Warehouse Project, Store Street
Every time one lucky member of our team gets to go to Amsterdam in the middle of summer for Dekmantel, the unmistakable sound of jealous journalists groaning rings out across the office.
The label and the festival have quietly set a new bar for curatorial proficiency. When the festival was just two years old, our writer praised their ushering in of “forward-thinking house and increasingly diverse strains of bleeding edge techno”. Their vision has always been clear so when it was announced that they would be teaming up with the minds at Resident Advisor for a Store Street takeover, expectations were high.
After Nina Kraviz got us warmed up with a conveyor belt of surging, caustic cuts, Jackmaster, Ben UFO and Joy Orbison filed behind the decks for a masterfully played back-to-back-to-back where all their individual idiosyncrasies seeped through for a rounded and ferociously party-starting experience. It was the A-team of taking you from late-night settings to early-morning silliness as Lil Silva’s gobby Season rattled the brickwork.
The whole night – in many ways – was a bit of a waiting to game to see whether or not Four Tet would play his rework of Eric Prydz’ Opus. A video of Maceo Plex playing this track earlier in the week went viral as people watched the puzzled clubbers wait, and wait, and wait for the drop. That build. That bloody build. Most of the crowd had their eyes shut soaking up the gorgeous theatre of it while a few perplexed SnapChatters were wondering whether something was broken. Eventually, the drop came and Warehouse locked in another truly iconic moment for the memory bank. Closing his set with Bonnie Boy – a 1968 cut by British folksinger Shirley Collins, Hebden perfectly summarised what a night under Dekmantel’s rules can mean. A bold and powerful set proving that the old “It’s more than just a party” proverb has still got legs.
As Dixon rattled out a focused eyes-down set in the main room it felt like that Dekmantel vision had been realised once again. Here was a night brimming with euphoric moments that came from entrusting DJs who were up to the task. While Four Tet was commanding Room 1, Lobster Theremin alumni Palms Trax was taking the second room into equally eye-opening and rewarding places with his selections. They’d successfully given the North of England a taste of what goes down every summer in the Dutch capital. Expect many more years of moaning journalists.