nd_baumecker / The Black Madonna @ Sub Club, 19 Feb
Despite the relentless drizzle falling from ominous skies, a queue has managed to snake its way down the side of Jamaica Street by the back of 10.30pm, with less than half an hour remaining until doors open. Crowds of clubbers wait for the arrival of Andreas Baumecker and Marea Stamper, better known to most as nd_baumecker and The Black Madonna – in town for what will be their first b2b set under the battered ceilings of the Sub Club.
By 11.05, obviously animated by the lengthy queue outside, nd_baumecker stands boldly behind the booth pummelling out Fort Romeau’s Ghostly International release Insides. Some might deem such upbeat 4/4 to be slightly inappropriate for this hour of the night, although it’s not long before the club is bubbling with dancers ready to make their way from the bar and onto the floor.
Unlike the kind of DJs who may repel fans with their giant egos, The Black Madonna stands at the side of the booth by the bar, casually chatting away to those who approach her. For the opening hour, both Stamper and Baumecker proceed to play an assortment of classic Chicago cuts, while slowly upping the bpm. Testament to the power of the Sub Club’s sound system, both DJ’s fully utilise the power of the bass drum, as it seeps round the entire venue and wills the club to their feet.
Facing a near full Sub Club, Stamper eases in the chaotic sounds of Cratebug’s Acid Train. An enigmatic figure, but here clearly captivated by the sheer energy brought by the crowd, she continues to dance in much the same fashion as many in front of the booth, bringing in an assortment of breakbeat numbers to keep the club's patrons on their toes. The haunting synths and pounding kicks of Rex The Dog’s You Are A Blade eventually snake their way into the set, and the result? A full sea of eyes all on Stamper, fists pounding the ceiling in unison to the beat.
Both DJs continue to pay homage to all realms of house and techno, digging further and further back into their record collections. Eventually, Hardfloor’s furiously acidic take on Robert Armani’s Circus Bells continues to lift the energy up to an all time high – testament to the record’s ability to truly stand the test of time, over 20 years since its original release date. Ever since the collaboration of these two renowned selectors was announced earlier this year, a constant level of anticipation had amassed around it. Both Stamper and Baumecker truly fed off it, whilst others may have felt the pressure and flopped. We still believe.