Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” This is something the FUSE boys have in abundance, especially within the brand’s philosophy. Defined by a distinctive dub-house sound, FUSE have always made a point of standing out from the crowd. Their 24 hour toast to a decade of rave in London offered the ultimate illustration of this.
First conceived back in late 2008, FUSE has been a solid fixture in London’s clubbing scene for an impressive 10 years now. Headed up by its founding father, Enzo Siragusa, the resident-focused brand is renowned for exploring the deeper shades of dub-house and techno, and such ingredients proved essential in maintaining their special vibe on such a special weekend.
Marking this memorable occasion in style, FUSE had hand-picked two venues very close to home for the 24-hour marathon that awaited them – Studio 338 and 93 Feet East. The latter, of course, was the original stomping ground of the East London mob and following it’s abrupt closure back in 2012, is a spot FUSE had plenty of unfinished business with.
Returning to 93 Feet East for the first time in five years, this venue is one of sentimental value for FUSE. Prior to being raided, Sunday clubbing in London was taken up a notch during the four years initially spent here by the FUSE crew. The crowd were determined and febrile and the sheer sense of hedonism within the Brick Lane structure displayed true disregard for going to work on a Monday morning. Having only heard back from friends on Tuesday evening, it was evident to see that times hadn’t changed, despite seeing them frequently appear online on WhatsApp the day before.
Minimal goodness was on the agenda at Studio 338 too, and we didn’t expect anything less from the FUSE family. A fitting inclusion of the London institution’s 10th anniversary celebrations, the Greenwich structure holds quite the rich history with the FUSE brand having hosted ‘5 Years of FUSE London Records’ back in 2016, and more recently, their 17-hour summer outing in the form of LEVEL.
Focused around superior-technical standards of sound and their tightly-woven group of core residents, the same organic approach and devotion was shared with the sweaty mass of humanity present under the glass roof of Studio 338’s legendary Terrace, and we revelled in every second of it.
Upon arrival, the scene’s unravelling were everything you’d expect. Queues snaking around the corner, chaotic scrambles for drinks at the bar and a jam-packed Terrace bouncing uncontrollably to the signature raw dub-house grooves permeating through the floor. However, the floor wasn’t filled entirely with FUSE loyalists, but instead with a mixed blend of familiar faces and Greenwich locals which, at times, created a contrasting vibe.
Despite this, the residents were all in fine form and the music was stereotypically deep and unobtrusive as ever. A long-time figure within the FUSE ranks, Seb Zito unleashed an austere spell of rolling dub-house sophistication with Traumer’s ‘Classroom’ proving a real drum workout for the early-goers. A true raver himself, his natural affinity with the dance floor was clear for all to see through his uncompromising yet powerful mixing style. He translated this through such insertions as Ben Sterling’s ‘Members Only’ and his latest stomper on Edible, ‘Slapdash’.
Label founder, Enzo Siragusa, was next up to the decks. Finely furnished with a heavy bass licks, crisp percussion and a very expensive vinyl collection, the mastermind behind the FUSE brand was in demand and in command. Best recognised for his tougher, dubbier strains of house and techno, the Londoner proved meticulous in his attention to detail as he worked through the likes of Slam’s Rtm Remix of ‘Throw’ by Paperclip People and Diego Krause’s Remix of Fabe & Tolga Top’s ‘Away From The 16th’. With a smile glistening from ear-to-ear, it was no secret that even 25 years plus later, Enzo is as passionate and as enthusiastic as ever before.
A firm favourite at FUSE, Archie Hamilton, followed suit. Fresh off the back of his most successful summer in Ibiza yet, which included scooping the Best Producer gong at the DJ Awards and a debut outing for Circoloco, the three-time label owner illustrated exactly why he is one of today’s most sought-after selectors. Fusing together trademark grooving basslines with tight percussive cuts and permeating chords, Archie continued to heighten an already-explosive atmosphere inside 338 with such rolling head-nodders like Livio & Roby’s Remix of Argy’s ‘Siesta’ and his own collaboration with Benson Herbert, ’Swerve’.
Fast approaching the half-way point of the 24-hour stretch, man like Rossko was on hand to shut down proceedings in the Terrace. I last saw the Arkitpy co-head play at Underground in Ibiza for Real Gang’s Tomodachi series. That night, he orchestrated a memorable birthday set complete with slick sounds and forgotten gems of the past.
One of the few tastemakers to have accumulated a loyal following through the quality of his mixing skills alone, the Berlin-based DJ excelled once again. A personal stand-out moment came when he dropped his forthcoming 2019 collaboration with Per Hammer called ‘Unconscious’ – a hands-in-the-air moment for all those still left on the dance floor.
Over it’s ten-year existence, FUSE has consistently delivered exceptional nights time and time again, the main reason being their impeccable core residents and at 338, they demonstrated why once again. Whilst we were left kicking ourselves for not sticking out for their return to 93 Feet East, there was no doubt that Enzo Siragusa’s concept continued the indelible vibe it had forged over the last decade.
Photo Credit By: James Chapman
FUSE will begin their first ever US Tour by celebrating a ‘Decade of Rave’ in February 2019. Dates can be seen below:
Friday 8th February – 99 Scott, Brooklyn, New York
Saturday 9th February – Space, Miami
Friday 15th February – Spybar, Chicago
Saturday 16th February – 1720, Los Angeles