Crafting The Early Hours with Corner
In mid April, we had the honour of hosting the launch of East London's brand-new afterparty, Corner. Situated within Pickle's cosy confines, Corner seeks to gather London's after-hours community together for a sunrise special with sights firmly focused on quality techno. After a hugely successful first event, Corner returns to the Pickle Factory on 20th May, bringing Hispanic techno mainstay and Pole Group co-founder Reeko, alongside Children of Tomorrow's label head Arnaud le Texier and more.
We caught up with the party's founders, Mehdi and Jameel, to discuss Corner's influences and inspirations, and their hopes for the party's future.
Mehdi and Jameel, how’s it going? Can you tell us a bit about your new afterparty concept at The Pickle Factory - Corner?
Mehdi: London is a very big city with an effervescent music scene, but the techno scene is relatively niche. Everyone knows each other, it’s like a big family. I personally think it’s a shame when everybody gathers to one of the various parties run every weekend around the city and spreads out afterwards into different places. To me, there’s an obvious need for an event where everyone can meet up or carry on together and continue the same vibe.
Jameel: The afterparty scene has become so disillusioned over the last 2-3 years and we thought we needed to do something about it. We wanted to give something back to the community and to all our friends who don’t go out to proper afterparties anymore, for whatever reason. Over the years of being in the scene, many of my friends have always asked me why I hadn’t started my own party, so now the dream is becoming a reality. My good buddy Mehdi seemed like the ideal person to run it with and our network of going out and linking everyone together in the scene made it a perfect combination.
We hosted Corner's launch in mid-April, and it's safe to say it was a huge success. How did you find your first night with us?
M: It takes time for a party and its crowd to settle into a new venue… a bit like how it takes cats time to adjust to a new home! But honestly, Pickle Factory is a very cosy place so we all felt very comfortable there and the whole team was very friendly to everyone. We want Corner to be intimate party and it fits perfectly with the venue.
J: Our first night at Pickle Factory was amazing for the both of us and everyone who came down. Everything flowed so well, the people, the vibe, the energy all came together and the staff at the club including the security were brilliant. We couldn’t have asked for a better launch. Chatting to everyone during the party, we could tell straight away we were onto a winner, and the club were super happy with how a Sunday morning techno afterparty actually went down!
In light of the first event, where do you see your night starting to fit into London’s current afterparty scene?
M: Given the vibrancy of London's scene, there are multiple parties across different venues on Friday & Saturday nights, yet this choice and diversity is not reflected in the after-party options currently available. There is an obvious imbalance and this has to change. Monopoly is not beneficial to anyone, except the ones who have it. Equally, we need a healthy competition in the after hours scene in order to challenge ourselves and improve the quality of the events.
J: I think and believe that Corner will fit comfortably into the techno afterparty scene of London and our crowd of good friends and people that came to the first one can only make the next parties even better.
Mehdi, you’ve been running events in Europe since 2012. What did you pick up running nights abroad that you’d like to bring to the UK?
M: I wasn't aiming to run any parties in London to be honest, it wasn’t my objective at all. The idea really grew out of my experience going to parties here, and it really came by itself. I guess it’s easier to start an event when you are already a promoter, as you’re familiar with the process and have a certain entrepreneurial spirit. I've been living in London for 6 years and I noticed a real lack of afterparties and an increasing demand for it. There is clearly a niche and I thought I could contribute.
And you Jameel - a long-running promoter and running London’s Techno Events page on Facebook. What have you learnt from being immersed in London’s party scene that you want to bring to the new night?
J: Being in the scene for so many years has allowed me to develop all my links, contacts and knowledge of so many parties, DJs and producers and I’m very grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to do that. Building up support for many different techno parties and helping to promote them will definitely help our own, as we all support each other in our own different ways.
On this note then, what would you each say is your recipe for a perfect after hours party?
M: When you have a good crowd, all the rest comes together. We don’t want to be just a carry-on party, but an event for people who know why and what they are here for. We clearly promote the diversity in our crowd, united by the same mind-set and celebrating togetherness, friendship, love and passion for music.
J: The perfect recipe like I mentioned before is awesome music, awesome people, awesome vibes.
Your first event featured the likes of Von Grall and Artefakt, with Arnaud le Texier and Reeko headlining at your next event in May - can you tell us a little bit about your process when curating line-ups for these mornings?
M: We don't really stick to a certain type of techno, we want to be diverse in our line-ups and explore all the range of influences that techno is offering. We don’t book artists depending to the kind of techno they play, but the quality of their music and the energy that comes from it. Ultimately, we want to push the local London techno talent - all our friends that are great DJ’s but don’t have a chance to play out. We also want to combine that with some international talent, which we feel is the perfect blend. As a pair, we both think about the lineups together and vary them up to keep things fresh and staying true to our vision of Corner. We also think about our crowd and the impact our bookings will have and to give something new to London, that they might not have seen before.
So there seems to be a strong emphasis on local artists and community... can you pick out some close friends, artists and projects from the London community that you’d like to draw some attention to?
J: The local artists, community and friends of ours are so important to what we are trying to achieve at Corner, so many are doing such a great job in London furthering the scene. I would definitely pay attention to most of the following as they’re all doing so well to keep the scene in London strong and alive: Structure, On The 5th Day, Grey Matter, Superstition, Find Me In The Dark, Machine, Alter, Plex, Koodeta, Neighbourhood, Kaos, Them, Dazed and Confuzed, Make Me, Unmasked and Blanc.
Finally, can you each pick out a track that sums up the perfect after-party vibe that you’d like to capture for Corner?
The Gateway Experience – Twin Freaks [Original].
M:Massive classic, killer track when dropped at the right time…
nthng - Human
J: For me, a track that sums up the perfect afterparty vibe is very difficult to say. If I had to pick one would be this
Corner returns to Bethnal Green on 20th May. £10 tickets available strictly on the door, opening at 6am and closing at 3pm.
Photo Credits: Larry Jordan