With an abundance of talent in techno promised throughout the day at Tobacco Dock, Drumcode Halloween sold out well in advance as crowds turned up defiant against the miserable weather seeking a party like no other. With its twists and turns as you navigate the intriguing historical venue, the docks is perfect to be utilised for Adam Beyer’s Drumcode Halloween party.
We headed to the gallery as we arrived, the smallest setting of the day but the crowd were already off the scale. The room was full for Enrico Sangiuliano, the renowned party starter could’ve been placed later on in the days line up, but was a welcome treat to set the tone for the rest of the day. Captivating the crowd, Sangiulano brought a selection that was fast paced and engaging. The striking lighting was impressive, colluding with the distorted vocals and wobbles to create an enticing atmosphere, the crowd awaiting to see where Sangiuliano would take us next. At one point, this was stomping bass intertwining with percussive elements that dominated the room. An interesting diversion amongst the roaring techno, and a well executed part of the set.
We then took our first venture underground to party in the car park at Tobacco Docks. This is a space that is regularly hyped and the industrial setting’s allure was again completely justified. The car park was the perfect backdrop to what was my favourite set of the day from Dense & Pika. The set started with stomping techno that illuminated the setting, greeted with the smiling faces of the audience and the incredible light show throughout the set. Surprises came in a string element, the unexpected twist was met with cheers and sounded incredible, with more twists and turns yet to come. Selections such as Fluor - Ramiro Lopez and Andres Campo with its stomping bass induced the menacing tone and was met with a raucous response from the crowd. As was High Horse (Original mix) - The Advent possibly my favourite selection of the whole day, the dramatic track illuminated the car park, the sound bouncing around the concrete industrial setting, and truly ignited the momentum of the set. Dense and Pika’s set was exciting and perfect for the crowd pursuing the party at tobacco docks.
The pair were followed by an enigmatic set from Paco Osuna. The production played massively into the set, the colourful garish light displays alongside the playful selections featuring quirky noises worked so well in the car park, Osuna’s creativity saturated the set.
We then headed back upstairs to check out Nicole Moudaber in the small gallery, who had generated a dark toned yet inviting atmosphere with brash, raw techno and consistent bass selections that attracted an attentive crowd.
But it was back underground to the car park as we had to go and check out Charlotte De Witte. Opening the set with a tribal infused sound, with a strong menacing thumping drum the tone was set and the crowds attention captured. The crowd were kept guessing as to what to expect next, with fragmented electronic sounds that can only be described as a mix between an approaching tube and a firework, before De Witte played Factory Settings - Catz ‘N’ Dogz Feat Joseph Ashworth, executed perfectly with the lights adding to the exuberance of the captivating set.
We then headed to the Great gallery to catch Adam Beyer’s set, many had stayed here for the sets entirety and walking in it was obvious it was a very dedicated crowd. We were met with Trip - Kaiserdisco a selection that created the perilous yet addictive tone in the set - fast mechanic crashing ride cymbals layered with distorted “gangsters” vocals. The Great Gallery being the largest set up of the day, meant this is where the laser and lights were most vivacious, which enhanced Beyer’s set which was a majestic and cinematic finish for the day.
Again, Beyer’s skill in curating the lineup for Drumcode events is in selecting a line up across the spectrum of techno music. From the charismatic, wild exuberant performance of Paco Osuna that hits you in the face, to the 5 hour set Beyer himself offered, where the satisfaction lies in investing yourself in the longevity of the set, this was another successful Drumcode venture at the docks.
Photography by Lawrence Jones and Luke Dyson
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