LWE hosted a New Year’s Day party at London’s Tobacco Dock for the fifth year on Monday, January 1st. Floorplan, Roman Flügel, Ø [Phase], Alan Fitzpatrick, Kink, Boxia and Marcel Dettmann were among the DJs and live acts joining eager ravers to ignore any NYE hangovers and welcome 2018 with a solid dancefloor stint. Mike Barnard was there.
Kink followed switched between a turntable, laptop and keyboards to produce a vibrant live set which switched between house, techno, broken beat and disco which was a real treat for the ears.
While many nursed NYE hangovers by staying home or seeking out a low key way to enjoy the bank holiday, the fifth edition of LWE’s NYD parties at Tobacco Dock offered a chance to go big regardless of activities the previous night. We got to the cavernous space at around 4pm where the main atrium was sparse with revellers, so we took the opportunity to sort lockers, get drinks tokens, load up on beverages and get ourselves a good feed to fuel us through the late afternoon and into the evening. A serving of halloumi and aneamic chips didn’t quite hit the mark, but the pulled pork, salad and fries was well received as we decided where to go first. The Car Park line-up of Alan Fitzpatrick, Boxia, Ø [Phase] and Flooplan caught the eye when announced, but first we stepped into the Little Gallery to check out Nastia.
The Ukranian has attracted the biggest audience we’d ever seen at the re-modelled third room which now feels more like a intimate clubbing space with lower ceilings, extended length and blacked-out windows. The popularity of Nastia’s heavy beats were evidence this was a crowd keen to dance hard, and when we headed down to the Car Park we found even more. Rhymos was at the controls and the dancefloor was packed, reaching back almost to the bar area where a group of shufflers were showing off their skills with little space to move around elsewhere. The low ceilings and concrete surroundings make for a solid ‘techno tunnel’ that reverberates from the speakers down the front, all the way to the back but we wanted to get on down to within eye-sight of the decks to see the DJs in action.
Weaving past the ravers we could see there was a broad mix at Tobacco Dock. While most appeared fresh, there were those it was hard to tell if they were battling through a hangover after getting some sleep or had rocked up straight from a NYE after party. Their sleep-states mattered little, however, as everyone’s focus was on the music and the forthcoming set from Alan Fitzpatrick who had just arrived behind the decks as we reached the front barrier. Rhymos rounded off his set with some transcendental vibes, then Fitzpatrick delved straight in with his tough-edged techno that included an ‘Age of Love’ remix which was met with whoops of approval and fists pumping the air. If there were any groggy heads in the audience, Fitzpatrick’s set will have snapped them back into shape.
We took a break to see Kink’s live set in the Little Gallary and were treated to the Bulgarian’s cheeky smile as he teased the first baseline by lifting up his various keyboards from to prove he was layering up the chords himself. After a good 10 minutes of vocals, bleeps and samples, Kink finally gave us the 4/4 beats we wanted to hear and suddenly the Little Gallery was pumping. Kink followed up by switching between a turntable, laptop and keyboards to produce a vibrant live set which switched between house, techno, broken beat and disco which was a real treat for the ears - and judging by his silky moves on stage, was for him too.
We’d head back to the Car Park to see Boxia who is affiliated with Fitzpatrick’s label We Are The Brave, and seemed on a mission to play at least as hard as his label boss before him. Some brutalist bears such as Introversion’s ‘Dystopia’, his own ‘Point of No Return’ and the epic Matt Darey remix of Mike Koglin’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’ offered the most dramatic moments of the day, while the samba vibes of Raffael De Luca’s ‘Celebrando’ and haunting mood of Randomer’s ‘Bring’ brought the zest. Boxia would surprisingly finish his set with Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ to bring the tempo right down and leave Ø [Phase] to build the energy back up as he kicked off his live set.
Though Ø [Phase] had to contend with Maceo Plex’s live set as Maetrik attracting most of the Car Park crowd up to the Great Gallery, those who remained got to enjoy a masterclass in precise, pounding techno that ebbed and flowed with intense drops and inventive breaks. By the time Robert Hood and daughter Lyric were up for the set as Floorplan, Ø [Phase] had the Car Park back to full capacity and rocking out. We’d managed to duck out briefly to see Marcel Dettmann in the Great Gallery and Roman Flügel in the Little Gallery, but neither were able to illicit such a positive response as we’d seen in the Car Park that day. For Floorplan, again there was a zing in the air as their Detroit techno, gospel-touched set included ‘Tell You No Lie’ and saw us through until we left with the office beckoning tomorrow.
Images by by Jake Davis (1, 2, 3, 5) and Gemma Bell (4, 6) (fb.com/hungryvisuals).