On a drizzly Thursday evening, I slipped down the pebbled streets of Kingsdown and meandered through the various squares of St Pauls.
The outdoors was in stark contrast to the warm beats and friendly vibes that were waiting inside Cosies.
Passing a handful of huddled people chatting in colourful European tones just before the entrance, I was soon drawn to the oscillating rhythms coming from the underground dance-floor within.
Under the club-bar’s brick vaulted spaces, I sat down in a wooden booth for a quick chat and a Red Stripe with Head Space’s creator, Edoardo.
Known on the decks as Inst.ed, he gives me an overview of the nights origins.
It came about as a way of bringing his talented friends together in a sort of musical community gathering that others would be able to appreciate.
Along with Italian DJ collective known as MOTHER INC - based in Lecco - Eddie has helped spread D&B club culture in their home country.
Though the MOTHER INC crew has been around since 1997, by hosting them under the Head Space brand, Eddie has brought this grassroots Italian movement’s passion to the thriving Bristol scene.
Eddie explains that though he’s not part of MOTHER INC, they are a good match for the image Head Space is successfully attempting to project.
The image of synth-laden stereo-wave darkness, with an approachable face.
The Italian collective brought Was A Be’s productions into view, and introduced Eddie to Fabio; one half of the duo who made Head Space #2’s impressive lineup possible.
Without MOTHER INC, Was A Be wouldn’t exist in such a capacity, so it’s great to see these community origins on full display.
This feeling was certainly echoed throughout the night itself, as each DJ mixed back into the crowd to dance and mingle after finishing their respective deck-spinning escapades.
It’s refreshing to see the line between crowd and performer blurred, and I hope that this attitude persists in events to come.
This will maintain Head Space’s position as a unique proposition in a saturated environment.
Though the venue was a success as an atmospheric space to dance, Eddie is expecting to see more attendance at future events.
Cosies’ out-of-the-way location, and its petite hi-fi’s ability to only just cope with some of the lower frequency numbers, means that Head Space is looking to expand to a different, likely bigger venue.
A better-known haunt will attract a larger crowd of dedicated heads from Bristol and elsewhere, though I hope that the personable vibe will remain.
Carlo, one-half of Bristol based duo NTROPY,
boasting a beard as strong as his basslines,
introduced the night with some rolling jungle-inspired techstep.
As it was early hours, most people were conversing and nodding appreciatively in the adjacent room, though I opted for the solo skank-out to a few murky experimental tunes.
The second act, Bristol-based VOWEL, drew in a heaving crowd with some purple-infused halftime, which paved the way for a subsequent set full of wonky jungle.
Was A Be’s takeover near the last hour was true to their name.
Italian levels of expression mixed with Japanese precision and hot mix-downs that even trained ears won’t have experienced.
A particular highlight of mine was some unknown bootleg remix of Hazard’s ever-present ‘Mr. Happy’.
In classic Was A Be style, it was unlike anything I’ve heard before.
The best description I can come up with is of chopped and screwed grime-step at 165BPM. I’ll have to ask Eddie for info on that particular bit of heat.
If ambition is anything to go by, whether hosting a heavyweight single-room takeover in one of the city’s bigger clubs, or shaking the foundations of a smaller venue, we can’t wait to see what Head Space has in store for us in the future.
Eyes on Inter:mission Underground to hear about them first.
Written by Tristan Davis - Underground Writer
Edited by Reece Webster - Underground Editor