TF Archives

I Love Techno - 9.11.2002

Author: Jen Ferguson
Monday, December 2, 2002
I Love Techno is not for the faint-hearted - it necessitates a trip to
grim old Belgium, to then be faced with six rooms of banging techno and
47,000 baying technoheads - but if you're a fan of the genre you won't find
finer. With names like Adam Beyer, Timo Maas, C1, Carl Cox and Sven Vath
headlining, you know your ears are going to be for a (admittedly somewhat
punishing) treat...

Most events take a while to warm up - being late is after all fashionable -
but not here. From the time the doors of the Flanders Expo Centre opened at
7pm, the crowd flooded the rooms to near-capacity and stayed that way til the final tune 12 hours later, many of the rooms so full at times they were closed off by security.

With so many choices on offer, it's impossible to see everyone you want to see. And with such massive crowds, often it's best to find a possie and stay there for a bit rather than battle the crowds and spend half the night frustratedly trying to get to a dancefloor. We settled into the Yellow Room, hosted by Intec Records, for most of the night and weren't disappointed.

Tomaz (one of the brilliant minds behind Tomaz and Filterheadz' techno stormer 'Sunshine') kicked off the night here, followed by funky Frenchman Oxia. Oxia's responsible for some of the most massive, driving techno tracks currently doing the rounds, but what would he do away from his studio and behind the decks- Stay true to form actually, belting out massive, driving techno in one of the best sets of the night. Admittedly he did have the advantage of one of the best slots of the event - playing the set before Carl Cox to a crowd so up-for-it they would have danced to the Speaking Clock - but sheesh, did he rise to the occasion.
Next up was Mr Cox, who played a blinder. Now some may complain that Coxy can be a bit, well, relentless on the odd occasion, but not tonight. With allegedly 47,000 people in attendance it looked as if half of them were crammed into the Intec room, as Carl whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his trademark showmanship and some right banging tunes, fully deserving his superstar DJ ranking.

Away from the Yellow Room good things were also going on. In the Green Room, Underworld, with a spritely Karl Hyde (well, he is 45) leaping about the
way only he can, gave the traditionalists what they came for, with old classics
like 'Born Slippy' and 'Rez/Cowgirl', as well as a few tracks from their new album 'A Hundred Days Off'. Shame about all the blokes pissing against the back walls though - too much lager-lager-lager presumably. Marco Carola over in Cocoon's Blue Room provided a slightly less smelly experience - he's one of the funkiest DJs on the planet and one who never disappoints. (Londoners should check his night System on Thursdays.) A quick nosey at Golden Boy in the Switch Area and Anthony Pappa in the Orange Room and it was back to check Bryan Zentz's set. Wicked to hear some of Bryan's hits-in-waiting off his forthcoming album, EVEN BREATHS, like the mighty 'D-Clash', played live. By the way watch out for Bryan's album, due for release in March through Intec.

Trevor Rockcliffe took to the stage next for a brilliantly funky set - particularly enjoyed by four fully-outfitted Teletubbies in the front of the room (odd, that). But one of the biggest finds of the night was over in the Switch Area - crazed electro scientist Dr Lektroluv. Making a refreshing change to techno-blasted ears, the good Doctor also offered a (bizarre) change to the eyes, having donned a green Frankenstein-esque mask and cueing through a large white telephone in place of headphones. Possibly. Well, it was getting rather late in proceedings by this stage after all...

Back in Intec's Yellow Room, DJ C1 put the finishing touches on the night with his closing set. The crowd may have been getting a tad weary on it after 12 hours giving it up, but they put in a valiant last-ditch effort, and as C1, one of those responsible for p