Ellen Allien at Kapital
Original article here
Without wanting to sound clichéd, Scottish clubbing really is a tale of two cities; while Glasgow revels in having two of Britain's best clubs, Edinburgh struggles to compete in size or variety. With The Liquid Rooms, one of the capital's biggest and best, out of action due to flooding from a fire next door, the late night options are limited to a handful of tiny venues.
This demand-outstripping-supply situation is regularly demonstrated by the popularity of the diminutive Cabaret Voltaire, with nights like We Are Electric and Sugarbeat packing the place to uncomfortable levels. But just round the corner a similarly atmospheric, old underground space, The Caves, was not fulfilling its potential. Or that was the case, at least, until a group of friends, "inspired by the forward thinking electronic music they were hearing out of Berlin, London and Barcelona," decided that they'd had enough of going west to Pressure or Subculture for the best house and techno and began Kapital.
Photo credit: Aziza Azul
Since then they've pulled in a selection of DJs that perfectly sum up their music policy, from James Holden and Nathan Fake to Damian Lazarus and Anja Schneider, the perfect icing on the 2nd birthday cake was to share anniversaries with Ellen Allien and the 10th birthday celebrations for her BPitch Control imprint.
As is the norm, the residents got things started, with Brad Charters welcoming people to the club with the blissful Erphun remix of Dave Seaman's "Gobbledygook," before taking things a bit darker and harder with the likes of Ron Flatter's "Meinstern." The night's other Berlin import, recent ex-pat Michael Ford, took over from Charters and delivered a typically assured set, spanning all that is new and exciting in tech house, finishing with a nod to the Kapital's past in the form of Alex Smoke's new apocalyptic sci-fi single, "Paracelsus." (Smoke was the night's debut guest two years ago.) Finally the talismanic Barry O'Connell stepped up to take the baying masses through to 1 AM, delivering a perfectly balanced mix of driving house and techno, typified by tracks like Reggy van Oers' "Carbomer" and the REZ mix of SQL's "Lactose."
Photo credit: Aziza Azul
With the capacity crowd well warmed up, it was time for the main event. Ably supported by BPitch's resident VJ maestro Pfadfinderei, the Kapital regulars were warm and welcoming hosts, kindly ignoring the regular "mixing issues' throughout her set. But, unsurprisingly for the boss of Berlin's biggest label, her tune selection made up for any technical issues, as she worked her way through some of the freshest sounds coming out of Germany's capital.
Finishing off her set with the epic breakbeat breakdown of "Sehnsucht" before the dreamy euphoria of "Way Out" with Apparat, and "Rusty Nails" from Moderat, she seemed genuinely touched by the rapturous atmosphere at closing time. There may be a 3 AM curfew up here, but the Scottish seem to cram all the energy of a protracted continental session into five hours.