REVIEW: BEN UFO (ALL NIGHT) AT STUDIO SPACES

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London hosted its fair share of stacked lineups all throughout the city for Hallow’s Eve this year. Nothing, however, compared to the 7-hour superhuman set that The Hessle Audio’s multi-talented DJ Ben UFO threw down Friday night, starting off Hallo-weekend at just the right pace. Hosted at arts space Hydra – one of London’s leading remaining rave warehouse venues (founded by Electric Minds label boss and off-location event pioneer Dolan Bergin and programmer Ajay Jayaram – previously booker for The End and Cable).

Anyone that knowingly walks into one of his sets already understands the hero they are about to witness. Widely regarded as a “DJ’s DJ”, Ben Thomson has always stuck to his guns, not entering the world of production in an effort to focus and, in my opinion, nail the art of DJing. Such a quality is apparent whether it be his unparalleled ability to ‘read the crowd’ (an essential survival skill for any successful club DJ)… or provide a range so vast that even the pickiest of ears are left satisfied. Hence, why it seemed the Hessle Audio co-founder could rise to the difficult task of an all night long set. No openers, no local acts – just the legend that is Ben UFO.

Housed at the Hydra, a photography studio by day warehouse rave by night, Ben UFO introduced the night with an all vinyl selection. It was his changeover from the turntables to the decks where his well-renowned eclecticism took shape. From Midland’s disco anthem “Final Credits” to Randomer’s techno belter “Woodwork” to Aux 88’s Detroit classic “Direct Drive” to even Vancouver collective Mood Hut’s brass horn melody “Better,” his selection had it all. Bartenders were dancing just as much as party-goers and the crowd exuded a warm atmosphere, welcoming each guest with open arms.

Not one attendee appeared to want the night to end. Upon finishing his set, the crowd chanted in unison “One more song! One more song!” The public outcry further solidified what we already knew: Ben UFO’s all-nighter set at the Hydra was the place to be this Halloween 2016.

Aux 88 – Direct Drive


Mood Hut ‎– Better

Catch Ben UFO at his next scheduled UK set, at Manchester’s Hydra on the 16th December, and experience him live for yourself!

Words by Bahar Khadem