Violent Blondes – The Queen of Bethnal Green

Techno has come to London’s east end and has assimilated with its environment, with a perfect mixture of camp and provocation threading through the genre for this release by the Violent Blondes. The production duo of Annabel and Nicola (no last names given) rely on a spartan percussive rhythmical basis, juxtaposed by sweeping atmospheric synthesised winds blowing over the minimalist landscape. Although it’s Techno and most certainly intended for the dance floor, “The Queen of Bethnal Green” has a very serious intent at the core of its existence. It’s released on Annabel and Nicola’s Civil Disobedience label, which takes its name from the suffragette movement, and like that movement the label ‘s “mission is to honour and empower all gender identities who believe in absolute equality in music and beyond”. The track itself serves as a warning for the dangers of mephedrone abuse, with the Queen of Bethnal Green ( a real-life character) offered as a deterrent for those walking a similar path. The Violent Blondes relay this message quite literally in the track with a sample taken from the Queen’s budget speech  of 2015, warning against “the new generation of psychoactive drugs”.

They manage to unpack this message in a very tasteful way without losing sight of the execution that is the immediate draw of the music. There’s a primordial pulse to the music that calls on the traditions of the music more than is form of dance music without falling victim to nostalgic reverie. The Queen of Bethnal Green is ensconced the sound of Detroit but the Violent Blondes make it their own in the creative landscape of London’s east end and it makes for a wholly exciting dance floor event. Jason Fernandes emphasises this in his remix, and strips the track back even further for a more aggressive club onslaught, taking the original track into even darker corners. “I was literally on my feet zoning out to this one in a dark studio in the middle of the night’, says Fernandes of his mix and it shows. The end result is a very conceptually strong release that manages to still keep a firm finger on the pulse of the dance floor.