James Holden and his label Border Community need no introduction anymore. By now both are representing two very own standards which are unique in the world of electronic music, as over the years both were developing their styles further without paying too much attention to fugacious trends or societal pressure. To add some spice to his gig at Berlin’s WMF club, James put long-term companion Nathan Fake in charge to make our ears buzzing.
Having a look in Berlin’s scene every two years seems to be James Holden’s secret recipe to avoid being buried in oblivion and to remain shrouded in legend. It was about time again to give Germany’s capital a musical visit as the gigs back in the days are just consonant to Holden’s biennial cycle. Clubgoers still remember his collaboration with BPitch Control in 2005 on the occasion of PopKomm or the blast he had at Berlin’s Watergate club in 2007 with Fairmont playing live. This year and true to the motto “expect the unexpected” another location change was on the bill as as the Border Community guys chose to rock the WMF club.
It’s not clear if the warm-up DJ was BassDee, but whoever that was there’s no doubt that his mixture ranging from funky house to pounding tech house rhythms were a perfect way to start into a long night. At 2:00 a.m. Nathan Fake began his live act and from the very first second a change in music was clearly perceptible. The times when he was staring on his notebook display with a shy and nervous mien not interacting with the crowd are definitely over. Nowadays he is taking off like a Blacksmith’s cat and the sweatbands around his wrists are getting a tough task each time he’s appearing live.
People expecting to hear finely crafted and Fake-typical surreal sound patterns like The Sky was Pink or Outhouse got a bit disappointed that night though. Fake didn’t hesitate long and soon he was caning people with proper techno beats like a battle ship facing is facing its final combat: with all guns blazing. The dance floor was rammed full, people were accepting Nathan’s sound, but somehow this more or less heavy cost was hanging over the club night like the sword of Damocles. His way of frequently chopping up beats while involving the omnipresent Glitch effect panel gave the rest to all things called flow and from now not a Berliners are sure that Nathan the Wise Fake will be called Nathan the Loud in future.
Actually James Holden belongs to the kind of DJs who even at peak can start their DJ set time with a 10 minute beatless intro without getting immediately crucified by the crowd. He actually he can play what he want, it is quite sure that people will accept that at 99.9% – seeing James straightly joining Fake’s uncompromising techno cannonade was however quite surprising. On the other side it seemed to be the perfect way to drive people totally crazy and make the club buzzing until early morning hours, which immediately reminds of his legendary endless set at the Audioriver Festival 2009, which had a much different musical character though.
However things got a little exhausting when both protagonists were interlacing sound patterns basing on a whole scale of all possible noisy frequencies. The sound system operating at full stretch shot those acid sequences horizontally and screw-like through your head from one ear to the other like once the Euro Tunnel was built, with an intense handshake in the middle of your brain when both sides are meeting.