Reviewed: Der Liebe Presents: Prophecy 001
As the steel bound and beautifully carved, giant doors open to the sold out, anticipating crowd waiting in their shadow, the moment they had all been waiting for since news of this enchanting series of rituals emerged had arrived.
Breathing the distinct sound of Berlin through the Bristolian, underground music community via the talents of worldwide forward-thinking artists, Der Liebe is renowned for its intimate parties with limited capacity at hidden spaces within the bustling city, with a strong focus on providing a ‘safe space’ and negativity-free, clubbing experience. Prophecy is a trilogy of daytime events taking place during 2020 at a secret location in a venue never before used for this purpose, offering underground progressive and techno enthusiasts the chance to attend one of the most unique parties the city has seen in recent years.
From intrigued travellers stopping by for the first time after seeing a promotional post floating around on social media, to the events’ loyal entourage returning for more magic, the Der Liebe patrons entering the secret location are greeted by the breathtaking enormity of a spectacular 200 capacity, 19th century church that has been transformed into the kind of monumental rave cave you’d only ever see in a dream.
Dense and utterly striking, multi-coloured lasers courtesy of Impact Lasers stretch across the extensive hall, bouncing between the ornate clerestory windows and the mahogany north-pointing, loft style ceiling beams. A spider web of pattern-changing LED lights spread from a suspended centre and out toward the edges of the robust, stone pillar tops shaping the promenades at either side of the impressive nave that is about to become an exclusive dance floor for the very first time.
Early French-gothic arch peaks supported by the stone pillars surround the completely astounded guests weaving beneath them and appearing before the DJ with open hearts; the ethereal and ambient sounds of Bristol’s TV Shaker echoing throughout the ancient pleasure dome, holding everyone tightly in an intricately purled, rippling blanket of hypnotising techno and perfectly fitting, broken beats as he stands with humility at the altar behind a ring of candles and beside a flickering and brightly illuminated, 3ft square Der Liebe emblem.
Those seeking a little hydration head to the bar situated by the entrance before returning without delay back to their stomping spots for more of what they came for – the music. Hi-hats oscillate from every corner of the colossal space as the hot-blooded bass hunters slope intently towards the stage through a sea of entranced bodies; a smooth mover with vintage 80s tracksuit reaching for the stars, a graceful and ballerina-esque gentleman with eyes closed who and completely in the moment, a crutch-bound happy face showing no signs of discomfort and absolutely loving it. No judgement, no discrimination and freedom of expression. Welcome to Der Liebe or ‘The Love’ as it is translated.
The holy hoard of underground appreciators prepared for liftoff as this unorthodox yet mind-expanding, essential church congregation continued with warm-up responder JP Alexander. His sublime blend of selections incorporating uplifting vocals, heart-warming basslines and sharp, piercing synths raised spirits high up into the gigantic domed ceiling above, giving one nearby raver, and I quote, ‘goose bumps all over’, whilst resorting others helplessly to their knees with praying hands above their heads respectfully in appreciation of Bristolian JP’s sensational, Indian influenced finale – decorum most touching.
With Der Liebe devotees spellbound and ready to turn the next page of their mystical story, something they may have never seen before was about to be delivered with intense passion by Bournemouth’s D-Vox. Her powerful, live and completely original vocals including melodic hooks and spoken word inspiration, performed within her refreshingly unpredictable and dynamic journey was met with resounding acceptance by mesmerised, strobe-lit and cheering prog-soldiers as her deep and operatic-like voice bounded off of the divine temple walls and straight into their smiling hearts. For a member of the audience to say they’d been waiting for something like this to come to Bristol for a long time, the future for Der Liebe, with its diverse artist offering, looks unquestionably promising.
A sweaty mob of progressive house and techno heads dancing in unison to invigorating, electronic music with relentless determination is a joy to witness, and Thorts Drift injected them with exactly what they needed to maintain their hypnotic rhythm with what can only be described as an electrifying adventure down a never-ending, percussive and tribal highway that meanders through stunning cinematic soundscapes and satisfyingly saturates the senses beyond imagination. When a DJ drops a track featuring a vocal reminiscent of Gizmo from Gremlins’ gorgeous bedtime lullaby, you know it’s an adventure you’ll always remember.
There is no greater sign of appreciation for the music than to have those who arrived eagerly at open doors, owning their happy place hours later and joining forces on the dance floor for the grand finale with every ounce of energy they have left, itching for their reward – and they were not going to be disappointed. Local powerhouse Eksish stole their souls and dragged them into total darkness with a lethal dose of hard, industrial techno via the mighty Cardioid subs poised at the altar as they cast the filthiest, most destructive thunder directly into every throbbing-veined bass junkie at her devilish mercy.
As the sensational lasers which held us all together fade, as the very last beat is absorbed by the antique sanctuary walls and as the voices of the immensely satisfied, joyful Der Liebe tribe echoing through the Prophecy church gently settle, a heavenly sense of unity between hearts embracing nirvana that will never be forgotten.
It is a widely shared view that parties of this intimacy can generate an unparalleled shared experience between those lucky enough to attend. This couldn’t be more accurate. High quality exclusive parties are like a 1959 Dom Perignon popped in a room full of thirsty champagne lovers- there’s only a smidgen to go around but boy does it taste good! And with Der Liebe at the helm of two more Prophecy gatherings at the incredible secret location, plus their next Dark Side Series instalment that will welcome the phenomenal Anastasia Kristensen, you might just want to make sure you are one of those limited, golden ticket holders. Links below to secure yours:
Prophecy 002 / 003
The Dark Side Series 001