At the London club Fabric this Saturday, you will see Craig Richards, a DJ many consider the doyen of electro-house, headline the main room. In Room 3, Headman, a Swiss DJ/producer named Rob Insinna, will be playing his electro grooves. You will have heard the Swiss-Chilean electro-funkster Luciano doing his stuff as a warm- up to Richards, and at the start of the evening, an up-and-coming British DJ of Polish origin named Margaret Dygas will have opened proceedings.
Saturdays at Fabric are for future sounds; Fridays are for the sounds of now, such as the Fabric Loves Labels breaks night. Fabric also has plans for a Thursday night that will cross over more into the rock territory. The club is on a roll, in contradiction to claims that the dance- music scene is moribund. Nick Doherty, a spokesman for Fabric, says: 'When all that press stuff [about dance being dead] was being written, Fabric was sidestepped. Last year was our best ever in terms of numbers through the door.'
If you are not at Fabric, you may instead be at Herbal, in east London, enjoying a rare visit by the Dutch techno don Speedy J, who is taking part in a showcase of the Novamute label. Five east- London clubs are running label showcases over the band-holiday weekend, under the aegis of Encompass, a festival of cutting-edge music and technology, based in the old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, organised by the manager and promoter Jon Terry. As well as a trade fair, there will be workshops and discussions, including a panel on 'The press and the death of dance music'. Radio 1 is broadcasting the event.
Terry has been planning this festival for …