Trouble Vision main man Chris Gold is living probably every student promoter's dream. It was back when he was studying graphic design at Camberwell College Of Arts in south London that he started throwing parties at London's Corsica Studios, two arches nestled under the railway line at Elephant & Castle. They went well, and once he'd graduated, they made him an offer he would have been immensely foolish to refuse.
“They made me this offer to start an in-house night,” he says. “It's been a good few years. The great thing about Corsica is that it's a very versatile space. If you want to paint the walls, they'll let you. They're very kind, generous people, and they gave me a chance. I came out of uni, I didn't have a job, I'd been doing events here for a couple of years, and they pitched the idea to me. Obviously I was completely into it.”
The night has recently celebrated its third birthday, and has grown into one of the go-to events in the capital. The keyword for it, perhaps, is bass. As a result, Trouble Vision leaps between genres with a dizzying agility. But moreover, it simply champions good music, whether it's techno, house, dubstep or sometimes, in the case of DJs like Martyn or Berghain resident Ben Klock, a melding of all these things together.
“The policy hasn't consciously changed, but it has evolved,” he says. “And I'm sure it will continue to do so. It's really cool that we're in a position that we can put on something that has derived from dubstep and something that has derived from techno, and make them work together. The reason that the party has grown nicely, and organically, is that we have a good core of residents who push our sound. So we have someone appropriate to warm up for Scuba, we have someone appropriate to warm up for Theo Parrish.”
The residents include Hesseltime, who also programmes the night Tief at Corsica, perhaps a candidate for next year's Best Of British list, judging by some of its steamingly good line-ups so far this year (Panoramabar's Prosumer, Dial boss Lawrence, Tom Trago, Stimming, Todd Terje, Morgan Geist, Joy Orbison, Wbeeza, Midland and Axel Boman among them). There's also Dark Sky and Park Ranger on the team, the latter being Gold's brother.
Notable guests over the past three years are sometimes so disparate, it's hard to envisage them turning up to the same night, but that simple thread of only programming great music shines through. It's a brave move to spread the musical reference points to such an extent, but it seems ultimately a most successful one.
So as well as Theo Parrish, there have been appearances from David Rodigan (the pair each headlined a night of one weekend when Trouble Vision took over the Friday and the Saturday night, selling out each well in advance). Then there's Grandmaster Flash, Motor City Drum Ensemble, DJ Zinc, D.O.P., The Nextmen, KiNK, Subb-an, Tensnake, Lee Foss, Toddla T, Julio Bashmore, Move D, MJ Cole, Instra:mental and Plastician.
Key nights for Trouble Vision come with regularity.
“We've had DJ Zinc play a few times, and he does his thing better than anyone else,” says Gold. “He's a phenomenal DJ to watch. Theo (Parrish) played at the beginning of the year and ended up playing for six-and-a-half hours, until nine in the morning. We had to drag him off. He's just inspirational. You watch him, and he totally, totally loves it. He's just so absorbed in it.
“We had SBTRKT playing back-to-back with Joy Orbison, just before all the hype hit the fan. That was pretty special. But I know that everyone isn't as into music as I am, so we do try and make it fun and make it a party. If you come and you don't know anyone on the bill, we hope that there will be something you're into regardless, if you keep an open mind. Which all adds to the challenge.”
There has been some expansion into other territories, hooking up with the Bristol crews Just Jack and Rag, and also the Welsh festival Gottwood. But their home will always be at Corsica.
“I love the club, and when it's really going in both rooms, there's no better place in London,” he says, clearly bristling with well-earned pride.
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The Other Nominees
|Bedlam, Kent||Louche, Leeds||Content, Manchester||Death Disco, Glasgow|