WAH WAH 45s celebrated their thirteenth birthday in typically uproarious style at The Scala, in King's Cross, on Nov 10, punctuating the eclectic all-night party with a pleasing variety of top-drawer acts ... and some inflatable parrots and musical bingo for levity.
While soul may be the defining quality of the "fiercely independent" London label's output, fun is certainly the prevailing theme of their parties. Indeed Simon and Chris Goss's underground shindigs in the mid-90s caught the imagination, and when they decided to establish the label, alongside Dom Servini, this characteristic remained ever-present.
On this occasion the main room (of four) started filling up around 10pm when Matthew Halsall's trio - one of almost 20 headliners - took to the stage, following on from Bev Lee Harling, the label's latest talent. The young Manchester-based trumpeter has four pure-jazz albums out now, including Fletcher Moss Park which was released on his own Gondwana Records last month, and here was another hint at his preciousness and - more delightful, still - a nudge to where his style is headed.
The 29-year-old's On The Go release was named Jazz Album of the Year by Worldwide guru Gilles Peterson earlier in 2012, and now his spiritual roots are beginning to bloom. This special performance, signalling an exciting metamorphosis - with Cinematic Orchestra's Luke Flowers on the drums and Taz Modi, of Submotion Orchestra, on the keyboard - underlined Halsall's affection for Aphex Twin's oeuvre, and was worth the entrance fee alone.
Following Halsall's troupe was another new signing: Paper Tiger, a Leeds-based post-dub-step, hip-hop group worth keeping an ear out for, and later French producer dEbruit, the self-proclaimed "afro-beat surrealist", whipped the main room crowd up.
As the clock struck 2am a session by The Resonators, an energetic dub collective from Brighton, had packed the dancefloor, and the party was in full swing.
Elsewhere, Room One played host to two of the Europe's most respected and influential collectives, Jazzanova - whose Class Brieler spun - and Trojan Sound System, and a flit between rooms meant that lift off was ensured.
This was the fourth year that La Scala had hosted the party, which ended at 5am on Sunday morning - at least officially. The venue, built in 1920 as a cinema, may be dilapidated, but it is characterful and charming. Plus it holds a certain poignance for the Wah Wah 45s crew and faithful.
In October 2009, days after Simon had been diagnosed with lung cancer, they threw their first party at La Scala (with Bonobo, DJ Format and Ramadanman, among a raft of others). Within four months Simon had passed away and the reins were taken by Dom and Adam Scrimshire. The label has continued its upward trajectory, and Saturday's hugely successful party provided another reason to salute Simon in the stars.
Words: Oliver Pickup
Aussie drum & bass producer Safire drops by for a chat and reveals where to download his Innerspace Audio track for free!
Check The Foundation With David Heartbreak
Brooklynite David Heartbreak is launching the Foundation EP on OWSLA, and reception has been hot so far. Blending hip hop with dance vibes, we wanted to investigate from the man himself.
Philth Pours Out His Heart Songs
More well known for his, well, filth, Philth has gone all romantic on us for his new EP. We chat basslines, waistlines and inspirations right here.
Goodlooking Meets Spotify
One of the most groundbreaking labels in the history of UK dance music has teamed up with one of the leading streaming services online. We bring you the info right here.
Digital Soundboy Set Sail For Boat Party
Digital Soundboy are at it again. Ship ahoy for a summer boat party, we've got the details here.
Emissions Festival 2013 Review
We check out 'West Coast Bass Culture' festival Emissions...
Love Saves The Day 2013 Preview Mix
In anticipation of what promises to be an awesome event, Hodge & Shandy have put together a preview mix for Love Saves The Day.
Clima Guest Mix And Free Track
Spanish production duo Clima have some big releases coming up, and to celebrate, they have a guest mix and a track to give away.
One World Many Cultures With David Boomah
He has gone and done it. The new album from David Boomah is out now, and of course, Kmag wanted to get the lowdown from the man himself.
Empress Guest Mix
Best known for her marathon genre-bending sessions behind the decks, Empress checks in with a heavy-duty guest mix and broad-ranging interview that spans the course of her career.
Swindle Lives For The Jazz
Swindle's new album is coming out on DEEPMEDi on June 16th. We caught up with the bass music jet-setter to discuss his work and the sense of achievement of the album's completion.
Bassclash Meets Dubstar
Leading dubstep label Dubstar is teaming up with Bassclash for a huge compilation album, out now. Find out more here.
With interest peaking in their upcoming London night, we find out more about the Innersoul crew, and what they are up to.
CM Sounds Competition
CM Sounds have some amazing music technology courses on offer. They are now teaming up with Kmag for a competition. We give you all you need to know right here.
Aural Imbalance Comes Out Of Plato's Cave
Aural Imbalance is one half of Out Of Plato's Cave, who have recently dropped an album on the Greta Cottage Workshop label. We speak to him about it here.