Carl Craig @ Twenty Planet E
London, March 5th 2011
“As long as I’m alive, Planet E is alive”, Carl Craig.
Twenty Planet E, the London Party
I am not a connoisseur of techno/house/drum&bass/dance music. I enjoy electronic, minimalist, glitch and experimental electro.
I’m not a regular clubbing dancer either.
However, in my music library I keep a gem with care and love.
In 2008 I heard of Deutsche Grammophon’s project to release a special record, the remix of classical music by legendary techno producers.
The record is called “Recomposed” by Carl Craig and Moritz Von Osvald, music by Ravel and Mussorgsky. A sublime work of art.
There was no way of not attending Carl Craig’s event in London last Saturday at Ewer Street Warehouse. Carl Craig celebrating 20 years of his own label Planet E together with world famous techno DJs such as Francois K and Radio Slave. – A must-see, I thought.
I arrived at the Warehouse at about midnight. I was expecting colourful sunglasses and cyberpunk silver and gold shining jackets. I was so wrong.
Simply people like you and me with a good music taste?
At midnight the expanse space of the warehouse was still bare. The rooms were half empty and I didn’t have to queue for a drink.
The venue, a car park. The tall arches of the musty rooms transmitted the idea of the volume of the music played. It wasn’t loud, it was voluminous instead. The venue made me remember a walk through an archeological site with few spots lightening the walls, puddles on the ground. I imagined ancient amphora and dusty tools displayed. It’s a warehouse, isn’t it?
Entrance, First bar area – Room 1 – Second bar area – Room 2.
Laser beams in green, projections, blue and white flashing lights framing the stage. “No Smoking” projected on the walls, not actually being read by the audience.
The Room 1 was the one to watch, since, as human being, I don’t have the gift of ubiquity, yet.
Here is the show line up:
10-11 – Rufus
11-12 – Chris Stanford
12-2 – Francois K
2-4.30 – Carl Craig
4.30 – 6.00 Radio Slave
10 – 1:30 Finale
1:30 – 2:30 Psycatron Live
2:30 – 4 Paul Woolford
4-6 – Sound As
Got my vodka and energy drink and headed to Room 1.
Mac standing in the middle of the console, Francois K was already exploring the space with house/techno/dance music. Beats, I couldn’t avoid moving to the rhythm. I could feel the fine touch of dub here and there. The selection was eclectic, futuristic I would say. An adventure of styles, smooth mixing in a climax of energy, preparing the increasing crowd for the “moment”.
Carl Craig arrived. Magic in the room, till then still comfortable, half-empty, quickly packed. Within minutes, I couldn’t move my arms in my goofy way anymore.
Honestly, it became just insane. In the best way insanity can be.
Music became visionary, almost untouchable. The electronic ambassador of Detroit led me into a travel throughout Planet E’s history. Edits and remixes of twenty years of pioneering venture, experimental sounds always a step ahead in the music industry. Alternating moments of pure “techno soul”, as he liked to call it, imaginary, melancholic and emphatic music with upbeats rhythms and syncopations, injecting crisp drum pattern in the right moment.
Carl Craig’s machine moves people emotionally. Abrasive percussion lines, mixing past and future… he was epic. Memorable. I was moving without dancing, I was listening to a part of music history.
The non-stop DJ schedule went into the next round. Radio Slave arrived changing the forms of the party, leaving the state of techno romance into deep, nerve-wracking beats. I started “dancing” again. Tribal and hypnotic. Long repetitive tracks, meditative, perfect mixing. Five hours I was there dancing my ass off and didn’t even feel it. Radio Slave was clapping between tunes as always, moving back and forth at the console, the machines under control, accompanying us till the end of the night.
Good times. I realised how tired I was. 6.30am. The sun was up outside. It has been a travel to the past and to the future. Please Carl Craig, never stop abusing of machines.