“One Night In C12”
A text written for the photo book by Jeremy Gérard, in-house photographer of Brussels paramount nightclub C12.
A clubber in a beautiful Japanese kimono walks in the main room of C12. The dj plays an unrushed ambient track, a beautiful vocal sequence echoes through the concrete structure. The space is barely lit, light strips in blue and red spread a dreamlike haze. In control of the music tonight is Floating Points - a British musician, professor and adventurous dj - who will play for six hours straight. It's been ten minutes since the first track started and he’s in no hurry, the next track saves the room from silence at the very end of a fade out. This is the beginning of a long night and the golden hour of a party, when expectations and energy levels are high..
A group of three clubbers jumps around the room. One of them cries out "Je suis chaud!", with enough decibels to overpower the towering sound system. Several meters away a couple tries to imagine the first kick drum, still absent in Floating Points' atmospheric opening tracks. They soft-shoe on a square meter in the middle of the room and are officially the first dancers of the night.
Positions are being assumed on the dance floor, drinks passed around. Two spectators opt for the front row, as close as they can get to the DJ booth, in order to carefully study the dj's movements. They don't move an inch, gently leaning their arms on the metal fence that is protecting the hardware-loaded table from the dance floor. Behind them two dancers pirouette around the room in a criss-cross pattern. They move elegantly through the vacant space, stretching an invisible wire about the clubbers and gradually tightening up the crowd through the course of the night.
Floating Points brings in a kick drum, slowly but surely. A beautiful soul voice sings over it, the bassline starts to groove, the majority of the clubbers is now moving and shaking. The night, with its own logic and standards, is taking off. The thick walls, encapsulated in a hidden space of the mighty Brussels central station, protect its inner soul from the normative outside world, camouflaged in space and time. Tens of thousands of commuters who use the corridor during weekdays rushing to their daily trains, have no clue of the community occupying it during long weekend nights.
Hours later and C12 is still filled with energetic bodies moving in an incomprehensible yet graceful rhythm. The night's futuristic soundtrack pumps from the enormous sound system. Everyone shares the same route to an unknown destination, happening now and not tomorrow. It's in this space that we celebrate rave culture, based on a half-century-old tradition, with a unique Brussels flair. Our weekend home: C12.
Author: Koen Galle
Editor: Dana Kuehr
Picture: Jeremy Gérard