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Now that the party's over
Source: guardian.co.uk
Posted on: February 19, 2008 06:25 MST
Filed under: Electronic

Electric Chair

The best club night in the country finally closed last month. Luke Bainbridge celebrates the legacy of an underground institution

Famed club night Electric Chair closed its doors for the final time on Saturday 26 January. Founded by DJ partners Luke and Justin Unabomber in 1995, the Manchester club never had the profile of its superclub competitors, but then that was precisely the point. Its subterranean surrounds and a heady brew of disco, house, hip hop, R&B, techno and northern sulphuric soul proved a welcome antidote to the excesses that otherwise defined the time.

As it grew, and moved from the Roadhouse to the Music Box, its reputation spread internationally, through word of mouth and because guest DJs were blown away by the atmosphere. Joe Claussell from New York's Body & Soul remains almost evangelical: 'I rarely play in the UK, but I can't explain in words how great that party was. To me it's all about energy and that place had one of the greatest energies I've experienced as a DJ anywhere.' His compatriot and fellow DJ Maurice Fulton even met his wife Mu at the club, recording the track 'Mu That Rocked the Electric Chair' to celebrate.

Tickets for the final night sold out immediately, five months earlier. Exclusive footage of the carnage that evening can now be seen on OMM's website Abba to Zappa.

Message boards have buzzed with debate asking after the 'all-time Chair classics', but you could do worse than pick two of the Unabombers own tracks (recorded under aliases) - Only Child's 'Space Disco' and Elektrons' 'Dirty Basement'. After the closure of the Haçienda, Manchester needed to go underground to rediscover its clubbing roots and this is what the Chair achieved.

As for the Unabombers, they plan to concentrate on new projects, including their own Electric Elephant festival in Croatia this August bank holiday (see electriks.co.uk for details).

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