In Depth
“If Only All Parties Were Made This Way”, A Storied History of Kubicle

Even in a time of austerity, London’s boroughs are still littered with various cubby holes and pockets of countless musical niches and movements. From the floors of record stores to the high ceilings of industrial spaces and even former public toilets, expressive and visionary people are using these places as launch pads for a menagerie of creative outlooks. Sure, this fact is nothing new; many a scene has been born from within the constrictions of an urban landscape. It’s well known that Shoreditch’s pre-gentrified state became a beacon for tech house and even though it seems like a bit of a dirty term now, it only does so because it’s the same sound that was being gleamed out of every east London pop-up, club and quasi permanent space at the tail end of the first decade of our new millennium.

As a party, Kubicle was founded in 2005 by Liz Mendez and Sonia Anderson, in a space that is walking distance from the Shoreditch Triangle. Taking its name directly from its home, the converted public convenience Public Life on Commercial Street, Kublicle’s glittered and intimate parties operated in the after-hours and over its life span the party became so much more than a standard carry on venue. Over ten years it’s evolved into a hub for the community with some of the scene’s central DJs now at the core of operations at a regular following lovingly dubbed the ‘Kubicle Kids’.
Honestly, it’s always felt like a party that belongs to everyone. With a prime Sunday after hour’s spot it enabled involvement from a lot of the immediate area’s working DJs and as a result you could typically catch founding crew members like Richy Ahmed and Jamie Jones there spinning records…

“I’ve been part of Kubicle from the start,” Jones tells us, and when we finally catch up with him deep in the midst of reminiscing. “It’s been an amazing journey. From crazy toilet raves to muddy but glamorous festival shindigs, the girls always put on a memorable party.”

“Kubicle has always been one of my favourite parties,” offers Ahmed, agreeing with Jone’s sentiment. “They gave me my first big break in London, but there’s always a good vibe and positive energy. Their parties at Public Life on a Sunday are still some of the best parties I have ever been too!”

Described by our own resident and Kubicle regular, Craig Richards as “a London legend” the parties imbibed the kind of philosophy of celebration where the party goes far beyond the blatant British hedonism we’ve so wonderfully exported elsewhere and offers up the rave as an uplifting experience. Something truly special and unique that stands out in an oversaturated landscape of commercialised clubbing. “It’s the real thing,” Richards continues, “a party for people who love to get down but care enough to dress up.”

Crazy P agrees calling it ‘energising’: “I love playing at Kubicle. It’s the type of place where no matter how busy your schedule has been or how tired you are you come out feeling fresh and vibrant! The crowd is totally open minded musically and Sonia and Liz make sure there is a sparkling, intimate and uniquely energetic vibe every time. It’s for dancers not talkers and it’s perfect for people that don’t take themselves too damn serious.”

“From the seedy glory of the whipping rooms to the crazy hedonism of a Victorian toilets, the trashy mirrored wonder of Metropolis, the rooftop parties in Farringdon and the Balearic beach parties. Kubicle is the underground but with colour and care: proper parties where the atmosphere, the decoration, the setting, the people and the music are all celebrated in equal measure.” – Craig Richards

The landscape of the era that Kubicle was established was very different. Back then Shoreditch was an alternative night out. T Bar was at its height with its central positioning and forward thinking programming. Warehouse and carpark parties were going off behind Brick Lane and the zeitgeist was very much being defined by labels like Crosstown Rebels and Get Physical. This was a time before Kubicle associates like Jones and Ahmed were working their 24/7 DJ schedules and were populating the dancefloor as clubbers. Kubicle became a filter to the top echelons of the sounds on offer with the DJs playing to a crowd of educated peers and ravers with open ears.

“Kubicle have been throwing proper after hours and club events in London for many years,” says Superfreq boss, Mr C. “They are an integral part of what makes London such a great city to party in: always on the cutting edge of music with a real emphasis on fun.... if only all parties were made this way. ”

The fact that Kubicle never descended into a debauchery of Sunday seediness, instead raising up the end of the weekend situation to glamourous peak was in a large part thanks to Mendez and Andereson’s flare for style. And even though the party left Public Life, the founding mothers have taken the party’s ethos to varied venues: S&M dungeons, East End boozers, welcoming warehouses and they’ve just returned from installing the vibe at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

Soul Clap sum up the environment perfectly saying: “Kubicle parties are the perfect mix of friends, fun and freakiness; that’s we always love to bring our funky flavours to their dancefloors.” While the party’s resident Miguel Campbell adds his own stamp of approval and teases out a little information on what we can expect from our own celebration of Kubicle’s decade long legacy this Saturday in Room Three… “I’ve played for Kubicle lots of times and at lots of different venues. The girls always put on a great event and create a unique atmosphere at their parties, so I can only expect bright colour and glamour at this party!”


Saturday 4th July

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