After experimenting with various venues in 2011 and early 2012, Thunder eventually found its spiritual home on the hallowed ground of Dalston’s Dance Tunnel. The rest is history. As is the case with all of the venue’s regular promoters, founders Miles Simpson, Rick Hopkins, and Joe Apted never felt the need to seek out an alternative residence following a DT debut alongside Gene Hunt. With the tagline “One guest. 200 dancers. A basement, a red light, a smoke machine and not much else,” the sweaty basement space was a perfect fit.
If you weren’t familiar, Thunder began as a semi-regular knees up indebted to the rough cut house and techno of the American Midwest. Gradually broadening their horizons over the past few years, the parties have been known to cover a wider spectrum of sounds, from the warm and organic to the straight up bangers Thunder made its name with. DJ Sprinkles, Jordan GCZ, Lauer, Mike Dunn and Andy Butler are just a few that have joined them in the Tunnel and sadly, tonight will mark the end of an era. On Monday morning DT will shut its doors for good, but not before Panorama Bar resident Steffi descends into the basement for Thunder’s official farewell.
With it’s impending closure, we’re calling on some of those regulars who have called Dance Tunnel home to pay homage with a playlist of tracks that defined their respective residencies. Following killer contributions from Way Back Here and comm•une, our third instalment sees Thunder’s Miles Simpson take the helm with several nostalgia-inducing selections.
Steffi plays Thunder at Dance Tunnel tonight (August 5th) – advance tickets are sold out but you can buy OTD.
1. Awanto 3 – Pregnant
The warm up has always been really important at Thunder, setting the mood for the rest of the night – experimentation, sound fx, hip hop, electro pop and even the whole of Autobahn once. Walking into a club at 11pm and the DJ already playing at full-tilt really isn’t appealing even if it’s busy. The the pace needs to be controlled and the tension built. This is a record that I turned to time and time again during that period of the night, the perfect mood setter.
2. DJ Nature – Everybody
There are certain records that always seem to work for that period when the night transitions from warm-up to party, not particularly pumping, but something that grabs people and locks them into the groove. DJ Nature is a producer that seems to nail that vibe and this is the record of his I’ve played the most. He’s also an amazing DJ and the night he played Thunder is one that will live long in the memory.
3. Scahatrax – Restless Nights
There are lots of records I associate with recent but former resident Joe Apted, many of which we have a shared love for and would sometimes argue over who would get to play them, like bickering schoolboys! This is a track that Joe truly owned though and he made it his at Thunder. Deep as anything.
4. 69 – Desire
For the first 3 years or so of Thunder there were actually 3 residents; me, Joe and Rick Hopkins. We used to rotate the first 3 hours of the night, opening, warm-up and peak, before handing over to our guest. Rick is one of the most technically gifted DJs you could ever hope to meet and had an amazing ability to still be tight whenever he had to go back on at the end of the night, no matter how refreshed he was. It was a lifesaver for lightweights like me and Joe. This will probably always be remembered as Rick’s signature tune at Thunder.
5. First Choice – Love Thang (Genius of Time Edit)
At some point a few years ago, not long after we moved to Dance Tunnel, Thunder took a fork in the road that led us away from the more blokey acid and techno, and down a path towards a more varied and warmer vibe. This was borne out in the sets delivered by guests like Rahaan, Rick Wilhite, Marceluss Pittman, Hunee, Andres, Derrick Carter, Mark E, Gerd Janson and others. After that slight change in direction, I think this probably became my biggest Thunder record, never fails to work. I warmed-up for Genius of Time at a non-Thunder Dance Tunnel party and they are bloody lovely guys. Talented and lovely. Don’t you just hate that?!