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Review: Time Warp Mannheim Festival



Over the past two decades, Time Warp has developed a reputation as the undisputed king of techno festivals. By assembling line-ups of titanic proportions, showcasing unparalleled lighting designs and production values and with the expectance of an estimated crowd of 17,000 visitors for the 22nd edition, it came to us as no surprise that the flagship event in Mannheim would transform the city into a world completely obsessed with techno.

This wasn’t just any world though; this was Time Warp – the ultimate festival experience around the globe available for techno aficionados who had travelled from far and wide. With every possible techno heavyweight you could think of uniting at the present festival phenomenon known as Maimarkthalle in Mannheim, the days of parading away on the dance floors of underground warehouses are long behind them.


With prodigious amounts of Time Warp fanatics all attempting to squeeze through one single door, our entry was slightly deferred. However we had anticipated this having seen countless groups en route to Maimarkthalle flaunting traditional black techno uniform from head-to-toe.

Having queued and purchased tokens for drinks, off we went in search of fuelling our techno addictions with an alluring dose of Nina Kraviz on a gargantuan Floor 1. Upon entering, seizer-inducing blue laser beams rained down from the dark skies above showering the crowd leaving many overwhelmed. With the explosion of her signature acidic sounds combined with her monotonous mixing, Kraviz ushered in mysterious tinges like the Dubfire Terror Planet Remix of Radio Slave’s “Grindhouse”.

With such variety on offer, we wasted little time in hurrying over to a jam-packed Floor 2 to catch the final hour of Ellum chief, Maceo Plex. Manipulating the minds of his loyal followers, Plex injected galactic proportions of feeling and funk with inclusions like his and Gabriel Ananda’s “Solitary Daze”.


The smaller yet more intimate Floor 3 was our next stop and the mesmerising chemistry of DC10 Ibiza regulars, Apollonia, ensured all ear-drum satisfaction expectations were met. Comprised of Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky, they progressed through their analogue house gears to provide revellers with a rambunctious and flowing performance made even more enjoyable courtesy of a very pellucid sound-system.

Next on our agenda was Innervisions boss, Dixon, on Floor 4. Manoeuvring our way through a very diverse European crowd, we had arrived just in time for the Berlin bakery owner to commence his set and he was received splendidly. Redefining a sophisticated dance floor to his very taste, his intensity and sheer versatility ensured complete exquisiteness on his part.


With the ultimate balance of detailed rhythm and melody, the Italian dream of Tale Of Us showcased an immersive house and techno sound capturing the imaginations of those present on Floor 4. As sweat cascaded from the walls, a titanic Tale Of Us evolution was in full swing. Creating countless moments of excitement, one saw them feature “Hope” by Musical Freak – a moment that was greeted by a delighted amateur paparazzi from the front to the very back.


Jostling for dance floor position at the crack of dawn, the emergence of Hot Creations head-honcho, Jamie Jones, brought smiles to faces as far as the eye could see. Never one to disappoint, Jones proved to be in a league all of his own hitting us with some thumping groovy bass lines and typical stripped-back house of the highest degree. His inclusion of Steve Mulder’s Remix of “The Bells” by Trevor Rockcliffe ensured everyone submitted to temptation and engaged in a timely head-bopping frenzy.

Now over half-a-day into this unrivalled techno marathon, Diynamic boss Solomun graced us with his presence on Floor 3. Complimented by the high-standard of curation, execution and production, Solomun took his followers into dimensions of a heavenly magnitude. Crowd pleasers like Gary Beck’s Remix of Slam’s “Harem” and Pryda’s “Sol” blended perfectly with an enchanting red light display thus providing a truly warming and uplifting atmosphere.


Closing proceedings on Floor 3 was Music On maestro, Marco Carola. As time grew closer to the Italian’s set time of 10am, more and more techno-thirsty bodies flooded in. In what seemed a strong reunion of Carola’s loyal Music On family, the Napoli native ensued in an onslaught of relentless booming techno only emphasising the credibility of his status as a global ambassador for the genre.

With a long history of dedication in providing the most superlative festival experience techno has to offer, Time Warp well and truly delivered. The pairing of a colossal line-up of the biggest profiles in techno with six outstanding dance floors of nations united from across the globe unquestionably produced one of Mannheim’s most memorable Time Warp events to date.


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