After 2 years, Carl Cox came back to the U. I had seen him there before, as well as at 'I Love Techno' festival in Belgium in November 2004. Both times I came out unimpressed, not quite understanding the hype around him. So this third time should confirm my less than stellar optinion of him or prove me wrong, so I went with an open mind.
For a big name like this the U was expected to be packed, but when we got there around midnight there was no line whatsoever. Inside, it was still more or less empty. It is a mystery to me what's going on here, the club was deserted the week before for Cari Lekebusch. However, the club filled up nicely by the time Cox came on at 2:30, very crowded but not too jam-packed.
The local warm up DJ, Michael Kohlbecker, spun a very good, nicely building opening set, proving to me yet again that he knows how to play a party, be it a chill out set, an opener like this or headlining himself. However, we wound up spending most of the pre-Cox time in the small room, the U-Bar, where a DJ unknown to me played a very good and bouncy minimal set. At 2:30 it was Cox time though. Kohlbecker already had the crowd boiling, and Cox wasted no time with any set building excercises and continued where Kohlbecker left off, yet at quite a different level. What ensued were 3 and a half hours or pure relentless ass-kickking at its very best. The crowd wasn't boiling, it was boiling over. There were no weak points in the set at all, the only time when I thought he'd slow down somewhat was when he dropped Roman Flügel - Geht's Noch which I don't like that much really, but that was it. Otherwise, just hard, banging and incredibly danceable techno. Unlike at 'I Love Techno' he didn't play dated techno hits to please the crowd which I had resented then and appreciated immensely now. I felt compelled to ask Carl to give us an extra hour twice, and he complied by overplaying by about 40 minutes . Now I don't know about his famed 3-deck-wizardry and if I can really confirm that, I never found much time from the dancefloor to watch him work the mixer for miore than a bit. I still think that Adam Beyer is easily as good at it. That was not important that night, though, the mixing was flawless, the effects on point and the music just compelling, so any further investigations were into the specialness of his skills were unneccessary. On top of the top notch music the party was incredibly energetic and the crowd was as into it as a crowd can be, screaming their lungs out at all the right points. Hadn't experienced such a kick-ass party at the U in quite some time.
After ranking fairly low on my techno list, Carl had finally redeemed himself, so to speak. Overall set rating is a clear 9/10, upgraded from the originally assigned 8.5 for the superb consistency of the set. Brilliant. " />
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