Sydney’s Hook N Sling features in an epic Magnificent Seven DJ lineup that took over Shoreditch Studios in London

  • Larry Heath
  • September 28, 2016
  • Comments Off on Sydney’s Hook N Sling features in an epic Magnificent Seven DJ lineup that took over Shoreditch Studios in London

If Berlin is known for unpredictability and eccentricity; Madrid for not sleeping from Monday to Sunday; and Sydney for those bombastic beach parties, then London is synonymous for bringing all of these values together. A city that – whether it’s art, food, clothes, behaviours – unifies different cultures’ philosophies and celebrates them. And being this melting pot of identities, it’s naturally the place to bring the likes of artists, creatives and, significantly, musicians together.

Yet, while the traditional band format lends itself to collaboration, music’s most rapidly booming industry hasn’t exactly been one renowned for its collectives. Lone stars that have gallantly ridden alone, casting their shadows from behind sets of decks across dancefloor to dancefloor – until now. Ahead of the release of Antoine Fuqua’s reimagining of John Sturges’ iconic film The Magnificent Seven, Spotify brought seven of the world’s most iconic DJs to Shoreditch Studios in London to put aside their differences for one night only. After individual performances, the seven took to the stage all at once to perform one climactic collaborative remix of the film’s theme tune.

So who are these seven mavericks? And which of the film’s iconic septuplet do they relate to? From Madrid we have techno auteur Christian Varela “The Warrior”, Berlin’s premier House man “The Sharpshooter” Wankelmut, Sydney’s Hook N Sling “The Tracker”, both Italy’s David Squillace embodying the Denzel Washington character “Bounty Hunter” and Uto Karem representing “The Assassin”, Sao Paolo’s “Outlaw” Wehbba and London native DJ S.K.T (pictured), who relates to “The Gambler” as he is “driven by instincts that sometimes land me in some trouble but can also inspire my finest moments”.

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But besides the cookout-style burgers, buffalo mozzarella and spicy hotdogs already on offer tonight, what did the DJs be bring to the table? Uto Karem felt that, “though I appreciate it’s a lonely game, I’ve got an experience and love for collaboration deep down”, Wankelmut pinpoints “adaptability, precision” and Varela his “long relationship with film; I’ve worked on many film soundtracks”, and “a musical expertise”, that’s very easy to detect during his slot. Primarily recognised for his achievements as a techno DJ, Varela is quite clearly an artiste, intelligently weaving and tying together musical themes with a fluidity and spontaneity, all with a beaming smile.

There’s more than music and medleys for the eager attendees to enjoy here under Shoreditch Studios’ distinct red brick arches. In fact, it’s a Wild West of cap guns and Stetsons, bedazzling card tricks and whisky sours spilt across the bar. And though it’s as much of a melding of cultures within the fans as the artists, there aren’t as many bar brawls as you’d expect. It turns out that it doesn’t matter whether you’re an EDM hunk, an acid house head or a trance turner – a love of the beat and the booze can be quite the unifier.

For a DJ from a different background, what unique characteristics are we witnessing in a typical London crowd like tonight? “Well, as you can see, people party hard here.” Wankelmut details. “They like to go out earlier and really go at it hard. But besides an evident slight leaning to UK House, they’re pretty damn open to diversity and different ideas, which I love.” A feature aptly showcased this evening when the crowd erupts for each performance. One of tonight’s DJ’s is more than familiar with the EC1 postcode, however, and you can tell. DJ S.K.T’s ‘Livewire’ receives as rapturous a response as it has been enjoying in its recent plays on BBC Radio 1.

But that isn’t the headlining tune tonight. No siree, and after an evening of itchy fingered posturing and solo remixes, our seven gunslingers take to the stage. We’ve heard their own takes on the film’s guitar-led, slinky theme tune but now it’s time they unite for the definitive showpiece. It kicks off resembling the piece’s original form, before exploding into a low-frequency sonic bombardment that sends the audience into apoplexy. It has the same broiling intensity you’d expect from high octane electronics, but is propped up by the textural bedding of house and finished with touches of techno.

Transitioning from DJ to DJ, it is rough around the edges but ultimately triumphant. This is a celebration of not only the distinct philosophies and cultures on show, but embraces the themes true to the film itself, both literally in its seven diverse silhouettes behind the decks and principally in the instigation of unlikely allies. With the last whirls of the finale sounding out, we wave goodbye to this iconic seven and their victory, for it’s time we greet another.

The Magnificent Seven is in Australian cinemas from the 29th of September, with preview screenings this Sunday, 25th September.

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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.