8 years ago
02 April 2007
I've posted some photos on Flikr from the recent 24-hour (and what will probably become legendary) Mute '4298607' party. FYI the '4298607' numbers refer to (in this order) the Mute building number in the Harrow Road, the year Mute moved into the building and the year they move out (and go to EMI).
And what an utterly weird experience it was walking through the doors into that building again. It had been transformed from busy record company offices into what looked like a twisted post-apocalyptic 'industrial party' film set. Bunches of severed cables hanging out of ceilings and walls, discarded odds & sods and paperwork on the floors and dozens of empty offices. The place had no signs of fixtures, fittings and furniture, just lots of bean bags, old sofas, spot lights, strobes, video projectors, make-shift drinks bars, a barbecue in the car park, 3 or 4 DJ systems on different floors, a fully equipped stage in the warehouse and people, kids, drinks, food, more people and cameras everywhere you looked (plus the presence of a slightly menacing security crew constantly wandering around, I guess to stop anyone walking off with what little 'Mute souvenirs' were left).
I think the idea was to give what could have been a maudlin event a really positive spin, and it worked. Everyone was really buzzing and there were a lot of smiling faces and a lot of hugging going on. We were just Mute 'artists' and yet we bumped into quite a few 'former Mute employees' we hadn't seen for years. But Mute has employed a lot of people over the last two decades and it was great to see so many people turning up and seeing old friends and work-mates. Daniel (Miller, head honcho) even did the old 'meet and greet' routine on the door, classic! Never thought I'd see the day. We went along with Andria Degens (aka Pantaleimon), who used to be Daniel's PA and we all did a short contribution for the 'Mute video diary' that had been set up in the former studio on the top floor, the studio where TG recorded the TG Now album back in 2004. They also had a great room (actually I think it was Daniel's old office) with hundreds of 'Mute' photos covering 20 years pasted onto the walls. Nostalgia overload! But great. As we left dozens of people were still turning up and you could hear the noise way down the street.
The following week the building was demolished (and Mute were going to time-lapse film it for posterity). There's also talk of one of those blue memorial plaques going onto the new apartment block that's replacing it.
End of an era, new beginnings and all that...