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The Chilean-born techno pioneer lets rip on the gentrification of clubbing, and why family responsibilities mean he’s now always home by 10… in the morning
It’s 7am when I walk into Fabric, and it smells terrible. The superclub has been open since 11pm, hosting an afterparty for the Lovebox festival where many of the patrons spent the day. With everyone’s antiperspirant a distant memory, the air is rich with a summery musk, a little like rotten peaches.
Until 11.30am, a period when most other Londoners are walking dogs, burping babies and pondering an elaborate fry-up, the dancefloor remains packed for what is one of the great techno pilgrimages: an early-morning set from Chilean-born DJ and producer Ricardo Villalobos. He has been on since 6am, and is now vogueing happily around the Fabric booth, long arms reaching this way and that as he pulls together a set of extraordinary, often contradictory grooves. Around the minimal techno he is known for, there are bits of flute, salsa rhythms, a commanding edit of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax, and a 10-minute stretch of ultra-slow dub.