31 / December / 2016
New Years Eve is always a tricky one, choices are endless and ticket prices are eye-watering. It is, however, an excuse to go all out, to “let your hair down” and to embrace our culture with open arms (not that we normally need an excuse, mind).
For this year’s 2016/17 tipping point, we here at Shades chose to venture to Amsterdam to sample their offerings. After browsing through various options Reaktor came out the winner, boasting the kind of lineup that makes you tingle with excitement, it seemed the logical and superior choice.
The venue for the night’s proceedings, Warehouse Elementstraat is legendary, having played a key part in the evolution of Dutch techno back in the early 90’s it was rediscovered a few years ago when it began to host legendary parties once again. After a cold, wintery walk through Westerpark past the Awakenings party we arrived on an unassuming industrial street hidden away in the west of Amsterdam. Accepting a large bottle of Smirnoff Ice (it’s been a while) from a drunk Swede, we could begin to hear the familiar pounding kicks of a proper Techno party.
Unfortunately, due to our appalling timekeeping and some particularly sore heads from the night before, we eventually got into the venue around 10 minutes before SHDW and Obscure Shape welcomed in the new year. Despite still wearing big coats and our eyes not quite having adjusted this was still a bit of a moment, and definitely the darkest incarnation of a year change I’ve ever experienced.
Having put our coats away and scraped some cash together for some tokens we were straight back into it. The lighting rig in room 1 was really something to behold, and honestly put every party I’ve ever attended in the UK to shame. Strobes, lasers, a massive LED screen and killer smoke machines created the perfect, moody, intense atmosphere to accompany the driving music. Luke Slater and O/V/R both delivered stellar sets, repeatedly building the room up to a crest before dropping it right back down again.
On the night, there was one indisputable queen however, Helena Hauff delivered one of her signature energetic, masterful sets that you just cannot draw yourself away from. Even getting a drink seemed like too much of a chore. Gradually speeding up over the course of the 2 hours she played a wide variety, encompassing pounding industrial techno whilst also foraying into some lighter, more melodic tracks. The only downside, although not massive, was that she played in room 2.
Perc closing off room 1 was unstoppable, those monitoring social media in the following days will have noticed requests for IDs from his set everywhere. He delivered 2 hours of aggressive, in your face Techno that had the entire venue begging for more when the night finally came to a close.
Reaktor is held in high esteem for very, very good reasons. I honestly cannot think of any parties that I’ve attended that have quite the same mesmerising quality to them. If you get the chance then go, seriously.