- MaxQuerade & Paddy Hooley
Hailing from South Yorkshire, Jamie Roberts aka BLAWAN, takes no issue with gracing those he crosses on the dancefloor with devastating, hard-hitting techno. He’s an artist who’s credited for spearheading the revival of its industrial leanings here in the UK in recent years, building his reputation around heavy kicks and tracks littered with post-dubstep clunks and clangs. On new tracks Many Many Pings and Gadget it’s evident that he’s still channelling the spectral forces that rattled through mid 2000s UK club music.
Initially, when arriving at 24 Kitchen Street, the dancefloor is faintly lit, giving you a dark but thrilling vibe; the type of atmosphere you’d expect leading into a 4/4 sprint until the early hours. There is an energetic crowd shifting and warming up to the duo support; MAXQUERADE and PADDY HOOLEY, two very promising Liverpool DJs going back to back, unleashing their vast knowledge of techno and breaks. They throw out a plethora of tracks, shaking and breaking the crowd to the required level. As the duo keep dropping tune after tune, a flood of partygoers and techno aficionados arrive at the venue, answering to the beacon of sound that’s pumping out of Kitchen Street, eagerly waiting for the underground techno powerhouse carrying the reins for the next three hours.
Without hesitation Blawan asserts his presence on the decks. The crowd are limbered, but serious stretches will be required to withstand some of the most cantankerous beats in contemporary techno, guaranteed to shake your soul. This is exactly what Blawan is capable of, and proceeds to do. The music isn’t your run of the mill 4/4 techno; it’s syncopated and full of textures, with contagious grooves that kept the crowd asking for more, with constant nods to Roberts’ groundbreaking sound design. This is an artist that’s constantly breaking the boundaries of what people perceive as techno. As the night goes on, the dancefloor is enveloped by the raw noise, jittery acid basslines and unkempt kicks. I notice people hanging onto the decor and shaking it to near destruction, while sweating profusely and panting; full-blown hysteria in the company of Blawan’s prowess.
Usually, with nights like this, you wish they’d never end. But, having been subjected to this level of energy, I leave feeling sated and a little broken.