Reliving the halcyon days of progressive house music. It’s rather difficult to push the boundaries…
With the help of Eli Verveine, Ruede Hagelstein, Kiasmos and Mind Against, E1 succeeds in hosting a memorable night that showcased the best of what the house and techno scenes have to offer.
Entering Pennington St., one is immediately confronted with the contrast between the modern, newly constructed buildings in the skyline and the old line of warehouses in which E1 hosted the event. This generates a sense of juxtaposition that emphasized an underground and rebellious nature to the evening.
The inside of the venue was dimly lit by flailing red and blue lights creating a dusky and hazy atmosphere. The crowd had access to two separate rooms that hosted respective events, meaning one could always alternate between whoever was playing in the main room and an all-night set by Compact Recordings in a smaller one. The set-up of the PA system in the main room created an intense ‘sound box’ throughout the entire room, which boded well for the forthcoming performances.
As the floor slowly filled up, Swiss-native Eli Verveine kicked of the night with an immaculate 2-hour vinyl set, transitioning from spacy downtempo electronica to old-school synth-layered house. Her full arsenal of mixing ability and experience was on display, impressing with a knowledgeable and groovy song-selection that resonated well within the warehouse. By the end of her set, the crowd had flooded the room in excitement, champing at the bit for what was to follow.
Ruede Hagelstein seamlessly took over the mantle, introducing himself with sombre synth melodies layered over more minimalistic drums and a shuddering bass. The German DJ and composer kept the crowd in a trance with consistently intense build ups and galloping synth progressions, playing on a fine line between house and techno. What was particularly striking was his expert nuance and sonic consistency throughout the first half of his mix, which gave it a unique and original feel. The second half was slightly more laidback as he diversified his musical palette, concentrating on delivering a progressive and rhythmic sound.
The Faroese-Icelandic experimental duo Kiasmos quickly stated their intent to distinguish themselves by beginning their set with modern classics such as Peggy Gou’s ‘Starry Night’ and Aleksandir’s ‘Yamaha’. They managed to reenergise the crowd with a lighter mood, underscored by a less conceptual yet excellent track curation. The duo demonstrated remarkable knowledge on fully pleasing a crowd with supreme taste. This was a set that utilized the power of songs, rather than strictly the mix itself.
As expected, Mind Against blew the roof of the place with a monster three and a half hour techno set until closing. The Italian brothers powered through their mix with thumping bass and their unique metallic sound, layered over textured leads and silky hi hats. The energy provided by them was fully reciprocated by the crowd, providing for a deafening atmosphere. Their set felt like a Boiler Room, given its consistent ferocity and the intimacy of being close to the DJ. They included Yubik’s ‘Brain Depository’ in their blockbuster set list, which explored minimal, melodic and progressive techno all together.
All in all, the evening was defined by excellently performed sets and similarly great crowd reception, which encapsulated in a fantastic event for all people present.