Clash returned to London’s biggest club last weekend for one of its most impressive line-ups to date... running from midday to 11pm, there was no shortage of DJ talent throughout the day. Here’s our pick of the six best sets and the tunes that we haven’t been able to get out of our head since.
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Though he only gets to play for around 30 minutes, due to arriving late, Germany’s Gerd Janson makes the most of the time he does have. Opening with a surefire crowdpleaser in the form of Four Tet’s remix of Nelly Furtado’s ‘Afraid’ - which he let’s build and build - and has been played at every festival and club this year, his late appearance is forgiven immediately by the thousands of Running Back Records fans on the dancefloor.
The layering of percussion and synths on Ghost Culture’s ‘Axon’ works equally well, as the Phantasy-released track fills the Press Halls at just before 4pm.
Packing the Dark Room with disco-inflected vocal selections as she dances behind the decks, the Glaswegian LuckyMe Records favourite even has the security guards bopping along as she flicks through her vinyl record bag. Lime’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Lose’ brings the club energy before ending with the screamer satisfy.
Following Glasgow’s Jasper James who veers between darker techno and jazzy house - peaking with Coldzeracev’s saxophone-led 'Wyglose' - the crowd is more than ready for the arrival of New York’s Octo Octa.
With the audience getting a lot looser, freeing their limbs and starting to whistle, she turns the energy up and delivers the best set of the day. It’s a masterclass in reading what the crowd wants: changing to bassline half way through after playing a Special Request track, one girl in a gold sparkly jacket makes her way to the front alongside a middle-aged couple who position themselves right next to the speaker.
With an unwavering energy, it’s a genre-hopping set that really heats the Dark Room from start to finish.
Ending an incredible year, having owned 2018 with his inescapable dancefloor anthem ‘Neutron Dance’, Krystal Klear plays arguably one of the biggest shows of his career, before handing over to dance the legendary Armand Van Helden. An early remix of Hercules & Love Affair’s ‘Controller’, courtesy of Tuff City Kids, goes down a treat early on as vibrant red and yellow strobes bathe the crowd whilst the lighting rig drops down to within touching distance.
Following it up with the anthemic KiNK remix of Dusky’s ‘Perth’, and then the infectious synths of his own ‘Shockzoid’, it’s then time for the aforementioned tune of the year to unite everyone - a perfect end to a faultless set.
ARMAND VAN HELDEN
After a hug with Krystal Klear, Armand wastes no time in continuing the party atmosphere. Playing all the bangers, two songs in and the Boston DJ/producer has already dropped ‘I Want Your Soul’; quickly followed by the classic ‘U Don’t Know Me’, there’s even a security guard upfront getting her phone out to record the classics... along with thousands of others on the dancefloor with beaming smiles spread across their faces.
VIRGINIA Though Ostgut Ton favourite Virginia plays to an undeservingly small crowd - on at the same time as Armand in the Press Halls - she doesn’t seem to mind. And it’s a treat for those who have steered away from the singalong action in the main room. Dishing out percussive house groovers whilst clapping along and getting into the rhythm, the Berlin DJ’s energy is infectious... it’s a brilliant way to end our day.
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Words: Ben Jolley
Photo Credit: Jake Davis
Bicep perform live three times this week before Tale Of Us bring their Afterlife party to the venue on Saturday (November 24th). For full listings and tickets visit www.printworkslondon.co.uk
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