The Junction 2 launch party featured some of the most prominent artists on the electronic music scene, mirroring their upcoming festival perfectly. The Waveform Transmitter‘s Cameron Barnfield and Tina Kondouli were present to witness the sonic spectacle.
The brick arches and opulent ceilings of the Tobacco Dock make it an unassuming venue for an incredible night of techno, yet on Saturday 10th February Junction 2 took over the three rooms, spoiling us with some of the finest selectors in the business. Combining the raw industrial settings perfect for the music and some really classy elements and architecture, LWE pulled off an impressive event all around.
A huge tungsten sign invites ravers of all ages into a beautiful building filled with brick arches and vaults and a thundering four-to the-floor beat, reverberating to dampen the earbuds. Excitement was high since it was announced the previous day that Modeselektor were to play an early set to add to an already packed line-up.
Once inside we headed to the Little Gallery where we caught part of a hard-hitting house set courtesy of Amsterdam native William Djoko, where he rattled the room with some groovy tribal percussion, rendering them unable to do anything but move.
Across to the Great Gallery, where a ceiling of red lasers descends across the crowd as Dense & Pika set the pace with a thundering and engaging set, a highlight being the enigmatic remix of Masters at Work‘s ‘Work’ where the familiar vocals were matched with their trademark roaring sound.
Down to the ground floor and through some vaults, winding tunnels and a couple of ramps and we find ourselves in the dingy, low ceilinged Car Park. In the distance, a sea of bodies are moving to Modeselektor’s dystopian take on techno. It was hard to imagine where it could peak after the German’s controlled explosion of sound, however the quality maintained throughout the evening with Scuba following.
Meanwhile, ravers in the Great Gallery are being hypnotised by the cinematic sounds of Mind Against. Afterlife favourites take the crowd on a journey through huge ethereal pads and uplifting synths, with the Gallery’s lasers moving with every ebb and flow of the composition. Midway through their set they treated the crowd to the massive – Adana Twins‘ ‘Sequence 01’, a track that Tale of Us and Mind Against have been rinsing recently, and understandably so. We left just after the chugging bassline of Citizen Kain‘s ‘Apathy’ to catch some Appolonia.
Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky form Appolonia to a backdrop of projected arrows flashing like a dancing game in an arcade, with the distinguished DJ’s playing back-to-back-to-back. The set’s minimal, dubby house presence was a welcome alternative to the rest of the line-up, however we just caught drift that Drumcode bosses and Junction 2 favourites Adam Beyer & Ida Engberg were just about to begin in the Great Gallery.
A garage chug welcomed the techno dons, where they immediately switched it up, rattling the gallery with a mouth-watering track by Tiger Stripes, their new track on Misfit Music providing the chant for the punters. Robotic vocals of ‘my heart, my mind, my heart, my soul’ were sandwiched with shouts of BANG by all around. This is definitely going to be a sought after track in the next couple of months. They kept at the bouncy, thundering house-influenced techno for a while, with selection showcasing Adam & Ida’s versatility, however it was back down to the car park where we were to end the evening.
Luke Slater, Steve Bicknell & Function (Dave Sumner) manned the ship this time, with all three collaborating to form the live LSD. The car park was filling up as people were squeezing in, ready for the demon that is Nina Kraviz. However, LSD were frighteningly powerful; their relentless sound shook the walls from back to front.
As expected, ravers packed themselves in and prepared for Trip label boss Nina Kraviz to bring her hypnotic, rib-rattling techno to the East London Car Park. Opening with a high-pitched drone, progressing and building the crowd to a frenzy where she dropped straight into trademark Nina, showcasing the best of hard, fast techno including a couple from label-mate Bjarki. The fast, Chicago beat of Dat Niga Tha Schit – Help Me Lord’ shook the room like Robert Hood on ‘roids. All in all, a spellbinding set which characterised the evening.
All DJ’s brought their A-game to a venue perfect for the event. The diversity and experience on the line-up, and the management and preparation by LWE, left ravers spoilt for choice, as it was just too difficult to choose between so many incredible acts. The venue was clad with Junction 2 Festival posters, bearing a who’s-who of the finest DJ’s to name. Where else would you have to choose between Len Faki, or Carl Cox b2b Adam Beyer? If Saturday was anything to go by, this is tipped to be one of the festivals of the year and LWE are bringing some really exciting underground events to the table.
Tickets for Junction 2 festival are available now on third release, with two more releases to go before the event itself, which takes place on Boston Manor Park, on Saturday, June 9th. Be there or be a squarewave. You can grab your tickets, here.