Techno was represented proper at Time Warp this year. Many fans were made nervous with the speculation that the event might be shut down after a series of local uproar about pop-up events. However, the Crown Heights debacle only had the venue relocated, luckily with some time in advance, unlike last year. Bye-bye, Bedford Armory and welcome back to the 39 Street Pier in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Last year, I heard many different tales about how the show was put together (and I am not even going to go into the Richie Hawtin fiasco). In fairness, the event had to do a last minute venue change and re-design an entire production in under 24 hours. This year, with a week’s notice and familiarity with the venue, the production was spot on.
The warehouse space was huge and was split into two separate rooms with a “terminal/lobby” area in between. Floor 1 acted as the unofficial, “main room” and was turned into a “Techno-Utopia” (coined by a friend of mine), where you walk in your corneas nearly burn through with all the intense lighting emanating from thousands of LEDs on the ceiling. I had to bust out my shades just to be able to see where the bar was … not that I am complaining. Floor 2 did not have as intense of a production and the simplicity of the room definitely did not take away from the banging line-up!
Talk about a conflict of interest, Friday Night was me shuffling between Floor 1 and 2 like I had a severe case of indecisiveness. Unfortunately, I had to miss the openers due to traffic coming down from the unholy land that is New England and I just made it to Luciano. With that being said, I quickly gave him up to go shah-shay at Floor 2 with Black Coffee. I circled back afterwards to check out Ricardo Villalobos before heading to Jamie Jones b2b Seth Troxler.
A lot of speculation and conversation was going on about Ricardo’s performance and state of mind during his performance after the event. However, all in all, he did get the crowd going and everyone at Floor 1 didn't seem to have any issues when he was at the decks. In the end, I found that Jamie Jones b2b with Seth Troxler was the stronger closing of the two floors. The combination of the two producers was something to experience and they did not disappoint.
The following day, the shenanigans continued with Apollonia’s set. People can make all the jokes they want about how many people it takes to DJ, but the trio that is Apollonia were a fantastic intro into the night. Hailing from France, you can hear the distinction between the origins of their style between the Western and Central European acts. They really got my engines revved up for the night.
For the next two acts, I had to be at two places at once as I rushed over to catch Len Faki’s deliciously speedy techno set before slowing down my heart rate with Recondite’s dark minimal style. I had the full intention of catching some of Chris Liebing’s set, however, Papa Sven and I had a bit of reunion that night and I just refused to leave his presence unless it was a bathroom emergency, and I do mean emergency.
Sven Väth was the man who sucked me into my very first techno vortex way back when. Seeing the Cocoon label legend again, under such conditions was nothing short of having to relive your first moment of music discovery. His classic style and signature tracks were the highlight of my weekend and void of any sway from other’s opinions. Tale Of Us closed out Saturday night alongside Joseph Capriati in Floor 2 and, although they were both solid, they were no Sven Väth.
Whether it was their experience throwing the event last year or the circulating concerns arising in Brooklyn at the moment with pop-events, Time Warp truly closed out the year in the best way possible. I not only had an incredible time, but I was taken away with the production quality and the clarity of music. At first glance, I didn't know what to make of the lineup, but after experiencing the entirety of the festival, I realized that any more and I may not have survived the weekend. I don't know what Time Warp is like in Germany, but they really gave a taste to the US market this year.
I look forward to future Time Warp events and hope they get even more creative with their line up!