Photo Gallery and Review: Klockworks Presents Photon - XLR8R

Photo Gallery and Review: Klockworks Presents Photon

The event took place on April 30 at Printworks, London.
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Printworks 30-04-17

It’s two o’clock in the afternoon and I’m gearing up for another session with Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock. Having previously been a resident in Berlin, it’s a feeling I know well; although this time it’s different, I’m not extending my night into the next day with a trip to Berghain or the like, I’m just starting out a lot earlier. And in London. Sure, day parties are nothing new to the capital, with a number of well-respected events either warming up the crowd on sunny days or keeping the party going after hours, but there was always, for me at least, a problem: they simply didn’t feel the same as their nocturnal counterparts. I’m still not sure about what was missing, but whatever it was, South London’s Printworks has found it, delivering what feels every bit a late-night experience during the day’s more civilized hours.

The venue is only a short, fresh-faced walk from Canada Water tube station—which you can also handily get home via due to the space’s travel-friendly closing time. Set up by the team behind Junction 2 and boasting a capacity of 2500 people, Printworks feels very much like a European transplant, with numerous attendees remarking upon its scale, continental design, and festival-like ambience. Located in a former printing facility, comparisons to Amsterdam’s much-missed Trouw are inevitable, although probably a bit wide of the mark, with Gashouder seeming more analogousness to those of us lucky enough to have visited all three spaces. Like its aforementioned Dutch counterparts, it’s a space where, as is the case in all of the world’s best clubs, you lose track of time.

Entering the dancefloor as Luke Slater begins to serve up another bout of face-melting live techno as Planetary Assault Systems, it quickly becomes apparent that this is going to be a Sunday afternoon with a difference. Long celebrated as one of electronic music’s most uncompromising champions, it doesn’t take long before the uninitiated fall under his spell in the same way that those who have witnessed his live show have been doing for the past couple of years. Retaining the muscularity that underpinned his earlier work as PAS, Slater has lightened his sound under the sci-fi inspired moniker in recent times, preferring to focus on exploring the lighter parts of techno’s cavernous realm, offering up a retrofitted vision of a brighter future. It makes for the perfect welcome.

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Following on from the incredibly talented Mr. Slater comes the unmistakable figure of Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann, who in preparation for the headline set of close friend Ben Klock, brings the noise with a filter rattling journey through the underbelly of the techno’s resurgent melodic underground. Reflecting his openness to change and his thirst for the kind of fresh exciting sounds that have been the driving force behind Dettmann's success over the last decade, it’s an energy-inducing performance that any DJ would be proud of—aspiring selectors in the crowd take note.

The final set of the day then goes as expected: Ben Klock destroys the dancefloor in front of him with an array of frenetic beats guaranteed to move even the most tired of limbs as the crowd ponders what to do next. I mean, we’ve just enjoyed a good six-to-eight hour session and it's still only 10 in the evening. “We could just go home and actually feel good about life tomorrow morning” I halfheartedly suggest to a friend as the set draws to a close. We don’t—old habits die hard, I guess. But for the more sensible London clubber? Printworks have probably just changed the game—and with the way licensing laws are going in the city, not a moment too soon.

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