On the 9th of June 2018 at 4pm, the inexhaustible artists and cult favourites Âme and Dixon stepped up the decks at the Pavilion Stage, hosted by SIDEXSIDE. Having just preceded the duo was Trikk, who had brought a groove-laden couple of hours following a relaxing and tasteful set from Marcus Worgull when gates had opened. The mood was good, and the tent had filled up swiftly over the last hour of the Portuguese DJ’s set. The whole Innervisions family greeted each other jovially on stage, and the crowd smiled as the air grew dense with expectation.
The 6 hours that ensued were high-calibre, rumbling, cajoling, and everything in-between. In the first half-hour, the tone was playful, with Âme, Dixon, Marcus and Trikk all signing football t-shirts that had been lobbed up towards the stage. Even Âme hopped delicately onto the platform at one point to catch the personalised clothing emblazoned with each of their names so that he could bring it to the others to sign. Upon returning them, the crowd was jubilant and grinning ear-to-ear, eager for memories to be made and overjoyed at the interactivity and personal engagement of the artists. What proceeded was an unmitigated masterclass.
Although the set was crammed with many moments that can only be retrieved by peering deep into the mind’s eye, here is a selection of six of the most defining, idiosyncratic tracks from the Innervisions marathon.
Patrice Baumel – “The Hatchet” [Afterlife]
A fiery and intergalactic offering that evening came in the form of Patrice Baumel’s The Hatchet, which marked a turning point during the set where the dramatics were amped up and the journey started to move back uphill from its subdued introduction of minimal frequencies. Exaggerated staccatos and harsh drums seasoned the air as the Panorama Bar lighting technician (who had arrived alongside the Innervisions team) transformed the surroundings into a verdant green haven. The Afterlife label has strong personal and professional affiliations with the Innervisions team; indeed, Dixon left the stage at one point to visit Tale Of Us playing on the Sonus stage, so it was fitting that this hyperbolic number was part of the duo’s weaponry.
BOg – “Jahar (Mathias Schober Remix)” [Forthcoming on TAU]
(40:45 mins in)
Perhaps one of the most emotive tracks in the set and no doubt a highly-anticipated release, the pair have been dropping this forthcoming BOg number across their Innervisions shows over the last several weeks. This was unquestionably a stand-out track of the evening, rising in a great swell of sound before diving back down into an orchestral march of rolling synths. Urgent and seductive, uplifting yet achingly sad, this Mathias Schober remix was a heavenly paradox of emotions. With a curious sense of being hurried, yet begging not the leave, the moment was one of utter transcendence, lifting the crowd out of their bodies to dance in-between the jagged splinters of lights piercing the air.
Sascha Funke – “Surumu (Original Mix)” [You And Your Hippie Friends]
Sascha Funke’s fun yet poignant production provoked one of the strongest reactions from the crowd that afternoon. The laser-beam-esque melody elicited whistles and roars, with the track aggressively paving the way for the monster that had been lurking inside the speakers. Jarring at times, each overlay whisked you further into a bubbling hub of emotions, with an almost choir-like interlude announcing itself before dipping behind another flurry of confident cadences. The low and humming bassline snuck back alongside some heckling snares, finally allowing the crowd to move again as the track peaked once more. It was a wholesome rollercoaster of emotions, provocative yet pure – a classic Dixon and Âme selection.
The Juan Maclean – “What Do You Feel Free About? (Man Power Remix)” [DFA]
The Man Power remix of What Do You Feel Free About was an instantly addictive electro-disco tune, oozing with an understated confidence at the start before slipping into the realm of big-room anthems. Affixed by a resilient bassline, the female voice crooning the refrain triggered countless hands up in the air and an abandonment of tensions, each person temporarily liberated from the shackles of life stresses to celebrate the sheer bizarreness of existence. Fists pumped, hugs arose, and the power of man prevailed on a balmy June afternoon.
Nathan Fake – “Sunder” [Ninja Tune]
When the chords whispered their way to centre stage of this track, the lights in the tent went low except for a single beam of light that illuminated fragments of the crowd, as the sun began to descend beneath a lavender sky. Sunder was a fitting title for this moment – a divide between day and night, now bridged with this chance to catch your breath and reflect upon the last 5 hours as the expedition reached its final hour. Accelerating synths married together with a billowing plume of smoke that washed over the sea of silhouetted figures. Bodies oscillated together, moving underneath the last lights of the amber sun. The purr wavered, and then turned into a growl…
Basement Jaxx – “Good Luck ft. Lisa Kekaula (Butch Remix)” [Rekids]
The final rhythmic roller of the night and the terminating track was the percussive Butch rework of the Basement Jaxx classic, Good Luck. This piece, already garnering massive support from the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, was a fittingly quaking finale to the evening. The chopped vocals offered a chance for party-goers to recognise the derivation of this track, and hark back nostalgically to the many years of dance music that we as human beings have had the joy to experience in our short lives. As Junction 2 2018 grew to a close, pulses of magenta swathed the tent from behind the stage, growing in vividness as the track reached its spluttering crescendo. Strobes juddered along to the stuttering climax, with the interspersed pauses in the track giving a space for the raucous cheers to dominate the area, erupting in high magnitudes as the dance-floor reached its final form – one delighted collective.
The Pavilion Stage moved between jurisdictions over the course of the half a day. Some people stayed for the entire thing, many had to sever themselves away to catch other artists – eventually gravitating back towards their initial spot. It was divine and challenging, as though a series of questions had been thrown towards party-goers to mull over as they finally exited the tent. One punter remarked as we left, “you know, these two are some of the few people who can keep you dancing for that long a time, and still have you on the edge of your seat without getting bored once”. The sky was clear, the air was crisp, and the temperature was warm. Junction 2 2018 had sung. And the world sang back.
Âme and Dixon both play the beguiling Royal Albert Hall on the 21st September alongside Henrik Schwarz, Howling, Marcus Worgull, Nina Kurtela & more to soon be announced.
Click here to keep up to date with the latest information on the upcoming show.
Limited tickets still available via the Royal Albert Hall website.