Reviewed: Printworks Opening Issue 002
Saturday the 7th Oct, somewhere in south London some cogs are turning, wires are sending and receiving frequencies, slowly the large newspaper print begins to tick over, it was finally time for the summer hiatus to come to an end, for London’s greatest venue to open its arms with a massive Printworks homecoming, for the publication of Issue 002.
A quick recap then, over the months of February to April we bore witness to the likes of Loco Dice, Hot since ‘82, Adam Beyer and Ben Klock, laying what would become the foundation for this astonishing venue. If you were lucky enough to get tickets to any of the opening events you would understand why it has been all anyone can talk about, even after the closing party when the dust had settled the murmurs about Issue 001 seemed to never quite die out.
When it was announced that issue 002 was opening in October social media went into a frenzy, who would play? Could they top Issue 001? How long would this series run for? All doubt and questions were answered when it was revealed Maceo Plex, Rødhåd and Daniel Avery would play; and this was just for starters. From October to December they’ve got a jam-packed selection of artists to itch that electronic music scratch we all know too well.
With summer ebbing away over the fresh morning horizons of autumn, the day had finally arrived, Printworks Opening Issue 002. My friends and I had declared this day as a homecoming, this was our place, a place where we made our memories a place where we heard some of the best sets 2017 had to offer and stepping in through those small warehouse shutters I couldn’t help but notice the elation on not just our faces but of those around us.
Opening the day was Charlotte De Witte, a DJ who’s had one hell of a year. Charlotte, laying claim to Mixmags track of 2016 is certainly a star on a continued rise, from holding down a residency on Studio Brussel with her “Playground” to holding down a residency at Brussels established techno club Fuse, touring globally this girl can throw down with the best of them, having signed tracks numerous labels including but most definitely not exclusively Tiga’s own Turbo Recordings. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to catch her set on the day but through the gift of live streaming, shout-outs to be-at.tv, I got to witness a truly mind-blowing DJ. Not the same as witnessing it in person but it would suffice… this time.
I arrive in time for Mind Against. A duo who really know how to work the crowd. The thumping kick and deep distorted bass synonymous with the Life & Death honchos can be heard from the stairs. I’m starting to get antsy, I want to get in there but first, it’s a bar pit stop, as before the efficiency of the bar is still there, no more tokens and only mere minutes pass before I’m in the middle of the press hall with a drink in hand.
Even though it’s still early a fair sized crowd have assembled, I know before long this room is going to be packed to the brim with people, so I find a good spot and let Mind Against take over every essence of me.
Next up is Vril, admittedly this is a new artist for me, one that has slipped under my radar and he’s doing a live set, it’s truly indescribable.
The manipulation this man has is astounding, I can only watch in awe as he grips the crowd with rumbling low-end bass, really giving the l’acoustic system a workout and cleaving high hats through the various new tweeters installed throughout the press hall, this is mind-blowing. The two hours go too quickly for my liking. I’ve been captivated by the sheer amount of talent from this one person, you can see why he’s a label favourite for Dystopian, the dark and gritty sounds fill the air, almost ominously overpowering. He’s definitely someone I’ll be looking out for in the future.
As he finishes up and paves the way for Daniel Avery the anticipation created can be cut with a knife, the feeling tingles through me like a warrior on the cusp of a battle, ready and waiting.
The lights dim down, Avery steps behind the decks, whistles and claps are heard as a thank you to Vril for the ultimate journey. Within seconds deep bass and punishing kick drums are heard, the place is alive and kicking once again. Through his set, you can really feel him pushing the speakers to their limit. Avery, known for Techno productions that are not afraid to push the envelope is laying an assault on the crowd, this is heavy industrial in your face techno, I can’t help but feel even here, in these hallowed grounds of British techno culture, on arguably the best soundsystem the UK has to offer, the speakers can’t handle him, sure the clarity from the speakers is unreal, even with such thumping abusing sounds coming out of them there’s no distortion at all, but it feels like the tracks have more to offer, but perhaps the system on this day, doesn’t.
Following the immense set from Daniel Avery, it was time for Berlin-born Dystopian boss Rødhåd. Having seen Rødhåd play at Junction 2 this year I knew I could expect great things. At Junction 2 he played the London Warehouse Relentless tent and oh boy was that something else and in such a small area too. Taking over the decks in the Press Hall was a breeze, he continued where every DJ before had left off, taking us through a journey of Dub-Techno mixed with percussive grooves. His style of djing is so deep, melancholic and powerful. The perfect balance of timeless techno to lift the dancefloor higher and higher.
Closing this already phenomenal day is the one and only Maceo Plex. Having had a busy summer with Mosaic in Ibiza and festivals all around the world everyone knew he was going to bring it and bring it hard. The room was full, it seemed that every soul that had come to printworks had all decided to assemble in the press hall for the ultimate closing set. The atmosphere was electric all hands up and ready to start fist pumping. The lights have gone from warm reds and purples to cool blues and green, truly setting the scene for a musical experience for both the eyes, ears and soul.
My one regret of the day is not going into room 2 also known as the charge bay, what can I say the moment I walked in everything about the press hall had me gripped.
Today has been undoubtedly astronomical. This is what opening day is about, taking like-minded people and music lovers on a techno odyssey. To say I fell in love all over again with this venue is an understatement. If I could give an award to the lighting team I would, they well and truly outdone themselves yet again. There’s a reason why people from all walks of life come here and this is because when you walk through that entrance all inhibitions and worries are left at the door, this colossal venue takes you to a place that is really hard to put into words, almost other worldly, more Narnia and less Stranger Things.
The next three months see Tale of us, Paradise, Ram Records and Ritchie Hawtin’s Play Differently grace the decks and I for one can not wait. Yet again London Warehouse Events show the rest of us why they’re possibly the best promoters in the game. Now on to the next one!