Saturday 16th March was one for the books and we had the most mind-blowing start of the season we could have ever asked for.
For our first date of 2019, we returned to our home Electrowerkz and invited Italian Techno activist Freddy K, for a 4-hour vinyl only set.
Preceded by the outstanding performance of German-born, London-based producer Claus Fuss and by a captivating live set by “dark futuristic” artist Pre Silent, Freddy K gifted the crowd with an epic closing. A crowd that stayed and danced until the very end: a night for the dancers, surely one to remember.
Freddy K needs little introduction: Roman-born DJ and producer (often priding himself, with good reason, of being first and foremost, a DJ), he started in 1991 as radio host of the infamous Virus show, responsible for initiating the techno scene in his hometown Rome.
That’s where Alessio Armeni (real name of the artist) discovered his love for vinyls, playing every day from eight to midnight: an activism and dedication that he kept over time and that led him to his first marathon sets for Homopatik at About:Blank and then obviously Berghain, when he later moved to Berlin in 2009.
His earlier days as radio host, witnessing a rave scene in his country that’s so hard to imagine nowadays, his knowledge and love for music and its most tangible expression as vinyls, the energy pervading everything he does, from his sets to his appearances at Red Light Radio, make him an artist like no other.
“My life is techno”, he said in a very interesting interview of a couple of years ago and it’s not difficult to believe.
Freddy K comes from the dance-floor and that was very clear on Saturday too. Creating a journey out of his extensive knowledge of the matter (well, a 4h trip through it), he never lost connection with the crowd, processing their input and reactions and turning them into sound.
Arriving at the club earlier than his set, as he always does, he studied the warmth of the atmosphere, the venue and its vibe, crafting a set tailored to what he felt.
Slowly building up the atmosphere for the first hour, he trained the crowd to be patient, making them dance and get lost in the catchiest melodies, easy and happy anthems that could resonate with that specific type of clubbers.
When he dropped “Never Grow Old” by FloorPlan aka Robert Hood for instance, he got us all on the same level: the ones going nuts at the infamous vocals of the track, as well as the purest techno heads, knowing that the banging and rolling part still had to come. It’s Robert Hood and this track never grows old, indeed.
That level he put us all on is the dance-floor: once again, we came back there and that’s where everything got crazy and buzzy, especially from 4am.
The BPM increasing and the crowd getting warmer, that “hypno-trip” vibe, Freddy K’s very own signature, was brought up on stage. Driving techno, a groovy atmosphere charged with energy and acidic trippy moments sparkled here and there: people sweating, all in the journey already.
Never really drawing definite lines between labels, artists, genres and styles, his selection is more about the story that he wants to tell on the dance-floor. It’s personal and collective, at the same time: something as unique as seeing him dancing to “Jesus loves the acid” at 6am.
Not unexpected, at some point came its majesty, EBM: maybe the dark industrial ambience of Electrowerkz calling for it, maybe the crowd showing no sign of leaving the dance-floor, maybe the late hours. German vibes invaded the club, especially when he dropped “Konfektionen” by Jorg Henze & Thomas Heckmann, fast and cutting, with its funny German vocals.
The few zombies having left already, everyone was seen smiling and giving their very best on the dance-floor. Freddy K wants you to dance till the very end, to go home tired but happy: that’s perhaps the key to his sound. “There’s a point where the dance-floor and I become one” he said in an interview: we felt this a lot, especially in the last hour.
His set seemed to prove somehow that quality techno doesn’t need to be sad or dark, by any means. The talent of an artist like him comes out when he explores those shades, whilst delivering an enjoyable journey, where the most important thing is the crowd having fun, till the very last moment. Closing funnily with “You Spin Me Round” was perhaps part of this view: he left us all with a big smile on our faces.
We know for sure that Freddy K doesn’t like recording or sharing his sets, better “kept as a memory for the mind and the heart”, and he probably won’t appreciate this review. Although we want to see this as our humble way of creating memories of an amazing event, supporting an artist whose authenticity and energy are truly unique.
Written By / Stefania Trinchero.
Published / 30.03.2019