a track Stave – Hardened Chord (Regis Remix).
There was an electricity and interconnectivity between the DJ and everyone present. The crowd were on a good buzz, having a good time but also committed to the music. The flashing neon lights heightened this feeling, creating a permanent state of presence that worked well in the small space. The only let down was the sound system which delivered a rather one-dimensional product, and I can only dream how Bas Mooy’s set would have sounded on a top-notch PA system.
The night absolutely delivered and has reinvigorated my excitement in Dublin’s techno scene.