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Review: mUmU Liverpool 7th birthday, 7th February

Seven years, spiritual and sacred: mUmU Liverpool.

There was an eerily deceptive air about Liverpool last Saturday evening. The streets lacked energy; the big city hustle ‘n' bustle party vibe was nowhere to be seen. Most likely the façade of a dull Liverpool-Everton derby match was the reason. However, across town in the industrial heartland of New Bird Street, there was an authentic reason to party: an underground music spectacle on a sheer supreme scale was about to kick off. This was to be the 7th spiritual celebrations of mUmU's sacred Liverpool residency @ New Bird Street Warehouse. Strip it down to bare basics, a twelve-hour subterranean dub-techno-authentic house- birthday extravaganza!

New Bird Street Warehouse: 8.00pm.

Step up to the decks, mUmU resident, Lee Rands b2b with Fuse London resident Rossko. A momentous five-hour set of expansively diverse dub-techno craftsmanship. If this was nature's descending order of life, Lee Rands and Rossko were meant to be. The pair dueled engrossedly, creating a moody subversive atmosphere. As the loyal mUmU crowd took their places on the open-plan warehouse floor, Lee Rands and Rossko upped the tempo, delivering more rounds of perverse dub-techno grit. The atmosphere instantly lifted, for me as a chameleon reveler, this was the moment I'd been waiting for. I could move freely, in unison with the Liverpool crowd. Rands and Rossko loaded vinyl after vinyl, cutting each slice immaculately into the set, weaving the sound to their command. It was easy to see a true underground love story unfolding before my very eyes.

You only have to follow mUmU resident DJ Lee Rands through the warehouse dance-floor to witness the respect the man has in the locality of Liverpool. You will get scores of elated, “wide-eyed” partiers flocking to congratulate Lee on his set, Lee graciously participating in quickfire I-phone snaps, amongst a rush of underground mUmU fever!

11pm. Adam Shelton.

If raw grit summarised the feeling for me at the end of Lee Rands b2b Rossko set, then One Record's co-creator Adam Shelton ignited the groove into the New Bird Street Warehouse, the transition from sterile grit to dense groove delivered in immaculate finesse. From lift off, Adam catapulted signature raw house cuts into a rhythmical mix and the scouse revelers were hammered home with the authentic house sound Adam thrives on. The result was 500 hardened mUmU partiers getting down in tribal serenity! Raw Chicago house cuts turned to darker shades of groove, tracks that spawned warped vocals, high-hat synths and storming bass lines - a master class of Adam Shelton's undercurrent music styles. One word: bananas!

1am. Mathias Kaden b2b Daniel Stefanik

mUmU is at its most fevering pitch. I can feel a sweaty, unbinding energy between music and crowd and the carnival party atmosphere is immensely satisfying to be part of. Bottles of water are flying out of the small bar area like waterfalls to the dry mouthed testament wanderers! Perfection is sometimes classed as an achievable milestone with determined discipline and time; a four-hour Mathias Kaden b2b Daniel Stefanik set is proof of that statement. The pair's relationship on the decks is like a script without rigorous limits. Bouncy, naughty Stefanik combined with playful, potent Kaden measures out a toxic concoction of intense music! Measuring doses of funky house, freaky tech, dub, all slammed home with lustful efficiently from the pair. The brother-like respectability between the two is clearly visible, as Tori Amos - Professional Widow (Armand's Mix) sees the crowd's hysteria swell.

As the lights lift on the warehouse and the hyped up crowd unwillingly disperse, the word relationships resounds in my head. Infact, the word relationships is the definitive ending message that summarise my first experience of a mUmU party. The relationships span across widely from mUmU's ground level, organiser and perfectionist Trevor O'Loughlin bouncing off his fellow organiser/DJ, Lee Rands. Then onto the mUmU decks: ever evolving, vinyl cutting relationships between pioneer London DJ, Rossko and mUmU resident Lee Rands, their first b2b set a rare gift. Then production relationships between culturally diverse Detroit-born Daniel Stefanik and adept German Mathias Kaden, taking their production craftsmanship to new heights with a perfectionist set together. mUmU's respected relationships encompassed with their trademark sound of underground quality music is a class combination. It's no wonder their loyal following will journey with them over the UK to new, magical tufts of earth, it doesn't matter if it's a warehouse, outdoors, clubs, terraces or old churches - mUmU works on every level.

Reflecting on the party with talented mUmU videographer / Ibiza Spotlight's James Chapman as I'm kindly lifted to Liverpool's coach station, I see a new light in the dawn. A new light that sees mUmU flourish with progression, and me, beginning a new friendship with that progression.

WORDS | Ruairi Cahill PHOTOGRAPHY | James Chapman (stills from upcoming aftermovie)


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