It was sensory overload. Four high-class acts in an overpacked club in Berlin-Kreuzberg on one saturday evening, with a magnificent sound setup and an overall great crowd. There were fewer internationals there than you are used to in Berlin, where those make up to seventy percent oftentimes, and the amount of beautiful women was ridiculous, to be honest. The artists were british though in what was announced as the “Gold Panda Gala” at Horst Krzbrg, an old post office that can take up to 400 people I would think, but was testing its limits. Expectations were high, and they were met.
After a somewhat disjointed DJ set, seeming more occupied with dropping some hits than setting a mood but finally getting the vibe right in the end, Seams aka Jamie Welch kicked the important part of the evening off with a well-orchestrated effort. This was the third time I saw him this year, and it was the most interesting set of his so far. He was oftentimes singling out distinct sounds like a thumping bass or a dry snare and then masterfully combined them with warmer sounds like 8bit melody lines later on. Not underestimating the crowd’s expertise as well as using the full range of the great sound system at Horst Krzbrg, it was the perfect lead-in and he was clearly enjoying himself, as was I.
And then there was Gold Panda. The master. My hero. I haven’t heard anyones tunes more than his during the last few years and so they felt very personal, as if he was playing them only for me. But I wasn’t alone in that feeling, I guess – well, I was definitely not alone, as it got crazy crowded by now. But that didn’t matter too much in this moment, because I wasn’t dancing too much and often had my eyes closed anyway. That was not due to the fact that his set wasn’t danceable, it was very much, with him putting some extra bass here, an additional snare line there. It was more because I concentrated on the builds, the variations and the suprises he had in stock for us. The crowd greeted the familiar melodies of “You” or “Marriage” with cheers and it was obvious that they really enjoyed themselves. Well, it was awesome.
Luke Abbott then played the most coherent set of the evening, with a steady beat and overlays of hypnotic melodies. It calmed things down a bit and had it been up me, it could have gone on a lot longer. The subtlety was impressive and nonetheless come closest to what a club gig should sound like that put the music front and center. I was already more than a bit exhausted when Nathan Fake got on the decks afterwards, and I admit I was a bit overwhelmed and surprised by the punch he put in it. He was clearly out for a party, and he got it. I left before his set was over though, but hey: That was me, not him. Looking back on this night, I can only repeat myself: It was a bit too much of all of the good stuff. Sensory overload!