Breathing fresh air into the nightlife of the English capital, the highly anticipated arrival of E1 London’s 27 hour marathon was welcomed with open arms. Situated a short cab ride from Village Underground and just a stone’s throw away from Tobacco Dock, the introduction of E1 ensured revellers were spoilt for choice as they entered 2018.
Recognised as one of the East End’s more interesting venues, formerly known as Studio Spaces, E1 London provided dance music loyalists with something a little different to its Shoreditch counterparts. Whilst Tobacco Dock toasted to their five year anniversary with the return of Maetrik and Fuse supplied its trademark dub-house grooves, E1 London decided to explore the darker, more melodic depths of the Techno realm.
Arriving 14 hours deep into proceedings, hundreds of Techno enthusiasts had already ascended to the stripped-back surroundings of the Warehouse to catch a morning taste of Ostgut Ton stalwart Ben Klock. Putting the brand new, bespoke Funktion-One sound system through its paces, the Berghain favourite unleashed a relentless encore of throbbing Techno, much to the delight of those stood before him. Fused together by his steely productions, a real highlight of his opening 2018 delivery was when he worked in the Temple Vox Mix Edit of Romanthony’s ‘The Wanderer’.
Unveiled for the very first time at E1 London, the presence of the two integrated systems delivered unparalleled low-end with precision and as I explored the recently revamped Black Studio, this was only further testament to the exceptional audio quality on offer. Dark and desolate, the room had been completely redesigned around the audio installation, DJ and dance floor. Born in Greenland but raised in Denmark, Courtesy was on hand illustrating her penchant for blending styles with fuzzier textures meeting polished productions. With a smaller crowd present, I took the opportunity to fully embrace the perks of the club’s 900% air conditioning upgrade too, a very refreshing experience, especially for those who had been dancing from the get-go.
With memories of her back-to-back blinder with Courtesy at last year’s Sonar Festival still fresh in mind; Avalon Emerson’s emergence to the controls was met with an approving roar from those in the Black Studio. An ex-software developer, the Berlin-based DJ/Producer’s inclusion of ‘Finally Some Common Ground’ showed Emerson at her most psychedelic. A blend of the unusual and the practicable, her Latin-style percussion and weird effects almost gouged into your brain.
However, it was the Warehouse that, for me, showcased the best set of the NYD segment with one of New York City’s hardest working DJ’s, Volvox. Supplying an infectious taste of twisted Techno to a somewhat spacious dance floor, she soon reeled back in the numbers with a collection of gnarled electro and acid beats bleeding personality and charisma. Far from her 7am shift comfort zone, the Discwoman original felt right at home making her way through the gears with the likes of BLD’s ‘Acid On Mars’ and ‘Party Ambassador’ by Irregular Synth.
Ternesc boss, Blawan, then took over the reins at 6pm serving up a dish of intricately programmed dance floor weaponry. Real name Jamie Roberts, the former drummer’s set soon escalated into heavier clanking, stepping percussive territory, which after spending all of NYD down at E1, became a little too heavy on the ear-drums.
In retrospect however, the birth of E1 London had certainly left its stamp of authority on the capital’s nightlife. Coming finely furnished with a diverse billing of established commodities and rising stars, this 27-hour test of endurance undoubtedly rivalled those happening elsewhere across Europe placing London’s underground scene in a positive light for 2018.
Photo Credit By: Jake Davis