Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Wax Treatment

Throwing a party in Berlin on the Sunday night of Bar 25's umpteenth "closing" was always going to be a tough proposition. But DJ Pete and Scuba's monthly Hard Wax night at Horst has proven to be one for the heads—less all night raving, more round at a friend's house listening to his favourite (dubstep) tunes...through the largest sound system east of the Notting Hill Carnival. For the latest instalment of Wax Treatment, Berlin ex-pat Scuba assembled a motley crew of Hotflush co-conspirators to shake the foundations of Horst.

While the Hard Wax boys and girls are most readily associated with pushing the punishing Berghain sound of Dettman or the Panorama-friendly house of Prosumer, they also lead the field in championing dubstep in Germany, and they do so in a manner befitting such a hallowed institution. As we entered Horst, the first thing that stood out was the Killasan sound system, a monolithic fuck you of a setup that straddled the entire back wall of the club. DJ Pete was doing a magnificent job of pushing the system to its extremes with a bass-heavy set complemented by Koki's hauntingly reverb-ridden MCing. As the crowd slowly began to filter in, snaking their way through the reefer fug and swaying zombies, Jamie Vex'd took over behind the decks.

By this stage the sizeable number of Brits in the crowd were beginning to mingle well with the German dubophiles, and Vex'd decided to indulge the assembled hordes, mixing established favourites such as an "Archangel" re-rub with his own "Angels," a Planet Mu slayer that had everyone zigzagging across the dance floor with each syncopated breakdown. Nonetheless, there was also room for more avant-garde fare with cuts like "Mescaline Cola" also thrown into the mix. Vex'd eventually handed things over to Stamp Release who unfortunately succeeded only in emptying the dance floor with his slow-train-to-nowhere laptop musings. Luckily Scuba stepped up and salvaged the night, playing a stormer of a set that positioned itself in the liminal zone between dubstep and techno.

What with it being Sunday night and all, we didn't get a chance to see Sigha do his thing. A brief sojourn in the garden to sample some of the Caribbean food on offer, followed by a final slug of Tyskie, was it for us. Wax Treatment isn't one to take a first date to, but if you are looking to briefly lose your shit on a Sunday night before the grind of Monday wears you down, this one is definitely worth a visit.

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