Time Warp 20th Anniversary in Review

Posted on Thursday, 10th April, 2014 at 8:05 pm

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Time Warp is to Techno, what the world cup is to football. A gathering of the finest in their craft, a cultivated list of the best talent in the industry, and the line up to celebrate their 20th anniversary was one of the most mouth-watering line ups seen anywhere in years. From the newer batch of DJs such as Tale of Us and Jamie Jones, to the long-time legends and stalwarts of the scene such as Papa Sven and Carl Cox, this line up included something for everyone and catered for the tastes of the techno elite who had travelled from around the world to be part of this celebration.

We took a short and hilarious cab journey, with a driver fully aware and seemingly quite enjoying this yearly pilgrimage made by many to Mannheim. He drove us in a taxi with Richie Hawtin’s Boiler Room set playing on 3 screens and the volume at a suitable level to warm up our ears for the musical journey they were about to depart on.

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Photo by Kidkuts

After being ushered through with amazing pace by the team at the gates, we collected our passes with great ease, made our way through a myriad of international techno lovers towards the 6 arenas. At this point you start to realise the sheer scale of this venue, with huge chill out rooms and bars providing drinks and almost any sort of cuisine you could ask for, merchandise stalls laden with Time Warp goodies to remind you of the weekend. All the while, the pounding background soundtrack of thumping kicks is coming from all around you, through the walls and shaking the ground as you walk across in anticipation of entering any one of the 6 arenas gifted to you to choose from.

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Photo by Photo-Company

As we walked into the mammoth, glowing red Floor 1, you notice that the production in the arena is spectacular, huge light rigs spread across the cathedral like room, with huge line array stacks carrying the soundtrack through every corner of the room. It is truly a breath-taking experience to enter. Each of the 6 floors would make for an amazing venue in itself anywhere in the world but to have all 6 in one place, at the same time, was a little overwhelming to say the least! For someone who has spent 3 summers in Ibiza, to find that Floor 1 and 2 appear to dwarf even the gigantic main room of Privilege was the moment I realised how much of a significant gathering of music lovers this would turn out to be.


Be-At.tv Video Stream

As we walked into Floor 1 Marcel Dettmann was playing his signature brand of earth shattering techno that he has become world renowned for, including his popular recent remix of Moderat – Bad Kingdom, this would set the pace perfectly for the storm that followed, including sets from other techno gods such as Chris Liebing and Adam Beyer.

Dubfire was playing next door in Floor 2 and as we popped our heads in that tell-tale Sci + Tec sound was rolling through the air, the crowd reciprocate as he moves and sways, and with the slightest of hand gestures and smallest tweak of filters, he controls the baying mob of people laid out before him. At this point I was still trying to get my head around the sheer scale of the venue and the levels of production that the Time Warp team achieve. The bass pounding through my body from the huge speakers suspended from what felt like every part of the room, huge rigs of lighting illuminating these vast chambers, light patterns dancing across huge discs on the ceiling, or the more hypnotic “Warp” they had created in Floor 1 that spiralled lights down the room across huge LED grids suspended throughout the arena.


Fra909 Tv Video

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Photo by Photo-Company

We wandered back next door to hear “Oh Yes, Oh Yes Time Warp” bellowed over the system in that familiar voice we love. Yes, it was that time, Carl Cox stepped up and proceeded to play some of the most incredible music of the night, controlling the crowd like a puppet master, delivering a set proving once again, why he is one of the best in the world. Amazing still to see the energy levels shown by this man, who 2 years ago celebrated his 50th birthday in Ibiza!! A true performer, One of the highlights of the set for me was him playing Literon – Freak Funktion, a firm favourite of mine recently.


Be-At.tv Video Stream

We next took a trip down the huge walkway to an arena I knew I would be spending a lot of time in, Floor 4. From the day of the set time announcement this arena had looked hugely exciting to me. Hosting Robert Dietz, tINI, Magda, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler and Tale Of Us, a line up which in any normal circumstance would be considered ridiculously off the charts, but alas, this is Time Warp, and this is Floor 4. The rules of normality do not apply here.

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Photo by Kidkuts

We walked in to see tINI commanding the crowd as she so often does, whether in a beach hut in Ibiza, or club in the east end of London, this is a lady who works a crowd with her style of music and a presence on the decks that seems to hypnotise all in front of her, moving from side to side as she becomes one with the groove and taking you with her on a journey.

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Photo by Kidkuts

I had to run over to Floor 3 to catch one of the most intriguing figures in techno, a man who is respected by so many in the scene and regarded as one of the best, Ricardo Villalobos. As we walk in, the atmosphere is electric, Ricardo isn’t playing one of his ambient, experimental sets he has become known for, he is playing to the occasion and taking the energy levels through the roof. He is responsible for one of my highlights of the night, when he dropped Octave One – Blackwater, the vibe in the room was incredible, out of this world, everyone in unity, Ricardo clearly enjoying himself as he walks around the booth, arms in the air, an outstanding performance which really showed the crowd why he holds the respect that he does from his peers, one of which was to take control after him, Luciano.


Fra909 Tv Video

Luciano stepped up on Floor 3, delivering an awesome set which drew the crowd in with raw energy, hands in the air, like a military unit, the thousands at his feet, stepping to drums. This set was a great example of how Luciano can handle all angles of the musical spectrum, blending from Tech house beats into techno with ease and keeping the room locked in a trance, held by the soundtrack and fixated by the coloured panels on the ceiling and visuals on the huge screen behind the booth.


Fra909 Tv Video

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Photo by Photo-Company

Back to Floor 4, we headed to see ever popular Hot Creations head honcho, Jamie Jones. A man who is famous for running his disco infused Paradise nights at DC10 in Ibiza, but also known to many as a heavy techno enthusiast. He provided a great blend of everything you would want to hear from a Jamie Jones set. Huge 808 bass laden tracks rolled out as he whipped people up into a frenzy. Whether it was his more trademark deep and sexy sound or the naughty techno tracks he seamlessly fused together, he had hands in the air the whole time, a huge smile on his face that was mirrored on the face of everyone in the room. I would personally say it was one of my favourite sets I’ve seen him play.


Be-At.tv Video Stream

I was lucky enough to have caught the last hour or so of a man who has been involved in Time Warp the whole 20 years it’s been running, the man they call Papa, the one at the head of the Cocoon table. Sven Vath, nearly 50 years of age, with his top off, playing whilst confetti came down from the ceiling is one of my fondest memories of the night. As he grabbed the microphone and proceeded to thank to crowd and organisers, I stood in awe of this man, a DJ for over 30 years, and still can deliver sets that push the boundaries and introduce us to new music, whilst playing records from all through his career, blending new and old with ease. He explained how the promoter once said to him that “he was going to run the best indoor techno party ever”, Sven told us all that he believed that his friend had achieved this, and by this point in the night, I and most of the crowd were in firm agreement with him.

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Photo by Photo-Company


Time Warp Video

Next up was one of the nights live performances from a man who really needs no introduction to those in the know, a master of his craft, Recondite. I’ve rarely heard such beautiful yet powerful music. Kick drums that felt like miniature earthquakes and synths that soared through the room, lifting every hair on the back of your neck. His 2 new tracks on Innvervisions, Fiery and PSY were especially well received, as was firm favourite Cleric. He perfectly built the mood for Richie Hawtin to step up and deliver a 6hr set to the huge crowd on Floor 2.

Two of the most talked about men in music at the moment are Karm and Matteo, aka Tale of Us. Needless to say there was an air of excitement as they took over from all-round favourite, BBQ chef, naked interviewee, and moustache sporting funny-man Seth Troxler back on Floor 4. They delivered a great progressive set building from ambient melodies and arpeggiator laden minimalism, up to their harder brand of pumping, syncopated drum ridden techno. Their signature sound is now a well-loved worldwide flavour, with other DJs such as Recondite joining them in the booth as they played his track DRGN and the crowd lapping up every tune, waiting on tenterhooks for the next one to be introduced. It has to be said, the pair of them seemingly can do no wrong at the moment. Flawless productions paired with no messing around DJ sets, and a position of #2 in last year’s RA Top 100, they are the ones to watch at the moment.


Be-At.tv Video Stream

Our night sadly had to draw to an end there. As we walked out of the arena the sun was shining bright, 20 degree heat baked the ground and it was somewhat reminiscent of a zombie movie, as people staggered out of arenas and numerous bodies were stretched out on the floor, muscles aching from the marathon of raving that had just taken place. The mood never dipping for one minute though, as everyone was in total awe and shared admiration of what had just happened and what we had all witnessed.

I will end and recap by saying, this is what it is about. If you want to do a huge techno event, Time Warp should be it. 19hrs of non-stop obliterating music, joined by people from all over the world who want to partake in this almost religious experience. The best of the best DJs paired with production that is out of this world and quite literally breath-taking, not to mention music that educates and inspires. It was, hands down, some of the best organisation I’ve seen at an event, especially of this size! The sheer scale of it all and the number of people with smiles on their faces and  hands in the air embracing atmosphere created by the DJs in each arena, teasing the party-goers with their reverbs and delays before unleashing the next round of bass laden goodness upon them.

The only thing even remotely bad I can say about Time Warp, from my own point of view, is you cannot be in all 6 arenas at once, so unfortunately you cannot witness first hand everyone gracing this behemoth of a line up. Luckily, Be-At.tv and Fra909 Tv offer some quality coverage of many of the sets online. Being spoilt for choice isn’t really a bad thing though and ultimately, this is just one more reason why Time Warp is quite possibly THE most off the charts event in the world. Even in Ibiza, you are hard pushed to find any event with such a monumental line up and a choice of a Champions League like list of headliners.

Also, with so many like-minded techno enthusiasts attending the event and sharing their unforgettable experiences, others are all too ready to ecstatically tell you what they witnessed in your absence. One of my friends made my heart sink a bit when he told me I had missed Loco Dice playing Somore – I Refuse (What You Want). Too many moments for one person and one brain to try and consume in one go and all the more reason to make it an annual pilgrimage.

As we strolled out of the main exit I was worried we may be in for a bit of a long journey back, but even getting a taxi home was easy, as with many things German, they just do it right. We returned to our hotel and reminisced about what we had just experienced as if it was a dream, too surreal to comprehend. That is Time Warp for you, so good that you almost can’t believe that it really happened. A true mind blowing experience… on every level! A collection of beautiful memories, shared with amazing friends, that will stick with me for a long time.

THANK YOU TIME WARP  X

 

CREDITS AND SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Review – Tom Frankel
Photos – Kidkuts / Photo-Company
Videos – Be-At.tv / Fra909 Tv / Time Warp

MORE VIDEOS:

Be-At.tv Floor 1 Videos – Steffen Baumann // John Digweed // Marcel Dettmann // Carl Cox // Pan-Pot // Adam Beyer // Chris Liebing

Be-At.tv Floor 4 Videos– Steffen Deux // Robert Dietz // Magda // Jamie Jones // Seth Troxler // Tale Of Us

Fra909 Tv Videos – Sonja Moonear // Marcel Dettmann // Ricardo Villalobos // Robert Dietz // Magda // Josh Wink // Dubfire // Chris Liebing // Ben Klock // Ilario Alicante // Joseph Capriati // Luciano / Carl Cox // Marco Carola