Switched On – VLSI live @ The Marquis – BUNKR & Echaskech

VLSI @ The Marquis, Dalston

by Ben Hogwood

If atmospheric electronic music is your thing, the VLSI label have it in abundance – as they demonstrated in the dark recesses of the newly refurbished space downstairs in The Marquis on Dalston High Street.

The label is run by Dom Hoare and Andy Gillham, who together are Echaskech. They positioned themselves mid-evening in a packed schedule, giving a superb set of concrete-heavy beats, fulsome bass and impressive widescreen vistas, creating urban panoramas under moody skies. The music of the duo (below) has aged with impressive surety since their arrival nearly 20 years ago, complementing their descriptive music with sharply voiced keyboards and some intricate and brilliantly realised rhythm tracks.

BUNKR – Brighton’s James Dean – is an excellent addition to the VLSI roster, and his headline set was notable for its creators energy and passion at the controls. As with Echaskech, he makes descriptive music of real substance, and if anything his viewpoint has a wider perspective. He does this through spacey keyboards and sonorous melodic lines, while the beats were reassuringly solid once again. Dean’s live tweaking served up a treat to remind us how good his two albums for the label – The Initiation Well and Graveyard Orbit – really are. The evening at the Marquis was ideally paced, punctuated by involving and stimulating DJ sets from just b & Rossscco, alternating deep breakdowns with bigger, rolling beats.

This was an invigorating night, punters wreathed in smiles as they enjoyed the darkly tinged music and celebrated the creativity of a label that deserves to go a long way. Make sure you have a listen to their latest offerings below – including music from Octavcat, who also made a strong impression at the night but unfortunately Arcana was not on hand to tell you how much!

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