WORDS & PHOTO: Alex Caslano
“I’m working at 7AM tomorrow, but there was no way I was missing this” beams one punter as he fuels up at the bar. It’s Friday night in Glasgow and The Arches is filling up nicely to the sound of Maribou State. Shrouded in smoke, it’s difficult to make out anymore than a silhouette of the London duo, but the absorbing rhythms rolling through the speakers keep us under their spell. Appearing in support of tonight’s main attraction, a live A/V set from cult Lithuanian producer Mario Basanov aka Ten Walls, they keep people locked in position, subtly building energy while the crowd begins to swell.
Although The Arches isn't at capacity, it’s clear the allure of Ten Walls’ emotive, tech-driven house has mass appeal. From retired ravers that have dusted off their dancing shoes to wide-eyed lads who seem overtly excited, there’s a real sense of anticipation when Basanov appears (there’s even a group of girls chanting ‘Mario’ at the front). Thin, sprightly and sporting three-quarter length trousers, he’s perhaps not your typical DJ sensation, with his presence on stage secondary to the music.
Starting with an ambient soundscape, the first kick of his set is welcomed with a unanimous cheer and the whole room seems to ignite. Working his way through a series of dark, but energising beats, the first real ‘moment’ is provided by the unmistakable bass of ‘Gotham’, his breakout hit from 2013 and a certified classic. As the crowd reacts, Basanov seems to feed off the energy, while the large video screen behind him pulses with hypnotising visuals. Like coming up for air, we soon dive back into the depths, getting lost in his spellbinding selection.
It’s all building towards a sensational climax, and when ‘Requiem’ mixes in, the dancefloor explodes. It’s a scintillating reaction for just one note of bass, but a testament to Basanov’s skill at pacing the night and creating drama. Firmly in the palm of his hands, there’s only one track which can take us higher, the mighty ‘Walking With Elephants’. Right on cue, those spine-tingling strings filter through; girls climb on shoulders and the tension is palpable. The whole night has been leading to this moment and when that unmistakable bassline finally drops the crowd erupts. With music and visuals working in unison, it can only be described as pure elation and a satisfying end to an incredible journey.
Check out Ten Walls’ Essential Mix on Radio 1 below: