The 10 Tracks that rocked Exit Festival 2019
It goes without saying that EXIT is one of Europe’s greatest festivals. A Serbian institution, it’s been taking place now for an impressive 19 years — and on this year’s evidence, it shows no sign of slowing down.
Of course, central to the festival’s success has been its iconic stages, none off which come more recognisable or downright brilliant as the world-famous mts stage. Alongside the suitably named No Sleep Novi Sad stage, both sites are home to an explosion of colour and partisan crowds each July, always soundtracked by the globe’s most internationally recognised DJs.
This year’s event featured more of the same, with big-name headliners such as Carl Cox, Solomun, Tale Of Us and Maceo Plex joining no-less esteemed names such as Amelie Lens, Jeff Mills and Charlotte de Witte among others. Needless to say, each and every one of them impressed in their own inimitable way.
But which tracks really brought the house down over the course of the 4 days at Exit Festival? Here, we provide you with a comprehensive rundown of what went down sound-wise.
Charlotte de Witte (Day 1)
Cherrymoon Trax – The House of House (Thomas Schumacher Remix)
There can be little doubt that Charlotte de Witte is now a DJ firmly in the A league. Although it seems as though her success has come out of nowhere, the opposite is, in fact, true: she’s been honing her tough-as-nails sound for years now, making her appearance at the mts Dance Arena a truly welcome one. With the atmosphere at fever pitch as she descended into a furious set, she dropped Thomas Schumacher’s mix of Cherrymoon Trax’s ‘The House of House’. Needless to say, pandemonium ensued. A rolling techno workout full of intensity, it neatly encapsulates everything that we love about de Witte right now.
Monika Kruse (Day 1)
Crystal Waters – She’s Homeless (Edit)
Terminal M boss Monika Kruse is someone who’s really been enjoying the big stage of late. The German DJ, producer and label owner never fails to bring the heat, such as here where she unleashed this nifty edit of Crystal Water’s iconic house jam, ‘She’s Homeless’. Wrapping a tough tech-house sound around the original’s vocal proved a masterstroke: getting the crowd on stage with two very different vibes. But then Kruse has always been one to mix things up. Now, who can tell us who this edit is by?!
Maceo Plex (Day 1)
Paul Woolford – Erotic Discourse (Dense & Pika Remix)
Maceo Plex is a don, of that there is no doubt. Born Eric Estornel, although he rarely works under his Maetrik alias these days, it’s fair to say he hasn’t reverted to the house sound for which he is truly best known. A man who seems to get better and better with time, he’s someone who’s equally respected in underground circles as he is more accessible ones — largely because of his discerning, chameleonic musical tendencies. Watch him play out Dense & Pika’s remix of Wooly’s classic, ‘Erotic Discourse’, at the link below from 22 mins in.
Maceo Plex b2b Carl Cox (Day 1)
CJ Bolland – Camargue
Coxy returned to the EXIT stage for the first time in a decade this year, and while his set impressed, things were really at their most frantic when he teamed up with the aforementioned Mr Plex. Needless to say, dropping R&S classics a la CJ Bolland’s ‘Camargue’ can only help proceedings! When Coxy is voicing his approval, you know something must be going right!
Carl Cox (Day 1)
Adam Beyer, Layton Giordani & Green Velvet – Data Point
Coxy, of course, is a well — probably more than any at EXIT — who knows how to fulfil large crowds. More than any DJ over the course of the 4 days, it was his presence on the stage which brought about the biggest whoops and cheers. Playing to the crowd as he always did, his set was a full-on sound assault, brilliantly summed up with ‘Data Point’, a modern Drumcode classic featuring the work of Adam Beyer, Layton Giordani & Green Velvet. With that trio all involved, it’s hardly surprising this one worked an absolute treat.
Adriatique (Day 3)
Push – Universal Nation
Adriatuique’s spiky tech house sound continues to win them fans aplenty, and if their 12-midnight slot was designed as a ‘warm-up’, it was actually anything but. Muscular but displaying a synergy that brilliantly sums up the appeal of the Swiss duo, their set really came to life when they dropped this smile-inducing, dramatic trance classic. Resurrected by numerous DJs of late, this one is further proof that trance is most definitely back. What’s more, it felt pretty insane on the mts arena’s huge speaker stack.
Solomun b2b Tale of Us (Day 3)
Kosheen – Hide You (Chicola Remix)
These two (or should that be three?) have played together a host at times, including last year at EXIT and at Solomun’s Ibiza shindig in Ibiza. Indeed, the big German/Croat must dearly love playing with the Afterlife titans, as he invited them back again this time for another round of top-class vibes. The highlight in their set though was undoubtedly when they dropped Chicola’s remix of Kosheen’s Hide You. Pure vibes!
Jeff Mills (Day 4)
Jeff Mills – The Bells
One of techno’s true innovators playing arguably his best-known track to a packed out crowd? We’ll take that, thanks! After all this time, there are few tracks that elicit a reaction quite like this one. What’s more, it paved the way for a set that never let up in intensity as the evening wore one.
Amelie Lens (Day 4)
Optimuss & Durtysoxxx – ‘Aberrant’
Amelie Lens’s closing set was so good that it’s hard to choose just one highlight — so we’ve opted here tor two. First up is Optimuss & Durtysoxxx’s ‘Aberrant’. An utterly barnstorming anthem that always pushes matters into another dimension, this is thinking man’s techno of the sort that’s just as welcome in Berghain as it is in EXIT. Scarier than a Monday morning after a weekend on the sesh, it’s a ferocious anthem which will chime well with Lens’ (many!) hardcore fans, especially.
The Prodigy – Firestarter
The Prodigy are unsurprising, considered legends at EXIT — and rightly so. Indeed, so revered were they that we spotted almost two dozen Prodigy t-shirts over the course of the weekend, a respectful nod of course to the late, great Keith Flint. So when Lens opted to see out her set on Monday morning around 10am with ‘Firestarter’, it proved to be a great moment that celebrated a great person. RIP to Keith Flint, one of the true originators whose music and charisms will continue to leave a lasting impression for decades to come.