We witnessed the birth of new Trip sub-label Galaxiid and saw a psychedelic future that felt like the rebirth of classic rave.
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Having made our maiden voyage to London’s latest 5,000 capacity music space for the Maya Jane Coles showcase back in February, we already knew what to expect from Printworks. A slickly run event in a gem of a location and that incredible, slow morphing light installation that stays in the back of your eyes for days after. However, our second trip for Nina Kraviz’s headlining event proved to be the best experience of the super-venue to date.
The show was to celebrate the launch of Nina’s new label, Galaxiid; an offshoot of her already established label Trip (трип.). For the event, Nina had put her name to an enticing collection of live acts and DJ sets that brought a slew of techno, electro and a fat load of acid.
With Galaxiid, Nina will be focusing on more experimental, ambient and psychedelic sounds. It was this curation that set the night apart from previous showcases. Walking into the cavernous Press Halls to the sound of Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express” signified the night would not resort to formulaic four to the floor techno weaponry. We were treated to soundscapes that so often miss out on such a prime location due to the need to appeal to a greater mass of ticket buyers. The programming felt like the wildcard of Printworks’ debut season and it paid off in spades.
We were warmed up with a haunting set of gothic, downtempo electro from a very static Dopplereffekt, just what we expected from the enigmatic duo known for their unsettling aesthetic. Things quickly shifted up to top gear in Luke Vibert’s set, filled with squelchy acid and classic rave flavours like Aphex Twin’s “Digeridoo”.
Next up was a live performance by 90’s Madchester rave pioneers 808 State. Following a 100mph set with a completely live band could have fell flat but the guys took no time filling the room with energy via some wonderfully frenetic live drum action. Having seen 808 State previously perform in 2016 at Tobacco Docks, it was quickly clear that since then they had become much more polished as their set peaked with undisputed acid house anthem “Pacific State”.
After a short breather, Nina Kraviz took to the stage to open with another British rave classic “The Future Sound of London - Papua New Guinea”. It was a striking moment of tension building and a highlight of the evening before things ramped up to full carnage. Nina’s set was eclectic, sweeping between acid, techno, and electro. It felt slightly more restrained compared so some of her previous big room sets, perhaps because she knew what would follow: a set from the star of her Trip label; the madness of Iceland’s Bjarki unchained. Bringing absolute thunder from the start, he played of slew of neck-snapping pace techno, breaks and hardcore that got people going nuts even after a full day’s dancing. Ending with 15 minutes of gabber insanity, his lack of fucks to give made Bjarki one of our favourite sets of 2017 so far.
One thing that really stood out about the day’s music was the volume of classic electronic anthems played, particularly the nods to the history of British 90’s rave. Nina perfectly crafted a line-up of performances that both pushed into the future whilst tipping its cap to the psychedelic legacy of UK acid house glory days. If this is what we can expect from Galaxiid, then we can’t wait to see what is in the pipeline – and if Printworks continues to punch at this weight class, we could be witnessing a new champion of London music events in the making.