Animaux | UK

Dixon & Âme – All Night Long – Albert Hall, Manchester.

Mar
26

Although both Dixon and Kristian Beyer (one-half of Âme) are very well known for their individual work, it’s hard to talk about either of them without mentioning Innervisions. Now in it’s eleventh year the label has grown to become one of the most talked about and innovative institutions in the industry. Since breaking away from Sonar Kollektiv Dixon, Beyer and Frank Wiedmann,­ the other half of Âme,­ have slowly, and not so quietly established the label as a beacon of quality in a saturated digital world. Their simple approach to their work, placing quality above all, has clearly paid off, with Dixon topping the resident advisor DJ chart three years running, and Âme (Beyer) in the top twenty in the last four, they have developed a solid pedigree. So when I discovered the Warehouse Project was bringing them to Manchester, I needed about as much persuasion to get tickets as a dog eyeing up an unattended burger stand.

More recently Innervisions have become known for their ‘Lost in a moment’ parties, a concept which has hosted some of the most unique, and perfectly crafted events on the industry calendar. ‘Lost In A Moment’ is all about finding that sweet spot where everything at a party clicks; location, sound system, music and lighting. Now I know it can’t really be said that The Albert Hall is not different compared to many other venues out there, it’s a four-story gothic chapel after all, but it is in danger of seeming run of the mill to a collective who are used to holding parties on their own island (Osea Island). Nevertheless, the atmosphere is gripping as we enter the main hall. The floor and upper tier are filling up with an excited looking rabble while the Innervisions pair gear up for what is sure to be a night of palpable emotion and energy. The stage is framed by the huge, century-old organ towering high above them, which seems to be pumping out the music with an almost demoniacal efficiency.

As we enter its Dixon who is in control, moulding the mood, his famous brand of melodic, brooding music, softly washing over everyone. With impeccable subtlety, the gentle harmonious tracks coerce our attention away from the bar to the stage. A slick lighting set up pulsates into view, greeting those arriving with lush vibrant orange and blue rays. His his first stint comes to an end and the headphones are casually passed to Kristian, the crowds movement starts to synchronize with the beat, the room submitting to their spinning wizardry. Kristian steps in, providing a new sense of urgency to the starting pace set by Dixon, his masterfully picked techno starts to reverberate round the room to a chorus of whoops and hollers. The crisp punching kicks are layered over and under with haunting dark distortion that gradually increases over the next 45 minutes, building in intensity. We’re 3 hours in and already it’s pretty clear, the German masters have no intention of slowing down, quite happy to leave a good many people around me in a state of hypnotised anticipation.

As the next few hours flowed over us, Beyer and Dixon casually rotate every 45 minutes or so, always with a few words of intent into the others ear. The energy still continues to build, Beyer coming in with the injections of heavier, driving techno, fueling the throng of bouncing heads oscillating up and down, with military precision. Dixon moves in again, black cargo pants tucked into heavy black boots, it looks for a second like an army is drilling in front of its stern unflappable leader. He uses Beyer’s change of pace to weave in his felicitous beats, no doubt bespokely edited to fit exactly where he wants them. He cements the atmosphere with a newly flourished vehemence as track after track of pounding techno permeates everything in the ex-methodist church shelter.

Unable to pinpoint exactly where the time has just gone the night draws towards its ultimatum. In the last hour and a half, we are emotionally dragged between hair-raising hand in the air build ups riddled with feverish anticipation, and colossal mind mincing drops that smack a look of ecstatic perplexion onto everyone’s faces. All except Dixon whose steely demeanour is replaced with a sly, cheeky grin. Gradually the house lights begin to brighten, the organ is bathed in a diffuse deep orange light, the inky shades of night artificially turned to dawn. Dixon, sympathetically switches the pace to an ethereal chorus, chiming around a lingering bassline which slowly fades out, leaving the room to revel in the contented afterglow of what has been, simply a special night.

Tessellate: Konstantin Sibold @ The Pickle Factory, London

Feb
16

It would have been hard to find The Pickle Factory if we weren’t looking for it. Its anonymous façade artfully conceals the many wonders that lie beyond the sound-proof doors, squeezed between the street and a modest tower of stacked shipping containers. The Pickle Factory, I am told, used to be an actual pickle factory back in the days, stoking the wild fantasies of many pickle enthusiasts. It’s glorious pickle days came to an end some time later when the building was converted into a medical supply storage. Eventually, the building found its true calling when Oval Space — the iconic East London music venue — carved out of a derelict storage facility the slick and intimate venue that it has now become.

The Pickle Factory

Sometime in 2013, Oval Space took over the neighbouring used-to-be pickle factory envisioning a polished, fresh, and cosy environment; a welcoming nook in the grimy, punchy skyline, dominated by the towering gasometers of Bethnal Green. The venue was specifically designed to deliver unrivalled sound quality and clarity. Stripped of visual tinsel of any sort, at The Pickle Factory the spotlight shines on the sound system as warm, curvy bass lines and limpid highs wash through the minimalist room. The unrivalled sound quality is complemented by the venue’s impressive booking policy. Indeed, The Pickle Factory can boast amongst its guests some of the most interesting names in contemporary electronic music. Up-and-coming event brand ‘Tessellate’, brings to The Pickle Factory, London non other than Konstantin Sibold of Innervisions.

Konstantin Sibold

“Konstantin Sibold (Innervisions/Caramelo) [All nacht long]” read the RA event description. And indeed, as commanded by a longstanding German tradition, Konstantin Sibold thumped the dance floor for seven long hours until the crack of dawn. Known for becoming Stuttgart’s club Rocker 33 youngest resident in 2009, Konstantin Sibold was newcomer of 2013 for Groove Magazine and is widely appreciated as an innovating force across the spectre of electronic music. With Mr. Sibold, techno and house meet as if for the first time; brushed by indie and disco, his sets reinterpret the intersection of these genres in a distinctively fresh, full-of-life way.

The format at The Pickle Factory, seven hours of Sibold and only Sibold, met exceedingly well with his style, allowing for a thorough induction to the sounds that define Konstantin Sibold as an artist and a music lover. The marathon-set allowed for a nuanced understanding of Konstantin Sibold’s work, highlighting the unity of his style: eclectic, one could say, when contrasted with some of his colleagues’ lengthy sets. Heavily indie-influenced, the set alternated fuzzy, dazing tunes and thumping beats: and the crowd faded into a subsided lull, only to rise in frenzy again, as if rhythmically breathing with the set. Disco also made occasional appearances, much to the audience’s delight. Indeed, if you needed further proof of disco’s resurgence, Konstantin Sibold at The Pickle Factory would probably have convinced you. Masterfully weaved into the fabric of the set, its joyfully forceful entrances stoked boys and girls alike, and the crowd devoured any tune that would only just hint a 70s resemblance.

Leaving our beloved Pickle Factory, the clear blue sky slowly drifts from a deeply intense blue to a glowing pastel azure, against the suggestive post-industrial relics of East London. Bathed in the dawn’s chilly wind, I make my way back through the shuttered gentrified streets leading to Shoreditch. All in all a fantastic night! Special thanks to Konstantin Sibold and the guys at Tessellate!

Konstantin Sibold will next play in his hometown, Stuttgart, on the 23rd of February at Kraftwerk Rottweil. Check out his schedule HERE.

Tessellate returns to Corsica Studios in London with: Space Dimension Controller (Clone / R&S), Murat Tepeli (Potion/OstGut Ton), Dorisburg (Aniara / Bossmusik), and residents on the 12th of March. Check it out HERE.