Few promoters are able to command the unquestioned respect of a city for so long, but Wigflex has been at the forefront of pushing exciting dance music in Nottingham for eight years now and shows no sign of slowing down. In a town that has seen its fair share of parties come and go under the pressure of an ever changing student audience and shifting musical trends, Wigflex has established itself as a night where you can truly let your hair down and lose yourself to cutting edge dance music. The night’s venue, The Brickworks, opened its doors in 2013 and has always consistently championed good music, providing a much-needed medium sized space for the city. This has made it a perfect pairing for Wigflex, which benefits from its intimate feel and simple one-room layout.
Lukas Wigflex and Tusk were on warm-up duty when we arrived, and were comfortably building the atmosphere. Keeping the tunes at a slower pace, they held things down with chugging stompers that had a distinctively 80s feel. With the audience on board, the set was brought to a crescendo with about fifteen minutes to go as the distinctive piano riff of Liquid’s “Sweet Harmony” cut through the sound system. Hands were raised as the room reacted with joy to the switch of pace and sound. Lukas and Tusk proceeded to trade Hardcore and rave classics for the remainder of their slot, setting the room up nicely for the remainder of the acts.
Next up was Powell and his unique brand of ‘post-punk techno’. Delivering the only live set of the night, we were hoping not to witness the sort of self-indulgent knob twiddling that is often associated with live performances. Luckily, Powell was not afraid to keep things interesting, showing no fear in switching up the BPM and keeping the crowd on their toes. One minute swaggering house patterns would boom from the speakers, surrounded by angular synth sounds, and then cutting in to frenetic rolling techno with the occasional oscillating crescendo to bridge the gap. The set was full of memorable moments and was a masterclass in how to keep hardware from restraining creativity in a club environment. However, the variation felt somewhat disjointed at times and could have benefitted with some more gradual change in places to keep the crowd locked in.
A moment of silence signalled the end of Powell’s set as Randomer took to the decks, swiftly kicking things off with his hefty trademark 4×4 stompers. Occasionally throwing in the odd broken beat tune, Randomer pulled off a blinding set that was relentless in its intensity, with highlights coming in the form of Dazed’s acid banger “Untitled” as well as the Londoner’s own hard-hitting productions. However, the true peak came with the unmistakable cowbell line of “Fango’s Rectum”. Having been championed by DJs like Ben UFO, this tune gained the most fevered reaction of the night, and was the cherry on top of an absolutely stellar set.
With everyone on a high from Randomer’s heavy techno battering, it was going to take a lot to keep the energy levels up. Helena Hauff’s signature snappy 808 beats proved to be a perfect switch up from the hour of 4×4 bangers we’d just been treated to. Keeping things minimal but fast to begin with, Helena effortlessly sifted through an eclectic mix of electro and techno that the Hamburg DJ has become so well known for – a feat that’s all the more impressive given her complete absence from all social media. The highlights included the vocal version of Computer Rockers’ “Computer Shock”, as well as the R&S Classic MPIA3 ”Acid Badger”, which got a huge reaction from the crowd given it was well past 5am.
If their first party of 2017 is anything to go by, Nottingham’s nightlife is in safe hands with Wigflex. In a time where line-ups can increasingly seem recycled and stale, they have mastered the craft of bringing together incredible and diverse artists, as well as creating an atmosphere where people aren’t afraid to let go.
Tickets for their next party with Max Cooper are available here: http://bit.ly/2kRpr6L