Junction 2 arrived in 2016 as a day festival that is a hybrid of thought between LWE and Adam Beyer, to create a supreme day festival experience, featuring a high calibre of names in both techno and house. The day event is to take place in June this year, and warming us up for this was the pre-party at London’s Tobacco Dock. The promise of long sets and ten hours of techno being the perfect remedy for a grey London and a taste of what’s to come in June.
We began in the gallery, the physically smallest set up of the day, but perfect for the more laidback offering in the lineup. We caught William Djoko, with house and funkier selections, inevitably accompanied by his energy at the decks. The early crowd were sporadic but visibly enjoying the easy vibe.
Sonja Moonear then graced the gallery and there was a noticeable change in the crowd that grew thicker, Moonear’s fans ascending, anticipating the versatile set that was to come. Sonja Moonear perfectly executed a minimal sound that was addictive and inviting, leading the crowd to grow bigger, with ravers intent on being at the front for the set. The heavier, up-tempo moments in the set were greeted joyously by the crowd, the lighting added to the atmosphere and this was the perfect hub to have begun the day in.
We then had our first foray into the Great Gallery, a space poised to create an immersive atmosphere, with high ceilings, sound and lighting on the biggest scale. We arrived between Dense and Pika and Mind Against’s set and struggled to pull ourselves away. “Rats - scb edit” by Wraetlic being dropped as we arrived, saw darker downtempo sounds juxtaposed with the speeding beat, bringing the frenetic energy back to the room. The crowd were in the hands of the Italian duo, taken through an eclectic selection from darker atmospheric sounds, through to emotive synths, the set was never stagnant. The crowd embraced and adapted to each new pathway in the set. Dropping their own track “Days Gone”, which escalated nicely in the Great Gallery, Mind Against really entertained.
A change was in the air and the time for Adam Beyer b2b Ida Engberg in the Great Gallery had arrived. The difference in the room was undeniable, the crowd grew denser, as eager fans filtered in to any noticeable gaps. Voices and cheering echoing in the Great Gallery reflected how packed out the room now was, the mood was set and anticipation was at its highest. As the pair came on a distinctively heavier and darker sound emerged, rising to a crash as the lighting went from softer strobes to full force, setting the backdrop for the playful b2b between the pair and it was impossible to not devote full attention.
As the second half of the day was in full swing the panic sets in of wanting to see the host of acts across the day. We slipped back into the Gallery to catch some of Apollonia’s set. Stepping back into the smaller gallery, it was obvious Apollonia had generated a notable vibe, a large group of people at the decks generated a party feel that oozed into the crowd. A highlight was hearing “S-2204-17” by Lisiere Collectif which urged the crowd on. A more succinct space, but a bubble of fun of its own.
Back across to the Great Gallery and Adam Beyer b2b Ida Engberg was in full force, a sensory overload with the perfectly coordinated execution of the lights interacting with the music, on the scale necessary for the Great Gallery.
The joy was in the journey through the pair’s selections amongst the lasers, giving the crowd what they wanted with twists and turns keeping everyone captivated. Track “Ascendance” from Netherlands duo Hush and sleep, was one of many choices that reflected and fuelled the energy of the space. The multi-faceted track that was fast, but serene, was perfect bouncing through the Great Gallery. The light show heightened the dramatics, throughout the set’s mixture of sombre emotive tracks, that progressed to explosion.
Conscious that Nina Kraviz’s set was approaching, we made our way to the car park. Excitement was rife amongst the momentary quiet on the journey down to the set, that had been on many minds from the start of the day. Kraviz was playing for 2 hours, and the final act to finish.
The set unfolded with dark immersive moments to slices of acid techno, an eclectic sample of noises to throw the crowd off kilter, as Kraviz brings the crowd back into the palm of her hand with ride cymbals crashing into soulful vocals. An eclectic mix was on offer and the ravers in the car park basked in the unpredictability. Watching Kraviz’s visible enjoyment performing, seeps into the crowd, and fuelled the charged atmosphere. Kraviz took the crowd on a journey they were left reeling from, a skilful selector combining eclectic sounds that make the set so fun to be a part of.
Nothing but envy was felt for the Bristol fans as the show continued into the night at the next location. The stellar line up of the day spoke for itself and solidified in many minds that the main affair in June is going to be unmissable. The mission to prime the crowd for the summer’s event was achieved.
Photos courtesy of Junction 2
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