By Clara Goode
Photos by Teddy Williams
The crowd that gathered at The Jungle on Saturday night was diverse, as is the case at most underground events. True to form, all types came out to enjoy the deep, intense rhythms of Dublin native Gavin Lynch, known to his avid fans as Matador. The opening set, played by Luis Valencia, set the groundwork for a night full of energy. When I arrived people were already gathering on the dance floor to bounce to Valencia’s consistently upbeat and catchy tunes.
As the night progressed, more and more people filled the club. Jeans and button down shirts mixed with people wearing more eccentric dress, such as the young woman dancing in a black and white version of Alice In Wonderland and the man wearing a tweed suit and a bowler hat. Behind the crowd a dancer plays with LED gloves, accentuating the rhythms in the music with a light show all his own.
By the time Matador takes the stage, the side conversations and socializing have all but stopped completely in anticipation of his immersive music. Spilled drinks create patterns of light and dark on the floor that reflect the colored lights that move over the crowd. People are now packed onto the dance floor and they cheer as the strobe lights go off in rhythm to his opening bass. There are over 200 people in the club and the lights make silhouettes of the dancing crowd.
Matador’s music is entrancing, a pervasive bass sounds out a deep underbelly and blends with constantly building layers of treble and unique sound effects that varied throughout the evening to include everything from the haunting melodies of an old music box to more exotic sounds such as hand drums, sirens and jungle noises.
The hammering rhythms make it impossible to be still, and people have come to dance. With each new layer of music, he commands the attention of the crowd. Some people are moving as if they are trying to forget the world they left outside the doors, dancing almost frantically to a deep bass they can feel to their core. While others simply stand, eyes closed basking in the bright lights and nodding in time as if in a trance.
Matador himself stands on the stage over them, dragging on a cigarette and watching his followers with an air of playful nonchalance. He appears comfortable as he observes them, calm, clapping and smiling when they cheer a particularly good effect. It is easy to see the power he holds over the crowd, though he gives off no air of arrogance as he manipulates their movements with the touch of a button.
The girl in front of me is wearing a hat that says “Live for the Music,” and that is the sentiment shared by artist and audience alike. Matador has used his talent and expression to give the crowd exactly what it wants, a break from day to day monotony and they show him their gratitude by responding with an unrelenting and contagious energy of their own.