Arriving at The End at about 12.30am we found the club still relatively empty, with a majority of people still in the lounge rather than in the main room. After swinging by the bar in the lounge for a drink we joined the flow of people now starting to head into Room 1 where Brazilian techno DJ Anderson Noise was already into the meat of his warm-up set. We picked our spot and settled in for a little dancing - and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I'd been chatting to the group dancing next to us the previous weekend after The End's 10th birthday celebrations.
My initial feeling about Anderson's set was that it was too full of "breakdowns" - cycling the volume and BPM's down to near-silence and then back up again ... but despite this slightly annoying feature of the set, he maintained a good level of pace and energy for the most part. As the set progressed Anderson started to repeatedly mix in single bars of a more jacking "house" track with some skill and precision timing. In general however I found the set slightly monotonous until Anderson finally started wind things up in the "home stretch", dropping a seriously infectious, growling high energy bassline at about a quarter to two, swiftly followed by the sounds of skittering high hats and tom toms over a pounding 4/4 bass accompanied by a whooping siren finally pulling everyone off the sidelines and onto the dance floor ready for Jeff Mills' arrival.
Mills started his set with an altogether less industrial sound, quicker-paced but much more flowing ... which segued into a section with little discordant, jarring sounds, keeping the crowd on its toes. At 3.10am the sound turned more "Detroit", with signature running melodic synthesizer chords in a minor key - unfortunately prefaced by a train wreck and Ben Sims' 2004 remix of Inner City's "Good Life" - which can't compare to the classic original which we had had all been expecting after the unmistakable intro. At 3.30am Mills seemed to rethink and regroup, marshalling his thoughts whilst holding up the set for a pause-cum-transition before plunging into higher bpm's and a sound reminiscent of rolling thunder overhead.
At 4am DJ T's Strings of Life remix kicked in to cheers from the crowd followed by some serious rump-shaking booty, only for Mills to switch tack yet again into a track which started to build a little like Masters At Work's "French Kiss". Mills then proceeded sweetly to whip the crowd up again - and by this stage it was really going off - with a crescendo of fast, marching beats. Periodically he would inject a perfectly-timed pause where he would hold the music for just a split-second before slamming the volume back in again, almost using these as punctuation in a dialogue with the dance floor as he closed out to the acclaim of a still-packed room 1 - concluding in fitting style the journey from the soul and funk of Inner City and first wave Detroit techno through a variety of different techno sounds. Thanks go once again to The End for hosting one of techno's true superstars." />
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