Once upon a time, house was just house. Not funky, vocal, fidget, Euro, ghetto or micro. Just music, which like rock ‘n’ roll before it, was for listening, dancing, getting high, getting off. There was no need to capture the night on an iPhone to confirm your presence at the most underground spot in town, or become a DJ, promoter or blogger to prove your involvement.

Romantic ideals aside, clubs are naturally a business. A thousand people on drugs listening to music equals a very attractive amount of cash, hence why that cheerful Sunday afternoon rave for a couple of hundred people eventually found itself in Metro’s listings. At large scale events the music too often suffers from being barely discernible above the casual chatter of the attendees, who use the occasion to catch up with one another; it’s even worse when venues are oversold, such as at a recent party where paying ticket holders were unable to get in as the club had reached full capacity (however the promoters claim they were misinformed over the number of tickets they could sell. Either the punters’ faces had begun to resemble pound signs or someone didn’t do their homework).

It was a different story at Corsica Studios a few weeks back. Bleep43 organisers had booked Osunlade, who, if house music had a spiritual leader, would surely be the man for the job. Not a single camera phone flashed as Timmy Regisford’s Get Deep merged into the opening bars of Lil’ Louis’ French Kiss; as the words “I am black, I am brown, I am music” resonated throughout the room minutes before the lyrics to Enjoy the Silence took over.

Bleep43 have purposefully chosen to be located away from the fanfare of the East End, and they have a careful, if eclectic booking policy of selecting DJs with a dedicated following rather than the latest sensation wowing its way through the basements of Shoreditch, past examples being Derrick May and Surgeon.

They’ve been running parties for nearly a decade; more recently Black Atlantic have shimmied their way onto the map.  The first half of 2011 has seen guests including Juan Atkins, Larry Heard and Kerri Chandler as well as Instra:Mental and Space Dimension Controller; in the coming months Moodymann and François K will fly over. As with Bleep43, they choose a mixture of influential artists who rarely play in London and up-and-coming talent, i.e. not the same people being booked by everyone else. Venues change but they often take place at Brixton’s Plan B, another intimate venue away from the core of the capital’s nightlife.

House music used to be about letting go. If it is in fact a universal language, spoken and understood by all, many are misinterpreting it. Luckily the guys behind Bleep43 and Black Atlantic are ensuring the door stays open.

The next Black Atlantic event takes place on Friday 20th of May with Deadly Rhythm vs Dirty Canvas, venue tbc.

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