Live review: Skee Mask, Bruce, Afrodeutsche & more @ The Cause, Tottenham, 01.12.18

It may be raining causing puddles to block parts of the queue, but excitement is in the air as revellers enter The Cause, Tottenham’s new club capital. Once an old car-mechanic depot, the club has maintained a minimal and industrial aesthetic. Clouds of smoke float around the main room while strobes stab through, revealing the headsy crowd.

This then is the perfect setting for the night’s selectors – some of the most exciting names in underground dance music. Heading up the night is Skee Mask, responsible for one of the albums of the year, Compro, and an incredible DJ in his own right. Affiliated with Illian Tape, his music and selections are often murky, with broken and glitchy drum patterns. His set is a reflection of this, blending tracks with pacy, disjointed beats, on top of grainy textures. Across two hours Skee Mask melt the minds of the entire packed-out room. Like a puppet-master, he controls the crowd taking them to unknown destinations. The 25-year-old has the ability to suddenly switch up his set in a meticulous manner, without it sounding out of place or pretentious.

Fast-paced electro forms a large part of Skee Mask’s set. However, all corners of the sphere are reached, representing techno, jungle, hip-hop and grime. The crowd are incredibly receptive and up for it. A sea of hands (notably with a complete lack of phones) reach for the ceiling as Aquarian’s bass-fuelled, ‘Hydropulse’ drops. Maintaining the pace, while shifting the vibe in a funkier, more left-field direction, as DJ Paypal’s ‘You Got Me’.

Presented by Unbound Events, the rest of the line up do not disappoint, locking in Afrodeutsche and Bruce. The latter also crafted one of 2018’s best albums, Sonder Somatic, which showcases the Bristolian’s signature UK-influenced techno sound, boasting incredible sound design. The man heavily associated with Timedance perfectly tees up Skee Mask, serving up dance floor heaters with thumping power. Taking the reins after Skee Mask is British-born Ghanaian/Russian/German Afrodeutsche. Her selections nod to Drexciyan electro while infusing UK techno, keeping the crowd alive until the small hours of Saturday morning.

Room 2 provides even heavier music, showcasing the dark and electric sounds of Berlin. All night, tracks rarely dip below 130BPM, and test the club’s sound system. Six am comes too fast. The crowd are left musically boggled and very sweaty.

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