“From the sound engineering to the lighting, The Drumsheds made for an unforgettable experience, further demonstrating why both Printworks and The Hydra are consistently dubbed as the best electronic music drivers in the world right now.”
The Hydra has been a mainstay in the techno diary since their inception nearly a decade ago. Delivering consistent, ground-breaking annual events across the country at some of the most obscure settings, the collective continue to mould their evolutionary ethos and reputation as one of the most respected and loved music entities in the wider electronic scene. Last weekend the team set themselves apart from the rest once again – making their debut at Printworks’ sister venue, The Drumsheds, located over in Tottenham, North London. Dubbed as a “one of a kind, mini-event series” featuring two monumental nights under the guise ‘TO BE/ NOT TO BE’, it was the first ‘TO BE’ event that caught our attention, promising to showcase a plethora of both established and rising international talents going back-to-back with each other. From Berghain residents Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann to fast emerging selectors Tailor Jae and Yung Singh, this was one for the heads (and most definitely beanie hats).
Located at Meridian Water in Enfield, a short trip from Tottenham station, The Drumsheds utilises a former BOS gasworks as four interlinked warehouses offering a total indoor capacity of 10,000 set away from residential areas. With potential to run later nights, the venue still has a huge amount of promise which the Printworks team have tirelessly been honing over the past few years and, on Saturday, it was clear to see why. Having ‘successfully’ battled with winds and low temperatures of Storm Arwen on the way to the venue, arrival at The Drumsheds was exhilarating itself. The feint bass kicks could be heard from the dual carriageway and the main warehouse stuck out above the rest with the words ‘The Hydra’ slapped above the main entrance. A difficult one to miss.
With energy-ridden sets from the likes of emerging stars Tailor Jae and Yungh Singh, as well as Laurel Halo and Debonair over in the main room, TO BE was kicked off in style. From a personal perspective, the most eagerly awaited set of the day was that of Berghain titans Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann who have been leading the way for raw, minimalistic and industrial-infused techno since the 1990’s. Bringing a taste of Berlin’s staple, the pair set the tone from the outset. Delving deep into their record bags, the Berghain residents brandished a series of tasteful, ‘bleep’-ridden industrial cuts for a ninety-minute hypnotic trip. When conversing about the Ostgut Ton selectors there is almost a sense of inevitability as to what they will bring to an event like this. The duo are guaranteed to deliver a slew of formidable techno bullets for each and every dancer to get their teeth in to. And that they did. As per, the pair packed out much of the main warehouse, commanding the attention of the dancers by seamlessly weaving their way through a host of contemporary and timeless records before handing over the reins to the only solo artist of the night, Jeff Mills.
Prior to the event, memes were doing the rounds on various techno-orientated social media pages highlighting the lack of a partner for Jeff Mills. The majority hinted at the fact he is simply too good to share the decks with anyone. Whatever reason, the crowd was treated to pure techno magic from ‘The Wizard’ as he spearheaded a smooth inter-galactic journey packed full of jacking 909 beats and snappy kicks. Of course, the set would not be complete without a complimentary rendition of his most famous production ‘The Bells’. The track was gradually teased into the middle of his set much to the delight of the crowd.
Over in Unit 5, one of the world’s best turntablists Eris Drew was busy swapping vinyl with New Yorker, Russel E.L. Butler. The pair effortlessly traded a plethora of tracks including funky disco, house and squelching acid within a smaller, yet equally engaging setting. Home to a 360-degree crowd experience, Unit 5’s DJ booth was located in the centre of the room – each side packed with dancers allowing for a more a more intimate connection with the musicians. Thus, throughout the event artists were able to engage with the nearby punters, highlighted by Eris who regularly danced with spectators after each selection.
Queue the final track and swiftly into position for the proceeding set was London’s very own Daniel Avery and Los Angeles-favourite Mor Elian – joining forces for a variety of heavier, bass-led missiles to the see the evening out in style. It was difficult to choose where to be during the final hour, but after some careful deliberation it was decided that Nina Kraviz and Paula Temple’s B2B had to be seen. Widely recognised as two of the most in-demand female techno artists in the game right now, the pair went head-to-head and delivered some of the most formidable 4×4 techno cuts available. A high-octane affair, both DJ’s maintained a steady BPM until the speakers came to a gradual standstill.
It was then time to brave the icy winds once more. Walking back to catch an Uber and upon reflection it became apparent how good a day and night that truly was. From the sound engineering to the lighting, The Drumsheds made for an unforgettable experience, further demonstrating why both Printworks and The Hydra are consistently dubbed as some of the best electronic music drivers in the world right now.